Kayaking. Orienteering. Fishing. Camping. Sound like a fun way to spend a summer weekend? Then sign your family up now for the Becoming an Outdoor Family Weekend, June 1-3 at Stillwater State Park in Groton.
Your whole family will have fun learning outdoor skills, including tips for wilderness survival, how to make jams and jellies from wild berries, cook wild game outdoors or read the forested landscape. Or they can take advantage of recreational pursuits at the park, located on Groton Lake in the 28,000-acre Groton State Forest, such as fly fishing, mountain biking, shooting sports and trail running. Beginners are welcome as instruction is provided.
University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources’ Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Forests, Parks and Recreation collaborate on this annual event, now in its 15th year, which is designed to connect families, especially those new to camping or spending time in nature, with the outdoors. The cost is $175 per family (up to eight people), which covers the campsite, workshop instruction, materials and most equipment.
The registration deadline has been extended to May 25. Details and an online registration form can be found at www.uvm.edu/extension/outdoorfamily.
The park offers lean-tos, tent and RV sites, which are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Every effort will be made to accommodate families that request adjoining sites. Families should bring their own camping gear and food, including a side dish, salad or dessert to share at the Saturday night potluck supper, which features moose burgers, hot dogs and hamburgers.
Each camper may sign up for three workshops with each session offering more than a dozen different choices, including some geared to younger children. Topics range from geocaching, birding by ear, tree identification and kite making to introduction to archery, basic firearm safety and edible, medicinal and useful wetland plants. Hunter or bow hunter education certification also may be earned over the weekend through the home-study program offered by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
For more information, contact Lisa Muzzey, UVM Extension 4-H educator, at (802) 885-8386 or toll-free at (800) 278-5471. If requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate, call as soon as possible for assistance.