Come April 22, tents will be cast under a full moon as families enjoy nighttime activities at the Camp Verde Community Campout.
"This is a chance for families to camp out in a low stress environment: it's close to home, some fun for the kids, flush toilets, lights and a quick snack in the a.m.," says Michael Marshall, Parks and Recreation Coordinator.
"Parks and Recreation started a Parent/Child Campout in September of 2014. We have continued to hold a spring and fall camp out since then. This year I changed the name to Community Campout to more accurately express the intent and hopefully attract more attention," Marshall said.
The Community Center Field (behind the gym) opens at 5 p.m. for campers to stake their claim. At 6:30 p.m., the Disney Pixar movie "Inside Out" will be shown in Room 204 and the town will provide free popcorn.
"We have always held it in conjunction with one of our Free Family Friday movie nights in order to help with activities and interest. We have staff on site all night for assistance, but it's mostly an opportunity for families to enjoy their own activities in a supported environment," said Marshall.
Other activities open to campers include soccer and Frisbee games in the Community Field and basketball inside the Community Gym.
"A lot of the kids just like the opportunity to run around on the field as it gets dark, play on the play scape and enjoy being outdoors in the great weather," Marshall said. "We leave the field lights on until about 9:30 p.m. so there is an opportunity to enjoy the field after the movie."
A continental breakfast of coffee, juice and donuts awaits campers the following Saturday morning.
"In the past we have also charged $5 per person and included a pancake breakfast. I felt that perhaps the fee was holding down attendance and decided to change the menu and fund the breakfast snacks from my operating budget," said Marshall.
With "recreation programs" ranking second only to "utility extension" in the town's Strategic Plan priorities, look for more amenities to come.
"Our movie night attendance has increased significantly this year so I am hoping to see an increase in the camp out also," Marshall said.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the event. Although registrations will be accepted the night of the event, participants are urged to pre-register at Camp Verde Parks and Recreation, 395 S. Main Street, Camp Verde. For more information, call 928-554-0828.