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An article ran recently in the New York Times a about work-campers. The article, Retirees Trade Work for Rent at Cash-Poor Parks, was interesting for several reasons. First, it referenced several parks in Texas, and second it’s about work-camping which is sort of like adapting road-tripping as a full-time lifestyle. A recommended read.

The other item of interest that arrived in the mail box recently was for the “How-to” Camping Program Coming to North Texas State Parks This Spring. Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) is setting up how-to workshops for people wanting to learn to camp without the initial investment in equipment. For $55 per family of up to six you get outfitted and guided for the weekend. Scheduled parks are:  Ray Roberts Lake near Pilot Point, Dinosaur Valley in Glen Rose, Lake Mineral Wells, Lake Tawakoni near Wills Point, and Cedar Hill near Dallas. These are all state parks, by the way.  This program has its own web page, the Texas Outdoor Family page at TPWD, with event calendar and more information.

A recent state park study revealed that only one third of visitors bring children along on their state park visits. The Texas Outdoor Family program and several other initiatives at TPWD are efforts to get children involved with the outdoors. Kids that grow up in urban areas have fewer opportunities to be involved with nature and the outdoors. This program has dates in North Texas from late March through May 2010. This is an opportunity to get the family outdoors for a weekend of exploration and discovery for $55 plus the cost of food and transportation. Not for everyone, but interesting to some I imagine.