ByKimberly Button

May 22, 2015
Milky Way View | Frisco, NC
Milky Way View | Frisco, NC. Image courtesy of Zach Frailey.

Did you know that if you pitched a tent this summer, you can help raise money to protect the outdoors? In a partnership with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and supporters such as Disney, $1 will be donated for each person who pledges to participate in the Great American Campout, up to $100,000.

All it takes is signing the pledge on the NWF website, stating you name, email and zipcode. Participants must sign up before June 27, which is Great American Campout Day.  The entire month of June is Great Outdoors Month.

Any variety of camping qualifies for a donation made on your behalf, such as pitching a tent in the backyard, camping in an RV, spending the night in a tree house or signing up for an overnight educational camp experience. There are also public campouts that you can join, or host, to foster a sense of community while enjoying the great outdoors.

A public campout can be hosted by anyone, as long as there is an open invitation for anyone else in the area to join in, either by registering or walking up on the day of the event. A list of public campout organizers can be found on the NWF website, which is searchable by state.

Several public campouts are being hosted by nature centers, camps and parks, with special activities or pricing being offered.

For example, the Third Annual Glamp Out in Camp Pollock in Sacramento, California offers;

  • gourmet camp food
  • wines and beer
  • s’mores along the American River
  • fly-fishing demonstrations
  • sing-a-longs and
  • star-gazing.

Now that’s a camping trip!

The RAGBRAI event in Iowa combines a day of biking and a night of camping for families. In Baltimore, Maryland, a night hike at Robert E. Lee Park ends with a campfire, along with an included breakfast the next day, for just $5 per person.

The NWF offers a variety of helpful hints and tools for making any camping experience a fun one for the entire family. Visit their list of resources for a variety of ideas for camping-inspired games, educational activities, craft ideas and camping recipes.

With free or discounted camping experiences available to the public, it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

Feature image courtesy of Cathy Stanley-Erickson

By Kimberly Button

Kimberly Button is the author of The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home and the Editor-in-Chief of GetGreenBeWell , featuring modern, sane ideas for living a non-toxic life. A professional journalist for nearly two decades, Button has written for magazines such as Martha Stewart's Whole Living, American Airlines, AAA, Sierra, National Geographic Traveler, and Vegetarian Times. Visit for more information.