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Carver Lake Campout is coming

Families are invited to enjoy the second-annual Carver Lake Campout on Friday, July 10.

Camping can hold a lot of fun for families -- sitting around a campfire, playing games, being outdoors and sleeping under the stars. But it can also have it's downsides -- rain, insects, outdoor bathroom facilities, among others.

Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department is offering families a chance to enjoy all of the fun of camping, while lessening some of the downsides.

On Friday, July 10, the second annual Carver Lake Campout will take place.

"Camping is about being able to get away from your house, get away from the phone and the computer," said Reed Smidt, a recreation specialist with Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department. "And getting outside and enjoying the outdoors and enjoying the peace and quiet that comes along with that."

Camping close to home has become increasingly popular over the last two years, last year because of gas prices and this year with the economy. This factor could be a reason why this year's campout is already full at capacity with 60 people. So if anyone is interested, they'll have to wait until next year's campout.

"It is really popular," Smidt said.

Last year the campout drew between 30 and 35 people, and Parks and Recreation is hoping the numbers can grow, but at a reasonable pace.

"We're trying to grow with it, so we are trying to control the numbers," Smidt said. "If it continues to be a success we would like to see it get bigger, but right now we're trying to control it's growth process."

Convenience a factor

Families will be going out to Carver Lake Park to camp out under the stars, while enjoying activities and food.

"Carver Lake has plenty of green space and it's away from the residences and kind of secluded so it works out great for a campout," Smidt said.

All of the essentials will be provided by the parks and recreation department officials on hand.

"Everything is kind of put together for them," said Blaine Beck, the city's scheduling coordinator for Central Park. "The adults really don't have to put a lot of thought into it --bring your tent, your sleeping bag and a pillow and we'll take care of everything else."

Some of the activities that will be offered during the campout include; canoeing, swimming, a scavenger hunt, nature hikes, campfire stories and singing, s'mores and games.

"It's a lot of time for families to just have a good time," Beck said.

A benefit to hosting a campout of this nature is that it allows families to enjoy camping, some of them for the first time, in a safe environment that is right next to home.

"It's unique for families with small children because you can go camp in the city you live in and if you have a rough night, it's not going well, pack up and drive the half mile home and hop in bed," Smidt said. "If disaster strikes you can have that backup."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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