MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Brewster Camp grounds has opened its gate to service members for free camping from now until the end of January.
The 14 campsites, which normally cost $12 a night to camp are being offered for free to give service members who are about to deploy a cheap and easy place to spend quality time with their family, said Bill Moore, the outdoor recreation coordinator for Marine Corps Community Services.
The offer is also an opportunity for MCCS to show off the nearly $10,000 of improvement they have made to the campgrounds, said Moore. Each of the sites has been equipped with brand new picnic tables, trash cans and repairs have been made to the pavilions.
Even though the offer is during the winter, it can still be a good time for camping, said Moore.
“My favorite time to go camping is now,” said Moore. “There are no bugs, you don’t sweat and you can build a good fire.”
The Outdoor Recreation Department has been making an effort to return many of the campsites to its natural state by limiting automobile traffic to certain areas of the campground, said Moore. This leaves the old roads to be used for biking, hiking, walking and horse back riding.
The department is also planning on releasing a map of the trails on base by the end of the year, said Moore.
A draft copy is available by calling or emailing Bill Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org and 451-1440.
The campground follows the rules of leave no trace, said Moore.
Leave no trace has seven principles, according to the Leave No Trace National Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site. They are: plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors.
Leave No Trace is an international program whose mission is to educated outdoor enthusiast on the impact they have on the environment and teach them techniques to reduce those impacts, according to the Web site.