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Two girls are roasting marshmallows in front of a tent.

Camping & Survival

Great American Backyard Campout June 22

I remember spending many a summer night sleeping in a large, blue tent in the backyard of my childhood best friend’s house. Though we ran in and out of the house all evening for bathroom and Popsicle breaks, when it got dark, we crawled in the tent with our flashlight to play games and read. We didn’t need the TV, X-Box or internet. We had the outdoors and lots of fireflies to catch. I spent my summers riding four-wheelers and horses, jumping off the rope swing at the local swimming hole, picking wild blackberries at the creek, playing softball and any other fun adventure we dreamed up. Our one caveat? “Be home before dark.” Those times have changed, however. The National Wildlife Federation has found a way to help solve this problem by establishing their Be Out There campaign that encourages children to spend more time outdoors. The conservation organization has a three-year goal to get 10 million children outside.