MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — -- Several single Marines and Marine families got a chance to get outdoors, connect with nature and have some well-deserved fun during the Great American Backyard Campout at the Brewster Recreation Area June 24-25.
The campout is a national event that is meant to encourage people to get outdoors even if it is just in their backyard, according to Bill Moore, the outdoor recreation coordinator for Marine Corps Community Services.
“We said Brewster is [the Marine’s] backyard and we wanted people to know that it was theirs,” Moore said.
The park was open for free camping during the weekend and a special campsite on the water was reserved for single Marines who wanted to come out and enjoy the great outdoors, according to Moore.
The single Marines not only got a great camp site but they were also treated to a delicious meal of steak, potatoes, corn, grilled onions and a desert of brownies and pineapple upside down cake provided by MCCS.
“This is a good way for people to meet other people with the same interests,” said Pvt. Daniel Payant, a student at the Camp Johnson Supply School. “It’s a good experience to be out here.”
Kayaks were available for all during the campout to cruise the New River and do a little exploring, according to Moore.
Even though the campout only lasted one weekend, the Brewster Recreation Area is open to all Department of Defense identification card holders, according to Moore. Camping is only $10 per night at the 16 semi-primitive camp sites.
The recreation area is a place where people can go and get away for the weekend; fish, kayak and feel like they are off base, according to Moore.
“I didn’t know this place even existed,” said Lance Cpl. Jordan King, the Company A Single Marine Program Representative with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base. “I’m going to come here more often. Ten dollars a night is crazy for these campsites. Even the campsites not by the water are nice.”
Each campsite offers some amenities such as portable toilets, potable water and a pavilion with picnic table, but the sites still offer a nice natural environment, according to Moore.
“When we say we give you a campsite, we give you a campsite not a slab of concrete,” said Moore.
Marine Corps Community Services wants to keep the campsites semi-primitive but they do want to make improvements on the recreation area by adding to the existing trails with a goal to have a total of eight miles of trail, according to Moore. They also plan to build a bathhouse for showers.
“It will be a great recreation area you can get off work on Friday, come here, and go back Sunday afternoon and feel like you have gotten away for the weekend and gotten of base,” Moore said.
Even if the gates are closed the area is still open for recreation and is a pet, friendly area, according to Moore. People are welcome to park their car outside the gate and walk in to enjoy the forest.
For more information on the recreation area, and to reserve campsites, call 451-1440 or stop by building 1108 on Birch Street.