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Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902 

Delaware Capital Campout at Brandywine Creek State Park 

WILMINGTON (July 10, 2015) – Governor Jack Markell, First Lady Carla Markell, DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation Director Ray Bivens and Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation, will welcome dozens of first-time campers to Brandywine Creek State Park this evening for the first Delaware Capital Campout. The two-day, free-of-charge campout introduces young people and their families to the benefits and fun of being outside.

“This two-day campout offers a new way to enjoy Delaware’s great outdoors,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Our goal is to encourage appreciation of the environment and get families into nature. During this campout, children and their families can learn how to fish, set up a tent, and observe wildlife – just some of the benefits and fun of being outside.”   

Over two days, young people and their families will participate in all kinds of activities from learning how to set up a tent and build a campfire, to hiking, fishing and canoeing. Delaware is serving as a “host partner” for the event, which is sponsored by Coleman. The company has donated $5,000 in camping equipment, $2,000 for food, and 40 sets of youth fishing gear. Other partners include the National Wildlife Federation, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, Delaware’s Children in Nature Coalition and many others.  

“This introductory program is a great way for children and families to explore outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Ray Bivens, director of DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation, “and our state parks system offers plenty of ways for families to have fun and learn about nature. Being outside helps young people and their families stay active and healthy. And, it creates an appreciation for special outdoor places, which helps ensure that new generations will learn to be wise stewards of all of our natural resources.” 

The Delaware Capital Campout is part of a national effort to get young people and their families, who may not usually get to experience Delaware’s state parks, outside and enjoying the activities parks have to offer.

“Spending time in America’s great outdoors is not only a chance to renew our own spirit, it’s a chance to inspire our next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and public land stewards,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, a Wilmington resident and former DNREC Secretary. “That’s why I spend as much time outdoors with my daughter camping, hiking and fishing – to share the rejuvenating conservation values and love for the natural world that my parents instilled in me.  We encourage everyone who loves the outdoors to introduce a child to nature this summer.”

The campout coincides with the 50th anniversary of Brandywine Creek State Park and is part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout, which runs through Sept. 7. 

Vol. 45, No. 222

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