Starcraft RV Celebrates 50 Years

Topeka, Indiana-based Starcraft RV kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration June 1 with a company picnic and the “AR-ONE Golden Giveaway,” a year-long consumer sweepstakes in the United States and Canada.

Starcraft-RV-logoThe 2014 model year marks 50 years in the RV industry for Starcraft, a pioneer builder of folding camping trailers.

“We’re excited to be celebrating our 50th year in business.” said Akos Sefcsik, vice president and general manager for Starcraft.

“It’s a milestone that not many have achieved in our industry.”

To celebrate this milestone, Starcraft held a company picnic for its employees at its campus in Topeka. Nearly 300 employees attended the picnic where Starcraft catered a lunch, had carnival games for the children and a cornhole tournament for the adults.

In addition, the company also announced The “AR-ONE Golden Giveaway”.

It will last a full year and the drawing will take place in June of 2014.

The winner of this sweepstakes will receive an AR-ONE 25BHS travel trailer.

Participants can enter in two ways, online at the Golden Giveaway website (SEE link below), which will be linked to Starcraft RV website (SEE link below) and Facebook, or they may send in an entry form they pick up at their local Starcraft dealer.

Starcraft logoThe company has also added a 50th anniversary decal to all 2014 units as well as a 50th anniversary promotional package featuring various items special for the 50th year.

Other 50th year celebrations include the launch of a new website for the company, a gift bag for every customer who purchases a new, previously untitled model year 2014 unit, and an event for dealers during the fall open house.

“We have planned these various 50th year activities and programs in hopes that our employees, dealers and customers feel as much pride in our 50 years as we do,” said Sefcsik.

“We plan to keep this celebration going all year.”

Details

Starcraft RV

Starcraft-AR-OneTopeka, Indiana-based Starcraft is one of the oldest and most respected names in the RV industry.

In fact, the company has been around since 1903. Back then, they made their name building livestock tanks and other metal farm equipment.

In the 1920s, they added a variety of boats to their product lineup.

And in 1964, Starcraft entered—and revolutionized—the modern camping industry.

Starcraft RV manufactures and markets towable RVs under the Starflyer, Comet, AR-ONE, AR-ONE WideBody, Launch, Launch Ultra Lite, Travel Star EXP, Travel Star, and Autumn Ridge brand names.

Starcraft RV is a Jayco, Inc. company.

Mailing Address: 903 South Main Street, P.O. Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (800) 945-4787 (toll free)

Website: starcraftrv.com

Golden Giveaway Website: cmcpromotions.net/goldengiveaway

Worth Pondering…

The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”
—Alan Ashley-Pitt

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Favorite RV Recipes Contest Winners Announced

Go RVing Canada announces the winners of its Favorite RV Recipes Contest.

0001header2The contest was launched in early November and encouraged all RV enthusiasts across the country to submit their favorite RV related recipe for a chance to win one of three amazing prizes.

Before finalizing the three prize winners, a ‘top twenty’ list of the submitted recipes was chosen and evaluated by a panel of judges, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, otherwise known as ‘The Cooking Ladies’.

Phyllis and Lamont are RV enthusiasts, the authors of nine cookbooks and former restaurateurs. They combine their appetite for adventure with meeting new people, seeing new places, sampling new foods, and creating recipes.

The grand prize for the best overall recipe and winner of an RV Weekend Getaway was awarded to Valerie Gervais of Ottawa, Ontario for her healthy and unique Baby Spinach and Raspberry Salad.

The Cooking Ladies, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, are freelance writers, restaurant consultants, cookbook authors, hobby photographers, TV personalities, event speakers, and passionate RVers.
The Cooking Ladies, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, are freelance writers, restaurant consultants, cookbook authors, hobby photographers, TV personalities, event speakers, and passionate RVers.

The second prize of a $250 gift card for Williams-Sonoma online was awarded to Terri Gilson of Calgary, Alberta for her quirky Perogy Potato Salad.

