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  • Rebecca P. Cohen

Be Out There

We’ve started the s’more roasting in Virginia. With last week’s temperatures in the 40s and feeling like December, my kids and I welcomed a beautiful fall Wednesday evening this week by walking the dog, watching bats at dusk, collecting kindling for the fire and then roasting a s’more. “Look up!” said my seven year-old, pointing to the stars.

It was a perfectly clear and comfortable evening, just like for our last backyard campout in June. The success of the event for the kids led us to camping down the street in July for our first overnight away from home, and then in August, we had an overnight camp out in the West Virginia mountains.

It’s about time for another backyard campout, I thought. My first backyard campout was last March, on a cold Friday night when my four year-old begged me to sleep out back with him. Then, he wanted to sleep in the tent on Saturday night too. Nursing my sore back from a too-thin sleeping bag pad that somehow ended up on a tree root, I informed my husband that it was his turn to sleep outside.

We had subsequent backyard campouts before June 28th, when the National Wildlife Federation filmed my backyard campout. I invited two girlfriends, their kids, and my mom to join us for a “moms and kids only” campout. NWF’s David Mezejewski took us on a nature walk, and the kids spent hours outside, hanging on until almost bedtime before they had their s’mores.

With the launch of the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There campaign, let’s join together and continue to be the amazing influence in our neighborhoods and communities that inspires all families to get their kids outside.

About Rebecca P. Cohen

Rebecca P. Cohen believes time outside transforms our lives for the better. PJ's Backyard Adventures is the latest project from Rebecca, author of the book 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (Sourcebooks), and creator of Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards. Rebecca’s work has been featured in countless media outlets, including USA Today, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, and Family Circle. In addition, Rebecca has appeared on live morning news shows around the country, and is also host of the video series, Get Out of the House, which shows fun ideas for time outside in every season. For Rebecca's inspiring blog and free downloads, visit

#backyardcamping #beoutthere #gabc #greatamericanbackyardcampout #nationalwildlifefederation #nwf