The National Wildlife Federation

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Camp Like an Animal

squirrel jumping with a nut in its mouth

This summer, connect with nature like the animals that call it home. Instead of a tent, imagine you’re drifting to sleep in a bird’s cozy treetop nest, or taking a snooze in a beaver’s cool, dark underwater lodge. Ready to hike? Picture yourself springing through the woods like a squirrel in search of your next snack.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout™ is a summer-long celebration of exploring the wild outdoors through camping. Now through October 31, take the pledge to camp—in your backyard, neighborhood, or favorite local or national park; in a cabin, an RV, or even a treehouse—and be a part of the nationwide event.

camping tents

Camping is a fun, easy way for families to connect with nature and wildlife. Today the average American child spends more than seven hours a day in front of an electronic screen, but as few as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play. Getting kids in nature is proven to reduce stress, improve sleep, and even lead to higher test scores, among other benefits.

The peak of camping season, Great American Campout Day, takes place June 22—but you can camp all summer long by attending a public campout near you or hosting a campout of your own. The Great American Campout is also part of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s Great Outdoors Month each June, a month designated to highlighting the many kinds of outdoor activities that strengthen our bonds with nature.

So this camping season, gather the family to unplug, recharge, and reconnect with an adventure into the wild outdoors!