The third prize of a six piece set of Wusthof Steak Knives was awarded to Gail McBride of Edmonton, Alberta for her tangy Pickled Shrimp.

In order to choose the top twenty recipes, the Cooking Ladies equally weighed each entry for RV-friendliness, ease of preparation, relevance to the five categories, originality and creativity, as well as proper completion of submission form, taste, and visual appeal.

“We want to thank everyone across Canada who entered the contest and submitted their favorite RV recipe,” said Go RVing Canada Executive Director Chris Mahony.

“We received several delicious and unique entries and selecting the winners was not an easy task. Go RVing Canada will be sharing all of the top twenty recipes with Canadians so that they may enjoy them on their RV travels this year.”

Each one of the top twenty recipes will be revealed over the next twenty days on the Go RVing Canada’s Facebook page (see link below).

The grand prize for the best overall recipe, Baby Spinach and Raspberry Salad, follows:

Baby Spinach and Raspberry Salad with Feta and Balsamic Vinaigrette

This healthy, colorful salad is as beautiful as it is delicious. We use fresh raspberries that we pick-up at the many fruit and veggie stands we come across on our journeys. Using pre-washed baby spinach and jarred feta minimizes preparation.

(Makes 4 servings)

6 cups (1.5L) pre-washed baby spinach

3/4 cup (175 ml) fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons (30 ml) sliced almonds

1stPrizePhoto1 small green onion, chopped

1 150g jar of cubed feta cheese in oil with herbs and spices

2 tablespoons (30 ml)  balsamic vinegar

  1. Layer spinach, raspberries, sliced almonds, and chopped green onions in a large salad bowl.
  2. Scoop half of the feta cubes out of the jar and onto the salad mixture.
  3. Mix 2 tablespoons of the oil from the feta with the balsamic vinegar and pour the mixture over the salad.
  4. Gently toss, serve, and enjoy!

Details

Go RVing Canada

The Go RVing Canada coalition was formed in 1997, and consists of RV manufacturers, RV dealers and campground operators.  The coalition serves as the Canadian RV camping industry ambassador to provide the public and media with information about the benefits of RV travel.

The coalition also seeks to enhance consumer information and satisfaction with the RV experience.

Address: 2175 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 310, Toronto, Ontario M2J 1W8

Website: gorving.ca

Go RVing Canada’s Facebook page: facebook.com/Go-RVing-Canada

Worth Pondering…

Let’s Go RVing! If not now, when?

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2012 National Parks Fall Foliage Guide

As summer comes to a close, the bright blues and greens that characterize the sunshiny season are replaced by a deeper, more vibrant palette.

But there are so many destinations to choose from, each with their own unique rainbow of fall colors.

The National Park Foundation (NPF) wants you to get outdoors and enjoy one of nature’s most spectacular seasons in your national parks.

In announcing the 2012 National Parks Fall Foliage Guide the NPF says, “These parks boast exceptional fall colors, however they represent only a few of the national park sites where foliage lovers can enjoy the spectacular spectrum of the season’s palette.”

The list below includes information on region-specific flora as well as estimated timing on the peak of their colors:

Nez Perce National Historical Park (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)

Peak foliage times range across the rivers, canyons, prairies, and mountains of this park which overlaps four states. The short-grass prairies of White Bird Battlefield (ID) and Spalding (ID) peak around mid to late October.  The plains and plateaus of the sagebrush steppe eco-region include a site called Buffalo Eddy (WA) where fall foliage also peaks around mid to late October.

Steamtown National Historic Site (Pennsylvania)

Board one of Steamtown National Historic Site’s special fall excursion runs through this brilliant countryside and you can feast your eyes on the colors of the season in the comfort of a coach. (Source: NPS)

Take a ride back in time on a 1920s era passenger car, with either a 1917-built steam or historic diesel-powered locomotive, to combine a view of the autumn scenery with the history of railroading. Peak is estimated to be October 7-20.

