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Got kids under 12? Then you’re eligible for this $2 camp-out

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image One of the first things families will learn at the Great American Camp-Out Nov. 16-17 is how to pitch their tent. Photo Penny Fletcher

All families with one or more children are invited, no matter where in the county they live.

By PENNY FLETCHER
 
At a time when many parents are worried their children are spending too much time on electronic devices, the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department has come up with a way to get families to do something together.

Although the idea isn’t new, and happens around the country at different locations that can be found on the Internet, this camp-out is not part of a national organization but has been arranged locally.

This is the first year Hillsborough County has tried the event, holding its first one in March, which was attended by about 90 people.

“This is a great way to teach your children about the outdoors and to do something as a family,” said the county’s contact for the event, Mary Clements Fowler.

Most places that have camp-outs usually do them in June, according to the department’s spokeswoman, Shorty Robbins. “But here it’s just too hot in June so we chose March and November.”

To be eligible, a family must have at least one child age 12 or younger. Each family may choose to take part in some or all of the planned activities or just enjoy the experience on their own in a safe setting, Fowler said.

They will be taught to set up tents, cook outdoors, and other camping skills, but the whole idea is to teach them to do things as a family outdoors, she added.

Families may bring crafts, cards, board games, or musical instruments; however, no pets or alcohol will be permitted.

The cost is $2 a vehicle for up to eight people, Fowler said.

All families with one or more children are invited, no matter where in the county they live. The event will take place from 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 to 9 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Edward Medard Regional Park, 6140 Turkey Creek Road in Plant City.

Tents will be available for rental if booked during registration. Registration must take place by Nov. 13 by calling Fowler at  813-635-3519 or emailing her at ClementsM@HillsboroughCounty.ORG.

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