ARVC initiative gaining traction.

Editor’s Note: The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently published a promotional story about Go Camping America’s camping promotion. The story follows.

Does your family have a couch potato or two? Get the gang outdoors this summer and get into nature with a camping trip.

In an effort to encourage parents to spend more time with their children outdoors, President Obama has proclaimed June as national Great Outdoors Month.

Great Outdoors Month is intended to encourage parents and their children “to move, run, play and thrive” in our state, national and local parks and other scenic places.

In support of the incentive, campgrounds affiliated with GoCampingAmerica.com are offering a 20% savings off their nightly rates on stays from June 1 to 25.

“Camping is not only the most affordable vacation option, but it encourages families to get involved in a variety of healthy outdoor activities, from hiking and fishing to river tubing and white water rafting, or simply playing on a beach,” said Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), which hosts the GoCampingAmerica website.

Many of the campgrounds listed on GoCampingAmerica.com have everything from organized nature activities to outdoor arts and crafts classes, entertainment, games, outdoor movies, singalongs, Karaoke, murder mystery dinners, nighttime scavenger hunts and other fun family activities and special events that help families build memories.

And families don’t even have to have a tent or RV to participate.

Well over half of the 3,300 privately owned and operated campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that are listed on GoCampingAmerica.com offer rental accommodations ranging from safari tents and teepees to cabins, luxury park model cottages, yurts and RVs. Some campgrounds even offer covered wagons, cabooses and tree houses available for overnight stays.

While park model cabins are known for their upscale amenities, including stove and refrigerators, flat screen TVs and, in many cases, sleeping lofts for the kids, most units also come equipped with decks and barbecues. Others are set up on campsites with fire rings, so people can still sing by the campfire and roast s’mores and have a true outdoor camping experience.

Parents with young children also like park models so they don’t have to walk with their children to a public bathroom in the middle of the night.

Here’s a sampling of campgrounds within a tank-or-two drive of Atlanta that have added park model cabin rentals in time for this summer’s camping season:

  • Florida: Davenport, Naples, St. Augustine.
  • North Carolina: Smithfield, Swannanoa, Wade, Wilmington.
  • South Carolina: Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach, Spartanburg.
  • Tennessee: Blountville, Nashville, Tellico Plains.

One park to consider for alternative lodging is The Great Outdoors RV Nature and Golf Resort in Titusville, Fla. — a great location from which to explore the Space Coast. This RV resort is one of the largest in the country, with 1,534 sites for towable and motorized RVs as well as park models and custom-built resort homes.

But the park also has 3,000 acres of land that are home to native egrets, deer and quail. The Great Outdoors puts a heavy focus on nature, providing habitat areas for numerous land animals and birds, including the colorful “painted bunting,” a rare and stunningly beautiful red, blue and green bird whose habitat has been destroyed in many areas of Florida. The grounds not only preserves habitat for the painted bunting and other species, but recently opened a 2,795 square foot nature center, which provides a wildlife museum, nature programs and hikes. Learn more at www.tgoresort.com.

GoCampingAmerica.com also provides e-coupons that consumers can use to obtain discounts at Camping World (www.campingworld.com) and Coleman (www.coleman.com) camping supply stores as well as RV rentals booked through El Monte RV, which has agreed to provide 500 free miles plus 50 free miles a day to GoCampingAmerica visitors who rent an RV for at least one week during during the June 1-25 period; www.elmonterv.com.