Tag Archives: National Wildlife Federation

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Join the Great American Backyard Campout June 22

The Great American Backyard Campout is Saturday, June 22. According to sponsors National Wildlife Federation, people register to camp outside June 22, or a night of their choice. You can register at the NWF site, which provides a Campsite Finder full of opportunities to join an existing camping team. Or you can join the Campout in your own backyard, balcony, or local campground. National Wildlife Federation hopes that the Campout will inspire more people to get outdoors and experience the ease and fun of enjoying a beautiful outdoor place and sleeping under the stars.

That’s what happened with me last year, when I was fortunate to join a Campout group at Lake Berryessa in Northern California. We fished and floated in the lake during the day, and sang songs, made s’mores and watched the impressive canopy of stars at night. Many people were camping for the first time with their families. Everyone had a blast.

Me and my camping buds:

You may know that we sometimes pitch a tent on our deck or in a treehouse. Kari of Active Kids Club shares her tale of Balcony Camping in an urban backyard.

Debi at Go Explore Nature offers tons of outdoor activities to add to the fun while camping, like a Flashlight Walk or a Bug Hunt.

Looking for more fun things to do outdoors? Try these Seven Things to Do After Dark from National Wildlife Federation.

Here are more Camping Tips, games, songs and recipes from NWF.

Of course, no camping outing is complete without s’mores, the gooey outdoor treat that first appeared in the 1927 Girl Scout Handbook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, which coincided with the beginning of mass-produced graham crackers and chocolate bars.

See my S’more Recipes.

Enjoy your time outdoors!

Photos: Susan Sachs Lipman

 

It’s National Pollinator Week: Have Fun Attracting and Helping Bees, Butterflies and Birds

June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week. It’s a week to celebrate and educate about pollinating animals, such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, which are extremely vital to our ecosystem. Pollinators support much of our wildlife, lands and watersheds. Nearly 80% 0f the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world that produce all of our food and plant-based industrial products require pollination by animals.

There are so many simple ways to welcome pollinators into our home gardens and other outdoor spaces. In addition to helping the earth’s ecosystem and food supply, you’ll also experience the fascination and wonder that comes from observing the animals you attract. Here are a few ways to get more involved:

Find or add an event through Pollinator Partnership, a wonderful resource about pollinators year-round.

Garden for wildlife with tons of tips and guides from the National Wildlife Federation, which offers a Certified Backyard Habitat Program.

Check out NWF gardeners’ favorite plants for attracting pollinators.

Find more information about gardening for wildlife from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Join the Great Sunflower Project and many other citizen science projects that allow you to help researchers right from your own backyard or a local park.

Spring at the Bird Cafe and bird feeder activity.

Make a quick and easy bird feeder to attract and observe birds.

Enjoy beautiful nature during Pollinator Week and throughout the year!

Photos: Susan Sachs Lipman, Public Domain

Happy National S’More Day!

When the ancient Egyptians mixed the sap of the marsh mallow plant with honey to make a precursor to our marshmallow, they were thinking about curing coughs and other ailments, rather than creating a classic treat. 19th century French confectioners added egg whites and corn syrup and baked the fluffy creations in molds. Not long after that, graham crackers and chocolate bars began to be mass produced. The 1927 Girl Scout handbook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, published the first known recipe for s’mores, and the gooey creation was born.

Nearly everyone who’s had one remembers his or her first s’more. There are few better combinations than toasted marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers (though non-purists add peanut butter.) The only thing that can possibly improve on the taste of a s’more is the good fortune to enjoy one outside, cooked over a campfire, and surrounded by good family and friends. Of course it’s no secret how the s’more got its name. It’s the rare person who doesn’t want .. some-more.

You’ll need:

1 graham cracker, broken in two squares
One or two squares of milk chocolate (half of a classic Hershey’s chocolate bar works well)
1 marshmallow
Peanut butter, optional
Wooden or metal skewer

Layer a chocolate piece on top of each graham cracker.

Toast your marshmallow over an open flame, until it is the color of toast.

Remove the marshmallow from the flame.

Place the prepared graham cracker under it and carefully slide the marshmallow off the skewer, quickly capping it with a second square of chocolate, if desired, and the second graham cracker.

Eat the gooey creation and marvel at its simple perfection.

A spoonful of peanut butter can be substituted for or added to the chocolate.

Between National S’more Day and this weekend’s Perseid meteor shower, it should be the perfect weekend to get outside and camp in a backyard or park. National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is encouraging everyone to camp outside through summer and fall by joining  Great American Backyard Campout.

The Great American Backyard Campout is part of National Wildlife Federation’s “Be Out There” movement, which is designed to provide tools that inspire parents and children to spend time in the outdoors. Over the next three years, NWF’s goal is to get 10 million more kids playing outside on a regular basis. Spending a night under the stars is the perfect way to start. Register at the Great American Backyard Campout site to have fun, win prizes, and help spread the word about camping.

Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman

Graphic: NWF Be Out There

 

 

Join the Great American Backyard Campout June 23

Would you like to attend an overnight, family-friendly campout with a celebrity chef cooking your meals, live entertainment, fun outdoor activities and all the Coleman gear you need provided?

