For the fifth consecutive year, state parks have experienced record camping numbers.
More than 11 million adults and children camp every year, and this year is no exception to the high numbers.
Attendance at state park campgrounds is up yet again, according to a recent report released by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In fact, attendance through the month of October was around 633,000 nights, well above the 2015 total of 623,891.
Even Stony Brook State Park in Livingston County has seen an increase in attendance this year, with a strong interest in hiking the gorges.
Letchworth State Park hasn’t yet surpassed last year’s numbers, but Park Manager Roland Beck remains hopeful for the rest of the season.
“We had a great year,” he said, adding that the lack of rain made it “an exceptional year for camping.”
While the weather may have made it a great year for camping, some campers weren’t so fortunate.
Just last week, an Oklahoma Boy Scout Troop was robbed of an old equipment trailer filled with necessary camping equipment.
Eddie Edison, who’s been with the troop since 1990, recalled that he spent 10 years collecting cans to be able to afford the very trailer that was stolen.
Scout Master Rick Warren said that the trailer, along with everything inside of it, was important to the troop.
“Cookstoves, tents, tables, propane. Everything we need to camp,” he said.
One of the more sentimental items that was stolen was a hand-carved sign showcasing the troop’s name and logo. The entire troop has felt this loss deeply, as the sign is irreplaceable.
Edison remarked that the sign had been around even longer than he had been in the troop.
The troop is mostly boggled as to why someone would steal the trailer.
Warren explained that most of the items within the trailer were old and not really useful unless you were planning on going camping. He said that it’s not particularly useful to anyone except for the troop, for which it has everything they might need.
Things might be looking up for State Parks, but the troop will be looking for assistance in funds for their next camping trip.