Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Camper Assistance Program

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The Camper Assistance Program (CAP) offers seasoned campers an opportunity to share their expertise and love of the outdoors with other people at campgrounds in parks throughout New York operated by the State's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. In return, CAP volunteers receive a free camping site.

CAP volunteers serve in a variety of ways...

  • welcoming campers and helping to enrich their camping experience;
  • helping new campers learn the "ways of the woods."
  • familiarizing campers with park programs and regulations;
  • assisting with recreation and nature programming;
  • checking and stocking facilities between the visits of regular maintenance crews;
  • setting an example by being model campers, practicing good housekeeping around their site and adhering to park rules and regulations;
  • acquainting patrons with the varied activities and facilities in the park and in the surrounding area.

Here's how CAP works

Anyone can participate in the CAP program. All you need be is a seasoned camper, at least 18 years of age, willing to help others, and able to spend a minimum of two weeks at one of the participating state park campgrounds.

CAP volunteers serve for a minimum of two, maximum of four weeks, usually between Memorial Day and Labor Day at the park manager's discretion. They are on duty five days per week, including weekends and holidays. CAPs will be asked to work only two to five hours per day, but they may be on call at all times. In return for their services, they receive a free camping site during their duty. Additional campers may accompany the volunteer, within normal park rules.

CAP volunteers receive an orientation where they learn more about the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, are acquainted with the CAP program, and receive suggestions as to how they best can serve campers.

View Parks that offer a Camper Assistance Program.

Camper Assistance Program Logo

Download your CAP Application!