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Winter guests will notice a few changes at Fam Camp

by Nick Stubbs
Thunderbolt staff writer

It's that time of year and anyone with a sharp eye can see birds making their way south and the RVs that mysteriously follow them each fall.

Winter campers are trickling into the Fam Camp, said Deborah Anderson, recreation operations manager. While there still are plenty of spots open at the camp, every slot is spoken for this season and the waiting list as of last week was at 90.

Returning guests will see a few changes this year, she said. Among them is the relocation of the RV storage area previously at the southeast corner of the camping area past the marina. It has been moved well away near the Skeet Range. The former storage area will allow 25 to 30 additional camp spots, which will be a blessing, said Anderson.

The crowded camp also dodged a bullet recently when plans were changed that had marked the annex area of the camp near the golf course for new base housing. It would have meant the loss of 100 of the 352 camp spots, disappointing a lot of people who make the winter journey to stay at MacDill each winter.

"That's very good for us," said Anderson.

This year's visitors also will be seeing for the first time the new boardwalk that runs along the beach, as well as a renovated recreation room at the marina. Popular programs like deep sea fishing, shopping excursions and day trips, like one set for Cedar Key to a clam farm, will provide the activities everyone has come to enjoy each season, said Anderson, who added recreation personnel are busy trying to come up with new and interesting programs for this year's crop of winter roosters. She also notes that the trips and events are for all base personnel and not just campers.

While the waiting list may be at 90, Anderson said it's not too late to get on the list, as in May it sat at 180.

"There are always a lot of cancellations," she said. "Sometimes even when there are a lot of people waiting, before it's over a spot opens up."

For more information on the Fam Camp and planned activities, contact the Coons Creek Recreation Area at 840-6919.

 

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