Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - May 17, 2007)
Time to plan for some backyard camping
The third annual Great American Backyard Campout sponsored by The National Wildlife
Federation partnered with the Outdoor Industry Association, will take place June
|Photo by Rick Tremmel
|Join families across America
camp out in their own backyards, local parks and
So far more than 4,500 folks all across North America have registered to camp with
their families this summer in their own backyards, local parks and campgrounds.
Each year the number of campers has steadily grown, and in 2005 more than 40,000
individuals participated. This one-night event encourages families to enjoy a night
of stargazing, listening for nocturnal wildlife, and exploring a whole other world
right in their own backyards.
Discover a wild new world in your own backyard. Be part of this nationwide
The NWF Backyard Campout Web site will assist you in making the most of your event
with packing lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, exploration activities, a
night sky-guide, local weather and more.
Set your telescope toward the stars, while observing the craters of the moon.
Roast marshmallows over a flickering fire or share scary stories by lantern light.
Fall asleep to cicada songs and wake up to mockingbird chortles.
With a little extra planning Floridian families also can enjoy taking part,
although it is necessary for Floridians to take a few extra precautions. Generally
the best time for camping in Florida is while everyone else is digging out of banks
Winter is our prime time. There are very few insects. We are blessed with
moderately cool temps, an abundance of wintering birds. As well, wildlife is easier
to spot in the sparse winter underbrush.
June is not a typical month for Floridians to take to our backyards
for a campout. Although our weather has been fairly mild in May so far, the end of
June is predictably, stormy and hot.
Plan to have lots of cold drinks on hand and insect repellent.
By the way, nowhere is it written that you cant plug in a cooling fan into
the outlet next to the barbecue. Beware of dangers such as fire ant mounds.
Darkness, bare feet and fire ants dont go well together.
A well designed tent properly set up and tied out can withstand most weather
conditions, but if lightning, hail or high winds become a problem its time to
get safely indoors.
After the campout, return to the American Backyard Campout Web site to share your
photographs and stories for a chance to win a Backyard Weather station from
WeatherBug and be profiled in Ranger Rick magazine. Americans return to
your backyards. Go online. Add your very own campsite to the list at www.backyardcampout.org.
National Wildlife Federation is dedicated to connecting people to nature.
Todays children are increasingly disconnected from nature.
To counteract this growing trend, NWF encourages parents and other caring adults
to help children spend one hour each day outdoors, engaged in unstructured play and
Learn more about NWFs Green Hour at www.greenhour.org
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.
Webmaster's note: Remember a statewide burn ban remains in effect. Use a gas or
charcoal grill instead of an open campfire. Be careful with all fires. One spark
can be devastating.