First Time Happy Camper Program

Another happy camper family

How to Become a First Time Happy Camper

Never been camping before? Or, if you have, has it been a really long time (like 10 years or so)? Vermont State Parks is here tell you how much you have been missing. Camping is a great experience that blends adventure with fun and relaxation in ways that binds friends and families together and creates life-long memories. Why are you missing out on all this?

Need a little encouragement?

Sign Up Now

If you do, the First Time Happy Camper Program might be just the thing for you. We’ll help you with free equipment, planning tips, set up help, meal advice, and we’ll throw in a free campsite for a couple of nights! Participating state parks include Bomoseen, Button Bay, Grand Isle, Mt. Ascutney and Stillwater. First Time Happy Camper weekends will be scheduled throughout July and August.

  1. Fill out the entry form making sure to mark which weekend and at which of the 5 state parks you want to try camping. If you don't have internet access, call 1-888-409-7579 Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm and we'll sign you up.

  2. The “winning” entries will be randomly selected three weeks prior to the camping weekend.

  3. If you “win”, you will be notified and sent some information to help with your planning. You’ll get a detailed checklist of things you will need to bring like clothing, food and bedding. If you have a sleeping bag, bring it. If you don’t, borrow one or plan on bringing blankets and pillows from home.

  4. You arrive at the park at 6:00 pm sharp the Friday evening of your camping weekend and a helpful and friendly Vermont State Parks staff person will greet you, show you around the park and help you get set up at your campsite. We will loan you the basic equipment you will need including 1 two-person tent & 1 four-person tent, a cookstove and fuel, 1 lantern and 1 headlamp, 5 sleeping pads and 1 tarp with camp cord. You'll also get free firewood for the whole weekend.

  5. Staff will be available all weekend to answer your questions and otherwise make sure you have a great experience. You can hike, swim, fish and enjoy everything the parks have to offer.

  6. You leave the park on Sunday happy, relaxed and ready to go camping again sometime!
Camping Dates Drawing Held Park
July 12 - 13 June 21 Bomoseen
July 12 - 13 June 21 Button Bay
July 12 - 13 June 21 Grand Isle
July 12 - 13 June 21 Mt. Ascutney
July 12 - 13 June 21 Stillwater
July 19 - 20 June 28 Bomoseen
July 19 - 20 June 28 Button Bay
July 19 - 20 June 28 Grand Isle
July 19 - 20 June 28 Stillwater
July 26 - 27 July 5 Bomoseen
July 26 - 27 July 5 Button Bay
July 26 - 27 July 5 Grand Isle
July 26 - 27 July 5 Mt. Ascutney
July 26 - 27 July 5 Stillwater
August 9 - 10 July 19 Bomoseen
August 9 - 10 July 19 Grand Isle
August 16 - 17 July 26 Button Bay

Thanks to our First Time Happy Camper Sponsors

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