June is National Camping Month, and The North Face Explore Your Parks program is encouraging families to get outdoors and enjoy camping at Lake Cascade this summer. The North Face and Idaho Parks and Recreation are offering an easy way for families or groups to try camping without having to buy all the gear.
People can sign up by calling (208) 382-6544 and ask about the First-Time Camper Program. Participants need to bring sleeping bags, personal items and a cooler with food and beverages. The park and North Face provide other items such as tent, chairs, sleeping pads, campstove and a battery-powered lantern. Campers pay all state park camping fees, but use of the gear is free.
"It's a neat program, and we're excited to be a part of it," said Theresa Perry, manager of Lake Cascade State Park.
Campers should sign up at least a week in advance of their trip, she said, or sooner if they want to camp during the prime July weekends, which is the busiest time at Lake Cascade.
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Perry said park staff will talk to the family or groups in advance to learn what kind of camping experience they're seeking, such as close to the town of Cascade or more remote camping on the west side of the lake. Then staff will meet the people at the campsite, help set up the gear and answer questions, as well as provide an informational packet with details on local attractions, camp cooking and more.
"It's very one on one," Perry said. "We try to customize the experience for them."
Weekend campers also have the option of attending different programs hosted by the park, such as the Junior Ranger program. "This is a great way for families and first-time campers to get out and enjoy camping without the trepidation that comes with trying something new," said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. "The Explore Your Parks program is working to break down those barriers that keep people from getting outside and enjoying the state and city parks that belong to all of us."
More information can be found about the First Time Camper program here. .
More information about Lake Cascade can be found here.