Sponsored by AmeriCorps

Special thanks to our premier sponsor for making this program possible!

Family Campout Program Family Campout Program Family Campout Program Family Campout Program Family Campout Program

Dates for Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 Announced. Registration Now Open!

Thank you for your interest! Dates and parks for Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 weekends are posted below. Registration is open. Please review the information on this page. You can also read testimonials from previous families below. Download Food & Cooking Suggestion, Shopping List, and Packing Information

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Arizona State Parks Family Campout ProgramAmericorps logoFall 2016 & Spring 2017 Arizona Family Campout Program weekends are designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family and inspire you to continue to explore the great outdoors! You will learn how to set up a tent and an introduction to cooking outside, plus you will get to try some fun activities you can do while camping!

Take a one weekend introductory adventure at one of 11 Arizona State Parks. Parks this season include Catalina State Park, Cattail Cove State Park, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Homolovi SP, Kartchner Caverns SP, Lost Dutchman SP, Lyman Lake SP , River Island SP, & Roper Lake SP. Click on park name to learn more about each park, or see map for park locations, or continue reading this page to learn about the program.

Registration Fee: $70 for a family of up to 4 people. Additional family members $5 each up to 6 people. One family per registration. For familes greater than 6, or groups — special arrangements are needed — please email ljuers@azstateparks.gov. Sorry, children 5 years and younger and pets cannot attend this program. Since this event focuses on learning to tent camp, RVs are not allowed. If a session is listed as Full, you may be added to the Wait List by emailing ljuers@azstateparks.gov.

Families should bring food, sleeping bags or any bedding, pillows, camping chairs, clothing, sturdy shoes and personal items including toothpaste, towels, soap, etc. The program will provide tents, sleeping mats, flashlights, chairs and all activity equipment. Beverages provided include water, coffee, tea, and sports drinks. Snacks provided include: seasonal fruit, granola bars and more. Families are responsible for bringing two lunches, dinner and breakfast.

2016 Fall Weekend Dates

SEP 24 & 25: Homolovi State Park, Winslow
OCT 01 & 02: Lyman Lake State Park, St. Johns
OCT 08 & 09: Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area, Show Low
OCT 15 & 16: Catalina State Park, Tucson
OCT 22 & 23: Kartchner Caverns State Park, Benson
NOV 05 & 06: Cattail Cove State Park, Parker
NOV 12 & 13: Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction

2017 Spring Weekend Dates

MAR 18 & 19: Lost Dutchman State Parks, Apache Junction
APR 01 & 02: Catalina State Parks, Tucson
APR 08 & 09: Patagonia Lake State Parks, Patagonia
APR 22 & 23: River Island State Parks, Parker
APR 29 & 30: Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area, Show Low
MAY 13 & 14: Roper Lake State Park, Safford
JUN 03 & 04: Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood (Full - Military Families)

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Program Information

Activities Include
Participating Parks & Dates
Weekend Menu
Parent Praise
Program Sponsors
What is AmeriCorps?

Activities Include

Based on park, participant ages and weather conditions: Guided Hikes • Mountain Bike Clinic • Archery • Geocaching • Fishing Clinic • Live Animal Demonstrations • Campfire Stories • Presentations on Geography, Birding, Geology, Astronomy • Service Project. Note that not all activities are offered at each park.

CampingProgram Provides:

  • Tents
  • Sleeping mats
  • Camp chairs
  • First aid kits
  • All activity equipment
  • Plus: Water, coffee, daily snacks, Dutch Oven dessert for dinner, and campfire treats!

Families Provide:

  • Food for Saturday's lunch and dinner, and Sunday's breakfast and lunch (see sample menu and shopping list below)
  • Sleeping bags or any available bedding
  • Pillows
  • Clothing
  • Good, sturdy shoes
  • Water bottles
  • Flashlights
  • Personal items (toothpaste, towels, soap, etc.)

Participating Parks & Dates

If you want to learn more about a specific park, click on the image for any park to explore the website for that park. When you register, your information is forwarded to Camp Coordinator Louie: 480-261-9154, ljuers@azstateparks.gov who will contact you soon.

