How does a parent who's more comfortable with computers than campfires introduce their kids to the fun of camping? With a one-night or two-night I Can Camp! overnight program—no experience necessary. Our I Can Camp! crew will be on hand day and night to answer all of your "how do I do it?" questions.
- One-night programs are $60; two-night programs are $85 (two adults and three small children fit comfortably in one tent, max. six people per tent).
- Hands-on instruction on setting up camp, starting a campfire, camp cooking and more from our experienced I Can Camp! crew.
- Use of tent, air mattresses, cook stove and other gear included.
- A Minnesota State Parks one-day permit is included.
- Geocaching, nature photography, fishing—each program offers unique activities that will entertain the whole family.
- Camping is in a large group setting.
- Advance registration is required.
Common questions about I Can Camp!
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- How much does it cost?
The one-night I Can Camp! program costs $60 and the two-night program costs $85. The fee includes use of camping equipment and all camping and activity instruction. If you arrive by vehicle, a daily vehicle pass will be provided as part of your program fee. You may buy an annual Minnesota State Parks permit for an additional $35.
- How many people can I bring?
Each reservation is for a maximum of up to six people. We will provide you with a six person tent and two queen size air mattresses. Note that having six people in one tent is only recommended for two adults and four small children. If you have multiple adults or older children you may only be able to fit four to five people per tent.
- What age do my kids need to be?
Kids will have a great time; however, young children require much more care and attention in an outdoor setting. For this reason, we do not recommend infants or toddlers for this program.
- What is different about the two-night program?
Our two-night programs will take your camping experience to the next level. We provide all the same information as in the one-night programs, plus even more. Two-night programs offer more time for activities like hiking, swimming, and relaxing with the family. We also spend time learning some more advanced skills such as putting up a tarp and cooking over an open fire.
- Can we bring our dog?
Please do not bring pets. The attention your pets will need during the program will interfere with your experience.
- What should I bring?
We provide the tent, air mattresses, firewood, cook stove, cook gear and most other basic camping equipment. You need to bring your own sleeping bags or bedding, groceries, and personal items. We'll send you a packing list after you sign up for a program.
- How do I register?
You can reserve your spot in an I Can Camp! program online. Or, if you prefer to sign up by phone, call us toll-free at 866-857-2757, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
We'll mail you a packing list and other pre-trip materials shortly after you register.
- How long does each program last?
The one-night program will last roughly 24 hours - it will start at 10 a.m. the first day and go until about 10 a.m. the following morning. Although the program ends in the morning, you are allowed to enjoy the park and campgrounds until 1 p.m.
The two-night program lasts a little longer; participants arrive at 2 p.m. on Friday and stay until 10 a.m. on Sunday.
- Will we see any wildlife?
You betcha! Birds, deer, squirrels, rabbits and many others make their home in the parks. There will be fun wildlife watching for the whole family.
- Can we leave the park to eat dinner?
Sure. We'll teach you all about how to prepare and cook delicious outdoor meals and we encourage you to use your new skills, but people are always free to leave if they feel the need.
- What will we be eating?
You will bring your own groceries. We'll send you a recommended shopping list after you register. Our list will suggest particular meals and ingredients, but you may of course adjust the menu and quantities to your own budget and dietary needs.
- Can I sign up for more than one program?
Sure, if you'd like to. Our goal is for you to have the skills and confidence to try it on your own after you've attended a single program, but if you still want more, consider trying one of the two-night programs.
- Will there be a lot of bugs?
Some...bugs are an unavoidable part of the camping experience! What kind and how many will depend on park location, weather and time of year. We've put bug spray on your list of items to bring, and we strongly advise against using aromatic sprays or soaps when you are outdoors because strong smells can attract mosquitoes and bees.
- Will I have to sleep on the ground?
No, we will loan you good air mattresses and sleeping pads. You just need to bring your own bedding or sleeping bag.
- What if it rains?
Your program will be held as scheduled unless there are severe weather conditions such as tornado or hail warnings. Check the weather report before coming to get an idea of what the weather may be like. Bring a rain jacket and some extra warm clothes to be safe.
- Can my child bring a friend?
Absolutely! The tents have room for up to six. Remember that you will be responsible for all the children you bring.
- What is there for kids to do?
All our activities will be child-friendly. Most kids have a great adventure when they go camping!
- Can my family bring bikes or other recreation equipment?
Absolutely, but it's a good idea to check out the park's web page before hauling your equipment. (If you bring a canoe to a state park that doesn't have a lake nearby, you'll likely be sorely disappointed!) Once you've decided which park you'll be going to, you can find its web page here.
- I still have questions. How do I get answers?
This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.