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (New York)

Visit the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s home around mid-October to see the changing colors of oak-tulip tree, hickory, and copper beech. Sagamore Hill Day, a Fall Family Festival giving tribute to the agricultural heritage of the site, is conveniently planned for October 20 which is also Theodore Roosevelt’s 154th birthday!

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway (Wisconsin, Minnesota)

The St. Croix and Namekagon rivers create a 255-mile corridor with a variety of color from one end to the other, including maple, aspen, oak, and birch trees. Visit this park soon, as leaves are changing quickly, with peak colors from now through mid-October.

Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky) 

Foliage at this park includes the changing colors of black gum, poison ivy, and dogwood, peaking from mid to late October. Join the Friends of Mammoth Cave for a Walk-In-The-Park on October 6, and choose one of three different walks that are sure to suit your interests and abilities while allowing the perfect opportunity to support the park and view a variety of fall colors.

Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi) 

The location of a critical battle in the Civil War, this park has a brief period of fall foliage, usually lasting from mid-October through mid-November. Visitors can see changes in the hickory, pecan, and black walnut trees, among many others. Plan a visit around October 27, and the kids can participate in a “Shape Up, Junior Ranger Owl Discovery Walk.” This 1-mile walk teaches more about the park’s nighttime creatures, and is the perfect chance to test out this year’s Halloween costume.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park (Texas) 

For a fantastic foliage tour, start with a drive through the LBJ Ranch and tour the Texas White House. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Located in the Hill Country of Texas, leaves at this park change from mid-October through the end of November. The sumac, oaks, and haw holly add bursts of fall colors, while the pecans cover the ground and the purple flowers of the gay feather herb enhance the color palette and autumn atmosphere. For a fantastic foliage tour, start with a drive through the LBJ Ranch and tour the Texas White House. Make your way into Johnson City to visit the Boyhood Home and finish out your tour with a walk down the nature trail to the Johnson Settlement and the 1960s cabin and barns.

Flight 93 National Memorial (Pennsylvania)

This national memorial, dedicated to the brave passengers and crew of Flight 93 who fought back against terrorism on September 11, 2001, encompasses 2,200 acres of rolling hills, wild flowers, wetlands, and old-growth and newly planted trees.  Once a coal mine, this location has experienced a breathtaking rebirth as a place of national honor and reflection.  Peak viewing times span early to mid-October, but if you can’t get there in person, you can enjoy the foliage from the park’s live webcam.

Timeless in simplicity and beauty,
like its landscape, both stark and serene,
the Memorial should be quiet in reverence,
yet powerful in form,
a place both solemn and uplifting.
Paul Murdoch, Architect
(Source: NPS)

Several factors affect the intensity of fall shades at each park including moisture, temperature, and length of sunlight exposure. Visitors are strongly encouraged to contact parks directly for specific information on seasonal events and optimal viewing periods.

Details

National Park Foundation (NPF)

You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites—all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks.

NPF works hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.

Website: nationalparks.org

Share the Experience

With its breathtaking colors, autumn is also the perfect time to photograph nature’s beauty and the national parks can provide infinite inspiration. Amateur photographers are invited to submit their photos to the 12th annual Share the Experience photography contest for the chance to have their image selected for use on the America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Lands Pass.

Share the Experience entries will be accepted through December 31, 2012. For a complete list of rules and prizes as well as submit your photos, check the website below.

Share the Experience is the official photo contest of America’s national parks and federal recreation lands. Sponsored by Active Network, Destination America, Historic Hotels of America, and the National Park Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service, the Share the Experience Photo Contest showcases the more than 500 million acres of Federal Lands and draws entries from all across the United States.

Website: sharetheexperience.org

Worth Pondering…

National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.

—Wallace Stegner, 1983

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Texas State Park Receives $10,000 from Coca-Cola

Bastrop State Parkwas awarded a $10,000 grant from Coca-Cola and will use the windfall to underwrite the continued building of new park trails.

Camping in the “lost pines” at Bastrop State Park prior to the fire. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The fire-ravaged Texas State Park is received the grant in connection with Coca-Cola’s “America Is Your Park” campaign, in which parks nationwide competed to win the most votes for a top grant of $100,000 from Coca-Cola’s Live Positively initiative.

Bastrop State Park came in 12th with 661,565 votes. “America’s Favorite Park” is Pratt Park in Prattville, Alabama, with 28,734,539 votes.

Pratt Park receives a $100,000 grant from Coca-Cola’s Live Positively initiative.

“The tremendous support we received from people and companies for Bastrop State Park is testament to the special place this park holds in the minds and hearts of Texans,” said Brent Leisure, Texas State Parks director.

“We are very appreciative of Coca-Cola’s $10,000 donation that will allow us to hire America’s YouthWorks to complete new trails in the park.”

Bastrop and Buesher state parks are connected by Park Road 1. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Since last year’s horrific Labor Day Weekend fire that hit 96 percent of the 6,500-acre state park, more than $200,000 in donations for Bastrop State Park recovery have come from a variety of sources.

The donations have helped Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) initiate a contract with American YouthWorks to assist with restoration efforts that include clearing downed trees and other debris, restoring park trails, and constructing hand-hewn pine log bridges.

Despite the destruction of much of its loblolly pine forests, Bastrop State Park is seeing the growth of some vegetation and the return of park customers who are coming to camp, rent a cabin, fish, play golf, and picnic. Visitors can stay at all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs, and most of the park trails have been reopened.

Effects of 2011 Wildfire

In September 2011, Bastrop State Park and the surrounding loblolly pine forest were stricken by wildfire that affected 96 percent of the park. However, firefighters were able to save the historic cabins and facilities that were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corpsin the 1930s.

The park is recovering from the fire, and most trails, campsites, and facilities have reopened to the public. All areas of the park are open except the following, which will remain closed until further notice:

  • Area east of Harmon Road including that section of the Lost Pines Hiking Trail
  • Gotier Trace and areas north and south of the road
  • Primitive Camping

Campaign to Replace 4 Million Burned Trees

State parks officials have kicked off a campaign to raise money to replace millions of the loblolly pine trees that were lost during the wildfires. The campaign is intended to replace 4 million trees on 16,000 acres. Foresters say it will be at least 30 years before the loblolly pine seedlings grow to resemble a forest.

Two million trees will be planted in the park and another two million outside the park. The more than $4 million fundraising effort will be led by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Rediscover Bastrop State Park

Bastrop and Buesher (pictured above) state parks are connected by Park Road 1. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Rediscover Bastrop State Park on Saturday, September 1

FREE park entry from 1-4 p.m.

One year ago, wildfire swept through Bastrop State Park. Find out what the future of the pines looks like through guided hikes, exhibits, and activities for all ages.

Meet firefighters who helped defend the park during last September’s wildfire, and learn how you can help the forest recover. Scheduled activities include:

  • Guided hikes at 2:00, 2:30, and 3:00 p.m.
  • See artifacts recovered from the fire
  • Meet ambassador Houston toads
  • Make your own toad abode
  • Meet a firefighter
  • See fire engines and equipment
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Demonstrations and much more!

Details

Bastrop State Park

Elevation: 374-600 feet

Entrance fee: $4/person

Camping fees: Campsites with water, $12; campsites with water and electric, $20; campsites with electric, water, and sewer, $20

Address: 3005 Hwy 21 East, PO Box 518, Bastrop TX 78602 (Note: Address does not show up in most mapping software)

Directions: 1 mile east of Bastrop on Texas 21, also accessible from the east on Texas 71 or by way of Buescher State Park along Park Road 1

Contact: (512) 321-2101

Website: tpwd.state.tx.us

Worth Pondering…

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

—Willa Cather

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Thousand Trails Camping Is Better with Friends Sweepstakes

Thousand Trails, home to some of the most beautiful and natural campgrounds across the United States, is giving outdoor enthusiasts and their friends a chance to get out and camp with the Camping is Better with Friends sweepstakes.

