Friday, Jul 6, 2012
The following letter to Niobrara National Scenic River Superintendent, Dan Foster, reminds us of the power of park experiences to create lasting memories for visitors.
"My daughter Cecilia and I attended the 6/22-23 CAMP Weekend at Smith Falls. I'm writing to tell you what a fantastic weekend it was. It was my daughter's first camping experience and she had such a great time that she was weeping when we left because it was over.
Everyone from the NPS that we interacted with was first rate - Nate, Adrianne, Becky, Ben, Andy, Noe, and especially Charlie Jordan. Charlie's enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring that everyone - particularly the kids - had a great time was remarkable. The gear, food, etc. that the NPS provided was all first rate. I told the rangers that this is how I like to see my tax dollars spent! Thanks for providing this opportunity for my family.
Sincerely, Dave O'Brien, Norfolk, NE”
Two families of 11 individuals joined park staff and volunteers for the first of three free learn-to-camp weekends this year at Smith Falls State Park along the Niobrara NSR. The CAMP program is in its third year.
In addition to learning camping basics, participants had the chance to swim safely in the river, experience waterfalls, explore nature, learn fire safety, cook a foil dinner and s’mores over a campfire and to take their very first canoe trip.
The CAMP program reaches out to local and underrepresented audiences engaging them in healthy outdoor recreation and introducing the nationally unique nature and beauty of Niobrara NSR in a free, family-friendly, memory-making weekend.
Effective partnerships with Nebraska Game and Parks Commission-Smith Falls State Park, Niobrara Council and additional assistance from Valentine Rural Schools make Niobrara NSR CAMP programs possible.