- Associated Press - Saturday, May 12, 2018

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York families who have never camped have the chance to see if they might enjoy the great outdoors before making a commitment to buy all the gear.

Free first-time camper weekends are being offered at 13 parks around the state throughout the summer.

New campers will be provided with a family tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs, camp stove, lantern, even firewood. They’ll also be greeted by a camping ambassador to help them get everything set up.

The program is available only to New York residents and space is limited. Reservations are required and the application sign-up period for the new lottery system runs through Sunday. Participants will be randomly selected to fill the slots.

Contact the Bureau of Recreation at 518-457-2500 for more information.

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