Southern Ocean County Campground celebrates growing nationwide program that helps active military families get a well-deserved vacation
Camping is a family tradition that fits with almost all vacation budgets. Allowing families of all sizes to enjoy time away, it is also the perfect fit for active military families that may need to plan vacations on shorter notice. Though camping can be an economical option, families still need to invest in equipment or the higher cost of renting a cabin or Recreational Vehicle which is often not practical for military families.
Baker’s Acres Campground, located in Little Egg Harbor at the Jersey Shore as well as other participating parks throughout the U.S., have the opportunity to support our active military families by participating in the Tents for Troops program. Tents for Troops “T4T” was founded in 2008 by Charlie Curry, manager of Toutle River RV Resort in Washington. By 2016, over 300 campgrounds in 47 states became active. The participating campgrounds are encouraged to provide 2 sites for up to two nights, for free, for active military and their immediate family. The families are required to make advanced reservations and provide ID upon check-in. Baker’s Acres got involved when their manager, Monica Baker-Frazer read an article about the newly created program in an industry newsletter. Their campground currently provides active military campers up to two sites for up to two nights, for free. They can upgrade from a basic tent site to a water and electric site upon check-in and if there is availability, by only paying the difference between the two site types approximately $4 per night. They do not offer the program during holiday weekends, unless there is same-day availability. Every campground that is part of Tents for Troops offers different options. It is the responsibility of the camper to check into the restrictions.
The program hit a milestone this past year as it secured Thor Industries as a sponsor placing donated RVs throughout the country, to offer military families another lodging option. As the first campground in New Jersey and one of the first on the East Coast to offer the program, Baker’s Acres was contacted this past winter by the founder to be part of the expansion by receiving one of the RVs. The RV, a brand new KZ Sportsman, from the fleet donated by Thor, has already arrived and has been set up on a permanent site. Jack & Maureen Baker, owners of Baker’s Acres, took the RV on as a personal project. They, along with sons John and Jason Baker, landscaped the site, added calming features such as a miniature “Old Barney” lighthouse and, of course, the American flag. The RV is 28 feet long and includes sleeping accommodations for 6-8, a bathroom, kitchenette, flat-screen TV and radio. The vehicle is currently in the process of being outfitted through donations from both T4T and the generous seasonal campers of Baker’s Acres. T4T has already sent pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, DVDs, and so much more. All the comforts, so families will just need to bring minimal supplies.
To learn more about Tents for Troops, please visit www.tentsfortroops.org or contact Monica Frazer at Baker’s Acres (609) 296-2664 firstname.lastname@example.org For more information regarding Baker’s Acres Campground contact directly at (609) 296-2664; (800) 648-2227 www.bakersacres.com or to learn more on vacationing in the Long Beach Island Region contact Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce (609) 494 7211 www.visitLBIregion.com