June 21, 2009 in Outdoors

Series highlights camping with kids

By The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

Camping with kids is among the least expensive and most rewarding ways for families to vacation, especially in the Inland Northwest where countless camp sites are a short drive away.
(Full-size photo)

Family camping seminars

 The following “Fireside Chats” are geared to getting Inland Northwest family out on the trails and into a campsite. The free presentations run 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Wednesday — Getting to the Great Outdoors: Tips for Trip Planning, at Riverside State Park Bowl and Pitcher Shelter.

July 10 — Bear Essentials: Wildlife Awareness and Safety, at Camp Sekani.

July 25 — Tread Lightly: Leave No Trace, at Riverside Bowl and Pitcher Shelter

Aug. 7 — Take A Hike: Trail Travel Basics, at Riverfront Park Forestry Shelter.

Aug. 19 — Beyond S’mores: Camp Cooking 101, at Riverside State Park Ninemile Recreation Area.

Sept. 19 — Sweet Dreams: Camping Equipment, at Riverfront Park Forestry Shelter.

Info: Ryan Griffith, Spokane Parks and Recreation, 625-6246.

A big prize is waiting for families who explore camping and hiking with the kids this summer.

The tents, sleeping bags and trip to Glacier National Park, complete with fuel voucher, is only the minor prize.

The big reward is the bonding and discovery families can enjoy by reuniting with the great outdoors, sponsors say.

Mountain Gear, KSPS Public TV, Spokane Parks and Recreation and The National Parks Service are organizing a series of activities and educational programs for youths and adults. They start this week and run well into 2010.

On Wednesday, Spokane Parks and Recreation Department will present the first of six “Fireside Chats” to instruct families on the basics of family camping, with plenty of local insight.

Each time a family attends one of these talks and demonstrations, they will be entered in a sweepstakes to win camping gear from Marmot as wells as a national park vacation, said Phil Bridgers of Mountain Gear.

In September, KSPS will become involved as it kicks off a national parks documentary series by award-winning director Ken Burns.

Fireside chats featuring national park rangers are planned at schools next fall.

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