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State parks offer camping experiences for families

People who are interested in learning how to pitch a tent, cook over a fire and perform other outdoor skills are invited to sign up for one of the 24 “I Can Camp!” programs offered this summer at state parks and recreational areas in Minnesota.

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A one-night “I Can Camp!” workshop will be held Saturday, August 16 at Lake Carlos State Park in Alexandria.

“Camping is fun, and it’s a longstanding Minnesota tradition,” said Eric Pelto, who coordinates the “I Can Camp!” programs for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division.

All camping equipment is provided, including tents, air mattresses and cook stoves. Participants need only bring their own food and bedding, including sleeping bags or blankets and pillows.

“Our ‘I Can Camp!’ instructors will be on hand to help families with everything from tent set-up to meal preparation,” Pelto said. “They’ll also try to make sure everyone has fun by providing opportunities to try geocaching, digital photography and other activities.”

One-night workshops ($40 for up to six people in a tent) are scheduled on most Saturdays in June, July and August.

Eight two-night workshops ($60 for up to six people in a tent) are also available for families who want a more complete weekend camping experience.

These programs are made possible with support from the Parks and Trails Fund.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 1-866-857-2757 or online at

For more information, including dates and locations, visit the website or contact the DNR Information Center at or 1-888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.