National youth group asking families to join in on virtual camping experience

Coronavirus

Trail Life USA members are urging all families to make memories during the COVID-19 lockdown

(WKBN) – As families are stuck inside, one area Christian youth group is urging everyone to join them for an outdoor night of fun… virtually, of course.

The plan already has hundreds families on board.

“This is an opportunity for families to have a reason to go outside. Set up a tent, cook up, camp out, sleep overnight,” said Kent Marks.

Marks is the regional director for the outdoor Christian youth group Trail Life USA. He oversees two Trail Life troops in the area, one in Boardman and one in Alliance.

On Monday, the group announced their first-ever “National Backyard Campout” planned for Friday. Members are urging all families to make memories during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Enjoy being outside! Again, for those who live in apartments or condos, set up a blanket tent in your living room,” Marks said.

“Well, we’ve got 30,000 trailmen across the country in all 50 states. I know we’re coming up on about 1,200 families that have signed up online to say they’re going to camp along with those trailmen,” said Trail Life USA CEO Mark Hancock.

Hancock says now is the time to connect with people as much as possible. So, their website has live streams for families to share photos and videos of their backyard adventures.

“We can give great memories to our kids about this time. As adults, we may look back on it as shortages and job losses and a time of fear and anxiety. But, our kids can look back and say, ‘Wow, that’s when I camped with the family,'” Hancock said.

Families are urged to respect all emergency restrictions in their area, including self-isolating and social distancing from non-family members.

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