Choosing a campsite

Now’s the time when the reservations start flooding our world…the sun is shining, the tents and RV’s are begging to be opened up and aired out.  In the Spring, most of my morning and evening work hours are spent in front of the computer, answering e-mails, returning phone calls and booking sites.

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RV43

 

RV1and2This is my 23rd summer of this responsibility and I take it as seriously now as I did before I had grey hair and needed glasses.  About two thirds of our guests are either returning campers or have been referred by friends and family.  These folks usually fall into two categories: they either love us and feel like any site in the park would be fine because they know that to the best of our ability all the sites are level, spacious and comfortable OR they have very specific sites in mind and are willing to plan their vacation dates around the availability of those sites.  These are easy bookings because there is a lot of confidence on both of our parts.

swingsite

RV155

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The other third of our guests will be staying with us for the first time.  Like any new relationship, there can be trust issues on both ends of the telephone.  In a perfect world, people will trust me to choose a campsite to the best of my ability based on their vacation dates, site availability and their use of abundant adjectives for ideal site descriptions.  There is a certain amount of compromise required if the only goals are “privacy, oceanfront, July and weekend”…but with a little wiggle room I can usually find something nice.  First, I understand how important this getaway is…when Steven and I travel it’s fiercely important to us too that our time/money is spent as well as possible. Second, almost 100% of our guests understand the atmosphere we offer and want to be part of THIS world, so consideration and friendliness are the norm and not the exception…it’s good to know that your neighbors are wonderful too.  Finally, we don’t try to fill all the sites in the park so when you get here, we’re happy to show you the site we’ve chosen and then offer up any other available campsite.

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As I write this, I realize that maybe another good article would be about the difference between campsites and the reason behind some of our policies…stay tuned, because I’ll ponder this while I work in the garden and get back to you.  This would be a great time to comment with questions I should address in the next posting.  In the meantime, I’ve started a collection of photos of specific campsites that should help first time visitors envision our sites. and a request…if you’ve stayed with us before and have some great pictures of you and your family on a campsite…could I have copies please?  you could either e-mail them to relax@campocean.com or put them on Facebook.  I get so wrapped up in the summer, I forget to get outside and take pictures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Columbus Day Weekend~ the last camping weekend of 2015?

My favorite camper of the year.
Handmade is marvelous, don’t you think? The oak leaves are still green…the promise of warm afternoons in our future.

It’s the season of conflicting emotions…yes we’re tired and looking forward to lingering over coffee in the morning and a glass of wine in the evening without thinking about being in the office when guests arrive…but we never close the park with a rush of energy, because we’re always hoping that Fall will last a bit longer and we’ll enjoy the company of campers for “just another couple of days.”  When people call the office to ask when we close, I’m frustratingly vague because it all truly depends on the weather.  When it’s cold enough to threaten our water lines with freezing, we’ll be closed.  Maybe Oct 18th…maybe the 25th…it’s a day by day thing, sort of like farming.

Captured by Karen Martin on Site 15
Captured by Karen Martin on Site 15

Today it’s even more difficult to lay the season to rest because this weekend we’re expecting guests for the Maine Maritime Academy’s Family Gathering while all of our local media covers the tragic loss of four Mainers’ lives on the El Faro…If walls could talk, the sea captains’ homes of Searsport have been privy to private tragedy on the seas for over 200 years…the tides, storms and vagrancies in the weather and we’re clearly part of the cycle.

Was that too heavy for a campground blog?  Mostly we’re feeling “Fall Festive”… honest 🙂 Steve’s been mowing the fields, repairing the seawall from Wednesday’s storm and building a new wood shed…I’ve been putting food up for winter, greeting guests and making foliage tour recommendations and dyeing wool with marigolds, coreopsis and grapes.  My most recent pics show a blissfully mundane life don’t you think?

Our frog pounds seem like candy jars to a couple of blue herons that have been hanging around. It was foggy this morning and I tried to capture this young one...can you see her to the left of the red maple?
Our frog ponds are candy jars to a couple of blue herons that have been hanging around lately. It was foggy this morning and I tried to capture this young one…can you see her to the left of the red maple?
Better than chocolate cake!
My new favorite way to preserve for winter: Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick, sprinkle with salt, oregano & paprika, roast in a 250 degree oven for 3-4 hours (an oven in a lobster shack by the sea is best).
Our friends at the Yardarm Motel in Searsport had a bumper grape crop...and shared with us. Yesterday's grapes are today's juice...Welche's never comes close!
Our friends at the Yardarm Motel in Searsport had a bumper grape crop…and shared with us. Yesterday’s grapes are today’s juice…Welch’s never comes close!

