Outdoor Days at Lake Springfield Park on Sept. 6 -7 is a great chance to connect with nature, learn new outdoor skills and spend time with family and friends.  The event includes free camping on Friday and/or Saturday night and a huge variety of free hands-on activities and demonstrations. 

Outdoor Days is part of the Outdoor Fitness Festival, which is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Wonders of Wildlife, and Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

“We invite everyone to join us for a weekend dedicated to health, wellness, and outdoor adventure at Lake Springfield,” said Kara Warren, Springfield-Greene County outdoor initiatives coordinator.  “This event is filled with outdoor exploration and fun activities for the whole family.  Whether you are a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or looking to try something new, we’ll have a wide variety of activities and programs for all ages, fitness levels, and areas of interest.”

Outdoor Days activities on Saturday are from 9:30 to 4 and on Sunday are from 11 to 3:30 at Lake Springfield, 5324 S. Kissick Ave.  Most activities are free and open to the public.

Campers who bring their own gear, tent and food can camp out for free from 4:30 p.m. on Friday to 3 p.m. on Sunday.  Concessions will be available for purchase from the Springfield-Greene County Parks Department and will include hamburgers, hot dogs, kettle corn, funnel cakes, frozen lemonade, and more.

Outdoor Days participants can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities including: pontoon and boat rides, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, archery, air soft rifle and sling shot ranges, bat and cave ecology, dog agility demonstrations, live animal exhibits, rock climbing, bounce houses and inflatable obstacle course, petting zoo and pony rides, bonfires, music and dancing, singing and storytelling, and more.

Campers and those visiting for the day can experience the following outdoor skills demonstrations and hands-on activities:

  • The James River Pre-1840s Mountain Men Rendezvous Village – Step back in time with a stroll through an authentic pre-1840s mountain man village, which features more than 30 displays and exhibits detailing how mountain families lived, what they ate, and the tools they used. See demonstrations of everything from tomahawk throwing and flint knapping to Dutch oven cooking, moccasin making and more.
  • Missouri 4-H Village – The Western Heritage Cowboy Demo Village includes an action and steel plate shooting information center, steer roping, and hunting and outdoor skills classes. In addition, visitors can see live dog agility demos. The Groves View Dairy Demo Village includes a cow milking demonstration while the mobile petting-zoo village features farm animals and pony rides.
  • Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Village – Visitors can learn about new outdoor products and skills so they can have more fun in the outdoors. Bass Pro Shops experts and representatives from two dozen of America’s top outdoor manufacturers will be on hand to provide camping tips and demonstrate everything from camp stoves and backpacks to Go-Pros, lanterns and tents.
  • Visitors can also experience the Bass Pro Shops King of Bucks display, casting pond, and kayak pool. Plus, meet the stars from “Dig Wars,” a popular program on the Travel Channel.
  • Boy Scouts of America Village – Come join the Ozark Trails Council to learn outdoor skills, experience Pinewood Derby car racing as well as enjoy the monkey-bridge activity.
  • Wonders of Wildlife Village – Visitors will have many activities and demonstrations to check out including the rock wall, bounce house, inflatable obstacle course, and live animal exhibits. Participants also will be invited to learn about woodcarving, caves, Ozark water resources, and identifying birds and reptiles.
  • Royal Rangers Camping Village – Stop by to try the low ropes challenge course as well as safe, accurate shooting at the Bass Pro Shops/Daisy inflatable range.
  • Off-Road Camping Club Outdoor Skills Village – New off-road camping gear is featured at this village along with product demonstrations, tent and camp set up demos, and more. Participants also can register for the free TENT ‘N' GEAR Giveaway. There will be two drawings, one at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and another drawing at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Missouri Department of Conservation – Enjoy the great outdoors with air-rifle shooting, bird watching, tree identification hikes, and Discover Nature fishing classes.
  • Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 1971 Village – Visitors can meet the Boy Scouts of America Venturing Crew 1971, which is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. This high adventure group welcomes boys and girls over age 13 to participate in backpacking, hiking, biking, canoeing, outdoor photography, and more. There also will be camping and outdoor cooking demonstrations.
  • Girl Scouts Village – The Girl Scouts village includes geo-caching, letter-boxing (a form of scavenger hunt), a marshmallow cannon distance shooting event, knot-tying, and a chance to learn fire building techniques with edibles.
  • Junk Incorporated Game Village – Check out demos and competitions with the row machine, box jumps, Lacrosse balls, foam rollers, jump ropes, kettle bells, voodoo bands, and more.
  • Camp Wakonda Village - Camp Wakonda will feature rock climbing, gaga ball, bracelet making, and campfires with songs, skits, stories, and s’mores.
  • Incredible Pizza Company – This station features a hunting simulator video arcade gaming console and a prize-wheel with prizes such as hats, footballs, and gift cards.
  • Andy B’s Entertainment Group/Battlefield Lanes – Bowling, indoor arcade games, and prizes will be featured at this game village.
  • Outdoor Initiatives – Join the Springfield-Greene County Park staff for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, water safety demonstrations, and more.

Another special aspect of Outdoor Days is that fourth graders from Republic and Springfield elementary schools will participate in a pre-Outdoor Days learning event on Thursday, Sept. 4, and Friday, Sept. 5.  The goal of this special educational experience is for students to learn about life prior to 1850.  The students will adhere to a strict educational curriculum that emphasizes how people in the 1800s relied on their natural surroundings for food, clothing, tools and more. They’ll also learn about the cultural, economic and scientific achievements of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Outdoor Days was a popular event last year with more than 10,000 people participating. For more information about the 2014 Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Days event, visit http://fitness.basspro.com/Page/Outdoor-Days.aspx.