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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: June 15, 2012
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442,

Virginia State Parks to participate in the Great American Backyard Campout

(RICHMOND) - The Great American Backyard Campout is June 23, and all 35 Virginia State Parks are offering campouts or camping demonstrations, and a variety of programs promoting fun in the outdoors.

Camping is an affordable family vacation or weekend getaway experience - a family of four can go camping for less than the cost of a movie.

Because it may be intimidating to take the first step to try camping and learn about the necessary gear, state parks are offering special programming for the Great American Backyard Campout.

A special group camping experience for novice or first-time campers will be offered in these state parks: Caledon, in King George County; James River, in Buckingham County; Leesylvania, in Prince William County; New River Trail, in Pulaski County; Pocahontas, in Chesterfield County; Sky Meadows, in Fauquier County; and Smith Mountain Lake, in Bedford County. The offerings vary by park, and all require advance registration.

To learn more about the camping opportunities or other instructional programs and outdoor activities planned for June 23, visit:, or view the list here.

On June 23 thousands of people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in a one-night event that will provide an experience for all generations to connect with nature. To learn more about the Great American Backyard Campout, visit

The Great American Backyard Campout is part of the National Wildlife Federation's Be Out There' program. The National Wildlife Federation is the nation's largest conservation organization working to protect wildlife and reconnect people with nature.

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about state park activities and amenities, or to make reservations in a campsite, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit

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