Teaching The Whole Family To Camp, Paddle, Mountain Bike And Fish

By Deborah Locke




Registration has started for the “I Can!” programs at Minnesota State Parks. Beginners of all ages are encouraged to sign up and learn outdoor skills that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. The programs, that provide the equipment you’ll need, start in June and go through the end of August. They include:

“I Can Camp” – Learn how to set up a tent and how to safely build a campfire. You’ll learn how to cook using a camp stove. The tents can accommodate up to two adults and three children. The cost is $60 for a one-night program, and $85 for a two-night program.

“I Can Paddle!” – You could start with a canoeing or kayaking lesson on a Minnesota lake or river (prices vary), or opt for a sea kayaking adventure on Lake Superior ($35 for ages 12-18, $45 for adults).

“I Can Mountain Bike!” -You will learn riding techniques as you explore mountain bike trails with guides from the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Club ($15 for ages 10-15, $25 for adults).

“I Can Fish!” – You can show your kids how to cast into a lake or river, and the excitement when you feel a tug on the line. The cost is $7 per person and children under age 12 can participate for free.

The “I Can!” programs include the Archery in the Parks programs, which are free and for which no reservations are needed.

“We provide all the gear along with friendly instructors who can show you how to use it,” said Erika Rivers, Director of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. “Our goal is to make it easy for busy families to discover the fun of spending time outdoors together.”

For more information about any of the programs – including program dates, times, locations, and minimum age requirements – visit www.mndnr.gov/ican or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

To register, visit www.mndnr.gov/reservations or call 866-857-2757 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, except holidays). The “I Can!” programs received a Government Innovation Award in 2015. More than 15,400 people have participated in these programs since they were first offered in 2010.