US Forest Service teaches how to properly start and put out a campfire
Grab a flashlight and bug spray — Metro Parks Tacoma will have its 8th annual Family Campouts at Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park starting in July.
There will be three Friday night campouts this summer: July 12, Aug. 2 and Aug. 23.
Education program coordinator Kyle Clogston said spaces usually sell out and there are normally 80-100 people there, which is about 25 tents.
Each campout will include tent space, an evening snack, a ranger-led activity, games like large Jenga, a sunrise breakfast and more. The ranger-led activity will include facts about animals that live in the park, like birds and raccoons, and educate people to not feed the animals, Clogston said.
The schedule for each night is:
▪ 7-8:30 p.m. — check-in and tent set-up
▪ 8:30-9:30 p.m. — evening snacks, ranger-led activity
▪ 9:30-11 p.m. — games, free time to explore
▪ 11 p.m. — lights out
▪ 6-8 a.m. — sunrise breakfast, tent breakdown
▪ 8:30 a.m. — leave the beach
Metro Parks recommends bringing a tent, warm sleeping bags, toiletries, camp chairs, lamps or flashlights and bug spray, but people should leave their pets at home. Owen Beach restrooms will be available for use.
“I look forward to seeing especially families that have never camped before,” Clogston said. “This is really that opportunity for them to come into a very safe, controlled environment. I just look for kids being super excited to stay out in a tent outside of their house getting that first experience of camping.”
Owen Beach campouts
When: July 12, Aug. 2 and Aug. 23
Costs: Four-person spaces (8-by-8 feet) are available for $50, six-person (10-by-10 feet) for $75 and eight-person (12-by-12 feet) for $100. Prices do not include tax.
Restrictions: People must be over 18 to attend without parents There are no open flames allowed at Owen Beach.
Registration: Those who wish to participate can register with the Tacoma Nature Center at 253-404-3930. Registration for each evening ends at 4 p.m. the Wednesday before the campout. Refunds will not given if a withdrawal from the event is not made by 3:30 p.m. the Wednesday before.