One lucky camper and a friend will win a free week of camping and a camping gear package, with a combined value of $2,100, according to a news release.

Sweepstakes entrants will also be entered for a chance to win one of five second place prize packages.

The sweepstakes grand prize includes a week long camping trip for the winner and a friend at any participating Thousand Trails or Encore RV resort campground.

In addition, the winner and his or her friend will both receive a package of camping gear, including the following:

  • Eureka! Mansard tent
  • Rand McNally Trip Maker RVND 5510
  • Slumberjack Big Timber 20 Strongback chair
  • Lodge seasoned carbon steel skillet
  • ThermaCELL outdoor lantern, mosquito repellant appliance plus refills, holster, and swivel light
  • Coghlan’s Camper’s S’mores Grill and Corn Popper
  • MyRVMarket Party Table
  • Funky Colored Flames
  • Lunkerhunt Edu-kit and fishing lures
  • Winlow Handy Beaner
  • ChicoBag Bottle Sling rePete
  • Outdoor Products Trail Diva
  • Camp Cooking
  • Industrial Revolution Stormproof Match Set
  • Nite Ize Meteorlight LED ball
  • Coleman Instastart Coffeemaker
  • Coleman All-In-One Portable Sink
  • $100 gas card
  • Thousand Trails backpack blanket, travel mug, koozie, window cling
  • One year subscription to Trailblazer magazine
  • Nature-Zyme products
Thousand Trails Camping Is Better with Friends Sweepstakes

Five additional winners and a friend of their choice will be selected to receive a second prize package that includes a Thousand Trails backpack, blanket, travel mug, koozie, window cling, and a one year subscription to TrailBlazer magazine.

To enter, visit the Thousand Trails Facebook Promotion page. Entrants are also encouraged to invite their Facebook friends to enter.

All official terms and conditions can be found on the Thousand Trails Facebook Promotion page.

The contest will run through June 29.

Details

Encore and Thousand Trails

Encore and Thousand Trails feature 173 RV Resorts across North America. Owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., Encore, Thousand Trails, and its affiliates offer RVers opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in top vacation destinations, complemented with resort style amenities.

Phone: (866) 730-0637

Website: thousandtrails.com

Camping Is Better with Friends sweepstakes

To enter, visit the Thousand Trails Facebook Promotion page.

Entrants are also encouraged to invite their Facebook friends to enter.

All official terms and conditions can be found on the Thousand Trails Facebook page.  The contest will run through June 29.

Worth Pondering…

There is something very special about the natural world, and each trip outdoors is like an unfinished book just waiting for you to write your own chapter.

—Paul Thompson

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Vote to Help Bastrop State Park Back From the Ashes

Bastrop State Park is making a strong comeback after last Labor Day Weekend’s devastating wildfire that burned most of the park.

Now there’s a way you can help bring Bastrop State Park back from the ashes. An additional $100,000 would give a huge boost to help this beloved and iconic state park.

Coca-Cola will provide a $100,000 grant to the park that receives the most votes during its national “America Is Your Park” promotion.

“While all of our state parks deserve support and would benefit from the $100,000 grant in these times of budget shortfalls,” says Texas State Parks director Brent Leisure.

“Rallying around hard-hit Bastrop State Park will give us the best chance to win the cash to continue restoring the national landmark and the Lost Pines ecosystem. This is a grassroots effort that, to be successful requires, support from not only the Bastrop community, but from park-lovers throughout Texas.”

Vote online at livepositively.com/parks and while you’re there be sure to register your FourSquare account so you can earn the park 100 votes when you “check-in”!

Help spread the “love” for Bastrop State Park by telling your family and friends to vote, too, and by posting the link on your Facebook page and your other social media accounts. Remember that you can go online daily to cast your vote for Bastrop State Park up until the deadline.

The three parks that receive the most votes by July 15, 2012 will be awarded recreation grants in the following amounts:

  • First Place – $100,000
  • Second Place – $50,000
  • Third Place – $25,000
Camping in the "lost pines" at Bastrop State Park prior to the fire. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If Bastrop State Park collects the most votes in this third annual national competition, the $100,000 award would be used to keep American YouthWorks members working at the park to advance the recovery of the park’s infrastructure and forest landscape, according to Leisure.

The Bastrop State Park voting campaign already is receiving support from both the public and private sectors, including Greater Austin Merchants Association and the City of Bastrop.

Campaign sponsor Coca-Cola will also be giving Bastrop State Park $10,000 to fund a trail-building event at the park on June 20 and help spread awareness of the promotion.

Since last year’s tragic Labor Day fire that hit 96 percent of the 6,500-acre state park, $262,000 in donations for Bastrop State Park recovery have come from a variety of sources.

The donations have helped Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) initiate a contract with American YouthWorks to assist with restoration efforts that include clearing downed trees and other debris, restoring park trails, and constructing hand-hewn pine log bridges.

Despite the destruction of much of its loblolly pine forests, Bastrop State Park is seeing the growth of some vegetation and the return of loyal park customers who are returning to camp, rent a cabin, fish, play golf, picnic, and listen for the chirp of the park’s endangered Houston toads.

Visitors can stay at all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs, and 80 percent of the park trails have been reopened.

Bastrop and Buesher (pictured above) state parks are connected by Park Road 1. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bastrop’s Lost Pines wildfire—the most destructive in Texas history—resulted in a three-month closure of the state park, causing serious financial losses for a site that draws 170,000 visitors a year and has an annual $2 million economic impact on Bastrop County.

Currently, the top 5 parks are:

  • Swift-Cantrell Park, Kennesaw, Georgia (4,616,854 votes)
  • Bastrop State Park, Bastrop, Texas (2,580,812 votes)
  • Parr Hill Park, Joplin, Missouri (1,124,100 votes)
  • Unicoi State Park, Georgia (793, 824 votes)
  • Jekyll Island State Park, Jekyll Island, Georgia (765,585 votes)

Worth Pondering…

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

—Les Brown

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Vote for Your Favorite Park 2012

The third annual America Is Your Park campaign was launched last week (May 23) by Coca-Cola Live Positively.

Parks are the anchors of our communities, providing places for friends, families, and neighbors to be active and enjoy the outdoors together. Last year, park supporters cast more than 13 million votes for their favorite park to win money for improvements.

America Is Your Park campaign empowers people to rally their communities and get out the vote to select America’s Favorite Park.

Slides, park swings, see-saws, and open play spaces all stand to benefit in the third-annual America Is Your Park campaign.

With the click of a button, park goers can change their communities by voting for their favorite park to win the title of “America’s Favorite Park.” Also at stake is a $100,000 recreation grant made possible by the Coca-Cola Live Positively initiative.

“Parks are the anchors of our communities, but budget cuts have left them with little funds for restoration,” said Celeste Bottorff, Vice President, Living Well, Coca-Cola North America.

“Through the Coca-Cola America Is Your Park campaign, a small action today can turn your favorite park into a better place to play tomorrow. So whether it’s an evening walk or a day of family fun, get out and play in the park—and vote to help your favorite win.”

Voting for “America’s Favorite Park” is easy!

With just the click of a button, people can vote for their favorite park at LivePositively.com/parks.

Park lovers earn one vote per click for their favorite park—and can also earn 100 votes each time they “check in” from the park. More details on how to vote from the park are available on the website.

The three parks that receive the most votes by July 15, 2012 will be awarded recreation grants in the following amounts:

  • First Place – $100,000
  • Second Place – $50,000
  • Third Place – $25,000

In addition, a $15,000 grant will be awarded at random to another park that places in one of the remaining top 25 spots. These recreation grants are provided to help restore, rebuild, or enhance activity areas in parks where people can play and be active.

