First-time Camper Weekend Program - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Department of Environmental Conservation

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First-time Camper Weekend Program

Registration for the 2018 First Time Camper program has ended. Thank you for all those that applied, stay tuned for details for next season!

family camping at a site

NYS will provide FREE First -Time Camper weekends throughout the summer in 2018. New York families that have never camped before will have the opportunity to see if they enjoy the great outdoors before investing in their own gear by registering for a fully stocked campsite at a select NYS campground for a weekend from 7/13/18 to 8/24/18.

New campers will be provided with a family tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs, camp stove, lantern, and even firewood. A Camping Ambassador will meet families at the campsite and help them get camp set up with a camping 101 lesson. To make the weekend getaway even more fun, campers will have an opportunity to learn from experts how to fish, hike, bird watch, paddle and more, all while having fun and making memories that last forever.

This program is available to NY residents only. Space is limited. Reservations are required and the application sign up period for the new lottery system has ended. Participants will be randomly selected to fill first-time camper slots. If you qualify, you will be contacted by May 31st to get additional information to complete the reservation.

Watch a clip about the First-time Camper Program and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

2018 First Time Campers Program, Participating Locations

July 13-15, 2018

North South Lake Campground (Catskills) - Take the Virtual Tour!

County Route 18
Haines Falls, NY 12436
518-589-5058

Darien Lake State Park (Genesee Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

10475 Harlow Road
Darien Center, NY 14040
585-547-9242

July 20-22, 2018

Kenneth L. Wilson Campground (Catskills) - Take the Virtual Tour!

859 Wittenberg Road
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457
845-679-7020

Four Mile Creek State Park (Niagara Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

1055 Lake Road
Youngstown, NY 14174
716-745-3802

July 27-29, 2018

Eighth Lake Campground (Adirondacks) - Take the Virtual Tour!

1353 State Route 28
Inlet, NY 13360
315-354-4120

Wellesley Island State Park (Thousand Islands Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

44927 Cross Island Road
Fineview, NY 13640
315-482-2722

August 3-5, 2018

Cranberry Lake Campground (Adirondacks) - Take the Virtual Tour!

243 Lone Pine Road
Cranberry Lake, NY 12927
315-848-2315

Taconic State Park, Copake Falls (Taconic Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

Route 344
Copake Falls, NY 12517
518-329-3993

August 10-12, 2018

Hearthstone Point Campground (Adirondacks) - Take the Virtual Tour!

3298 Lake Shore Drive
Lake George, NY 12845
518-668-5193

Fair Haven Beach State Park (Finger Lakes Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

14985 State Park Road
Fair Haven, NY 13064
315-947-5205

August 17-19, 2018

Fish Creek Pond Campground (Adirondacks) - Take the Virtual Tour!

4523 State Route 30
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
518-891-4560

Chenango Valley State Park (Central Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

153 State Park Road
Chenango Forks, NY 13746
607-648-5251

August 24-26, 2018

Thompson's Lake at Thacher State Park (Saratoga Region) - Take the Virtual Tour!

68 Thompsons Lake Road
East Berne, NY 12059
518-872-1674


North South Lake Wellesley Island State Park Paradox Lake Campground Schodack Island State Park Kenneth L. Wilson Campground Green Lake State Park Hearthstone Point Campground Hamlin Beach State Park