BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
The nonprofit organization Union Sportmen’s Alliance will be holding a free family campout at Montgomery Bell State Park this weekend from Saturday through Sunday, where families will get the chance to compete in a youth fishing derby, wildlife calling contest and other outdoor activities.
First announced last month, the event currently only has daytripper spaces left available, which while these won’t allow for families to campout at the State Park overnight, will still allow for participation in all the outdoor activities.
“It’s geared towards the youth, it’s to get everybody involved in the outdoors,” said Cody Campbell, conservation coordinator for the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We’re going to have an archery station set up so they can learn to shoot a bow and arrow, we’re going to have a fishing event – we’re gonna have a contest for the biggest fish [with] prizes for that. State Parks is actually going to be out there with snakes and birds of prey, so they’ll actually get to learn on that subject.”
The first day of the event on Saturday will see a plethora of activities, such as the aforementioned fishing contest, archery practice and animal exhibit, as well as a youth calling contest for turkey, deer and predators, plenty of nature walks, as well as conservation and outdoor educational classes. Dinner will be provided the first night, as well as breakfast on Sunday.
Kids will also get to take home a multitude of items, such as t-shirts, fishing gear and more.
“When the kids show up, they’re going to get all kinds of free gear; fishing poles, turkey calls, deer calls – that kind of thing,” Campbell said. “Our mission with this type of event is to get people outdoors, and to get them involved. If we can give them the tools to say, ‘hey, this is fun, I like the outdoors and now I have this stuff…’ I’m hoping it sticks with them. We hope it’s something that they stick with and apply, love the outdoors and conservation and what it’s all about.”
The daytripper spaces are also still limited. To register for free online, click here.