News for Immediate Release

April 21, 2011

Pennsylvania State Parks to Help First-Time Campers Gear Up

Harrisburg – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is partnering with Gander Mountain to provide first-time campers with needed gear and a reservation for two nights at a participating state park for just $20.

“For a low price, we’re offering hands-on instruction on how to set-up camp; use of campsite gear; and the chance to have fun and create some fantastic family memories,” acting DCNR Secretary Rick Allan said. “Camping at a state park is an affordable vacation that comes complete with many opportunities to hike, fish, attend an educational program or just enjoy some solitude at our nationally-recognized state parks.”

Fourteen state parks around the state are participating in the program, including: Black Moshannon, Centre County; Caledonia, Franklin County; Colonel Denning, Cumberland County; Gifford Pinchot, York County; Hickory Run, Carbon County; Keystone, Westmoreland County; Laurel Hill, Somerset County; Little Pine, Lycoming County; Locust Lake, Schuylkill County; Ohiopyle, Fayette County; Ole Bull, Potter County; Parker Dam, Clearfield County; Pymatuning, Crawford County; and R.B. Winter, Union County.

Reservations should be made by calling the park office directly. The program will run from Memorial Day weekend through the summer.

The gear provided for use by Gander Mountain is a four-person tent; tarp; two sleeping pads; two camp chairs; flashlight; lantern; camp stove; and four hot dog/marshmallow sticks. Participants must return the gear upon departure.

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

“Recognizing that first-time campers may need some extra help, park staff will help them set-up camp and provide tips on outdoor living upon arrival,” Allan said.

With 117 state parks covering 295,000 acres, there is a state park within 25 miles of nearly every Pennsylvanian. They feature an array of recreational opportunities, provide a forum for multiple environmental education programs and conserve thousands of acres of unique natural areas, among many other features.

State parks also serve as economic generators to the communities that surround them, with visitors spending about $928 million annually.

More information about Pennsylvania state parks is found online at

Media contact: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101.