|Everyone is invited to enjoy a weekend in the outdoors and learn skills such as fishing, archery and camping for free at Outdoor Days. This event, which will be held at Lake Springfield Park on September 7-8, 2013, features demonstrations, displays, hands-on activities and free overnight camping. Outdoor Days is part of the Outdoor Fitness Festival, which is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops in partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
“Everyone is invited to kick off the weekend by enjoying overnight camping at Lake Springfield. Those who bring their own gear and food can camp out in their own tent, camper or trailer for free,” said Melvin Johnson, Springfield-Green County outdoor initiatives coordinator “Camping at Lake Springfield on Friday and Saturday night will allow participants to be close to the action and fun scheduled throughout the weekend.”
One of the highlights of the weekend is the outdoor initiatives, which allow participants to try their hand at activities such as canoeing, kayaking, SUP/paddleboarding and more. The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is hosting canoe and kayak races as well as providing free water sports and safety demonstrations.
Outdoor Days activities are scheduled for from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Participants may enjoy a myriad of outdoor skills demonstration areas or villages including:
- The James River Mountain Main Rendezvous Village – Step back in time with a stroll through an authentic 1840s mountain man village, which features exhibits detailing how they lived and what they ate. See demonstrations that include blacksmithing, bow making, flint knapping, primitive fire starting, spinning, weaving, and more.
- The Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Village – Visitors can learn about new outdoor products and skills so they can have more fun in the outdoors. Bass Pro Shops experts and representatives from America’s top outdoor manufacturers such as Coleman, North Face, and Lodge will be on hand to provide camping tips.
- The Boy Scouts of America Village – The Ozark Trails Council will present crafts for kids, rope bridge strategies, an Indian village, scouting skills, and a chance for those who are interested to sign up for scouting.
- Wonders of Wildlife Village – Visitors will have a myriad of activities and demonstrations to check out including the rock wall, bounce house, bungee run, slide bounce, archery, air soft gun shooting range, and more. Participants also will be invited to observe and identify animal tracks, see and touch exciting artifacts, and watch a variety of live animals and fish. These events are hosted by Wonders of Wildlife in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, James River Basin Partnership, City of Springfield Recycling, Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, Missouri State Parks, and Cross Trail Outfitters.
- Off-Road Camping Club Outdoor Skills Village – New off-road camping gear is featured at this village along with product demonstrations, tent camp set up demos and more. Participants also can register for the free GEAR ‘N' TENT GiveAway. There will be two drawings, one at 3 p.m. on Saturday and another drawing at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
- Missouri Department of Conservation and Ducks Unlimited Village – Everyone is invited to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Missouri Department of Conservation and Ducks Unlimited with cannon net demonstrations, air rifle shooting and fishing activities throughout outdoor days. Waterfowl calling and retriever dog demonstrations will be held September 8.
- Venturing Crew 1971 Village – Visitors can meet the Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 1971, which is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. This high adventure group welcomes both boys and girls over 13 to participate in backpacking, hiking, biking, canoeing, outdoor photography, and more. There also will be camping and outdoor cooking demonstrations.
- 4-H Shooting Village – The 4-H shooting village will feature the Western Heritage Cowboy group. Participants can learn more about action shooting from experts in period dress. In addition, outdoor skills demonstrations and hikes also will be available.
- Girl Scouts Village – A low ropes challenge course, outdoor skills training related to identifying animal tracks and scat, and outdoor crafts will be featured at the Girl Scouts Village.
Another special aspect of Outdoor Days is that fourth graders from seven area elementary schools will participate in a pre-Outdoor Days event on Friday, September 6, 2013. The goal of this special educational experience is for students to learn about life prior to 1850. The students will adhere to a strict educational curriculum that emphasizes how people in the 1800s relied on their natural surroundings for food, clothing, tools and more. They’ll also learn about the cultural, economic and scientific achievements of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Other activities available throughout the weekend include pontoon boat rides on Lake Springfield, fishing and hiking. Concessions will be available including hot dogs, kettle corn, funnel cakes, frozen lemonade, snacks and beverages. Lake Springfield access is on the James River next to the James River Power Plant, near Highways 60 and 65.
For a schedule of events go here.