The Rugby League Park playing field will become a camp ground next month as the Fathering Project holds Armidale's first father-child Big Camp Out.
Dads, father-figures, and kids from across the Armidale region will pitch tents overnight and enjoy quality time together on the first weekend of November.
"It's just one aspect of what we're doing to inspire and equip fathers and father-figures to positively engage with their kids," Fathering Project Armidale co-ordinator John Everett said.
Cancer specialist Bruce Robinson set up the Fathering Project in Western Australia in 2013. It has since expanded operations to the east coast states.
The Fathering Project works year-round with its Dads Groups in schools across Australia. Around a dozen schools in the Armidale New England region are involved, including Uralla Central, Bundarra Central, the Armidale School, Minimbah Primary, and Rock River Public.
"We try to engage dads, give them opportunity to spend some quality time with their kids, support them to be the best dads they can be, and connect them with a community of like-minded families," Mr Everett said.
Engaged, positive fathering can improve health, schooling, and reduce risk of involvement in crime or substance abuse, the Fathering Project believes.
"Research shows that more effective fathers and father-figures now will mean that this generation of kids is more likely to have a happier, healthier future," Mr Everett said.
The Fathering Project won the Western Australian Men's Health Award this year, and received $5.4 million from the Federal Government in January. The Project plans to establish 3700 Groups across Australia within five years.
Professor Robinson received the Western Ausrtalian of the Year Award in 2013 for advocating the benefits of good fathering and establishing the Fathering Project, as well as his cancer work.
The Big Camp Out will be held from the afternoon of Saturday, November 2, to Sunday, November 3. More information at www.fathering.org/events/nsw.