Combine Your Cookout with Campout this Summer for Twice the Fun!


The Great American Backyard Campout is just over a week away and the National Wildlife Federation wants to help you and your family make the most of it. For all you backyard barbequers out there, we have the tips and tools you need to take your cookout up a notch by turning it into a Campout. Think of us as your go to source for fun ideas to keep your bellies full and your minds and bodies active

Camp Cuisine

Whether you choose to use a grill, the open flames of a well-fed fire or Bear Grylls it (for those who want the extreme, real survival experience), there are tons of camp cuisine options to choose from. The sky’s the limit, especially when you campout in your own backyard.

Here’s a sampling of our favorite camp food recipes:

  • Pigs in a Sleeping Blanket: For an easy twist on the classic campfire hotdog take an 11 ounce can of breadstick dough, slice each dough strip in half and wrap each strip around a hotdog leaving a small area uncovered for the face. Roast over the fire until the hotdog and bread are cooked, let cool then use ketchup and mustard to make fun faces.
  • Silver Turtles: This hearty option is a simple way to fill your campers’ stomachs. Simply place a hamburger patty in a piece of aluminum foil and top it with potatoes, carrots, onions, salt, pepper and a pad of butter. Fold the foil tightly around the turtle and cook over the coals for 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly, then let cool and enjoy! For a side dish, try wrapping corn on the cob or whole potatoes in foil for delicious grilled corn and baked potatoes. Remember to let them cool then add your favorite toppings.
  • Gourmet Lasagna: If you’re up for some Italian, try this easy Dutch oven recipe for lasagna. Start by pouring a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the Dutch oven and add a little water. Then cover with lasagna noodles and a layer of ricotta or cottage cheese and chopped spinach and add another layer of sauce to top it off and repeat the layering until you reach the top of your pot. Top your lasagna off with sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, cover and let bake for 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a more meaty dish try adding pepperoni or ground beef between the layers.

There’s always room for dessert…

  • Dipped Strawberries: Dip strawberries in Marshmallow Fluff and roast over the fire.
  • Orange-Chocolate Cake: Hollow out oranges, fill (about half way) with chocolate cake mix, wrap in foil and heat in the hot coals for about 20 minutes.
  • Singing Apples: Place an apple on a cooking stick and roast over hot coals until the peel starts to split and “sing.” Carefully remove the peel and roll apple in cinnamon-sugar.

Now that we have you drooling, be sure to register today for the Great American Backyard Campout and see just how fun (and tasty) it can be!

You can register for free on our website at While you’re there you can explore all the other fun camping ideas we’ve put together including our favorite fireside songs and stories, camping games, crafts, stargazing and wildlife watching guides. You can also find handy information for prepping for and setting up your campsite. So join the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement, your local community and families across the country this June 22nd for the Great American Backyard Campout. Let’s go camping!

Mary Price

Mary Price is a proud Midwesterner originally from Indianapolis, IN. She currently works as a Communications intern for the National Wildlife Federation in Washington D.C. Mary grew up in Indiana and attended Marian University in her home state majoring in English Literature.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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