Field and Stream Stores In Five States Join Federal Agencies and Coleman to Boost America the Beautiful Pass, Great Outdoors

This press release is available as a PDF here

Washington, D.C. (May 28, 2015) – Governors in 13 states across the country are joining forces with park agencies and other partners to introduce kids and families in their states to outdoor recreation through Capital Campouts during Great Outdoors Month™ – a national celebration of the benefits of outdoor recreation throughout the month of June.

Governors John Hickenlooper (CO), Jack Markell (DE), Mike Pence (IN), Terry Branstad (IA), Sam Brownback (KS), Charlie Baker (MA), Jay Nixon (MO), Steve Bullock (MT), Maggie Hassan (NH), Gina Raimondo (RI), Terry McAuliffe (VA), Jay Inslee (WA), and Matt Mead (WY) are each hosting events in or near their capital cities – a remarkably bipartisan group of national leaders.

America’s youth now average more than seven hours a day of screen time – reflecting more sedentary lifestyles with serious health risks. For years, leading physicians have touted healthy, active fun outdoors as a remedy to this trend. Through the Campouts and the media attention generated, the Governors are serving as champions of fun outdoors, helping national youth organizations and public lands and waters managers highlight the year-round opportunities available close to home.

The first Capital Campout has already taken place. On May 16, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead hosted the nation’s first bilingual Capital Campout at Lions State Park in Cheyenne. Participants quickly moved from outdoors novices to being prepared for outdoors adventures including camping in Wyoming's great outdoors. Participants even learned how to cook fajitas over a campfire!

Other Campouts are adding their own unique twists. In Missouri, thousands of people are expected to come out to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Days at the Capitol – an outdoor expo immediately before Governor Jay Nixon’s Campout. In Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo is using her Campout to kick off the state’s Great Park Pursuit. And in Olympia, Washington, Governor Jay Inslee is hosting his second Capital Campout, followed by the state’s annual Outdoor Expo. Several Campouts will feature locally sourced foods and a theme of Healthy Parks Healthy People. These are just some of the great examples of how governors are putting their own personal touch on Capital Campouts.

Campouts are made possible by a wide range of agencies and partners led by the state park agencies and Great Outdoors Month™ Founding Sponsor The Coleman Company, Inc., which is donating camping supplies, gear and funding to engage youth with an outdoor recreation experience. Coleman’s Dave Allen. President – U.S., notes that the equipment will get good use after the Campouts: “We are delighted that the tents and other camping equipment will become key assets of programs by state park agencies and allied organizations to host kids and families at Learn to Camp programs. Most of the equipment will get used over and over again. We expect that each six-person tent will generate a hundred big new smiles!” Other partners are also enthusiastically participating in the Campouts, including Delaware North Companies, Whole Foods, Albertsons, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, [b][i]OFF![/i][/b], Revolution Foods and many more.

Many of the Capital Campouts will focus on 4th graders – a prime age for introducing outdoor activities and efforts to turn those activities into lifelong pursuits. Capital Campouts support the President’s Every Kid in a Park initiative, which will strive to get four million 4th graders to national and state parks for a day of fun and learning each year, beginning this September, and will continue for many years. Under the new federal initiative, 4th graders and their families will get free access to national parks and recreation sites for a year.

“The nation needs leadership in promoting smart choices in the use of our free time. We truly appreciate the support governors are providing across the nation. We’ll all come away from these Campouts a bit more energized by the smiles and the enthusiasm we’ll see in our Campout kids and their families. And our new ambassadors of outdoors fun will show others how easy it is to plan memorable adventures,” said Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition, which coordinates Great Outdoors Month™.

For details on Capital Campouts and some 15,000 other Great Outdoors Month™ events, visit greatoutdoorsmonth.org and follow @GOMonth2015 on Twitter.