MDC cohosts overnight campout in Forest Park to help families discover the outdoors

News from the region
Saint Louis
Published Date

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Have you ever wanted to learn to camp or fish? Or perhaps go canoeing or create a great meal outdoors? But maybe you just don’t know where to start. If so, then WOW St. Louis is for you.  This beginning overnight camping event will be held in Forest Park Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9. 

The purpose of WOW St. Louis is to empower anyone new to camping and outdoor recreation with the skills, comfort and confidence they need to take the next steps on their own. The emphasis is on family participation; however, individuals are welcome, too. The campout is part of the WOW National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School.  It’s packed with opportunities to learn skills that will enhance your outdoor experience.

WOW St. Louis is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), along with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Bass Pro Shops, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Wonders of Wildlife Museum, National Park Service, City of St. Louis, Gateway Regional YMCA, Missouri State University, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The weekend program is presented in two parts.  Saturday is the outdoor skills portion where WOW offers classes in a variety of outdoor activities, including archery, canoeing, fishing, geocaching, orienteering, kayaking, outdoor cooking and more.  Each one is designed to teach participants how to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreational activities while practicing personal safety and outdoor responsibility. Classes are open to anyone age six and up. 

The second portion is the overnight campout. WOW participants will have the opportunity to spend the night in Forest Park Saturday night. The camping experience will include tent set-up and a campfire program. 

Tents will be available on request on a first-come, first-served basis for those who don’t have one.  Campers should bring their own sleeping and personal gear, and dress for the weather.

The cost to attend the outdoors skills classes Saturday is only $15 per person, making it an affordable day of family fun.  The Saturday night campout is an additional $5 per person.  Registration includes equipment for all activities, lunch on Saturday, and a hotdog cookout Saturday night with breakfast snacks Sunday morning for campers.  Financial assistance to cover the cost of the event is also available. 

Registrations will be accepted through Sept. 23.  For more information or to request a registration packet, visit the WOW website at or call (314) 340-5794. For more on discovering nature, including family camping spots in Missouri, visit