Rental Trailers

Every couple of  years we buy new rental trailers and sell off the old ones.  This works well because you always have something fresh and new to stay in and someone else gets to buy a really nice used trailer at a discounted price…win/win.

Last week we placed our order for two new trailers to be delivered around June 15th…the floor plans are generally the same…Bunk House models meaning that there are two bedrooms separated by a kitchen/living room.  A queen bed in the front and bunk beds in the back.

Who rents a travel trailer?  With knowing over-simplification, the folks who rent a travel trailer fall into three major categories:  Trailer-less families who want to camp with friends who have their own trailer… folks who want to test drive the RV lifestyle (one or two weeks in a trailer gives you a good idea of what you might like to invest in for the future) and family and friends of people living in the Searsport/Belfast area.

As you might guess, we field alot of questions about trailer rentals recently I received an e-mail with questions I hadn’t considered…and thought you might be interested to hear the answers too…  If you think of other questions, please ask…we’ll add to the list.

1. What will my rental trailer look like?  The trailer will be very similar to the one you see on

the website.

2.  Do I have water in the camper?  There is running, town water in the trailer.  You have two sinks (kitchen

and bath) and a tub shower.  The trick to being comfortable in a travel trailer is to treat water

like the precious resource that it is.  Because we are right on the ocean you will be relying on your holding tanks for your gray (sink/shower) and black (toilet) water.  We have a mobile pumping service that will come by and empty your tanks (you don’t need to be here during the day for the service).

3.  Is the toilet normal?  The toilet is a regular, flush toilet…again, because of the tanks, we ask you to use only RV TP (we provide) and throw nothing else into the bowl…

4.  Do they have slide out rooms for extra space?  There is a big slide out…expanding your living and kitchen space substancially.

5.  Where are the trailers located?  The rental trailers are on Silver sites (close to the ocean with some views).  If being on the oceanfront is a priority, sometimes we can move the trailer onto a gold or platinum site for an additional fee.

6.  Is there television?  Yes…and our DVD collection is available to you at no additional fee.

7.  And my computer…do you have Wi-Fi?…the big question in any campground.  The general answer is yes, no problem…but although we broadcast the signal for a 2-3 mile radius, sometimes it depends on the antenna in your computer.  Generally speaking you’ll have no trouble outside your (metal) camper at the picnic table, usually you can pick up the signal inside.  You can ALWAYS have a signal at the bathhouse, rec hall and surrounding porches.

8.  What to pack?…Bring bed and bath linens (there’s one queen size bed and 1 double and 3 single beds) and EVERYTHING you need for the kitchen.  Your kitchen is complete with all the appliances but because we do not have sterilization equipment, we cannot provide pots, pans or dishes.

9.  The site amenities?  …you have a picnic table and a fire ring on site.  Please buy firewood only at the campground, we are very concerned about the tree devastating bugs coming up from the South and Down from the North.

10.  There is an awning for shade on the side of the camper…you may want to bring some lounging chairs.

11.  Generally speaking, there is a five night minimum for reserving a rental trailer.  The rate is $140/night which includes 2 adults and three children.  We are unable to host pets in the rental trailers because of the upholstery and carpeting but can have them in the Frog and Faerie Cabin.

Whatever you’re thinking, don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions…we’re always ready to find the answer…what are you waiting for?

The Frog & Fairy Camper Cabin

Our camper cabin is that in-between step from a tent to a cottage. It sleeps 5 comfortably on bunk beds with mattresses, has a fridge and electricity. Just like real camping, you cook on the fire ring outside and use the campground bath facilities.

Afternoon sunStanding in Front

Walking through the screen doorhot chocolate table, looking into bedroom

The cabin is situated under huge white pines, has parking on site and is a 3 minute stroll to the bathrooms and playground…4 minutes to the beach. There’s a covered porch with a swing for a lazy afternoon. Most importantly, it’s scrumptiously clean, light and airy and the knotty pine interior smells really good!