The Great American Backyard Campout is scheduled for Saturday, June 25. According to sponsors National Wildlife Federation, people register to camp outside June 25, or a night of their choosing. You can register at the NWF site, which offers opportunities to join a group campsite, share camping tips and stories, or donate to the cause of getting more people outside in nature (this is optional). Campgrounds, backyards, balconies all work, say the organizers, who hope the event, like past Campouts, will inspire more people to get outdoors and experience sleeping under the stars.
You may know that we sometimes pitch a tent on our deck or in a treehouse. Kari Svenneby of Active Kids Club shares her tale of balcony camping.
You can register for the Great American Backyard Campout here. Looking for fun things to do outdoors? Try these Seven Things to Do After Dark.
And, of course, you’ll want to make s’mores, the gooey outdoor treat that first appeared in the 1927 Girl Scout Handbook, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, which coincided with the beginning of mass-produced graham crackers and chocolate bars.
1 graham cracker, broken in half to make two squares
One or two squares of milk chocolate (half of a classic Hershey’s chocolate bar works well)
A wooden or metal skewer
Layer a chocolate piece on top of each graham cracker.
Toast your marshmallow over an open flame, until it is the color of toast.
Remove the marshmallow from the flame.
Place the prepared graham cracker under it and carefully slide the marshmallow off the skewer, quickly capping it with a second square of chocolate, if desired, and the second graham cracker.
Eat the gooey creation and marvel at its simple perfection.
Not a purist? Add a spoonful of peanut butter.
No open flame? If you’re camping in the backyard, you can cook s’mores inside and bring them out. Toast marshmallows in a broiler or toaster oven by lining a small metal baking pan (or toaster oven pan) with foil and non-stick spray. Turn the marshmallows halfway through cooking, which will only take a few minutes. Watch them to prevent them from burning.
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman