Great American Campout & REI’s Family Adventure Program

This Saturday, June 26 marks the Great American Backyard Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation. It’s a great excuse to open up the musty tent and fluff the sleeping bags. A backyard campout can help get kids ready for a real overnighter (if they haven’t gone yet), and the Great American Campout raises money for a great cause.

We’ve taken the kids camping since babyhood, so they’ve always been used to a pitch-black tent and strange noises around the campsite (Don’t worry, that’s not a bear, it’s just a grown-up snoring. Probably). I’m a big fan of being comfortable, so our packing list always includes an air mattress, a fluffy duvet and…brie cheese.

Whether you’re a family of pros or first-time campers, Pacific Northwest retailer REI is offering some wonderful incentives for families preparing to get outside. Their Family Adventure Program provides pocket-sized “kids’ adventure journals,” available for free at any REI or online at Families can also find detailed descriptions of family-friendly hikes and bike rides at the link above, and a travel-photo sweepstakes.

After completing at least one outdoor activity, kids can send in the tear-off postcard from their journal to receive a certificate.

Families can also take advantage of advice from REI’s local experts to plan fun and budget-friendly ways to spend time outdoors. REI offers online checklists, tips and videos to help you plan campouts and day trips.

They also have some upcoming workshops that you might find interesting:


  • REI’s Family Adventure Party | Celebrate REI’s Family Adventure program and find out how you and your family can get the most out of summer. This celebration is at our REI Portland and Clackamas stores only. 6/26/2010, 10:00 AM


  • Saturday Climbing | Adventure Climbing is a fun and exciting family activity. Co-op members climb for free. 7/31/2010, 1:00 PM


  • Cycling Ready 101 | Join REI for an introductory clinic on preparing you for any touring ride. The clinic will cover what you need to know before, during, and after your ride. 7/6/2010, 6:00 PM

About Lora

Lora Shinn writes about travel for regional and local publications, including AAA Journey, National Geographic Traveler,, Natural Health and Whole Living.


  1. We love REI. Thanks for sharing the info. Wish they were doing this in the SoCal area as well.
    .-= Kickass Adventuring with Kids´s last blog ..Dead or Alive? =-.

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