Temple Ambler hosted the Great American Campout 2019

Lit tents against a night sky

The benefits from outdoor play for mind, body and spirit are well-documented and create a lasting connection to nature and wildlife that help promote happiness and good health.


Unfortunately, as the hustle and bustle of everyday life seems to become more and more hectic, connecting with nature and the outdoors is often left out of the equation. Temple Ambler EarthFest and the Ambler Arboretum are hoping to reverse that trend.


On July 13 and 14, the Arboretum and EarthFest will partner to host the Great American Campout on campus, an evening of camping, tours, stargazing and more.


“The goal of the Great American Campout is to provide a welcoming camping experience for beginning and experienced campers alike. Our campout is designed with families in mind who may have never tried camping and want to get that experience without having to trek out into the wilderness,” said Kathy Salisbury, Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University. “For experienced campers, this is a way to explore a different type of camping — how often do you get to camp on a college campus — and, hopefully, share their knowledge with our more novice campers. They’ll also have the opportunity to explore the Ambler Arboretum and stargaze.”


The National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout is a celebration of camping as a way to connect with nature and wildlife. The Campout at Temple Ambler will take place from Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m. and conclude Sunday, July 14, by 10 a.m. Please note: Individuals under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited! Register online.


The need to share ideas about sustainability and protecting and preserving the environment is critical, now more than ever. To meet that need, Temple University Ambler EarthFest and the Ambler Arboretum offer a variety of events, programs and lectures throughout the year, said EarthFest Co-Coordinator Susan Spinella Sacks.


“The mission behind this event, and all of our EarthFest events, is to help people develop a greater respect for the world around them and an appreciation for all that nature has to offer,” she said. “We hope that our series of programs throughout the year start a conversation, that they spark curiosity about the environment, biodiversity and STEM education. The Great American Campout is a starting point for what will hopefully become a lifetime of environmental stewardship.”


Camping, said Salisbury, “brings you closer to nature and helps you build connections with the world as a whole.”


“One of the great things about holding this event on campus is that we have an opportunity to help people understand what plants are a little better, what plants do, and their role within the greater system,” she said. “We can’t exist without plants. Our future depends on how we interact with the world around us.”


For participants of the Great American Campout at Temple Ambler, registration includes a tent site — 15’ x 15’ (bring your own tent); Outdoor Pool swim hours available on Saturday; a variety of guided walks, camping instruction and activities; stargazing with the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers;  Hiking 101 and Leave No Trace Workshops with the Appalachian Mountain Club - Delaware Valley Chapter. 


Guests are invited to bring their own food to the Great American Campout. It's the perfect evening for a picnic dinner! Please Note: Cooking at the event is prohibited. Refrigeration is also unavailable. A light breakfast of fruit and coffee in addition to Nature Valley Granola Bars provided by the National Wildlife Federation will be provided the morning of July 14.


For additional information, contact 267-468-8108 or duffyj@temple.edu.