Like so much of the current landscape, camping in the Town of Bourne this year will look and feel quite different from previous years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bourne Scenic Park and Bay View Campgrounds have both instituted policies and measures designed to prevent spread of the disease.
Bourne Scenic Park supervisor John M. Morrill said the park will be opening to seasonal campers on Monday, May 18. That decision was voted on and approved by the Bourne Recreation Authority, which operates the park, during a remote meeting Wednesday, May 13.
“We’ve been putting together all our protocols and presented them to the board last night, and they approved,” Mr. Morrill said.
He added that the Bourne Board of Health has also inspected the park and given its approval to open. He said that only 60 percent of the park will be opened, and only seasonal campers will be allowed in when they open.
The park will not be open to people who might be fishing at the Cape Cod Canal, nor will it be open to guests of seasonal patrons, Mr. Morrill said.
In addition, all facilities within the park will remain closed. That includes the park office, its general store, the swimming pools, playground and restrooms. All will stay closed to guests until the state and the board of health deem it safe to open them, he said.
Scenic Park was scheduled to open for the season on Friday, March 27. The month-and-a-half delay to opening, Mr. Morrill said, has already resulted in a $200,000 loss in revenue for the park. That will be exacerbated, he said, by the loss of revenue with the park store not being open for visitors to buy supplies.
At Bay View Campgrounds off MacArthur Boulevard, similar measures have been put in place to ensure public and employee health and safety. In a letter to campers, owner/operator Mareana T. Nightingale said the business has been granted a conditional license that is contingent on strict compliance with state COVID-19 orders.
“Failure to comply with these orders are grounds for immediate removal from the park and termination of a seasonal license,” she said.
Similar to Scenic Park, Bay View will only allow seasonal campers, meaning people who have leased a spot for the entire camping season. Only seasonal lease holders and their family members will be allowed on the property, Ms. Nightingale said.
“Seasonal campers and accompanying family members listed on their lease may enter the park prior to registering for the season until May 21. After that date, registration and passes are required to enter the park,” she said.
Campers must wear face masks and practice social distancing, which includes maintaining a distance of six feet when approaching others in the park, and no gathering in groups of more than 10 people. All common areas will be closed, including restrooms, playgrounds, recreation areas, the video game room, the laundry center and the dog park.
Registration on arrival will be done curbside. The office is closed except to park employees who will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance. Visitors can call the office to purchase items such as propane or wood, for curbside pickup only, she said.
Ms. Nightingale said there is a temporary restriction on all visitors into the park. Campers who require assistance setting up their site, by someone not listed on their lease, must call the campground office before that person arrives.
The individual will be required to follow the same health and safety procedures as campers, she said.
There will be a limit of one person allowed, on a case-to-case basis, and no children, spouses or pets may accompany them, she said.