We’re Headed to Camp Coleman for the Great American Backyard Campout!

Longs Peak campground. Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado. USA. Photo by Jeebus.

It should be a crime to live so close to the magnificent Rocky Mountains and not be a camping family. Yet, there still are plenty of people living in Denver and the surrounding areas who aren’t taking advantage of the 415 square miles of splendor that is Rocky Mountain National Park.

Since 1996, overall visitation to National Parks has been on the decline, with tent camping really shrinking since 2003. And, while many Americans may not live within driving distance of a National Park, or even any desirable campgrounds, there really is no excuse for Coloradoans.

You can attribute it to the poor state of the economy that camping is now on its’ way up again. Just a bit. It’s the perfect family getaway on a budget. Borrow a couple of sleeping bags and a tent, pay a minimal camping fee and you’ve just treated your family to a vacation they’ll still be talking about for years to come.

Coleman decided they could do even more to help get families camping again. Because aren’t camping memories some of the strongest we all recall for those of us fortunate enough to be taken as kids? Introducing Camp Coleman™ – the Ultimate Campsite Sweepstakes. Grand Prize: $10,000 cash, nearly $2,000 in Coleman camping gear and $2,500.00 in travel expenses to the Great American Backyard Campout event being held today at one of four locations – Clear Lake State Park in California, Bear Creek Lake Park in Colorado, Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and Bear Run in Pennsylvania!

No, we didn’t win the Grand Prize, but we did win a pretty sweet prize package through MooseandTater.com, one of several Colorado blogs that hosted a mini-Sweepstakes for Coleman. Our prize includes a ton of camping gear including an 8-person tent, sleeping bags, an overnight trip to Camp Coleman at Bear Creek Lake, a cooking demonstration with a local celebrity chef (wonder who it’s going to be?!), fishing lessons, horseback riding and then dinner with the celebrity chef! Pretty cool, huh?

Thanks to Coleman, our family is now well on its’ way to starting its’ own summer tradition and no longer being one of the sad statistics.

To enter, in less than a hundred words, as was required, I explained how we have absolutely no camping equipment at all, but were ready to start camping with our daughter this summer now that she has turned five. Quite frankly, with her penchant for waking up at the crack of dawn combined with her squirelliness at night, we’re still not sure five is the magic number, but don’t want to wait any longer.

I secretly began looking for a good tent months ago with the intention of surprising Danny with a camping trip for Father’s Day. I was extra motivated by the fact that out-of-the-blue, without any prompting, Reagan began asking about camping around the same time and wanting to know when we were going to go. This must be the year!

It really seemed like the stars had aligned when I heard about the giveaway for the chance to win even more than just a tent, but a fabulous camping trip to try it all out too! And, the weekend after Father’s Day?! I had to enter.

I had a really hard time keeping it all to myself that we had won until Father’s Day. Now I just have one thing to say…

Can’t wait to see how you top this for Mother’s Day next year, Danny!

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