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Jacobsburg National Park to host camping experience

Get ready to pitch your tents, start a campfire and roast some hot dogs and make s'mores.

The Great American Backyard Campout® takes place Saturday, June 28, just before the conclusion of National Camping Month, which is promoted by the National Wildlife Federation.

"From wildlife watching tips and games to campfire songs and recipes, NWF gives people everywhere the resources they need to experience the wonders of wildlife right in their own backyards or neighborhoods with a simple yet memorable summer campout," said Maureen Smith, the chief marketing director for NWF. "And by participating in NWF's Great American Backyard Campout, they can also experience a sense of community, knowing that the experience is being shared by thousands across the country.

Locally, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center is one of a handful of sites in Pennsylvania that is taking part in The North Face Explore Your Parks program, which encourages families to enjoy the outdoors through visiting state parks.

The North Face's Camping 101 event will be held at Jacobsburg June 28-29, coinciding nicely with the Great American Backyard Campout. Under the program, you don't even need a tent to camp.

Camping 101 is for families new to the camping experience, or those who need a refresher, and offers advice from park experts as well as necessary gear for those who want to experience camping under the star-filled sky. The idea is to make overnight camping less daunting or scary for newer or returning campers by providing an expert-guided experience. Cost of the program varies, but overnight camping will take place for $8 per person June 28 into June 29, and again Aug. 9 into Aug. 10.

The event is sponsored by Jacobsburg Historical Society and JEEC, which will supply tents, sleeping pads, cook stove and cookware. Registration is required by contacting Lauren Forster at laforster@pa.gov, or by calling 610-746-2801.

"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, the director of outdoor exploration at The North Face. "Our mission is to help people foster a love of the outdoors. With Explore Our Parks we are reaching kids at an early age. If kids experience outdoor activities in a positive way, it's possible to set long-term habits for an overall healthier life."

Shotgun time: The Western Lehigh Exchange Club has announced that its seventh annual Sporting Clays event will take place Friday, Sept. 12, at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay.

The shoot begins at 9:15 a.m. followed by lunch and awards. The shooter fee of $135 includes 100 targets, 100 shells, lunch and awards. The fee is $675 for a five-person squad, with various sponsorship packages available.

For more information, contact Bob Leh, Western Lehigh Exchange Club treasurer, at relcal@verizon.net or 610-395-4855.

Last year's event raised more than $14,500 for local agencies fighting child abuse, and for student scholarships and other community service.

Pa. paper hunting rosters no more: The hunting-camp roster is about to become a thing of the past in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval last Tuesday to remove the requirement for groups of five or more hunters who are members of a permanent camp to fill out paper rosters in duplicate and post one copy at the camp for at least 30 days following the close of any deer, bear or elk season. The change will be considered for final adoption in September.

However, hunting parties for deer, bear and elk would remain unchanged at a maximum of 25 hunters.

For more outdoors information and other news from last week's PGC board of commissions meetings, go to the Lehigh Valley Wild blog at http://blogs.mcall.com/outdoors/

gary.blockus@mcall.com

Twitter @gblockus

610-820-6782

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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