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GROTON -- Families who register for the annual Outdoor Family Weekend, Sept. 10-12, can look forward to three fun-filled days of camping, outdoor recreation and nature-based learning opportunities.

The event will take place at Stillwater State Park in Groton and offers both veteran campers and those new to the outdoors a chance to experience nature through hands-on workshops, community storytelling, self-guided canoe trips, hikes and other activities.

The fee is $175 for the campsite (up to eight individuals), three workshops per camper, an ice cream social, nightly campfires, entertainment and free canoe rentals. Families may stay Sunday night for no extra charge although they will need to make arrangements at the park office upon arrival.

More than 30 different workshops will be offered on a wide range of topics including outdoor first aid, bushwhacking, birding, fish processing and cooking, painting in the outdoors, firecraft and arboriculture, among others.

Campers also can try mountain biking, fishing and shooting sports or learn about turkey calling and hunting safety or upland game and bird dogs. A just-added workshop, appropriate for all ages, will provide an in-depth look at a year in the life of white-tailed deer, including habitats, behaviors, breeding, rearing of young, what they eat and other fascinating aspects.

To register, go to www.uvm.edu/extension/outdoorfamily. To request a disability-related accommodation, contact Virginia Jaquish at (802) 751-8307 or (800) 545-8920, ext. 351, by Aug. 20. Families of current military personnel are eligible for a discount and should contact Jaquish for a code before registering.

Returning families who get a new family to register for the weekend will be entered in the Refer-a-Family drawing. The winner will receive a free weekend stay at any Vermont state park, courtesy of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

The weekend is sponsored by University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' Departments of Fish and Wildlife and Forests, Parks and Recreation. To learn more, contact Allison Smith at allison.smith.2@uvm.edu or visit https://www.facebook.com/OutdoorFamilyWeekendVT.

Adam Samrov can be reached at asamrov@benningtonbanner.com or on Twitter @banner_sports


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