State looking for first-time campers to experience Swan Island

If you’ve always considered camping, but never knew where to start, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Steve Powell Wildlife Management Area are running a contest that might appeal to you.

The state is seeking first-time campers — only Maine residents who have never gone camping need apply — to participate in a raffle. The grand prize: a free weekend of camping at Swan Island in the Kennebec River.

Four winners will receive free use of camping equipment, support from Swan Island staff in set-up, use and take-down, according to a DIF&W press release.

“Our goal is to help people connect with the outdoors,” said John Pratte, island manager. “We want people to disconnect from our fast-paced lives for a weekend, and instead plug into nature; it might be the best connection they make.”

To enter the raffle, go to, print and mail the application to Swan Island, 270 Lyons Road, Sidney, 04330. The deadline for applications is May 2, and the drawing will be held on May 3.

For more information, contact Pratte at 547-5318 or


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.