It’s the unofficial end of summer and our state parks are filled with people celebrating the three-day weekend. A local park ranger gives his tips on getting through the busy holiday.
Many North Dakotans flock to the lake to enjoy a summer weekend, but on a holiday, it gets even busier. So it’s important to pay attention.
“Be responsible and be careful, since you’re in a new area -it might be a campground you’ve been to before, but- always be mindful of where you’re going,” says Chad Trautman, Fort Stevenson Park Manager.
With more people means more activity on the lake, and all the more reason to follow basic boating rules.
“Keep a safe distance, wear your life vest. Good tips are to inform people of where you’re traveling to if you’re going to be heading out for a day cruise, let people know your route, so if you don’t return, there’s a place to start searching,” says Trautman.
Whether you’re on the water or on land, Trautman says that being aware of your surroundings is essential.
“When you’re in the campground you’re going to notice more kids out in the parks, riding their bikes up and down. Just be careful of those speed limits and it doesn’t hurt to go less than the speed limit,” says Trautman.
Although accidents do happen, the campers seem to be doing their part this holiday.
“We always make sure that we put our fires out, make sure that we’re paying attention to the wind conditions -if we can even have a fire. Also, making sure that -you know- there’s no trees around that could damage our campers or watching the campsites and making sure there’s no broken glass or anything like that and leaving the campsites better than we found them,” says Melody Sundbakken, Labor Day Camper.
Sundbakken and her friends and family have met at the campsite every Labor Day weekend for the past ten years and she says that keeping the kids safe is the focus.
“Where we play our games might change, we might be a little bit closer to the campsite. We’ll probably do a little more bike riding with the kids, maybe a few more walks with the kids as we get older we maybe will take off a little further,” says Sundbakken.
Staying safe but still having fun. Trautman added that if anything does happen, there are rangers and emergency personnel nearby to help.