Governors United for ‘Great Outdoors Month’

June 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The nation’s 50 governors united in proclaiming June as Great Outdoors Month once again in 2013, showing that fun outdoors successfully bridges the nation’s political and regional divisions.

According to a press release from the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), this was the third time every governor in the nation took action for Great Outdoors Month.

In many states, this was the seventh annual proclamation. The governor of the Virgin Islands and the mayor of the District Columbia also issued proclamations.

The proclamations were each unique but shared key themes, including applauding the health and economic benefits of the Great Outdoors. What was new in 2013 was the outpouring of support from governors for key events taking place during June.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, D-W.Va., noted, “Great Outdoors Month includes diverse events designed to connect all of us to the outdoors, especially our children and youth.” Indeed, over a dozen Governors from states as diverse as Idaho and Louisiana and Connecticut specifically applauded the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day,National Fishing and Boating Week coordinated by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day organized by the Association of Marina Industries, National Get Outdoors Day organized by the American Recreation Coalition and the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Wildlife Federation’sGreat American Backyard Campout.

Each of the special June events cited in many of the proclamations seeks to create enduring connections between Americans, and especially those from urban areas, and public lands and waters which cover nearly one-third of the nation’s surface. Together, the June celebrations involve thousands of local events and millions of participants. The events draw together a coalition of local and national nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies involved with parks, health and conservation, and volunteers.

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., noted the power of united action saying, “Great Outdoors Month allows us to celebrate the partnership of federal, state and local agencies, the recreation and tourism industries, and the people of New Jersey, which help make many diverse outdoor recreation opportunities available throughout the Garden State.”

Copies of the proclamations can be viewed and downloaded at



KOA Supports National Great Outdoors Month

June 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), North America’s largest system of family friendly campgrounds, is proud to support the efforts of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in celebrating “Great Outdoors Month” the entire month of June, according to a news release.

Governors throughout the U.S. have signed official state proclamations naming June as Great Outdoors Month, and President Barack Obama has also signed a presidential proclamation supporting outdoor events this month.

“Our natural spaces are also laboratories for scientists, inventors, and creators – Americans who sustain a tradition of innovation that makes out country the most dynamic economy on earth,” Obama said in his proclamation.

The first official event of Great Outdoors Month was held June 1, when the American Hiking Society sponsored National Trails Day.

Other special Great Outdoors Month events in June include:

  • National Fishing and Boating Week, June 1-9.
  • National Get Outdoors Day, June 8.
  • National Marina Day, June 8.
  • The Great American Backyard Campout, June 22.

Kampgrounds of America is also inviting campers to take the men in the family camping at KOA on Fathers Day Weekend, June 14-16. During that special weekend, kids camp free at participating KOAs. Find out more at

Great Outdoors Week/Month Begin June 1st

May 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Excitement is growing across the nation about plans for Great Outdoors Week and Great Outdoors Month starting Saturday (June 1).

According to a news release, Great Outdoors Month celebrates a variety of important events and actions that occur during June, and highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges and other public lands and waters. Great Outdoors Week (June 1-8) showcases efforts enhancing outdoor recreation for all Americans in the 21st century through awards, briefings and other events in the Nation’s Capital.

Great Outdoors Week is coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and includes events co-hosted by more than a dozen federal agencies and national organizations:

  • Great Outdoors Week’s action-packed schedule begins on Monday with presentation of the Beacon Awards – honoring innovative uses of technology in public lands management to boost visitor experiences and to better manage visits – at the Department of the Interior’s Stewart Udall Building followed by the week’s opening reception – an ice cream social.
  • On Tuesday, ARC’s Legends Awards, honoring outstanding public land management employees, will precede the Great Outdoors Week Recreation Exchange Luncheon. That same day, the Recreational Trails Program award ceremony and briefing will be held on Capitol Hill.
  • On Wednesday, the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award will be presented to a leading public figure whose personal efforts have significantly enhanced opportunities for others to enjoy the outdoors and a special program on the National Mall will focus on Healthy Food in Parks and the role of recreation in a happy, healthy nation.
  • On Saturday, public and private partners across the nation will team up to help tens of thousands of youth have fun outdoor adventures, typically close by the urban homes of these youth. Federal agencies, state and local park agencies, recreation businesses, healthcare companies and enthusiast groups will host National Get Outdoors Day events at nearly 150 locations and help these youth and their families begin a new chapter of their lives exploring and enjoying the incredible shared legacy of America’s Great Outdoors.

