Cape Cod, MA - Bay View Campground Review
Michelle – I’m here with Dave Ritchie of Bay View Campground in Bourne, Massachusetts.
Dave Ritchie: This is right at the beginning of the cape, right over the Bourne Bridge on the other side of the canals. We’re right off Route 28, which is a major highway that goes down to Falmouth.
My father-in-law, Gardner S. Nightingale, was a police officer here in the town of Bourne. And the Second World War broke out, and patriotic young man at the time, he enlisted in the army. But he always knew he wanted to do something, so while he was overseas, he would send money back to his mom. And he would ask her to buy parcels of land. By that time, he had purchased up to 90 acres, 98 acres of land here on the cape, this section here. Because this area here had a lot of natural vegetation, apples, peaches, pears. So, he started a fruit stand right here at the front. In ’66, he started the campground, but before that, he had the fruit stand.
There was a friend of his out in Maple Park over in Wareham, Paul Tusig. And Paul owned a small campground there, and he said, “Well, you’re on this side of the canal. I’m on that side of the canal. Why don’t you try starting a campground?” The first night that they opened, there were 30 sites. And he made it all with that little machete. Now, there’s 468 sites.
Michelle: Check out these temperature controlled pods, where tenters can kick it up a notch.
David: The main building here is one of the original buildings of the grounds. And we added to it as we expanded. The ice cream parlor was– we wanted something a little different, and ice cream’s perfect. So, we gave it the 1950s look of an old fashioned ice cream parlor.
Everything is geared for family participation together. We try to–shuffleboard, we have full size shuffleboard and we also have kid size shuffleboard. So, now you can play with the little ones if you want to. A lot of the arcade machines back in the rec hall is competition. You want to have a competition with. The mother can play with the son, father with daughter, so on and so forth.
Michelle: How come there are no bugs here? David: My daughter, when she was going to college, she also did some agricultural studies. And what we found was that bugs, mosquitos, whatever lay their larvae in the leaves in the woods. They try to get them under the leaves because it’s moist, and it helps with the larvae to hatch when the rain and such comes out. But I just said, “Well, let’s just rake everything.” And that’s what we do, we rake the sites, between the sites, in the embankments. The main part of the grounds, which is approximately 60 acres, is completely raked from fence to fence. And it seems after the years, we eliminated the bugs.
Michelle: And your sites are quite large too. David: We didn’t know it at the time the gardener and I were expanding the grounds. We just went by a plain footprint of 50 by 50, 50 feet deep, 50 foot wide. And some–we went by the topo or the configuration of the land.
If you notice the grounds is in different tiers. So, we used the topography of the land, and we developed it into different tiers.
So, if you notice some of the roads are very windy and turn. We just went with the land. We planted over 30,000 little seedlings throughout the campground, we just kept planting these little seedlings all over, trying to replenish. Some of the sites, you’ll see that there’s a big tree right in the middle of it. We tried to accommodate that old tree in the middle instead of just taking it down and making it for bigger rigs. We try to accommodate.
Michelle: How many staff members do you have? David: We have 50 during the summertime, and then we have seven full-timers, of course summer and winter. From here, you can go deeper into the cape, so there’s a lot of things families can go off and do. David: Hour from Boston. We’re an hour from Providence, Rhode Island, and we’re an hour from P town.