Suggested Weekend Menu (Sample Only)

You will need to provide four meals for your family during your Family Campout weekend – lunch and dinner for Saturday and breakfast and lunch for Sunday. Arizona State Parks Family Campout Program will provide propane stoves for cooking as well as healthy snacks and a few essentials listed below. You should bring whatever pots, pans, and cooking utensils you will need to prepare your meals. Also, please bring eating utensils (forks, knives, spoons) for each member of your family. Your everyday home utensils are a fine option. We will supply plates, bowls, and cups for your family. Be sure to include additional items as necessary for anyone in your family with special dietary concerns.

Download 2015/16 Food & Cooking Suggestion, Shopping List, and Packing Information (PDF Document 115 KB PDF) or Word (Word Document 51 KB PDF)

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your reservation more than 7 days before your scheduled event date, you can receive a refund minus a $5 non-refundable reservation fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations less than 7 days before the campout. Please email Shawn Schmidt sschmidt@azstateparks.gov to cancel.


Parent Praise From Spring 2015 Sessions

"We went on our first camping trip with the AZ State Parks Family Campout Program. We had to bring our food, clothes and personal effects, and sleeping bags and they provided the rest. We spent 2 full days and 1 night full of activities, fun, hiking, listening to speakers, campfire with smores, playing with critters, stargazing with telescopes, and a whole bunch of young families enjoying the great outdoors. We had so much fun, I cannot wait to get out and do it again!" —Parent, May. 23, 2015, attended Red Rock event

Parent Praise From Spring 2014 Sessions

“Just got home from our family campout with the AZ parks staff and we had an absolute blast! My kids were thoroughly entertained, educated, and fed incredible meals the entire time. Howard and Catie couldn't had been any more professional, kind, and knowledgable. I wish I could give more than 5 stars because it was simply that wonderful of an experience for our family. Thanks a million for the memories and awesome adventure. We will surely be talking about it for years to come.” —Parent, Feb. 23, 2014, attended Yuma Quartermaster Depot event

“Thanks for a super weekend. Our girls really learned a lot and had great fun! Archery and hiking were just super, and the service project in the cave was a special look at this natural treasure. Keep up the great work and hope to see you again.” —Parent, April 12, 2014, attended Kartchner Caverns event

Parent Praise From Fall 2013 Sessions

“This is a great program for families we have been to 2 of the different ones and plan to attend another one or two this year! Highly recommend this my kids had a blast!” —Parent, Oct. 14, 2013

“Great family weekend! Volunteers were amazing and the AZ State Parks are worth exploring!” —Parent, Nov. 7, 2013

“Thanks for a wonderful weekend at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. You hit a homerun with my family. My boys are still talking about the mountain biking and archery. We enjoyed our time at camp and the boys even had fun "working" on the service project. Thanks again and we look forward to the spring schedule to try and take advantage of another Family Campout opportunity.” —Parent, Nov. 4, 2013, attended Dead Horse Ranch event

“We attended the Family Campout at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Kudos to the staff who put on a wonderful event. Keep up the good work. The food and company were great and the service project a blast.” —Parent, Nov. 5, 2013, attended Dead Horse Ranch event

“Had an absolute wonderful time this weekend. The kids enjoyed themselves, saw a lot, learned a lot. Looking forward to more of the outdoors. Thank you Laurie, Beth, Bob, etc.. and all the other staff and volunteers.” —Parent, Nov. 3, 2013, attended Catalina event

“I write this letter to thank you and all the Volunteers for arranging such a wonderful campout program. We had a lot fun. We appreciated it and are very thankful for all people who made it possible. We are the family from China. During our visit here, we experienced so many amazing things, especially in the family campout program at Catalina State Park. We had a wonderful weekend of happy moments [that] will be cherished memories in our hearts always.” —Parent, Nov. 3, 2013, attended Catalina event