For more information, see

Great Outdoors Month will again highlight important initiatives across the country helping Americans pursue healthier, outdoor lives. These initiatives include National Trails Day (June 1), National Fishing and Boating Week (June 1-9), the Great American Backyard Campout (June 22), National Get Outdoors Day (June 8), and more. Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day will also be celebrated across the nation on June 8.

A large coalition of outdoor recreation leaders has once again asked the President, all 50 governors and other key officials to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month. The proclamations provide nationwide attention to the economic importance of recreation and the special role of the Great Outdoors in re-establishing the U.S. as a major destination for international visitors. The nation’s health community is also increasingly vocal regarding the benefits of active time in the Great Outdoors as key to better health, better education and support for conservation.

Obama Proclaims June Great Outdoors Month

June 4, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

President Obama

Editor’s Note: Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition, shared these insights into President Obama’s proclamation making June the Great Outdoors Month.

It is officially Great Outdoors Month from sea to shining sea!! The month has been officially proclaimed by the president. And 48 of the nation’s governors have taken steps to mirror this proclamation – we either have the proclamations or they are in the final stages of being issued. And we are pretty confident that we are going to sweep the table this year – getting proclamations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia!

The proclamation covers numerous “hot buttons:” the America’s Great Outdoors initiative; the Let’s Move Outside campaign; the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, and more. The proclamation’s message is clear: “my Administration is working to increase visits to our national parks and scenic places.”

The proclamation:

America’s natural treasures and unique landscapes have always mirrored the rugged independence and cherished diversity that define our national character. From rocky coasts to lush woodlands to urban parks, our great outdoors have set the scene for countless adventures, trials, and triumphs. During Great Outdoors Month, we celebrate our long legacy of environmental stewardship and resolve to preserve clean and healthy outdoor spaces for generations to come.

Thanks to centuries of forward-thinking Americans — from leaders like Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt to private citizens and neighborhood groups — our lives have been enriched by a tremendous array of natural beauty. To uphold this tradition, I was proud to launch the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Building on input from tens of thousands of people across our country, we are joining with communities, landowners, sportsmen, businesses, and partners at every level of government to reconnect Americans with the natural world and lay the foundation for a more sustainable planet. Through the Initiative, we are also helping support farms and ranches that provide our Nation with food, fiber, and energy. The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps is empowering our Nation’s youth to restore and protect our public lands and waters through meaningful jobs and service opportunities. And First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside! initiative is encouraging children and families to explore the outdoors and engage in outdoor recreation as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

Protecting our environment is not only a duty to our children; it is an economic imperative. Visitors to our public lands contribute billions of dollars to local economies, and I am committed to supporting this engine of growth. As part of our National Travel and Tourism Strategy, my Administration is working to increase visits to our national parks and scenic places. This initiative will help support small businesses and drive job growth across our country.

Great Outdoors Month is a time for all Americans to share in the natural splendor of which we are all proud inheritors. Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends. This month, let us celebrate our natural heritage by experiencing it together.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2012 as Great Outdoors Month. I urge all Americans to explore the great outdoors and to uphold our Nation’s legacy of conserving our lands and waters for future generations.

Great Outdoors Month Gets Underway

June 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Great Outdoors Month got underway today (June 1) with a bevy of state and national proclamations aimed at promoting the annual event.

“The president signed the proclamation of Great Outdoors Month late yesterday. And we have almost all of the parallel proclamations by the nation’s governors,” Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), stated in a news release. “We expect to repeat last year’s mark of every governor issuing a proclamation and anticipate that more than half will go beyond that and have a Great Outdoors Month event.”

The state proclamations can be downloaded at

“Again this year, a consortium of national associations and organizations active with June events asked for the proclamations to help highlight those events,” he added.

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) signed onto the national event.

CalARVC Parks Take Part in Great Outdoors Month

May 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Campgrounds affiliated with the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) are doing their part to support Great Outdoors Month by offering fun family activities as well as significant camping discounts during the month of June.

“Camping is affordable, and it’s a great way to get families walking, climbing, swimming and playing in the Great Outdoors, while building memories that can last a lifetime,” Debbie Sipe, CalARVC executive director, said in a news release.

Sipe added that many California campgrounds will be participating in’s Great Outdoors Month promotion, which involves 20% discounts on camping June 1-25 at participating parks., California’s travel planning website, now includes a link to, where consumers can download e-coupons to obtain discounts on camping as well as discounts at Camping World ( and Coleman ( camping supply stores and RV rentals booked through El Monte RV (, which has agreed to provide 500 free miles plus 50 free miles a day to GoCampingAmerica visitors who rent an RV for at least one week during the June 1-25 period.

