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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Review of Family Camp Out with Clarksville Parks & Recreation in Clarksville, Indiana

Nicolle was given admission to this event for purpose of review.

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Clarksville Parks & Recreation hosted a campout at Colgate Park on June 28th for Great American Campout Day. The $10 registration fee included a campsite spot and some fun family activities.

Check-in started at 5 pm, but we arrived about an hour later. Colgate Park is not a very large park, so we were able to find the designated campsite and check-in tent easily. The friendly Parks & Rec staff gave us a plastic bag containing a letter with a schedule of events outlined, rules for the night, a map of the park and flyers from some of the night’s sponsors. We were also given wristbands for admission to the Clarksville Aquatic Center, which was located on site.

Campers were allowed to drive their cars to their chosen campsite for easier set up. We chose to make a couple trips back and forth to our vehicle because by the time we arrived, several tents were already set up and children were playing all around the park. More campers continued to show up during the night, which meant there were some vehicles driving through the grass to the campsites. I did notice some of the staff helping campers carry belongings to their tents from the parking lot, which I thought was very nice.

After we set up our tent, we decided to take advantage of the pool passes. For an extra cost of $2.50 per person, campers were given access to the aquatic center after it closed to the public at 6:00. My kids were so excited when they got a look at the pool! The pool is very large with zero depth entry, two slides, fountains and sprinklers. There is a sand volleyball court and a small playground inside the aquatic center, too.

 photo photo2_zps5d7a7b55.jpgWe had access to the pool until 8:30, but we left early so we could do some of the other activities. On our way back to the campsite, we stopped by the tennis courts where the Louisville Astronomical Society had a telescope set up for sun gazing. My nephew and son thought it was neat to be able to gaze at the sun without burning their eyes and enjoyed hearing about space and different telescopes.

We somehow missed out on the scavenger hunt and craft tent, but the boys were just as excited about the Bass Pro Shop inflatable pellet gun range. They were able to shoot twice with very little wait time. Archery was listed on the Facebook flyer as an activity, but was not at the campsite.

 photo photo5_zpsca14b7d3.jpgAll of the activities were fun, but my children absolutely loved the campfire. The staff did a great job organizing a cozy campfire spot and concession stand for campers to purchase hot dogs ($1.50), s’mores kits ($2.00) and drinks ($1.00). We brought our own hot dogs and s’mores ingredients, but luckily, the staff had roasting sticks available for anyone to use because we forgot ours at home. The campfire was a perfect size for the group and there were hay bales set up around it. We made our s’mores at the picnic tables under the park’s large gazebo.

During all of the roasting a staff member made an announcement reminding campers of the telescope activity and that there would be campfire stories with a member of the Clarksville Branch of the Jeffersonville Township Library. The campfire stories was set up away from the actual campfire. My kids tried to listen to the stories, but were a little distracted by all of the other activities going on and I’m sure the sugar rush from all of the s’mores did not help their focus.

Quiet hours were supposed to begin at 10 pm, but many children were still up playing tag or on the park’s playground. The park was fairly quiet during the night even with it being smaller in size and near roads. A Clarksville Police Officer remained in the park for the entirety of the event. There were two porta potties and sinks set up away from the tents. No showers were available. We packed up our campsite early the next morning before the 10 am check-out time.

My family enjoyed “roughing” it for a night in Colgate Park. The campout was very well organized and even with all of the different activities, the night was very laid back. The park was clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful. We could tell the staff wanted everyone to have an enjoyable campout. Clarksville Parks & Recreation did a nice job for their first-ever Clarksville Family Campout!

By guest contributor: Nicolle

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