Themed Weekends Draw Campers to Tall Pines Harbor
Tall Pines Harbor Campground, a picturesque campground on the shore of Pocomoke Sound near near Sanford, Va., has been top-ranked among campgrounds on the peninsula.
Locals are taking notice, and increasing numbers are making the campground a weekend destination, along with seasonal campers and visitors from farther afield, delmarvanow.com reported.
"When you come in as a guest, you'll feel welcomed by everyone," said Ray Barker, who owns and manages the campground along with his wife, Sherri.
Tall Pines offers more than 180 campsites, including beach-front camping, and activities like kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, fishing and crabbing.
The most popular feature of the campground, however, is its theme weekends.
Every weekend features a different theme. Just a few include Jimmy Buffet Weekend, complete with "cheeseburgers in paradise" on the beachfront; Caribbean Weekend, with a steel drum band and catered Caribbean meal; and Wet and Wild Weekend, where campers take part in a camp-wide water war, including a ride on a hay wagon equipped with hoses to spray opposing campers.
The Barkers rely on their full-time staff as well as more than 20 seasonal campers who volunteer at the campground to make these events a success.
"We couldn't do all the activities and fun stuff we do without the volunteer staff," Ray Barker said.
"They really add to the welcoming feeling of the campground. They're one big family," he said.
This feeling of camaraderie makes Tall Pines welcoming for all campers, whether weekend visitors or season-long campers. The Barkers also cater events to campers of all ages.
"We try to make sure the things we do support the whole family, not just part of it," Ray Barker said.
Ray and Sherri Barkers bought Tall Pines 10 years ago, after being inspired by nationwide travels during a go-kart racing career that resulted in stays at many campgrounds.
"We spent years planning," said Ray Barker. "We did layout and design to figure out where we're headed with the campground. We're slowly getting there."The Barkers have already added a pool, and said there is a water park is in the works for 2013. They also plan to add several cabins each year.
While the campground is open March through November, the Barkers work year-round planning. Their home is above the camp store, and they call their business their way of life.
"You don't punch a time clock," said Sherri Barker. "You're on-site 24-7."
"We've worked the hardest we've ever worked in out entire lives, but at the same time, it's so rewarding," she said.
Campsites for tents and RVs are available at Tall Pines Harbor Campground for $35-70 a night.
Visit www.tallpinesharbor.com to learn more.