Great American Backyard Campout set

The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging families to reconnect with their wild side for the Great American Backyard Campout on June 28. The emphasis is on families sharing an outdoors experience without having to travel elsewhere to do so. There’s also an emphasis on learning more about backyard habitat as part of nature.

The hope of the NWF is that wildlife watching will be an activity that will keep a family entertained without the use of cellphones or other electronic devices. Maureen Smith, chief marketing officer for NWF, says a backyard campout “gives people everywhere the resources they need to experience the wonders of wildlife with a simple yet memorable summer campout.”

According to the NWF, once the sun sets, nocturnal wildlife watching can be a very interesting activity as a new array of wildlife emerges in America’s backyards. Owls, moths and insects are on the list.

NWF suggests using a flashlight at night to search for owls. Bats often emerge from their hiding places at sunset. A variety of moths can be seen depending upon the hour. Fruit in a simple tray feeder or smeared on a tree late in the day is especially attractive to moths. The NWF’s campout website has packing lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, exploration activities and nature games.

This marks the 10th year the NWF has been involved in the Great American Backyard Campout, part of the organization’s 10 Million Kids Outdoors campaign. The goal of the NWF is to have children spend some time outdoors each day by creating more awareness and a connection with nature.