I'm sorry I didn't make the fall hang this last weekend, but while looking at the event calendar for my local park (Cedar Hill) a couple of weeks ago, I found out they were hosting their Texas Outdoor Family workshop there this last weekend.
Basically, it's designed for beginning campers -- they loan each family a tent and other gear that's very much oriented toward car camping and a novice budget -- the Coleman white-gas stove they issued was the size of a suitcase and looked to have been around since the 50s....but hey, it still worked
My wife and I were interested in the kayaking and geocaching segments, and so we signed up, in the process explaining that we wouldn't really be needing the loaner gear, and that we were hammock campers.
As it turned out, the ranger that was in charge of the thing had been curious about hammock camping herself, and thought that my suggestion that I could demonstrate a different style of camping that was even more "Leave no Trace" would be an interesting addition. She explained that they may be putting together a "Next Step" type of program to show things like knot tying, going lightweight, and other more advanced topics.
So, I had two Texas park rangers and dozens of adults and kids trying out our hammocks over the weekend -- they were especially interested in how warm they were, as many of them got cold on their air mattresses in their tents. They were also duly impressed with the speed of the takedown.
I pointed a lot of them here to HammockForums.net, and was fair in allowing that the setup as we had it was fairly expensive, but that they could begin with one of the cheap parachute hammocks, a blue foam pad, sleeping bag, and a tarp (or rainfly if they already owned a tent). I also explained that some scout troops put them together as a group project.
One woman who was especially interested was a scout leader with MS -- the poor woman got cold enough in her tent that her upper body locked up -- she ended up spending the night in the woman's restroom for the warmth. She loved not only the comfort of laying in the hammock, but the warmth from the insultex underquilt we had set up.
With any luck, we'll see some new converts -- and the ranger in charge said she was keeping my contact information for potential volunteer opportunities to further show the benefits of our way of life.
Best quote -- when she initially pointed us out to the group, saying that "....they camp in hammocks, like in the movie Avatar."