For more information about the First Time Campers program or to get an application, call 688-4712, or visit www.take-it-outside.com.
For more information about Maine state parks and historic sites, visit www.parksandlands.com.
WELD — Forty-four lucky families will get a free weekend of camping this summer at one of 11 Maine state park campgrounds, such as Mount Blue or Rangeley Lakes.
Through a raffle, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands' First Time Campers program will randomly select the families that have never gone camping, program organizer Fritz Appleby said Tuesday in a report. Appleby is manager of Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal.
Each selected family will get the free use of camping equipment, up to four sleeping bags to keep, Hannaford gift certificates and complete support from park staff in setting up, using and taking down camping equipment throughout the weekend, Appleby said.
One family will be the grand-prize recipient of a $1,000 gift certificate from the program's major sponsor, L.L. Bean.
The unique program, part of the bureau's “Take It Outside” initiative, is designed to encourage Maine families to experience the rewards of summer camping at state park campgrounds.
“Maine is all about the outdoors and the camping experience, and why shouldn’t Maine families enjoy all that?” Appleby asked.
Raffle applications are available online and will be accepted until May 31. The winning families will be chosen in a random drawing held Friday, June 1; winning families will be notified the week of June 4.
The four weekends of camping from which to choose are from July 13-14 to Aug. 3-4.
State park campgrounds include Mount Blue in Weld; Bradbury Mountain in Pownal; Rangeley Lakes in Rangeley; Aroostook in Presque Isle; Camden Hills in Camden; Sebago Lake in Naples; Cobscook Bay in Edmunds Township; Lamoine in Ellsworth; Peaks-Kenny in Dover-Foxcroft; Lily Bay in Greenville; and Lake St. George in Liberty.