RESTON, Va., May 25, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Wildlife Federation's 13th annual Great American Campout™ features 5,000 new reasons to pledge online to camp anytime and anywhere starting now through the end of October 2017. The Great American Campout is a summer-long celebration of camping as a way to connect with nature and wildlife.
The Great American Campout™ is free and open to the public of all ages. This initiative encourages camping by anyone, anywhere (park, beach, campground, forest, or backyard), and by any means (RV, tent, under the stars, etc.) throughout the summer and into autumn 2017. Jeff Probst, Executive Producer and host of CBS' Survivor and avid outdoorsman, serves as this year's celebrity spokesperson. The National Wildlife Federation's beloved wildlife ambassador, Ranger Rick, will help young campers join the fun and excitement with family-friendly downloadable camping activities, recipes, and books.
"Camping makes everything better. Camping reduces your blood pressure and calms your nerves. Worried about your kids? Camping helps children focus, expands creativity, and enhances leadership skills—all of which improve academic achievement. Want a stronger relationship? Camping lets you focus on what matters away from the distractions of day-to-day life," explains Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. "Reconnecting with nature inspires us to care for what we love and rekindles the conservation ethic that lives inside each of us. When you can be present in nature and experience a connection – when you look into a tree and see the eyes of a great horned owl staring back at you – it reminds us of our responsibility to take action and protect the things we value most."
Keystone RV Company, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts, and RVTrader.com have joined the initiative as new partners for 2017. To encourage families to get outside and camp this summer, everyone who pledges will be entered to win a Bullet Colt RV (valued at $18,000) or a week-long stay at a Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort (plus a $500 gift card for travel expenses and a $250 Jellystone Park™ gift card). RV Trader will provide specially-designed content on the Great American Campout website that will include environmentally-friendly RV camping tips.
In an effort to increase native tree populations critical to America's wildlife and the preservation of our great outdoors, if 150,000 people commit to making the Great American Campout™ pledge, 5,000 regionally-specific native trees will be donated to the National Wildlife Federation's Trees for Wildlife™ program. The Trees for Wildlife™ program enlists pre-approved youth groups to make a commitment to plant and maintain the trees to ensure that they will provide food and shelter for wildlife for many years to come.
Connecting kids with nature and outdoor play has shown proven health benefits. A 2016 study from Plymouth University in the UK found that children who camp in the great outdoors at least once a year go on to perform better in school and are healthier and happier according to their parents. The study also revealed that 98% of parents feel camping makes their kids appreciate and connect with nature; 95% of parents feel their kids are happier when camping; and 93% feel that it provides useful self-reliance skills for later in life.
"It is very important to me that my kids have a healthy relationship with nature and that they know how to survive if they were ever stranded," stated Jeff Probst, Host and Executive Producer of CBS' Survivor, as well as wildlife fan and camping expert. "Thanks to my job on Survivor, our family has enjoyed some amazing camping adventures together where we can unplug, reconnect with each other, and enjoy nature. When we're back home we do the same thing. We will be out there this summer and hope you will too."
The National Wildlife Federation's website – www.nwf.org/campout – has a directory of public
Great American Campout™ events, camping tips, lists of fun activities and recipes, sweepstakes rules and prizing information, and much more. Registration is free.
Campers are encouraged to take selfies of themselves camping ("Campies") and submit them to NWF's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts using the hashtags #campie and #GreatAmericanCampout to share their experiences and create an extended community of participants year after year.
About the National Wildlife Federation.
The mission of the National Wildlife Federation, America's largest wildlife conservation and education no501c3 non-profit organization, is "Uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly-changing world." For over 80 years, the National Wildlife Federation has worked to connect people with nature, to protect wildlife and wild places, to inspire children through Ranger Rick magazine, and to help parents, educators, and youth group leaders find new ways to engage children with the wonders of wildlife. www.NWF.org.
RV Trader is the premier online classifieds site for buying and selling recreational vehicles. With over 160,000 new and pre-owned units for sale by dealers and private sellers across the country, RV Trader attracts millions of active buyers every month who visit the site in search of their next unit. To help sellers capitalize on this targeted audience, RV Trader offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing solutions to help advertise RVs for sale to active buyers across all devices.
About Keystone RV Company
Being one of the largest manufacturers of towable RVs in North America means Keystone can offer more quality features for your money than any other brand on the market. It also means options are never in short supply – from ultra-lightweight trailers to luxurious fifth wheels. With 1000 locations across the United States and Canada, you are never far from a Keystone dealer. www.KeystoneRV.com.
About Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts
Launched in 1969, the Jellystone Park™ system is the second largest chain of campgrounds in the United States, boasting 80 campgrounds with more than 17,000 campsites and vacation rentals in 32 states and four Canadian provinces. Its Camp-Resorts are among the best campgrounds in the industry with a quality reputation for being fun, friendly, clean and service-oriented parks. Additionally, each Jellystone Park™ is themed with Yogi Bear™ elements providing instant recognition and consumer appeal. It is truly a place "Where You Camp with Friends."® Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts are franchised through Leisure Systems, Inc. (LSI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Park River Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit www.campjellystone.com.
Visit the National Wildlife Federation Media Center at NWF.org/News.
The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Contact: Ali Finer
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SOURCE National Wildlife Federation