Explore Cabins and Yurts

Program Application


Explore Cabins and Yurts program

We invite you to apply to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department's Explore Cabins and Yurts program for 2023. The program selects organizations that serve underrepresented communities to receive a small group camping experience during the summer.

Each selected organization will be awarded five cabins or yurts for a two-night weekend stay at premier parks around the state. Trips are scheduled for weekends in July, August, or September 2023. The organizations will be responsible for selecting program participants for each site and supporting them in preparation for the camping trip.

We aim to remove barriers to camping for underrepresented groups and create a meaningful and positive experience for participants that we hope leads to many more park visits. We selected parks from across the state in order to make this program accessible to as many people as possible. These are popular parks with large cabin or yurt areas, as these facilities are an entry point for people new to camping or who lack camping gear.

Program Eligibility

To be eligible for this opportunity, organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • The organization must serve Oregonians.
  • The organization must demonstrate experience and commitment to serving underrepresented communities, including but not limited to, people from BIPOC communities, people living in poverty, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community (full definition at the bottom of the page). Organizations that serve an underrepresented community not listed here are encouraged to apply.
  • The organization must demonstrate ability to administer the program, including selecting participants, assisting participants in site reservation process, helping participants prepare for the event, and supporting participants during the event to ensure that they have a meaningful and positive experience.
  • Preference will be given to organizations that demonstrate a plan to continue to support participants' engagement with the outdoors after the camping trip ends.

Overview of Participating Parks

All the parks have flush restrooms, showers and water near the facilities. The exact layout and features of cabins and yurts vary by park, and are detailed in our Comfort Camping brochure. In general, both yurts and cabins have a combination of futon couches and single and double bunk beds. Capacity varies by park and by facility; most sleep up to 5 or 6 people. All cabins and yurts include heat, electricity, locking doors and an outdoor fire pit and picnic table. Participants must provide their own bedding, dishes and other camping gear. And, of course, they must agree to all park rules

These parks also feature a multitude of recreation activities and ranger-led programming for the entire family. This year the program will feature parks near Coos Bay, Newport, Pendleton, Portland, Salem, and Tillamook.

Application Questions

Please submit your answers to the following questions in Survey Monkey. Applications must be received by 5 pm on Friday, April 7, 2023.

  1. Describe your mission and organizational structure (staff and/or volunteers). If applicable, describe the specific program or programs that pertain to this opportunity. How does the Explore Cabins and Yurts program fit in with your organization’s mission?
  1. What communities does your organization serve? How does your organization serve communities that are underrepresented in the outdoors?
  1. Please describe how you would conduct outreach and select program participants if your organization is selected.
  1. How will your organization assist participants before and during the event to ensure they have a meaningful and positive experience?
  1. How will you extend or build upon this outdoor experience for program participants after this program is complete?

Terms and Conditions

Should your organization be selected to participate in this program, the following terms and conditions apply:

  • The recipient shall not resell sites.
  • The recipient shall make every effort to fill all five sites.
  • Each organization must provide contact information for the primary occupant of each site who must be 18 or older. The program participants will receive a list of campground rules before arriving at the park.
  • One of the five sites may be reserved for a group leader.
  • Pets are allowed only inside yurts and cabins designated as “pet-friendly.”
  • No smoking in any yurt or cabin.
  • Both the organization and the primary occupants must respond to a post-stay survey within 30 days. The surveys will cover outdoor recreation preferences and will help us evaluate this program.

Contact Information

Caleb Dickson (he, him, his): caleb.dickson@oprd.oregon.gov

About Us

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is proud to care for Oregon's varied landscapes and rich cultural history. The department serves the state of Oregon through the properties and programs it oversees, and recognizes that Oregon's resilience and beauty are strengthened by its diverse population. Oregon State Parks are public spaces, and as such are welcome to all. Accordingly, OPRD is committed to valuing and serving everyone and actively working to provide safe and equitable access to state parks and agency programs. To this end, the department will not tolerate racism, harassment, discrimination, or intimidation in any form.

Oregon's Office of Outdoor Recreation coordinates the state's outdoor recreation policy across agencies, between public and private sectors, and in cooperation with organizations that have a vested interest in seeing Oregon's outdoor recreation reach its fullest potential.

*Underserved communities are defined by the federal government as communities that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life including Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.