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, Stillwater and Woodford. 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 802-522-0841 and we'll sign you up.

  2. The “winning” entries will be randomly selected two 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, you can either bring blankets from home or you can order up to six high quality sleeping bags from the Outdoor Gear Exchange for $34.95 each that can be shipped to your home or the park where you can pick it up upon your arrival.

  4. You arrive at the park at 5:00 pm 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 a tent or two, a cookstove, a lantern and some sleeping pads.

  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!
Park Dates Deadline for entry
Bomoseen July 13 - 14 June 29
Bomoseen July 20 - 21 July 6
Bomoseen August 10 - 12 August 3
Button Bay July 13 - 14 June 29
Button Bay July 20 - 22 July 6
Button Bay August 17 - 18 August 3
Grand Isle July 13 - 14 June 29
Grand Isle July 27 - 28 July 13
Grand Isle August 3 - 4 July 20
Stillwater July 13 - 14 June 29
Stillwater July 27 - 28 July 13
Stillwater August 3 - 4 July 20
Woodford July 20 - 21 July 6
Woodford July 27 - 28 July 13
Woodford August 10 - 11 July 27

Thanks to our First Time Happy Camper Sponsors

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