ARVC Promotion Targets First-Time Campers

May 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

ARVC initiative gaining traction.

Editor’s Note: The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently published a promotional story about Go Camping America’s camping promotion. The story follows.

Does your family have a couch potato or two? Get the gang outdoors this summer and get into nature with a camping trip.

In an effort to encourage parents to spend more time with their children outdoors, President Obama has proclaimed June as national Great Outdoors Month.

Great Outdoors Month is intended to encourage parents and their children “to move, run, play and thrive” in our state, national and local parks and other scenic places.

In support of the incentive, campgrounds affiliated with are offering a 20% savings off their nightly rates on stays from June 1 to 25.

“Camping is not only the most affordable vacation option, but it encourages families to get involved in a variety of healthy outdoor activities, from hiking and fishing to river tubing and white water rafting, or simply playing on a beach,” said Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), which hosts the GoCampingAmerica website.

Many of the campgrounds listed on have everything from organized nature activities to outdoor arts and crafts classes, entertainment, games, outdoor movies, singalongs, Karaoke, murder mystery dinners, nighttime scavenger hunts and other fun family activities and special events that help families build memories.

And families don’t even have to have a tent or RV to participate.

Well over half of the 3,300 privately owned and operated campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that are listed on offer rental accommodations ranging from safari tents and teepees to cabins, luxury park model cottages, yurts and RVs. Some campgrounds even offer covered wagons, cabooses and tree houses available for overnight stays.

While park model cabins are known for their upscale amenities, including stove and refrigerators, flat screen TVs and, in many cases, sleeping lofts for the kids, most units also come equipped with decks and barbecues. Others are set up on campsites with fire rings, so people can still sing by the campfire and roast s’mores and have a true outdoor camping experience.

Parents with young children also like park models so they don’t have to walk with their children to a public bathroom in the middle of the night.

Here’s a sampling of campgrounds within a tank-or-two drive of Atlanta that have added park model cabin rentals in time for this summer’s camping season:

  • Florida: Davenport, Naples, St. Augustine.
  • North Carolina: Smithfield, Swannanoa, Wade, Wilmington.
  • South Carolina: Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg.
  • Tennessee: Blountville, Nashville, Tellico Plains.

One park to consider for alternative lodging is The Great Outdoors RV Nature and Golf Resort in Titusville, Fla. — a great location from which to explore the Space Coast. This RV resort is one of the largest in the country, with 1,534 sites for towable and motorized RVs as well as park models and custom-built resort homes.

But the park also has 3,000 acres of land that are home to native egrets, deer and quail. The Great Outdoors puts a heavy focus on nature, providing habitat areas for numerous land animals and birds, including the colorful “painted bunting,” a rare and stunningly beautiful red, blue and green bird whose habitat has been destroyed in many areas of Florida. The grounds not only preserves habitat for the painted bunting and other species, but recently opened a 2,795 square foot nature center, which provides a wildlife museum, nature programs and hikes. Learn more at also provides e-coupons that consumers can use to obtain discounts at Camping World ( and Coleman ( camping supply stores as well as RV rentals booked through El Monte RV, which has agreed to provide 500 free miles plus 50 free miles a day to GoCampingAmerica visitors who rent an RV for at least one week during during the June 1-25 period;

Great Outdoors Week Activities Aired

May 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Planning is well under way for another eventful Great Outdoors Week, the American Recreation Coalition’s (ARC) annual celebration of outdoor recreation and its important contributions to the well-being of the American people and their communities.

According to a press release, the week begins with the observance of National Get Outdoors (GO) Day on June 11 and will include special events showcasing key recreation programs and recognizing the outstanding efforts being undertaken across the country to improve outdoor recreation experiences. Great Outdoors Week is one of the focal points of Great Outdoors Month, proclaimed nationwide by the president and by state governors in every state throughout the U.S.

The GO-Day launch of Great Outdoors Week will be marked at more than 100 sites where the public – especially young people – will be invited to enjoy different recreation activities and learn about additional, easily accessible recreation opportunities.

The U.S. Forest Service will celebrate GO-Day as Fee Free Day, waiving fees on millions of acres of national forests. And dozens of marina operators celebrating National Marina Day on June 11 will welcome thousands of visitors to these family-friendly gateways to wonderful boating experiences.