Park supporters can vote for their favorite park by:

  • Going online (via computer or smartphone) to LivePositively.com/parks (1 vote each)
  • “Checking in” from the park (100 votes each)

The America Is Your Park campaign was developed in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, America’s State Parks, and the National Recreation and Park Association.

Currently, the top 5 parks are:

  • Swift-Cantrell Park, Kennesaw, Georgia (539,013 votes)
  • Bastrop State Park, Bastrop, Texas (523,602 votes)
  • Parr Hill Park, Joplin, Missouri (310,424)
  • Jekyll Island State Park, Jekyll Island, Georgia (143,250 votes)
  • Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs, Georgia (142,432 votes)

The Story of Last Year’s Winner Inspires Communities in 2012
It takes a community to save a park! The 2011 winner, Oak Park, is a great example of a community that banded together to rock the park vote.

After a flood destroyed this beloved park in the small town of Minot, North Dakota, residents organized to get out the vote. They urged neighbors to join in, organized voting drives, and spread their message through online communities. Hometown celebrities also energized their social networks, and their fans responded by supporting the cause.

The $100,000 grant is being used to help rebuild the park so families can enjoy the outdoors once again.

“Residents of Minot pulled out all the stops to get people involved,” said Ron Bieri, Minot Park Board President.

Related Stories

Worth Pondering…

I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.

—Boris Becker

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Thousand Trails Let’s Go Camping Contest

Thousand Trails RV Resorts is kicking off the 2012 camping season with the Go Camping contest.

The contest gives campers a chance to win an Ultimate Coleman Camping Gear Package valued at $1,750.

The Go Camping Contest and Coleman prizes coincide with the launch of the new Thousand Trails Annual Tent Camping Pass, an annual pass that provides a year of tent camping for one low price.

The contest will run through May 31, 2012, according to a news release.

The contest’s grand prize includes a mix of camping necessities and luxuries, designed to help a family of four enjoy the ultimate outdoor getaway.

The grand prize package includes:

  • Coleman Instant Tent
  • Coleman Propane Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe
  • Coleman sleeping bags
  • Coleman propane stove
  • Coleman Xtreme 6 cooler
  • Coleman lighting
  • Additional Coleman gear

In addition to the grand prize package, four additional winners will be selected to receive additional prizes:

  • Second Prize — Coleman Instant Tent
  • Third Prize — Coleman Stainless Steel Belted Cooler
  • Fourth Prize — Coleman RoadTrip Grill
  • Fifth Prize — Coleman Quad LED Lantern

In conjunction with the contest, Thousand Trails is introducing its new Annual Tent Camping Pass.

Available for $249 for a year of camping, the pass gives tent campers a full year of camping (subject to length-of-stay policies) at up to 90 campgrounds across the U.S. and British Columbia.

Details

Encore and Thousand Trails

Encore and Thousand Trails feature 173 RV Resorts across North America. Owned and operated by Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., Encore, Thousand Trails, and its affiliates offer RVers opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in top vacation destinations, complemented with resort style amenities.

Phone: (866) 730-0637

Website: rvonthego.com

Thousand Trails Annual Tent Camping Pass

Phone: (877) 522-1834

Website: tentcampingpass.com

Let’s Go Camping Contest

Website: myequitylifestyle.com/GoCamping

Related Stories

Worth Pondering…

There is something very special about the natural world, and each trip outdoors is like an unfinished book just waiting for you to write your own chapter.

—Paul Thompson

Read More

SylvanSport GO Adventure Contest

Swiss army knife of campers, the SylvanSport GO is the ultimate adventure aid.

The GO was designed from the frame out to be a one-of-a-kind mobile adventure trailer that's even more versatile than a Swiss Army knife.

There’s no better way to enjoy an adventure than with your favorite gear in tow, the company recently noted.

A GO can hold up to 10 kayaks or five bikes, or all camping gear plus a few surf boards, or an ATV and rock climbing gear.

Where would you GO? What would you do?

