I Can Camp!
Want to go on a camping trip with your family, but aren't sure you really know how? Attend a one- or two-night I Can Camp! overnight program offered at Minnesota State Parks next summer and learn all the skills you'll need for a lifetime of camping fun — no experience necessary!
Our trained crew will be on hand to ensure your whole family has a safe and fun adventure. There will be lots of outdoor activities for kids and adults, from nature walks and wildlife watching to fishing and geocaching.
You'll learn a variety of outdoor skills through firsthand experience, including:
- How to set up camp and tents
- Fire starting
- Outdoor cooking with fun recipes
Check out what people are saying about I Can Camp!
- A happy dad
"I have to say that this is one of the best programs that I have ever attended! The instructors were knowledgeable, understanding, and all around exceptional. I personally appreciated having the opportunity to "test" the equipment without an investment and get a feel for what is needed for camping. I am going to encourage all of my family and friends to check this out, as I feel this is beneficial for anyone—regardless of skill level."
"I have never been so IMPRESSED with a program!! Our guides, Abby and Kip were phenomenal!"
"Thank you for a summer of great memories. It wouldn't have happened without the I Can Camp! class. I learned a lot during that class, and more importantly, conquered some fears. I took the class with my two kids last year  at the Afton [State Park] camp, and this summer my family visited a total of eight state parks in Minnesota!"
"Thank you again for everything you taught us last year. We consider ourselves on our way to becoming veteran campers!"
"I had to drag my kids here, and now they won't stop exploring!"
How much does it cost?
The standard one-night program costs $35 and the two-night program costs $50. 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 $20.
How many people can I bring?
Your reservation is for up to six people in your party. We will provide you with a six person 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 new two-night programs will take your camping experience to the next level. We provide all the same information as in the one-night programs and 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. (Check out our handy packing lists down below!)
How do I register?
To reserve your spot in an I Can Camp! program, call us any day of the week between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.: 866-857-2757 (TTY: 952-936-4008).
How long does the program last?
The one-night program will last roughly 24 hours - it will start at 10:00 a.m. the first day and go until about 10:00 a.m. the following morning. Although the program ends in the morning, you are allowed to enjoy the park and campgrounds until 1:00 p.m. The two-night program lasts longer; participants arrive at 2:00 on Friday and leave Sunday morning around 10:00 a.m.
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 - please refer to the food shopping lists (below) for specifics. We recommend the items and meals on the list, but you may bring more or less according to your 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 our new 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?
Yes! 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! Here are some activities your family can do together in the woods.
Can my family bring bikes or other recreation equipment?
Absolutely, but it's a good idea to check out your 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 may be sorely disappointed!) Once you've decided which park you'll be going to, you can find their web page here.
We've tried to put all the information you might need here on this page. If you still have questions about the I Can Camp! programs, please call (651) 259-5577 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org