First time camper grand prize winner chosen

Posted Sept. 10, 2010, at 4:37 p.m.

AUGUSTA — A Windsor family on Friday won the First Time Campers 2010 grand prize — a complete camping set valued at $1,000, courtesy of L.L. Bean, which has sponsored the statewide program for the past three years.

The Saxton family, who spent a free camping weekend in July at Rangeley Lake State Park through the First Time Campers program and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL), was chosen during a drawing held at the L.L. Bean store in Freeport.

The name was drawn from among the 40 families who took part in the annual program designed to encourage Maine families who have never before camped to enjoy the experience at a Maine state campground.

“I’m really excited – I don’t win much,” Janet Saxton exclaimed when contacted later about her win. Saxton said that she, her partner Jeff Young, and their dog, Sam, so enjoyed their camping experience that “we went back twice after the fact.”

The First Time Camper program is part of the “Take It Outside” initiative begun by Gov. John E. Baldacci. The program is designed to introduce Maine families to the fun and joy of camping, to help create lasting memories and to enhance healthy lifestyles.

More than 1,300 Maine families new to the camping experience entered this year’s state wide raffle. Forty families were selected to receive a free weekend of camping at one of 12 state park campgrounds.

Saxton praised Rangeley Lake State Park and its staff, commenting particularly on its “whole family atmosphere.” She said her family specifically enjoyed the boat facility and kitchen area, the trails and the volleyball area.

“It had everything,” she said. “They were very friendly about dogs, too.”

For more information, go to www.parksandlands.com

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