As part of the Michigan state parks centennial, the DNR has found a way to interweave the engaging art form of storytelling with state park memories. The outcome is the Campfire Storytelling Project, which captures the special memories made in state parks over the last 100 years.
The events are appropriately held around a campfire, where seasoned storytellers continue this time-honored tradition and attendees are invited to share their own park tales.
“These events are more than just spoken stories; they symbolize what is at the heart of state parks, which is our visitors,” said Maia Turek, resource development specialist with the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.
As part of the yearlong celebration, the DNR is distilling a handful of these stories into recordings. The most recent recording features storytellers at Interlochen State Park, with photos collected through the State Parks Memory Map. On the interactive map, you can see snapshots of great times spent at state parks all over Michigan and read the special stories submitted by visitors and staff – all at the same time.
To date, the DNR has hosted campfire storytelling events in Lansing (in conjunction with Lansing Storytellers Project) and at Interlochen and Van Riper state parks. Upcoming events are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17 at Algonac State Park in Marine City and Saturday, Sept. 21 at Yankee Springs Recreation Area in Middleville. These events are free to the public; a Recreation Passport is required for entry.
Learn more about the centennial Campfire Storytelling Project, the memory map, Michigan state parks’ rich history, upcoming events, a special geocache tour and much more at Michigan.gov/StateParks100.
Questions? Contact Maia Turek, 989-225-8573 or TurekM@Michigan.gov.