MDC Aug. 12 virtual program combines camping fun and photography

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – For many families, the definition of summer camping is crackling campfires, fun food, and nature sightings that create memories that last a lifetime.

Families can learn how camping can connect them with the outdoor world and can also share photos about how those connections are being made at on Aug. 12 at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) virtual program “Discover Nature: Backyard Campout Photo Contest.” This free online program will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and is being put on by MDC Conservation Educator Lyle Whittaker. This program is open to all ages. People can register for this program at:

At this online event, Whittaker will discuss how to make outdoor activities part of a family camping trip and families will also be invited to go camping somewhere. The location doesn’t matter – it could be a public campground or a backyard. All participants of the Aug. 12 program will receive an e-mail with a suggested list of games and outdoor activities for families.

Campers will also be asked to take photos of their camping trip and enter their photos in one of two categories – “nature” or “people.” The nature category consist of pictures of plants, insects, wildlife, landscapes, or any other type of natural scenery. The people category will include fun family moments captured photographically from the campout. Prizes will be awarded and sent to winning photographers. In order to participate in the photo contest, photos must be submitted by Sept. 10. All photos entered into the contest may be posted on MDC’s website or social media outlets.

Though this program is free, registration is required to participate using the link above. Registrants must provide an e-mail, so a program link can be sent to them.

Staff at MDC facilities across the state are holding in-person and virtual programs. A listing of these programs can be found at