My family had a wonderful time at the Family Campout this weekend. The program had some very engaging activities and the volunteers were excellent. The mountain biking course with Louie and Randy was superlative. We liked it so much that we would very much like to attend the Family Campout at Lost Dutchman SP to reinforce the concept of environmental stewardship with the children and give them another very healthy weekend in the great outdoors.” —Parent, Sept. 22, 2013, attended Dead Horse Ranch event

What an incredible program! As a single mother of three this provided me and my boys a camping experience that was safe, educational, and fun. Thanks to the AZ State Parks staff, volunteers, Lower Gear, and anyone else that contributed!” —Parent, Oct. 6, attended Kartchner Caverns event

“This is a great program for families. We have been to 2 of the different ones and plan to attend another one or two this year! Highly recommend this. My kids had a blast!” —Parent, Oct 14, 2013, attended Dead Horse Ranch & Lost Dutchman events

“Thank you to Howard, Catie, Louie, Laurie, Bob and everyone who made our weekend at Kartchner Caverns State Park such a great experience!” —Parent, Oct. 20, 2013, attended Kartchner Caverns event

“Thanks to all the staff for making this such an enjoyable weekend! Louie & Georgie were especially great, my grand kids loved them. It was their first camping experience and according to them, not the last. We hope you do these family campouts again next year. Thanks again to everyone that worked hard to give us a great weekend!” —Grandparent, Oct. 21, 2013, attended Lost Dutchman event

Parent Praise From Spring 2013 Sessions

Camping(Photo: The Mountain Biking workshop at our first Family Campout weekend at Lost Dutchman SP in Apache Junction was a success! March 9 & 10, 2013.)

“Had to tell you one more time what a great time we had last weekend at the Family Campout. Thanks again — keep up the good work and good luck with the rest of the program!” —Parent, March 22, 2013

“We wanted to share that we had a great time this last weekend. We enjoyed all the activities and meeting all the other families. All the volunteers were great. They helped us and taught us a lot. Thanks again.” —Parent, April 15, 2013

“Hi, just wanted to say Thank You for coordinating a good weekend for so many folks. I know it takes a LOT of planning plus good execution for an event like that. Plus you have the unique ability to adjust during the event as things come up, and just go with the flow when needed. You and your team did all the above well, with the result being a lot of fun for kids and parents. Good job. Thanks.” —Parent, April 15, 2013

“My family wishes to thank you, the volunteers, and anyone else who made it possible for this wonderful camp out experience. Perhaps one day we can help out as volunteers if additional help is ever needed. Thanks again for the memories.” —Parent, April 16, 2013

“I wanted to thank you and the other volunteers for an excellent weekend. This was the first time we had ever camped as a family. It was both enjoyable and a learning experience. We had never done Geo-Caching before and the astronomy group was a lot of fun. Of course, my kids would say the s'mores and singing around the camp fire were the best part. The volunteers were excellent, polite and knowledgeable. It made for a wonderful time with my family.” —Parent, April 17, 2013

“Thank you so much. We had a wonderful time and truly enjoyed meeting you. The weekend was better than I could have ever imagined. We will definitely be watching for future events.” —Parent, April 23, 2013

“The weekend was a great outing for me and my two sons. We absolutely loved it and we learned a lot. Garret and his crew were awesome! We highly recommend this program. Programs like this make Arizona a great place to live. Thank you!” —Parent, May 5, 2013

Program Sponsors

The Arizona State Parks Family Campout Program is supported by 5 full-time AmeriCorps External Link members through grant from the Corporation for National & Community Service External Link, through the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families External Link and the Arizona Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism External Link.

Americorps logo  Commission   Corporation for National & Community Service 

This program gives families who are not comfortable with camping the opportunity to visit, learn about, and camp at Arizona State Parks, while experiencing how to safely recreate on public lands, and completing an environmental service project. 

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is a National Service initiative, promoted and supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service.  It allows individuals to donate their time and talents to non-profit and government agencies. It’s a chance to apply skills and ideals toward helping others and meeting critical needs in the community. AmeriCorps members can service full or part time in communities near to them, or across the country. More specific information is available at www.americorps.gov External Link

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