Learn to camp or refresh rusty outdoor skills during a two-night I Can Camp! program being offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division, June 8-10, at Lake Bemidji State Park.
Experienced instructors from Conservation Corps Minnesota will teach participants basic camping and outdoor skills, including how to set up a tent, how to build a campfire and camp cooking. All camping equipment is provided (including tents, air mattresses and cook stoves). Participants just bring their own food and bedding (sleeping bags or blankets and pillows).
As part of Saturday’s program events, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., I Can Camp! participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a private pontoon tour down the Mississippi River. A complimentary park ranger tour to preview the new camper cabins, yet to be open to the public, will also be offered during the weekend.
The program costs $50 for a tent accommodating up to six people. A vehicle pass will be included as part of the program fee or participants may buy a year-round Minnesota state parks permit for an additional $20.
For more information, visit mndnr.gov; for reservations, call 866-857-2757 (TTY: 952-936-4008) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
The I Can Camp! programs are part of an ongoing effort by the DNR Parks and Trails Division to connect people with the outdoors. They also offer skill-building programs that introduce fishing, paddling, climbing and archery to beginners. These programs were created in response to research that indicated declining participation in outdoor recreation by young families.
Funding for the I Can Camp! programs is from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.