A Place Like Home: North Bay Campground

Let me tell you a little story about a small place called “North Bay Campground.” Now a lot of people I have heard say, “Where is that?” or “What exactly is that place?”

I am actually surprised at how many people from around here really don’t know this place. This is a place that you could actually call your “summer home” as I have heard a lot of the people here refer to it. This is a place that is home away from home….you’re not going to find any fancy houses, run down shacks, snobbish people, riots after dark or even hear police sirens…..but the one thing you will find here is FAMILY! That’s right….family, just like I said.

I started camping here this past summer, my boyfriend and his family have been camping here for years. We got on the list, got a camper and got a seasonal sight. Most times you get to pick your sight and also have the option to leave your camper there for winter storage if you like. Once you have your sight, you are encouraged to make it feel like home.

It’s a slow process to get to know everyone and get settled in, but once you do, it doesn’t take long and then you are deemed family in their eyes, as long as you follow the campground rules I might add. Everyone is friendly and courteous, patient and understanding. On the holidays, people come from miles around to set up camp for the weekend and have a good time, leaving with smiles on their faces and a wave goodbye.

This isn’t your ordinary campground, even though you can’t swim in the water you can do a lot of other things to pass the time. There are things for the kids to do and also things for the adults. The people here try to make it so you always want to come back.

They play Redneck Horseshoes on special occasions, bingo every Saturday afternoon and evening, for the kids and the grown ups alike, they have a playground and an rc track, fishing and an arcade, the kids can play on the beach or go tubing on the water. If you have a gold cart to decorate, they have golf cart parades on special holidays and throw candy to the campers …..they even use them to ride up the road for ice cream so if you ever see people coming up the road in the golf cart, you’ll know where they came from.

They celebrate the holidays like everyone else and try to make it special for those of us who camp here. Everyone pulls together and cooks breakfast for Mom’s and Dad’s on their special day, they have special days for racing rc cars, sports, Memorial Day, 4th of July, live band music, campers cook off, pirates weekend, nerf war, an annual fishing derby for the kids and Labor Day weekend. They have Easter weekend in June for the kids, allowing them to color Easter eggs and then have an Easter egg hunt, they also have Christmas in July where they bring in Santa for the kids and he hands out presents, allowing the kids to decorate a tree and campers to decorate their sites. It’s a “Festival of Lights” for all of us and they also have raffles and cake tables and bake sales to raise money for the campground so they can purchase and build more items to create more activities for kids and adults alike.

They have a camper’s picnic where all campers are invited to come and pass a dish and get to know your neighbors, sort of like a “welcome to the neighborhood” party. In August, they have Halloween where everyone can decorate their site or join in the fun of hayrides. The kids get to put on their costumes and trick or treat to the campers, while later on, the adults have a scary time for the older ones.

During Labor Day, the campground asks for campers to help out and they have a carnival for anyone who enjoys them. On the hottest day, the kids have water fights or can choose to go down the water slide that they put up for them so they can cool off. There are places for the kids to ride their bikes and their skateboards and every night, someone always has a campfire.

This place is about being neighbors and helping each other, having fun and learning what people are really about. Some days there is a huge hustle and bustle of noise from happenings around you or events going on but there are also the times when you can sit outside and just listen……….you hear the birds and the wind in the trees and the boats moving on the water, but most of all, you hear the peace and quiet of life. (My favorite time is early in the morning when I come out with my coffee and the campground still feels like it’s sleeping too).But you get to hear people laughing and having a good time, you get to smell the cooking on the grills or having smores around the campfire after dark.

I have found that even when it pours down here, your neighbors come together and pitch canopies in the rain so people can be together and have dinner and talk and laugh and be family. If you need something and you don’t have it, someone will always help you out because that’s what we do down here, this is what it’s all about. Coming somewhere for peace and quiet and visiting with people, relaxing and living life. The staff here are wonderful and always pleasant.

You can always find someone when you need them, they make you feel at home and they also make you feel safe. If a problem occurs, you let them know and it is dealt with fairly and calmly and no one stays that doesn’t follow the rules and respect everyone else around them. You can sit at your camper and just look around you and see the relaxation of life here. From the people visiting, to the kids playing, to people coming and going, to knowing that this is where you want to come back to next year.

The campground is open to the public and you are always welcome, from one night to a whole summer, whatever you choose. You can bring your boat, camper, tent, grill and you can even bring your dog (proof of vaccinations required). Some people not only become your neighbors from being here, but they also become your friends. At the end of the season, they have their goodbyes but what makes you drive away with a smile is knowing that when you come back next summer, you’ll be able to start all over again with these people and catch up on all that’s happened.

So if you are ever over our way and would like a nice place to camp or just to visit……why don’t you stop in and see what we’re all about…………….you might not want to leave. I want to thank everyone at North Bay Campground, staff and campers, for making me feel like family and making me want to come back again next year. Until then…..everyone have a safe winter, enjoy your holidays and we’ll see each other again next summer.