First-Time Camper Program

We'll help you discover the joy of sleeping under the stars.

First-Time Camper

If you've always wanted to try camping, but weren't sure how to begin? We can help! Through our First-Time Camper program, you’ll get borrowed gear, expert advice, two-night accommodations and more. Regular camping rates apply. Use of equipment and ranger guidance is provided with the program.

» Camping 101

Our park rangers are eager to share their love for camping and the great outdoors. When you arrive, someone will guide you on how to set up camp and provide insider tips. You’ll even get an emergency phone number to call during the night.
  park ranger

» Gear from REI & Coleman

Test out great gear provided by REI (Recreation Equipment Incorporated) & Coleman. and websites offer lots of helpful expert advice.  (Please bring your own sleeping bag or blanket, and a pillow.)
  • 1 Six-Person Tent
  • 4 Sleeping Pads
  • 1 Camp Stove with Fuel
  • 4 Roasting Forks
  • 1 Lantern
  • 2 Camp Chairs
  REI gear

» Our Campgrounds

Choose from 6 Georgia State Parks. Campsites have water and electric hookups, picnic tables, grills and campfire pits. Bathrooms and hot showers are within walking distance.

To check on availability and to make reservations, call the Park directly and be sure to identify yourself as a First-Time Camper.

It is recommended that you reserve your space at least two weeks in advance.
  First Time Camper parks map

» Costs

  • Regular camping rates apply.
  • $5 ParkPass for the duration of your stay.
  • Many park activities are free, such as hiking, geocaching and fishing. Some activities have a fee, such as mini-golf, boat rental or swimming pools.

» To Qualify

Anyone who has never camped in a Georgia State Park may participate. 

» Pets

Because gear is borrowed, pets are not allowed in the First-Time Camper Program. But if you love the experience and come back again, your dog can enjoy camping too!

» Questions

Contact our program coordinator, Ellen Graham at 706-878-4703 or
Other Frequently Asked Questions

» REI Expert Advice

Check out REI's helpful pre-trip information about camping and a number of outdoor pursuits at
» 7 reasons why Reader's Digest says camping is a great activity

REI logo
Coleman Logo
Camping Gopher
The First-Time Camper program is being sponsored by generous donations from REI and Coleman.
Special thanks for their support!