Michelle Manchir and Nancy Stone report on the appeal, and success, of a program run by the Chicago Park District that allows residents to camp out in the district's parks. "For Chicagoans hesitant or unable to leave the city, the growing program aims to draw new recruits to the hobby and expose them to some of the more pastoral corners of the city — in some cases just steps from their front doors."
"Park staffers who stay with campers during the entire trip help start campfires in mobile fire pits and erect tents if campers can't do it on their own. Security guards keep watch over the campsites the whole time — out of sight if possible. Up to 50 campers are usually hosted at each event, and they're asked to bring something to sleep on, toiletries, flashlights, snacks and comfy shoes — but to leave electronics at home."
The program's website includes a schedule of upcoming family camping events, including the sold out trip scheduled for September 27-28 on Northerly Island.