What is it? The Coleman Company, Inc. is hosting a private camping event for 15 families. I get to choose 5 of those families from amongst my blog readers!

Why are they hosting this event? Coleman has partnered with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to sponsor this year’s Great American Backyard Campout. Coleman and NWF want to inspire parents to get their families outside, even if they’ve never camped before.

If I win, what do I get? The winners will receive a family ticket (for a family of up to five) to attend the Coleman Great American Backyard Campout event. You are responsible for your own transportation, so it’s better if you live close enough to drive. We won’t exclude you because of distance, though – if you’re willing to make the trip, you can enter! At the campout, you and your family will get:

  • A full campsite worth of Coleman gear for you to use at the event, and take home with you when it’s over
  • Meals, recipes and outdoor cooking instruction from a local celebrity chef
  • Fishing instructions from a Shakespeare fishing pro fisherman
  • Stargazing with an astronomer
  • Live campfire sing-alongs with a local musician
  • Guided morning hike with a delicious breakfast at the destination
  • Easy ways your family can help the environment while camping from Leave No Trace
  • Lots of Coleman helpers to lend a hand if you have questions about the outdoors
  • Plenty of fun leisure activities, like a bean bag toss, Frisbee throwing, card games and more

My family has never been camping before. Can we still attend? Absolutely! This event is designed for campers who don’t have a lot of experience, or any experience at all. Plenty of Coleman folks will be available to give you a hand with your gear and answer any questions you may have. We’ll also have modern facilities and running water at the campsite, so there’s no need to worry about going too “extreme” your first time out.

Where is the event located, since I have to travel? Lake Berryesssa – Chaparral Cove, 7600 Knoxville Road, Napa, CA  94558

When is it? The Great American Backyard Campout takes place on June 23, 2012. Coleman’s event will be taking place from 11 a.m. on June 23 until 10 a.m. on June 24.

What is the Great American Backyard Campout all about? Great American Backyard Campout is part of National Wildlife Federation’s “Be Out There” movement, which is designed to provide tools that inspire parents and children to spend time in the outdoors. Over the next three years, NWF’s goal is to get 10 million more kids playing outside on a regular basis. Spending a night under the stars is the perfect way to start.

That’s a lot of info – but now I’d really like to attend with my family. How does the contest work? It’s easy! Leave a comment on my blog & tell me these things:

  • Your name and email address. We’ll only call or email you if you’re a winner, and we won’t disclose your info to anyone else.
  • If you’re willing to travel to the event location on June 23.
  • Why your family would like to attend the campout.

At 9 p.m. Pacific Time June 7, I’ll be selecting 5 winners from the entries I receive from you. I’ll inform the winners individually, and we’ll coordinate with Coleman to get you everything you need before the campout. Then, we’ll see each other on June 23!

If you have any questions about the contest, let me know. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out from Coleman and get back to you as soon as I can.

And if you don’t want to enter the contest, please enjoy the Great American Backyard Campout in a backyard or in a campground near you!

Camping in Brookyn, NY. Photo: Peter Fisher

Other images: National Wildlife Federation

Here’s a link to the Official Contest Rules (note that my closing time is slightly different) on the Because I’m Mommy web site.

Great American Backyard Campout is Sat. June 25

The Great American Backyard Campout is scheduled for Saturday, June 25. According to sponsors National Wildlife Federation, people register to camp outside June 25, or a night of their choosing. You can register at the NWF site, which offers opportunities to join a group campsite, share camping tips and stories, or donate to the cause of getting more people outside in nature (this is optional). Campgrounds, backyards, balconies all work, say the organizers, who hope the event, like past Campouts, will inspire more people to get outdoors and experience sleeping under the stars.

You may know that we sometimes pitch a tent on our deck or in a treehouse. Kari Svenneby of Active Kids Club shares her tale of balcony camping.

You can register for the Great American Backyard Campout here. Looking for fun things to do outdoors? Try these Seven Things to Do After Dark.

And, of course, you’ll want to make s’mores, the gooey outdoor treat that first appeared in the 1927 Girl Scout Handbook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, which coincided with the beginning of mass-produced graham crackers and chocolate bars.

You’ll need:

1 graham cracker, broken in half to make two squares
One or two squares of milk chocolate (half of a classic Hershey’s chocolate bar works well)
1 marshmallow
A wooden or metal skewer

Layer a chocolate piece on top of each graham cracker.

Toast your marshmallow over an open flame, until it is the color of toast.

Remove the marshmallow from the flame.

Place the prepared graham cracker under it and carefully slide the marshmallow off the skewer, quickly capping it with a second square of chocolate, if desired, and the second graham cracker.

Eat the gooey creation and marvel at its simple perfection.

Not a purist? Add a spoonful of peanut butter.

No open flame? If you’re camping in the backyard, you can cook s’mores inside and bring them out. Toast marshmallows in a broiler or toaster oven by lining a small metal baking pan (or toaster oven pan) with foil and non-stick spray. Turn the marshmallows halfway through cooking, which will only take a few minutes. Watch them to prevent them from burning.

Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman

 

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