AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine families who never before have camped have just a few more days to enter the First Time Campers raffle, sponsored by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.
The deadline for entering the program, now in its fifth year, is Thursday.
The First Time Campers program will randomly select 44 Maine families to win a free weekend of camping. The raffle is open only to Maine families who have never before gone camping. Each selected family will get the free use of camping equipment, receive gifts from sponsors and be supported throughout the weekend by park staff.
One of those fortunate families also 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 BPL’s “Take It Outside” initiative, is designed to encourage Maine families to experience the rewards of summer camping at Maine state park campgrounds. This year, the program is sponsored by L.L.Bean, Kittery Trading Post, Hannaford and Wicked Joe Coffee.
The selected families will get the use of camping equipment for the weekend and will receive as many as four sleeping bags to keep, Hannaford gift certificates and complete support from park staff in setting up, using and taking down camping equipment. Participants must provide their own provisions for the weekend.
Raffle applications are available online. They will be accepted until May 31. The recipient families will be chosen in a random drawing held on Friday, June 1, with the families notified the week of June 4. There will be four weekends of camping from which the lucky winners can choose, from July 13-14 to Aug. 3-4.
The state park campgrounds include: Bradbury Mountain, Pownal; Rangeley Lake, Rangeley; Aroostook, Presque Isle; Camden Hills, Camden; Sebago Lake, Naples; Mt. Blue, Weld; Cobscook Bay, Edmunds Township; Lamoine, Ellsworth; Peaks-Kenny, Dover-Foxcroft; Lily Bay, Beaver Cove; and Lake St. George, Liberty.
For more information about the First Time Campers program or to get an application, call Fritz Appleby, park manager, Bradbury Mountain State Park, at 688-4712 or visit take-it-outside.com.
For more information about Maine state parks and historic sites, visit parksandlands.com.