First-time campers can again take part in a successful program that the state of Pennsylvania and a sporting goods store chain have teamed up to host.

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Recourses (DCNR) announced the First Time Camper Program will be offered at 16 parks from Memorial Day through the summer, the York Dispatch reported.

Gander Mountain again teamed up with the state to put on the program.

This marks the third year the program has been in existence, and it has been popular at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Warrington Township.

“We’ve had very positive comments from the people who have taken part,” said park manager Bob Deffner. “I’m almost certain that every weekend was taken.”

First time: Through the program, campers are lent a four-person tent, rain tarp, four sleeping pads, four camp chairs, flashlight, lantern, camp stove, and four hot dog/marshmallow sticks and reservation for two nights at participating state parks for $20.

Park staff will also show campers how to set up a campsite and give them tips on fire safety and proper food storage.

The campers are also told about local attractions and things to do in the park. They are also given the site beside park hosts, who provide additional help during their stay.

Participants will need to bring their own food, cooking utensils and bedding, but suggested packing lists will be provided.

So far, four to five camping groups have already been confirmed to take part in the program and two to three others have signed up, Deffner said.

Family fun: A second program, new this year, also aims to get people involved in the outdoors.

The state department will be offering a staff-guided Family Camping Program at parks, discounted park stays, and camper-oriented activity guides. The program is offered at seven parks, according to DCNR.

“Both programs encourage and promote park camping,” said DCNR Secretary Richard Allan.

They offer equipment for some campers, help for first-time campers, special assis-

tance for families and cost savings for all, he said.

In addition, there is an activity guide that focuses on state parks offering five outdoor pursuits: camping, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and play.

The guides, and coupons for a $10 discount off the fee for a second night of state park camping, will be given out to anyone purchasing The North Face gear or clothing at any The North Face store or authorized retailer in the state.