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Daily Deal: Camp free at KOA and help camps for kids with cancer

April 12, 2013|By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A couple relax in front of their motor coach at Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa Paula.
A couple relax in front of their motor coach at Ventura Ranch KOA in Santa… (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)

It's called the Care Camps Big Weekend, but it could be subtitled "Camping for a cause." KOA campgrounds rewards campers who stay May 10 at one of more than 400 sites nationwide with a second night for free. The idea is to raise awareness and funds to support summer camps that serve children with cancer.

The deal: The free night applies to tent and RV camps as well as cabins available at selected sites. And it just happens to coincide with Mother's Day, which could make for a nice family getaway. The deal is good at KOA campgrounds across the country, including 25 sites in California. Visalia, Banning, Santa Paula, Chula Vista, South Lake Tahoe and Lake Isabella are among the participating camps.

Funds raised over the Big Weekend support more than 52 summer KOA Care Camps that are outfitted with medical facilities for children who are undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment. And their siblings get to go too. During the May 10 weekend, campers may donate by participating in special Big Weekend activities and events at the campground or by making a direct contribution in onsite collection boxes.

When: You must reserve for May 10 to get the free night.

Tested: I found availability for the free night at the San Diego Metro KOA in Chula Vista. I chose a tent site with no hookups that comes to $58 for the two-night stay. I also found availability at South Lake Tahoe, also for a tent site, for $45 for two nights and a cabin that sleeps up to six at the KOA in Visalia near Sequoia National Park for $83 for two nights.

Info: KOA or call individual campgrounds.

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