Texas State Parks Entice 1st-Time Campers
Today's families are busier than ever juggling work, school, after school activities and home life. But, a program throughout the state of Texas is offering families a chance to slow down and see what state parks have to offer, KFDX-TV, Wichita Falls, Texas, reported.
Texomans are getting the opportunity to camp out this weekend for free. It's called the Texas Outdoor Family Program. It's a two-day event where families head to their nearest state park and take part in camping, kayaking and other outdoor activities.
This is the fifth year the program is being held at state parks across Texas. But this year, families who participate at Lake Arrowhead State Park, will get to do so for free.
High temperatures and low lake levels have caused visitation to drop this summer at Lake Arrowhead State Park.
"We're a large water recreation park so when there's not a place to launch a boat people tend to slow down coming out here," says Keith Gauthier, Lake Arrowhead State Park superintendent.
But state park officials, like Ranger Cassie Cox, hope to change that this weekend with a camping workshop called Texas Outdoor Family.
"We provide all the gear that they need," says Cox.
From cooking to sleeping and park rangers will also be on-hand to show participants how to properly pitch their tent. It's something they say takes a few minutes and can involve the entire family. Pitching the tent is the first major activity of this program but once this is done there are still plenty of activities to keep folks interested.
"We're gonna do activities like kayaking, geocaching which is treasure hunting using a GPS unit. We're also going to play some disc golf," explains Cox.
Activities park rangers hope will have a younger age group steering into state parks.
"We found the average age of a state park visitor in Texas was about 48 and that less than a third of the people coming were bringing children," adds Cox.
But rangers hope the upcoming workshop will peak the interest of the younger generation and turn them into future happy campers, as well. The Texas Outdoor Family camping workshop is this Saturday and Sunday at Lake Arrowhead State Park.
The workshop would typically cost $65 per family but thanks to a generous donor, it's free.