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Family Campout

No Camping Experience. No Problem. Join us on a family campout to learn the ropes of camping and experience all the fun of being in the outdoors!

2017 Fall and 2018 Spring Dates Announced

Fall Registration is Open!

Register Now


Spring Registration Coming Soon!

  • March 17-18, 2018 - Lost Dutchman State Park - Apache Junction
  • March 24-25, 2018 - Catalina State Park - Tucson
  • April 7-8, 2018 - Patagonia Lake State Park - Patagonia
  • April 14-15, 2018 - Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area - Show Low
  • April 28-29, 2018 - Roper Lake State Park - Safford
  • May 12-13, 2018 - River Island State Park - Parker
  • May 19-20, 2018 - Dead Horse Ranch State Park - Cottonwood

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

 

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!

Registration is $90 for a family of up to 4. Additional family members $5 each. One family per registration. For families greater than 4  — 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 waitlist 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. Provided snacks include seasonal fruit, granola bars and more. Families are responsible for bringing two lunches, dinner and breakfast.

Activities

CampingActivities vary depending on the 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. 

Program 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.)

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 on 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  Food & Cooking Suggestion, Shopping List, and Packing Information PDF  or Word Doc 

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 ljuers@azstateparks.gov to cancel.

Parent Praise

"Last weekend me and my family went camping through the state family camping program at River Island and it was awesome!  I loved how much knowledge we came away with and all the activities that were provided for us!  We would have signed up for the Roper Lake one next month too, but it was all sold out already!  I'm sure that we will be doing more camping in the future and sign up for the family camping program as well!  One last note...I think I liked the service project of planting the trees the best, because its a way to give back to the community and environment as well!" —Parent, April 28, 2017, attended River Island event

"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

“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 have been any more professional, kind, and knowledgeable. I wish I could give more than five 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

“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 absolutely 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 super. 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 two 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 grandkids 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

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 campout 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 campfire 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 AmeriCorps through a grant from the Corporation for National & Community Service, through the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families and the Arizona Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism.

Americorps logo  Commission   Corporation for National & Community Service Arizona State Parks Family Campout Program

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 serve full or part time in communities near to them, or across the country. More specific information is available at www.americorps.gov 

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