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First Family, DEM Kick Off Great Outdoors Month This Weekend

Host Camping Trip at Pulaski State Park as part of state's Great Outdoors Pursuit

PROVIDENCE - As part of her continued efforts to promote healthy habits and outdoor recreation in Rhode Island, Governor Gina M. Raimondo joined the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today to announce the First Family will kick off Great Outdoors Month this weekend with a campout at Pulaski State Park. The public is invited to join the Capital Campout as part of the state's Great Outdoors Pursuit.

"Andy and I enjoy exploring the outdoors with our children," said Raimondo. "It's the perfect time for us to connect as a family, get active, and discover new parts of our beautiful state. We are fortunate in Rhode Island to have an amazing network of beaches, parks, campgrounds, and other green spaces that support our health, our state, and so many of our family traditions. I hope Rhode Islanders will sign up for the Pursuit and join us this weekend at Pulaski. What a great opportunity to come together as a family and be active."

Rhode Island joins President Barack Obama and 49 other states to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month. As part of it, governors across the country will host outdoor camping trips throughout June. For Rhode Island's Capital Campout, outdoor activities - including an obstacle course, canoeing, and fishing - will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. A campfire sing-a-long with s'mores and a movie is planned for the evening. Participants are also invited to camp overnight, and assistance is available for tent set up. Registration and camping are free for Pursuit participants.

"Last year our family had an incredible time at the campout," said First Gentleman Andy Moffit, who chairs the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council. "I cannot think of a better way to have fun together, get fit, and recharge than to get outdoors and take advantage of the spectacular parks we have in Rhode Island."

This year, Raimondo established the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council in an effort to promote growth of the local outdoor recreation economy. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, this sector generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 jobs in Rhode Island. Now in its eighth season, the Great Outdoors Pursuit plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, and supporting treasured outdoor traditions for Rhode Island families.

The Pursuit challenges families to visit state parks and other outdoor areas throughout the summer and participate in activities, ranging from canoeing to archery. Participants register online and self-print a Pursuit Passport; at each event attended, "stamps" are earned for the Passport. Registration is free, and participating children are eligible for prizes. Last year, more than 1,000 people joined the Pursuit, and 130 people participated in the first annual Capital Campout.

"DEM is excited to again host this year's Capital Campout at one of our beautiful state parks," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Camping is a wonderful way for families to enjoy, explore and learn about nature. And this event is a particular treat. You can experience the thrill of reeling in a trout, navigate a forest obstacle course, and tell spooky stories by the campfire all in one day. Just terrific!"

The Capital Campout is made possible with generous support from Coleman Company - the founding sponsor of Great Outdoors Month. Coleman is donating the camping gear and supplies for this event - which will then be repurposed for future educational programming.

"We are delighted that the tents and other camping equipment will become key assets of programs by state park agencies and allied organizations to host kids and families at Learn to Camp programs. Most of the equipment will get used over and over again. We expect that each six-person tent will generate a hundred big new smiles," said Dave Allen, Coleman President.

Support also comes from the American Recreation Coalition, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Clivus Inc. and Coast 93.3.

To register for the Great Outdoors Pursuit and/or Capital Campout, visit Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at for timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
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  • Release date: 06-07-2016

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