Date:April 18, 2020

Thousands of Families Across U.S. Take Part in First-Ever ‘National Backyard Campout’

During COVID-19 lockdown, Trail Life USA invited families across America to campout in backyard last night, make memories

GREENVILLE, S.C. — More than 5,000 families across America took part in the first-ever “National Backyard Campout” Friday night, organized by boys adventure movement Trail Life USA ( TL_9599_edited_R3.jpg

Families from all 50 states — from Hawaii to Maine — camped out under the stars in their own backyards, or set up a tent indoors, to “make memories” during the COVID-19 lockdown. Families shared their experiences online, turning the event into a “virtual campout.”

“At a time when ‘outward bound’ has become ‘homebound’ for families across the nation, this event brought families together across America,” said Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA.

Families posted photos and videos of themselves online, giving the event “a special feeling of ‘we’re in this together, and we will overcome’,” said Hancock, whose organization has more than 30,000 members in 830-plus troops in every state.

“While many parents will look back on COVID-19 as a time of uncertainty and anxiety, this was an opportunity for boys — and girls — to remember this time at home with positive memories,” said Hancock, author of Let Boys be Boys and 5 Critical Needs of Boys.

“America’s families have shown they won’t allow the coronavirus to ruin their fun,” said national event leader Steve Padgett. “The memories will last for years to come.”

Families were urged to respect all emergency restrictions in their area — including self-isolating and social distancing from non-family members.

Launched six years ago, Trail Life USA describes itself as a “Christ-centered, boy-focused, character, leadership, and adventure organization” with troops meeting at local churches nationwide.

For News Editors: B-Roll footage and family photos of last night’s first-ever National Backyard Campout available at

The Associated Press report on the event:

Interviews: Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA, is available for interviews this weekend and the week of April 20 to talk about the event and how families can make positive memories during the lockdown.


With troops operating in local churches across the U.S., Trail Life USA ( is a Christian character development organization, empowering boys and young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. Trail Life USA has more than 30,000 members in 830-plus troops across all 50 states.

PHOTO CUTLINE: GREAT AMERICAN BACKYARD CAMPOUT: More than 5,000 families across America took part in Trail Life USA’s ( first-ever “National Backyard Campout” on Friday, April 17 — encouraging America’s families to “make memories” during the COVID-19 lockdown.