Ann Arbor Goes Back to Basics

Regional NWFers enjoy an evening of creature watching, stargazing, and marshmallow roasting

06-24-2010 // Beth Wallace, NWF Project Assistant - Global Warming
Girl and Dad bird watching

Growing up in the country, I spent many summer nights sleeping in a tent.  It didn’t matter if I was at Sleeping Bear Dunes with family and friends or hiding out in our backyard with my sister; our tent was always a place of enchantment and fascination. 

I’ve grown into the person I am today because of those experiences growing up.  Camping under the stars and experiencing nature truly made me happy.  Those feelings grew into much more than a distant memory; as an adult I’ve made it my life’s work to help protect our natural world and encourage others to do the same.  Because of my childhood experience, it was surprising for me to learn that many children and families have gown away from spending time outdoors.

Here at the NWF's Great Lakes Regional Center in Ann Arbor, we've made our own tradition by camping out at the Leslie Science and Nature Center during the annual Great American Backyard Campout. For the second year in a row, the Leslie Science and Nature Center will on June 26 be home to more than 45 families experiencing the fun of camping during the annual event.

This year’s campout in Ann Arbor features native bat presentations, campfire storytelling, s’more making, night hikes, bird watching and much more.

Visit to register and learn more about the Great American Backyard Campout, including tips on hosting your own backyard campout >>

"Camping under the stars is something simple that families can do to promote happier, healthier children. Kids who experience nature through outdoor activities develop into better stewards of the natural world, which is critical for future generations and our planet,” said Andy Buchsbaum, Regional Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Center.

The annual Great American Backyard Campout encourages families to Be Out There and discover nature. 


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