Whenever I travel outside our state I’m barraged by the same old questions: “Do y’all still ride horses down there?” or “Isn’t it all deserts and cactus where you’re from?” Of course we here in Texas, know nothing could be further from the truth. In fact we’ve got everything from woods and forests to sandy coast lines to lakes, prairies, rolling hills and plains. And in our state, we’re blessed with a great park system in which we can experience the countryside. I know of no better way to break the old stereotypes about Texas, than to visit a few of our parks and see for oneself how beautiful and diverse our state’s typography really is.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has an interesting summer program going. It’s called the Texas Outdoor Family workshop (TOF). It’s essentially a way to promote the state park system, and get our young people outdoors. For sixty five dollars per family, a park ranger provides instruction to families and young people on things like: how to set up and break down a camp site, start a camp fire, cook outdoors, and participate in any number of nature activities. Events like fishing, kayaking and wildlife watchingare part of the program as well, where conditions exist.The park furnishes the necessary equipment to those who require it. Children as young as two are permitted, but five is recommended as the minimum age. Six campers per site are permitted.
The program is running throughout the summer, and new dates are being added regularly. In our immediate area, Tyler State Park is holding a workshop Saturday, June 4th. On the same weekend Eisenhower State Park, in Dallas will be holding their own version of the program as will Guadalupe River State Park, in San Antonio. More Events are scheduled for June 11th, including at one of my favorite Texas Parks, Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose. For more info on the workshop visit the following website at http://beta-www.tpwd.state.tx.us/outdoor-learning/texas-outdoor-family/ . Interested readers can also call the state office at (512) 389-8903.