Families invited to join Yuma Campout Challenge on Saturday
Families aren't exactly camping in the boonies this weekend, but any tents pitched in the outfield will be a long walk from the parking lot.
Yuma Parks and Recreation hosts a new kind of event Saturday that will turn the baseball diamond at Desert Sun Stadium into a giant community campout.
“Here's a great opportunity to experience camping with your children, literally right in your backyard, with someone else doing all the work. Just bring a tent and sleeping bag, and we'll do the rest,” said Debbie Wendt, recreation superintendent with Parks and Recreation. “Prepare yourselves to have an experience you won't forget, a night of fun family and new friends.”
The Yuma Campout Challenge will offer families the chance to sleep under the stars, plus enjoy yummy meals and fun activities. And yes, there will be s'mores.
Wendt stressed that camping isn't just an all-American family activity. Wholesome outdoor activities like this also amount to a needed antidote against the modern obsession with all things electronic and indoors.
“In today's society and technical age, many children think that a great time is sitting in front of the computer, TV, or cell phone, playing games, texting, and Facebooking friends,” she said. “They don't play outside like we used to... Many children have never had the opportunity to go camping, to sleep under the stars, singing songs around a campfire, and make s'mores.”
The Yuma Campout Challenge runs from 4 p.m. Saturday through the night and ends about 9 a.m. the next morning. Dinner and breakfast will be served.
The event is open to all ages, but kids 15 years and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Activities will range from archery and volleyball to snag golf, tug of war and telling stories around the campfire. The city's mobile Playground in a Box will also make an appearance at the event. “If anyone has a favorite campfire story or song they used to sing as a kid, bring it on,” Wendt said.
The deadline to register is Thursday by 5 p.m. People can register by calling 373-5204 or by visiting www.ci.yuma.az.us.
The cost is $10 for ages 5-11 and $15 for everyone 12 and older. The family rate is $40. That price includes four people, with $10 for each additional person.