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City pitches a new idea: camping at Mary S. Young

Great Outdoor Adventure allows two nights of camping in state park


For several years, West Linn Parks and Recreation Director Ken Worcester and his staff members had kicked around the idea of a citywide camping activity. by: VERN UYETAKE - This August, campers will be pitching tents at Mary S. Young State Park for two nights.

They wanted to do more to encourage outdoor activities, and this seemed like the perfect way to do just that. But other business kept getting in the way and the idea fell to the backburner — until now.

The parks department will for the first time this summer offer the Great West Linn Outdoor Adventure camping event in Mary S. Young State Park. On Aug. 17 and 18, attendees will be able to enjoy an array of nature education activities, as well as a movie on a projector screen, camp fires and night hikes.

“We’ve been looking for an opportunity to do an outdoor adventure,” Worcester said. “This year’s centennial celebration seemed like a great time to kick it off.”

The activity costs $45 and the deadline for groups to register is Aug. 9 — or whenever camp sites fill up. The 18-by-18-foot sites will be tailored to fit a maximum of six people per group, but Worcester said larger groups could occupy two adjoining campsites.

With 14 acres of space available for camping at the park, Worcester doesn’t anticipate space being a problem. This being the event’s first year, predicting turnout is difficult, but Worcester is keeping expectations reasonable.

“I think it’s doubtful that we’re going to get the whole city doing this,” he said with a laugh.

But community members have shown interest in this organized camping trip, even if it is practically in their backyard.

“There’s quite a few folks who are excited,” Worcester said. “How that translates into campers, we’re not sure yet. If it’s something that’s successful, we’ll try to continue it.”

The parks department won’t be alone in working to ensure that success. Worcester is hoping to recruit volunteers from directly within Mary S. Young State Park, as well as local Scout troops to help campers appreciate the experience without being hampered by lack of experience.

“There’s probably a good chance that there are folks that don’t even know how to set up a tent,” Worcester said. “We’ll just try to make it as enjoyable as possible.”

Certain details, like what movies will be shown or where the hikes will be, have yet to be determined. As is the case when the parks department has Movies in the Park nights, the public will be allowed to vote on what is shown during the Great West Linn Outdoor Adventure.

Registration for the event is open now through the parks department website at westlinnoregon.gov/parksrec.



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