Time with family, a night under the stars, a cookout and s’mores by the campfire are all planned for Saturday, Aug. 10, when Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation hosts its first-ever family campout at Community Park.

Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation has a goal of getting the community outside and actively engaged with family friendly activities.

“This event is perfect for the younger kids or beginner campers as you might be more comfortable with this as a first-time experience,” said Brooke Friess, recreation supervisor and avid camper.

But this event isn’t just for camping newbies. The campout is also for experienced campers who don’t necessarily want to drive an hour for a night under the stars but want a familiar park with friends and family starting new traditions.

The Optimist Club of Cottage Grove is hosting a kindness rocks table while parents are setting up camp. After that, families can enjoy kickball, volleyball, basketball or just relax. Following a hot dog dinner, REI will host a family camping basics class for parents to get them acquainted with camping equipment necessities and provide ideas for fun activities and local areas to give a try.

A Sunday, Aug. 11, continental breakfast is also on the agenda.

Participants will bring their own tents and camping equipment. They can bring coolers but no alcohol or pets.

“This campout is a great time to test the camping waters with younger kids,” Friess said. “If it doesn’t work out for your kids, the great part is that you can go home and come back in the morning to clean up. It’s a great chance to get together as a community and enjoy nature.”

The family campout will start at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and end at 10 a.m. Aug. 11 (rain date is Aug. 17). Tickets can be purchased online at www.village.cottage-grove.wi.us, by phone at 839-8968, or at the parks and recreation office at 210 Progress Drive.

Admission per person is $10, and because of space at Community Park, registration will be limited to 20 families. The advance registration deadline is Sunday, July 28.

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