campgrounds

Some NH Communities Frustrated With State Keeping Campgrounds Open Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Communities fear an influx of visitors from residents in neighboring states that have seen significant coronavirus outbreaks

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There are mixed feelings in New Hampshire due to the state's campgrounds being allowed to stay open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some communities want Gov. Chris Sununu to keep campgrounds closed because they fear an influx of visitors from residents in neighboring states that have seen significant coronavirus outbreaks.

"If this state is in a stay-at-home order, allowing campgrounds to open up just encourages people not to stay at home," said Ben Gaetjens-Oleson of Lancaster EMS. "The town manager in Raymond has done a tremendous job with the town of Conway to find strategies to push the governor."

Gaetjens-Oleson, who has joined the push to close state campgrounds, is also worried that out-of-state visitors will take up resources.

"Somebody else shows up brand new and they could potentially pass the virus within the campground," he said.

Christine Quirk, who owns The Friendly Beaver Campground in New Boston, doesn't agree and said people just don't understand how campgrounds are run.

"I really believe campgrounds can open properly and keep it safe for the people," Quirk said.

Her site is open to seasonal campers with new safeguards that include social distancing.

"All the buildings are closed, rec halls are closed, restrooms are closed," she said.

Officials in Conway said they have sent a petition to the governor but have not yet heard back.

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