It is all about synchronizing little efforts to help people feel they have power and are connected to something greater. The simple Great American Backyard Campout. is a step in the right direction.
People camp out all the time. Synchronizing the simple act and promoting it starts to connect people in powerful ways.
Gather family, friends and neighbors-- the first ever Great American Backyard Campout is coming! On August 20th, folks all across America will come together in backyards, parks, and camps to enjoy a night of star-gazing, listening for nocturnal wildlife, and exploring a whole other world right in your backyard. Be part of this nation-wide event! Add your campsite today and we’ll help you make the most of your event with packing lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, exploration activities, a night sky-guide, local weather and more. Win a Backyard Weather Station and be a Ranger Rick Star! After the campout, return to the website to share your photographs and stories for a chance to win a Backyard Weather station from WeatherBug and be profiled in Ranger Rick magazine!
The event seems a little heavy on the branding and the campkit is "for sale" is a bit over the top but the connections of campers to campers could be powerful.
I would suggest creating more ways to connect campers to each other.
1. Ask "old timers" to post old backyard camping photos to a system like flickr.
2. Ask for best and worst stories on the lead up to the event.
3. Let people suggest their own packing lists and recipes before the event.
4. Let folks take photos before the event of the nocturnal wildlife, record bid and sounds they ex[pect to wake up to on the 20th.
5. Link with other camping organizations to promote the 20th as national camping day.
6. Set up a national conference call for the campers to listen to an inspirational message from campers on top of Mountains or other remote places.
7. Link up with www.space.com to provide local star maps for the night.
8. Set up the "virtual" campfire for best campfire stories.
9. Tell people that camping is also about community and sharing. Set up a "camp library" program to let kids borrow equipment. etc from neighbors that they might need for the backyard campout.
10. Create self-organizing kits so that people can download print and promote the campout in the neighborhood. (Ask for a lights out at 10:00 to help campers see the stars.)
11. Ask each camper to write one letter from camp to protect critters, clean water, wildspaces, parks, forest, etc.
12. other ideas......