The weather will improve. Really. At some point, it will be pleasant to spend time outdoors in Minnesota. When it does, you had better take advantage of it. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources runs a program to teach you how to enjoy of few aspects of their state parks.

The award-winning I Can! program teaches some of the basics of camping, paddling, mountain biking, and fishing. The program is designed for families or individuals. Registration is underway and programs begin in June in more than 25 Minnesota state parks.

shironosov
shironosov
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"We provide all the gear along with friendly instructors who can show you how to use it," says Ann Pierce, DNR Parks and Trails director in a news release. "Our goal is to make it easy for all Minnesotans to get outdoors, have fun and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of nature."

Photo: David Black
Photo: David Black
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The I Can! camp program offers one-night, two-night, and backpacking options. Participants will get "Hands-on instruction on setting up camp, starting a campfire, camp cooking, and more from our experienced I Can Camp! instructor crew," the website states.

Photo: Richard Leguil, WJON
Photo: Richard Leguil, WJON
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Those who take the I Can! mountain bike program will learn, "shifting, braking, body position, basic safety and trail etiquette on a closed skills course, and then hit the trails for a group ride. Small group sizes and experienced instructors will ensure you leave the program with the skills you need to ride the trails on your own."

Dad and son fishing at lake
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In the I Can! fish program, "Experience the fun of casting into the water and the excitement of a tug on the line! These hands-on programs teach all of the basics, from fish identification to casting," the website boasts.

Canoe on Kekekabic Lake in the Boundary Waters
Wildnerdpix
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In the I Can! paddle program, you will, "Learn paddling skills from experienced guides while exploring some of Minnesota's most stunning lakes and rivers. These programs are designed especially for first-time paddlers; no experience is necessary. [Afterward], you and your friends or family will be ready to launch your own paddling adventure," according to the website.

About 100,000 people have taken classes through the I Can! program since 2010. Some classes require fees.

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