Go play outside: New York makes it free for new campers

AP News
Posted: Jul 23, 2017 10:32 AM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Folks who'd like to try camping at New York parks are getting the chance to do it this summer for free, courtesy of the state.

New York launched a first-time camper program this summer, offering all the gear necessary for a weekend adventure. That includes a brand-new six-person tent, sleeping bags, camp chairs, lanterns and towels that participants are free to keep.

The 40 slots over eight summer weekends were scooped up within 25 minutes.

The goal is to nurture a new generation of campers and boost outdoor recreation.

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Officials say that while the state administers the program, the money for the gear came out of a camping promotion fund provided by the parks reservation service ReserveAmerica under its state contract.