Temple University Ambler EarthFest lockup

The Great American Campout 2023

Welcome to the Adventure!

Join us during the summer and fall! 

Save the Date! The Great American Campout will be returning in person for the first time since 2019 from 2 p.m. Saturday, October 21 to 10 a.m. Sunday, October 22. Online registration coming soon!

Temple University Ambler EarthFest, the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University, and the Temple Ambler Field Station are excited to provide essential information about camping, hiking and exploring nature for new and experienced campers alike. Rather than a day or a weekend, through these webpages, we're going to be celebrating the Great American Campout from now through the fall!

The National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout is a celebration of camping as a way to connect with nature and wildlife. The benefits from outdoor play for mind, body and spirit are well-documented and help to create a lasting connection to nature and wildlife, which promotes happiness and good health.

From backyard astronomy to hammock camping, from how to identify insects to the importance of leaving nature as you found it, we are sharing essential information and tips on camping, hiking, and exploring your world! Oh, yes, and there will be s’mores!

Camping Basics

There's never been a better time to safely and responsibly connect with nature. Pitch a tent or build a fort from the comfort of home. Grab your gear and head for the backyard or an open park. No matter where you are, take some time to enjoy the nature that connects us all! Learn more about Camping Basics!

Going Hiking

Now that you've set up base camp, it's time to do a little exploring! Grab your pack and put on your boots (or sneakers). It's time to go hiking! Hiking consists of walking in natural environments. While often equated to mountainous or hilly regions, any scenic terrain will do, from the trails in your local park to the woods near your backyard! Learn more about Going Hiking!

Making Discoveries

Whether you're hiking, camping or simply enjoying the outdoors in your backyard, there is so much to explore! You don't have to go far to find a rich diversity of animals, insects, plants and more! With the right tools and resources, you can learn about why a firefly glows, what native species inhabit the nearby woods, and which insects are roaming around your yard. Or grab a telescope and look to the skies to make amazing stellar observations. Learn more about Making Discoveries!

National Parks Near You

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. Did you know there are dozens National Park Service sites right in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware? An adventure into history or natural wonders (or both) is just a short distance away! Temple University also provides training for individuals interested in becoming National Park Service law enforcement rangers! Learn more about National Parks Near You!

Adventures in Pennsylvania

Did you know Pennsylvia has its own answer to Niagra Falls? It does! It's got its own Grand Canyon too! Join us as we explore some of the amazing locations right in our home state! Learn more about Adventures in Pennsylvania!

Explore Your World

Near and far, there is an entire world to discover. In this section, we'll be traveling all over the world to bring some of our global adventures to you! From the Dominican Republic to an American Conservation Experience, from hiking the Continental Divide to taking an eco tour in Ecuador, our faculty, students, and staff clearly show that Temple Owls are excited to explore anywhere!  Learn more about Exploring Your World!

More to Explore!

Let our Great American Campout online celebration be just the beginning of your journeys to discovery. Our event contribitors provide a wonderful resource for information and educational activities. There are also numerous other online resources to help you engage in and explore the world around you. Discover More to Explore!

Our Event Contributors

We couldn’t do this without the help of a lot of friends. We’d like to thank our event partners and content contributors, the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University; the Temple Ambler Field Station; the College of Science and TechnologyTUTeachFunScienceDemos; the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers, the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, the National Wildlife FederationLeave No TraceProRanger Philadelphia and the Temple University Kinesiology Department!