It's probably not tough to figure out that I am a fan of camping. Of course, the definition of camping varies from person to person.

My wife and I started tent camping in our younger years but after a couple of decades of 'roughing it' we decided to try out a small camper. Well, long, boring story short, we are on camper number five.

Anyway, camping, in whatever form it may be, at least for me, is one of the most enjoyable things in my life. How about you? Have you ever gone camping?

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New York State has so many options for camping. and it just so happens that they are providing free First-Time Camper weekends throughout the summer.

The Empire State notes that it wants to "give families that have never camped before, 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 designated weekend this summer.

A stocked campsite includes a family tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs, a camp stove, a lantern, and firewood. In addition:

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. - NYS DEC

The First-Time Camper weekends are open only to New York State residents. Interested families can enter beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 13th through Thursday June 20th, 2024

There will be seven First-Time Camper weekends from July through August. New York State at selected sites in the Catskills and Adirondacks. Families will be randomly selected by New York State to fill the first-time camper slots.

For more information, and to enter the lottery, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

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Gallery Credit: Airbnb

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