CHESAPEAKE BEACH, Md. – The Calvert County Parks & Recreation (CCPR) Department will no longer allow seasonal campers at Breezy Point.
On Thursday, November 9th, CCPR emailed a letter to seasonal campers, thanking them for their patronage, but letting them know they will transition to a daily camping model and discontinue the seasonal option, starting in 2024.
Daniel O’Neil is one of the many seasonal campers who aren’t happy about the change. He says the announcement wouldn’t have hit so hard if the county had been open and honest upfront.
“Had they sent a notice advising of the upcoming changes more than a year ago, and/or allowed us to stay one final season as seasonal campers, this news wouldn’t have been so hard to swallow,” O’Neil told The BayNet.
He says there has always been annual turnover in campers, but a certain number of them have been enjoying, and supporting the park for years.
“For me, I’ve had a camper at Breezy since 2003. I watched my grandkids grow as they spent time with us at Breezy. I’m certainly going to miss the camaraderie amongst the many friends I’ve met over the past 20 years. I’m sure other seasonal campers feel the same,” says O’Neil.
CCPR Director Shannon Nazzal says they’re committed to providing quality outdoor experiences for all residents and visitors. CCPR regularly assesses its service offerings and makes adjustments based on usage patterns and community feedback.
The President of Calvert County Commissioners, Buddy Hance says, “After much deliberation, the decision was made to not allow seasonal camping any longer at Breezy Point. It will allow more people to enjoy the facilities.”
Camping reservations for Breezy Point Beach and Campground will only be available online. There won’t be a waitlist option and sites can only be reserved for up to two weeks at a time. A one-day break will also be required between reservations and the same site cannot be guaranteed.
“We understand that seasonal camping has been a tradition for many families and individuals, and we are grateful for the patronage of our long-term campers who have spent their seasons with us. We thank our seasonal campers for their understanding and look forward to welcoming them back under the new daily camping system. We thank all patrons for their continued support as we improve and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities in Calvert County,” says Nazzal.
The Board of County Commissioners approved new fees on July 11th of this year. Campers will pay $70 a day during the week. That applies to up to 4 campers. Any additional camper would pay an extra $5. On the weekend, the fee jumps to $80 a day. Those fees cover the use of the beach and the bay, plus water and electricity. Septic pump out is an additional $50 per pump.
Calvert County residents get a $10 off discount for daily camping. Military receive 10% off and Calvert County active duty military get 50% off the fees.
Many of the seasonal campers are upset because other parks in and around Chesapeake Beach are cheaper and offer things like swimming pools, snack bars, camp stores, tennis courts, and internet access.
Over the summer, CCPR began a project to repair and restore the beach and campground. They say these renovations, once complete, will make it possible for beachgoers to enjoy the park for years to come.
CCPR is offering current seasonal campers to make reservations before the general public. Seasonal campers can call the Breezy Point office to make reservations at 410-535-0259 on Thursday, February 15th & Friday, February 16th. The general public can make reservations online, starting February 20th.
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