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Arizona State Parks Program Teachings Families How To Camp, Hike, Fish

By Amanda Luberto, Steve Goldstein, Mark Brodie
Published: Friday, February 21, 2020 - 12:21pm
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STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Mark, would you consider yourself a camping expert or a camping novice?

MARK BRODIE: I mean probably somewhere in between. I know how to make a fire but I’m no Bear Grylls.

GOLDSTEIN: What about your kids?

BRODIE: Oh, definitely more on the novice side, for sure. I think to them our backyard is as “outdoors” as they get.

GOLDSTEIN: Well, the Arizona State Parks has a program called Arizona Family Campout and they literally teach you how to be outdoors: how to hike, fish, do archery and even have presentations on astronomy and geology.

BRODIE: That’s awesome, but I don’t know if I’m equipped for that kind of stuff.

GOLDSTEIN: No worries, the program provides tents, activity equipment and even sleeping mats. But Louis Juers, state parks ranger and Arizona family campout coordinator, says that most importantly, they teach you how to camp in Arizona.

JUERS: Yeah, Coleman tells you how to set up a tent but we supply practical applications as to the Arizona version of it because setting up a tent in Arizona versus Minnesota, there are things to look for.

GOLDSTEIN: The program teaches things that are specific to our state like how to set up camp in shade and how to safely start a fire without causing brush fires, but the most important one actually has to do with water.

JUERS: So the main thing we teach is stay out of washes because the monsoon rains here will get dry riverbeds running in a heartbeat and there’s no way to move away from it.

GOLDSTEIN: Arizona Family Campout runs programs on the weekends all spring and has ADA accessible programs as well.

BRODIE: Maybe we’ll do the program to learn, but we might just camp in the backyard anyway.

GOLDSTEIN: Less snakes and coyotes probably in your backyard.

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