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State's 'I Can' Teaches Kids How to Camp

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April 15, 2013 by   - () Leave a Comment

Families will learn how to pitch a tent, hook a fish, paddle a kayak or canoe, scale a cliff and shoot a bow at nearly 200 “I Can!” programs offered this summer at Minnesota state parks and on state water trails, the Kanabec County Times, Nora, Minn., reported.

The newly expanded “I Can!” series of outdoor programs are designed to introduce kids to camping, fishing, paddling, climbing and archery.

“We created the ‘I Can!’ series in response to research that showed declining participation in outdoor recreation by young families,” said Courtland Nelson, DNR Parks and Trails Division director. “These popular programs are designed to introduce the next generation to the outdoors.”

Since the series launched in 2010, thousands of people have been introduced to outdoor recreation and Minnesota state parks and trails. Participation in “I Can Camp!” totaled 877 in 2012, up 51% from the 582 who participated the first year.

All equipment is provided for the programs, along with mentoring from experienced instructors. Some programs require advance registration and a fee; others are free and allow visitors to drop in anytime.

A vehicle permit ($5/one-day or $25/year-round) is required to enter Minnesota state parks and recreation areas. A one-day permit is included with registration for an “I Can Camp!” program.

For more information about any of the programs in the “I Can!” series, including program dates, times, locations and other information, visit www.mndnr.gov/ican or call the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll-free (888) 646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Funding for the “I Can!” program series 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% of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

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