Programs featured during Great Outdoors Week will include: the Obama administration’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to link the American people to their magnificent public lands; the Let’s Move Outside campaign launched by first lady Michelle Obama to combat childhood obesity; the ED OUT partnership program to encourage outdoor learning and fun; and the Recreational Trails Program, which serves as the foundation for state trail programs all across the country.

Great Outdoors Week will also include several different award ceremonies recognizing individual and collective achievements within the recreation community. The Coalition for Recreational Trails will salute outstanding trail programs and projects funded by the federal Recreational Trails Program. ARC will present its Legends Awards to exceptional individuals from seven federal agencies whose personal efforts have led to substantial improvements in outdoor recreation resources and management. ARC’s Beacon Awards will recognize the innovative use of technology in visitor services and recreation management on public lands. And, finally, the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award – the recreation community’s most prestigious award – will recognize the leadership, vision and accomplishments of one extraordinary individual whose personal commitment to the value and importance of recreation has contributed significantly to the welfare of the American people.

“Great Outdoors Week gives us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the people, places and programs that bring healthy outdoor fun to millions of Americans every day of the year,” said ARC President Derrick Crandall. “They really put the ‘Great’ into the Great Outdoors.”

ARVC Launches Major June Camping Promotion

April 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

GCA online banner

Editor’s Note: The following announcement comes from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

ARVC is bringing new camping customers and new business to your park with its June campaign ‘Get Outdoors & Go Camping America…It’s Easy!’ June 1 – June 25, 2011. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage young families to go camping during the month of June, Great Outdoors Month, using (GCA) coupons for discounts on all things camping; and to document their camping experience on video* for a chance to win a grand prize. PLEASE note that the web promotion page on is not active until May 15th.

For more information on the campaign and for a peak at the 20% off GCA park stay coupon, please visit:

Click here to download an ad to promote the campaign

Click here to download a promotional online banner ad

Click here to download a ‘How-to Info Sheet’ for Your Park Staff

How does the campaign work?

We will be using social media, viral video, marketing efforts and media outreach to drive traffic to where consumers can download various offers for discounts on camping. We will be offering a 20% off coupon for all GCA/ARVC member parks. In addition, companies like Camping World, Coleman, El Monte RV, etc. are participating by offering discounts as well. Consumers will be able to download these coupons and try out camping, hopefully becoming repeat customers at your park!

How does my park participate?

Accept and honor the coupon for 20% off your regular night stays during the period of June 1 – June 25. Make sure your staff and employees are aware of the 20% coupon and that they understand the campaign. Please print, post and share this one-page info sheet (click here) with your staff. Your park does not need to tell ARVC that you are participating in the campaign, we assume all parks are participating unless you choose to not accept the coupons. If your park is full during that time, consider offering the guest a time when you could honor the discount. The purpose of this campaign is to bring you new business, and hopefully repeat business!

What are the details of the 20% off GCA Coupon?

The coupon states that it is only valid June 1 – June 25. It also states that it’s only accepted at participating parks (therefore, if your park chooses not to accept the coupon, you are covered) and that the consumer must call the park at least 24 hours in advance to make a reservation. The guest may use the coupon for up to a seven night stay at your park during that time frame, but they can not use the coupon on an existing reservation.

*More information will be available on the video contest portion as the campaign gets closer.

For more information, please visit or if you have questions, call ARVC at (800) 395-2267

The Great Outdoors is Focus of June Activities

May 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Excitement is growing across the nation about plans for Great Outdoors Week and Great Outdoors Month 2010, according to a news release.

Great Outdoors Month celebrates a variety of important events and actions that occur during June, and highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors and shared resources of forests, parks, refuges and other public lands and waters. Great Outdoors Week (June 7-12) showcases efforts enhancing outdoor recreation for all Americans in the 21st century through awards, briefings and other events in the nation’s capital.

Great Outdoors Week is coordinated by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and includes events co-hosted by more than a dozen federal agencies and national organizations. Great Outdoors Week’s schedule will feature:

  • A special presentation of the Beacon Awards – honoring innovative uses of technology in public lands management – at the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge.
  • An ice cream social with “celebrity scoopers” from the public land management agencies followed by a walk on the National Mall.
  • A presentation of theLegends Awards honoring outstanding public land management employees.
  • The Recreational Trails Program award ceremony and briefing.
  • A Recreation Exchange Luncheon.
  • A youth fishing event on the National Mall.

To read the full story,