Michelle Fontaine: Hi, Michelle and Laurie, and we're here in Foxborough, Massachusetts to visit one of the top campgrounds in New England. Let's catch up with Marcia Galvin of Normandy Farms Campground.
Marcia Galvin: You came on a weekend that we're having a big rally, so there's lots of stuff going on out there. But I'm going to bump you back a little bit and tell you about the history of Normandy Farms. We're currently on the ninth generation of Daniels family. We've not always been a campground. It was a working farm back in 1759, when we had our ancestor came over from Normandy, France.
Marcia: We have 100 acres. It started out with 53 acres. And over the course of years and years, it grew to be 100 acres. We're going to be celebrating 260 years of ownership in 2021.
Eventually, the farming just kind of went by the wayside back in the '60s. My grandparents were avid campers, and there wasn't one in the area, so he thought, "Well, we can just start a campground, 25 sites." That's where the campground began, 1971 we opened with just the white house across the street, the pool that's in the backyard, that used to be our childhood pool when we were growing up. And that became the first pool of the park.
Marcia: This is our registration center. And we do have a gift store, and this is where folks check in. There's a wide variety of items here that you--anything that you need basically when you're camping, sweatshirts, bathing suits, you know, things like that, as well as the grocery item.
Michelle: Your level of technology is impressive, which it has to be because you've got a big operation here. The registration process, you can actually get your parking passes and do that all, just go right on through. So, you can make a reservation online. When you pay in full just before your check-in day, you'll receive an email confirmation with your car pass, bar code. You can go right to the gate and pick up your wristbands for the kids, and go right to your site.
Michelle: One thing I noticed when we checked in was, we were told the water pressure at your sites is--it's good water pressure, so make sure you have a water regulator. That's really great advice.
Marcia: Eighty to a hundred pound water pressure. You get a great hot shower, lots of pressure, but you have to be careful.
We are so centrally located to Boston, Cape Cod, Plymouth, Providence. We're sort of right in the middle. So, you could park here for a week and go off into Boston, take the T, which is close by. You could drive down to the Cape, so, it really is a nice, central location. If you didn't even want to go that far, we've got Gillette Stadium and the New England Patriots that are just four miles up the--up the street. We've got the Wrentham Outlets that are close by, and we have Plainridge Casino. So, you don't really have to go very far, you can just come and camp out.
We have four swimming pools, a basketball court, two playgrounds, two softball fields, volleyball, horseshoes, bocce, Hot tub and sauna, fitness center. Two of the pools are heated.
That's our recreation lodge where we have all our activities, it's the main hub of the park. We'll have ice cream socials, dances, anything that would go on inside where we can gather a group of people, that's where we go. We have the adult loft if you want to get away from your kids and enjoy some adult time. And the kids loft is on the opposite side.
We have got the best team members, topped 140 this season. We really do value guest service. If you don't have your own RV and you'd like to still come camping, we have cabins, we have yurts, we have safari tents, and we have pop-ups. So, you can have a different experience, whatever you're looking for. If you're looking for the glamping experience, go for the cabin and yurt because it is a hotel room inside. Air conditioning, heat, fireplace, bathroom, everything that you would have. Step outside and you can have your campfire, so it's perfect.
We are adding a new type of rental next year: tiny houses. We are going to be adding one, maybe two tiny houses to our fleet of rentals for 2020. So, if a family wants to come in and experience a tiny house, then we have that experience for them too.
Back in 1983, my mother Doris had--when the campground was really starting, chose the Jimmy Fund as to be our charity of choice. And so, over the years, we've run events such as ice cream socials, all our Halloweens, the hayrides, the haunted houses, casino night, things like that. And all of the money that we generate, we donate to the Jimmy Fund. And we've raised over $380,000.
Every weekend is themed. We have superhero weekend in the summer. We have chocolate sweets weekend. We have wellness weekend, where we'll have yoga, tai chi. We've got spirit weekend. Every weekend is--oh yeah, you can come and do--pick and choose every weekend, and there'll be something entertaining and different. This time of year especially, we'll get folks traveling across country that want to see the leaves and the foliage and things like that, it's absolutely beautiful.
John Dipietro: I see all these signs for Halo's Wish. Tell me about that organization. Jason: It's a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, where we raise funds throughout the year, and we grant wishes to children every fall.
John: We understand that fundraising goes on year-round, but how about the most heartwarming story that you can tell us about the seven years that you've been doing this? Jason: I have to go back to our first Halo's Wish that we granted. This young girl, Kylie,
suffering from Chagas' disease, which is an eye disorder for juveniles. And after we sent her family to Florida, she has a small class up in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, and she held some bake sales. And the following year, she came back to us and donated all her money that she had raised to Halo's Wish so she could pay it forward.
We want to say thank you to "Rollin' On TV" for letting people all over the country know about Halo's Wish. And if you wish to donate, go to haloswish.org.