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MPS Launches OPERATION: CAMPOUT! Program for Military Families and Wounded Warriors

Former soldier at a Maryland State Park

Annapolis, Md. (August 2, 2012) - The Maryland Park Service (MPS) has launched OPERATION: CAMPOUT!, a new program that provides basic camping gear, free of charge, to service members and their families in and around the State. The initiative is funded in partnership with The North Face: Explore Your Parks, a program that encourages families to get outdoors and enjoy state parks across the country.

“We’re proud to once again partner with The North Face for an important initiative, which allows us to reach out to our servicemen and women, providing equipment for those who may want to try camping but don’t have the necessary gear,” said MPS Superintendent Nita Settina. “Maryland’s State Parks provide endless opportunities for people of every age to connect with nature, like hiking, climbing, running, biking and paddling, just to name a few.”

OPERATION: CAMPOUT! is currently offered at five State parks in Maryland: Swallow Falls, New Germany, Rocky Gap, Patapsco Valley, and Pocomoke River. The program is for service members, many of whom are stationed at nearby military installations or recovering at facilities across the State or in close proximity to Maryland. Each park is equipped with gear lockers stocked with essential equipment to camp - a six-person North Face tent, camp pads, chairs, a cook stove, a lantern and roasting sticks for marshmallows or hot dogs.

MPS has been in partnership with The North Face: Explore Your Parks since the program’s launch in 2010. Explore Your Parks was created to encourage Americans to get outside and enjoy the close-to-home recreation that State Parks offer. Through options such as Activity Guides, Park Passes, and Camping programs, Explore Your Parks helps people to discover the unique sights, activities, and wildlife within their own State Parks. More information and resources are available at

Service members who would like to participate in the program can reserve their campsite (prices vary by park) and camping gear (at no charge) by contacting the park directly:

More information on the program is available at

   August 2, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at