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Camping Kickoff Weekend May 4, 5 and 6
Posted: 04/17/2012
Camping kickoff weekend is May 4, 5 and 6, in Iowa state parks, and has often been the first weekend trip for many campers, but the mild winter and summer-like spring has many campers already in mid-season mode.

“Camping kickoff weekend is our way of saying let’s dust off the tent and camper and enjoy some camaraderie in a state park, but after this unseasonably warm weather, it seems like a lot of our campers already have a month of camping under their belts,” said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau. 

Campers can reserve a site for camping kickoff weekend using the reservation system online at  or select a non-reservable site.

“This time of year is really nice in the parks because the bugs are typically not out in force yet and fishing is good,” Szcodronski said. 

In the past, the DNR had offered some incentives to campers who participated in the opening weekend, but that is no longer the case.

“Iowans care deeply about their parks and we want campers to know that we are working hard to offer them the best experience and facilities that we can, with the resources we have available,” he said.

“All season long, we will be encouraging our campers and other park users to help us to keep our expenses down by turning off lights and air conditioners when they are not needed and to pick up after themselves and only burn firewood in the fire rings,” he said.

Camping Kickoff Weekend was started in 2003, as a way to encourage Iowa residents to spend time in their state parks.