If you've ever wanted to camp, but have been too intimidated by the setup, the Department of Environmental Conservation is providing a free program that's perfect for you.
The DEC is offering a first-time camper weekend program throughout the summer to give newbies an opportunity enjoy the experience of sleeping under the stars without having to worry about whether or not their tent will collapse on them in the middle of the night.
The program with all give first-timers the opportunity to try camping and see if they like it without having to invest in their own gear.
New campers will get a family tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs, camp stove, lantern and even firewood. A Camping Ambassador will even meet families at their campsite for a camping 101 lesson and help them get their camp set up.
To complete the camping experience, first-time campers will have the opportunity to learn from experts how to fish, hike, bird watch, paddle and more.
Families can choose from one of eight participating campgrounds, each one participating in the program one weekend from July 7 to August 25. For more information, an interactive map of campground details and to make reservations, visit the DEC's website.
Reservations will be made on a first-come, first-served basis beginning May 17 by calling 518-474-6718.