If you’re like me, you love the outdoors and can’t seem to set enough time aside to experience the vast, beautiful and unforgiving world nature provides just outside our doorstep.
Growing up in Alaska, being outside and experiencing nature in its purest form was never a rarity.Hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing and hunting were all normal and almost expected adventures to embark on. Challenging myself against nature, which is not obligated to offer its hospitality, has always been an attraction to me. Now in North Carolina, I aim to experience the same forces of nature that shaped me in the West.
Each week, I will share a topic, experience, review or even at times discuss controversial issues regarding what we all love, the great North American wilderness.
Recently, I heard the Marine Corps Community Services’ Outdoor Adventures office was working on constructing a campground on base for service members and their families. Last week, feeling the urge to get away from my barracks room, I grabbed a friend, we loaded our gear up in my truck and drove to the campground.
On our way, I realized it had been a very long time since I had actually camped at an official campground. Outside of the Marine Corps, most of my camping experience has taken place in the back country of Alaska, western Oregon and the mountains of western North Carolina, most of which I stayed off the grid, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Turning down the dirt road, we passed our designated campsite and decided to take a quick tour of the grounds to see what there was to offer local campers. I was surprised to find a diverse display of campsites, varying in size, shape, shelter and geographic terrain. While some of the smaller sites were surrounded by pine trees and thick foliage, others provided a more open property to accommodate larger groups or families. The recreational area was, without a doubt, an option for most weekend getaway campers.
As we got back to the site we initially signed for at the Outdoor Adventures office, we set up our camp and enjoyed some quiet time in the woods, like I had for so many years in the past. Sitting around the fire, telling stories and cracking jokes made me realize, "I can actually get away from the Marine Corps for a second and still be on base!"
If you’re looking for a challenging environment or a trip that will test you against the unforgiving forces of nature, the Brewster Recreation and Campground Area probably isn’t your best option. But for a cheap weekend getaway, whether it’s just you or even with your family and friends, the Brewster Recreation and Campground Area is a convenient option which can ease your yearning for the tranquility nature can provide.
For more information on Brewster Campground contact Outdoor Adventures at 451- 1440 or visit them online at www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/outdoor.
What you will need:
1. Camping fee and issue slip from Outdoor Adventures office located at the Gottschalk Marina on Julian C. Smith Road.
2. Fire permit issued from the fire marshal.
3. A five gallon bucket of water.
4. A shovel or rake.