Camping Adventures at Mount Rainier
In the summer of 2009, 21 families from Seattle participated in a pilot program called Camping Adventures with My Parents, or "CAMP," at Mount Rainier National Park. Most had never been camping before, and many had never visited Mount Rainier. They visited the park on three different weekends, and learned how to set up a tent, build a fire, and cook a meal in a campground. They went on walks with park rangers, became Junior Rangers, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, and spent a lot of time just relaxing and telling stories around the campfire.
The Adventure Continues
With the help of generous grants from Washington's National Park Fund, the National Park Foundation, Discover Your Northwest, and the McKibben-Merner Family Foundation, we will offer five trips to Mount Rainier during the summer of 2010:
Participation in the CAMP program is free! Participants will be selected based solely on their previous experience and ability to participate, with an emphasis on young families who have few opportunities for National Park adventures on their own. All food, transportation, and equipment will be provided by the National Park Service.
Prior to visiting Mount Rainier, participants will attend an orientation session in Tacoma or Seattle to learn all about what to expect and how to prepare for their overnight trip to the park. Several dates and locations will be available for these orientation events.
Orientation dates this spring will be on May 22 or June 12 at the Tacoma Nature Center, or May 29 or June 5 at Discovery Park in Seattle.
At the end of summer, on September 18, we’ll host a reunion picnic at Seattle's Camp Long, inviting all participants back to share food, photos, and memories and to reunite with new friends.
The CAMP program is for families of all kinds. It’s for people who’ve never been camping before, but who are open to adventure. It’s open to everyone regardless of race, creed, or economic status. Come learn something new, make new friends, and give your kids an experience they’ll remember for a lifetime!
Learn More… and Join the Adventure!
Our program leaders will be attending several events in local communities this spring and summer. Stop by and chat with us in person to ask questions and learn more about the CAMP program. Events on our calendar in 2010 so far include:
Check back for more events as we get closer to summer, or visit the events calendar on our blog.
To apply for this summer's CAMP program, contact Mount Rainier National Park by telephone:
We'll ask you a few questions and answer yours. Space is limited, as we can only accommodate 25 people on each of our five adventures.
Note: As of May 21, all five Camping Adventures are full. However, we are building a waiting list, as plans often change for those who are already registered. Families on our waiting list will also have first pick of next year's programs.
With a Little Help from Our Friends
The CAMP program is made possible through many local partnerships. We're especially grateful for the help of Seattle Parks and Recreation and Tacoma Metro Parks in arranging venues, planning events, and helping with public outreach; to Discover Your Northwest for helping us to arrange for tasty camp meals; and to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) for providing camping gear.
This summer, the Student Conservation Association (SCA) is playing a critical role by providing interns to help recruit participants and lead their park visits. SCA has long been a valuable partner in providing internships and community leadership programs for high school and college-age youth in the National Parks.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is developing their own outreach programs in the Seattle community, and we're pleased to be working in partnership with them as well. Together, we aim to offer a wide range of experiences to the people around our parks, including recreation, education, service, and youth employment.
We welcome additional partners! Contact Kevin Bacher, Volunteer and Outreach Program Manager, at 360-569-6567 to find out how you can get involved. We look forward to offering a wider range of opportunities to your community, in return for assistance with public outreach.
download our 2010 CAMP Flier and spread the word!
Did You Know?
The Paradise meadows were once home to a golf course, rope tows for skiers, an auto campground, and rows of tent cabins. All of these activities damaged the meadows, as does walking off-trail. Management practices have changed over the years, and we now protect and restore our precious subalpine meadows.