“Detail your GO adventure in an online essay contest for bold and creative outdoor adventure junkies—that means YOU—and you just might win a chance to GO on the adventure of a lifetime with awesome gear from our sponsors in tow,” said Leah Quintal, SylvanSport marketing coordinator.

“To play, enter by May 31, 2012, and in 400 words or less tell us what your epic plans are for a gear-heavy GO expedition and how you would promote your adventure.” “Would that be Blogging? Stop-motion photo stream? Sky writing? Would you brag to your friends? How about your office, your ex, or your grandma? Tell us,” added Quintal.

The three best essays win a hooked up gear package from SylvanSport’s premier outdoors sports sponsors including Yamaha, Kelty, Keen, Black Diamond, Wenger, Jackson Kayak, Spot, Grand Truck Good, and Orbea.

“The most epic and well documented resulting adventure of the three finalists keeps the Go itself and bonus gear from our sponsors,” said Quintal.

“That’s the GO, thousands of dollars worth of gear, major online publicity, and bragging rights.”

Each week, contestants are automatically entered into weekly giveaways for more great gear from the sponsors.

“The earlier you sign up, the more chances you have to win prizes,” said Quintal.

“The three best essays win awesome gear packages (we’re talkin’ kayaks, hammocks, sweet backpacking packs, sleeping bags, and car racks just to name a few) from our sponsors and the GO for up to three months. The best resulting adventure of the three finalists wins an additional gear package and the contest GO itself! That’s a grand prize package worth up to $15,000!”

Details

SylvanSport

Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport was founded in 2004 to develop great gear to support an evolving sense of adventure. Adventure can be on a mountain, river, or in your backyard.

Their team brings decades of experience designing and making outdoor products from the most respected companies. They offer products that blend utility, quality, and value while respecting the purity of the places our adventures take us.

Address: 235 Commerce Street, Brevard, NC 28712

Phone: (828) 883-4292

Website: sylvansport.com

SylvanSport Contest

Website: sylvansport.com/contest

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Worth Pondering…

The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.

—Victor Papanek

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Torklift Treasure Hunt Returns

The Torklift International Treasure Hunt returns for 2012.

The Treasure Hunt is a game played across the United States and Canada. RVers use a series of clues to identify various mystery camping destinations located just about anywhere.

Some locations are popular camping destinations, while others take a little bit more detective work to find, according to a news release.

The first round of clues will be released in May with more clues following in June and July. The contest ends July 31.

Each correct guess gives contest players an entry in a drawing.

The grand prize winner will be awarded a weeklong truck camping vacation across Alaska.

The trip includes airfare for two people, truck and camper rental, campsite fees, fuel, and groceries, according to Torklift.

Nine runner-up winners will receive $100 Torklift International product gift certificates.

The winners of the grand prize and runner up prizes are announced in August shortly after the contest closes.

The 2011 Torklift International Treasure Hunt winner was Jack Purdy, who netted a truck camping vacation across British Columbia. He is taking his vacation with his wife Joann this coming June.

Torklift International is partnering with The Hitch Company and ABC Motorhome and Car Rentals to sponsor this year’s contest.

The Hitch Company is sponsoring fuel and groceries and ABC Motorhome and Car Rentals will provide the truck and Northern Lite truck camper rental.

Details

Torklift International

Address: 1901 Fryar Avenue, Sumner, WA 98390

Phone: (800) 246-8132

Website: torklift.com

Torklift International Treasure Hunt

The full rules and clues when be posted on this site when they are released. Use the clues to identify the camping destination.

Torklift International will announce clues about nine mystery camping destinations—three each month from May to July.

Game play runs May 1 through July 31.

Website: torklift.com/treasurehunt

Worth Pondering…
I would like to share the one for today with you…

Live one day at a time–

While you can plan for tomorrow, you can’t live it until it arrives. Most people spend so much time regretting the past and worrying about the future, they leave no time to enjoy today!

John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Decide to make the most of each moment.

Find what brings you joy and go there.

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