The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of Parks and Recreation have announced that New York State will provide free First-Time Camper weekends throughout the summer in 2017. Families that have never camped before will have the opportunity to see if they enjoy sleeping under the stars before investing in their own gear by registering for a fully stocked campsite at select state campgrounds one weekend from July 7 through Aug. 25.
“Active lifestyles strengthen mind, muscles, heart and lungs and New York State provides ample opportunity to run, walk, hike, swim, launch a canoe or kayak or ride a bike especially near and around our campgrounds," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, according to a story by the Oneida Dispatch. "New York State's campgrounds and open space are affordable and offer an abundance of ways to keep a healthy way of life and strengthen social bonds.”
Long-time campers know the enjoyment and rewards of sleeping under the stars, but for those who have never slept in a tent before, spending the night outdoors can be an unfamiliar adventure. New York State’s First-Time Camper program will make trying camping for the first time easy by providing a turnkey camping experience for families, especially those from underserved communities that have never camped before.