The Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department designated April 4 as Camp at Home Day.

“The women in our department are part of a professional group created by and for women in Parks & Recreation,” said CV Black, recreation coordinator at SPARD. “With many of us having to close down due to COVID-19, women in our field from all over have been sharing ideas to keep the community involved. We got the camp at home idea from the Tracy Parks & Recreation Department in California and put our own twists on it.”

Residents can create a camp at home in their own backyard or living room with old sleeping bags, flashlights, pillow forts, snacks and their best campfire stories.

“Camp at Home Day has all the joys of camping without having to travel or spend money,” Black said. “If households have camping gear, we encourage them to set up a base camp in the backyard but if they don’t, that’s okay too. Everyone loves a pillow fort. Make those pillow forts as big as possible and get to camping.”

Campers are encouraged to dress in their best camping gear and invite their friends, family and coworkers to join in on a digital campfire over a video call.

“Facetime, video chat or call neighbors, family, friends or someone special and encourage them to take part in and share the Camp at Home Day with them. It’s also the perfect opportunity to teach the kiddos something new such as the value of working together to pitch a tent. It’s our hope that many will participate, use their imaginations and give the kiddos of our community a special camping experience,” Black said.

SPARD now has a Facebook event created so residents can use the hashtags, #StephenvilleCampAtHome and #StephenvilleStrong to join in with other campers and share ideas, tips, tricks, snack recipes, activities and pictures.

“Our staff misses seeing families picnicking in the parks, kids playing in our leagues, adult pickup basketball games at the Rec Hall and so much more,” Black said. “Since we can’t provide the community with such things due to the current COVID-19 situation, our goal is to bring them together in their homes. We’re excited to see how much the community will come together. Let’s make this an event no one will forget.”