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Buttonwood Beach RV Resort Making Memories

August 23, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Aerial view of Buttonwood Beach RV Resort on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Like many families, Cindy Fleming’s family has many annual traditions.

But none is more deeply rooted – or has had a bigger impact on her life – than the tradition of spending the summer at Buttonwood Beach RV Resort on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland’s northern Eastern Shore, according to a news release.

Fleming and her family have been coming to Buttonwood Beach near Earleville every summer for more than 30 years.

“I met my husband there when I was 13,” said Fleming, 45, who recently celebrated her 23rd wedding anniversary at the campground with friends who have built a lifetime of summer camping memories at the resort.

Deb Carter, a manager at Buttonwood Beach RV Resort who has worked at the park since it opened in 1973, said many of the families who started camping at Buttonwood in the 1970s are still there, along with their children, grandchildren and extended families.

“A big part of my life is there,” said Gordy Lewis, 48, of Westchester, Pa., who has been camping at Buttonwood with his family every summer since he was 12. “I have so many friends down there. My nieces and nephew also come and spend time there during the summer.”

Phyllis Lynch said she started camping at Buttonwood with her family when she was about 10 or 11. She met her husband there, and now they continue the summer camping tradition with their three kids, who range in age from 15 to 21.

“It’s crazy to watch the generations turn over and watch them doing the same things we were doing,” said Lynch, who works as a real estate broker in Pennsylvania and Delaware. “Our kids come down on the weekend with us. Their friends are the children of the friends we grew up with. They are living the same life we lived, and doing exactly what we did back in the 70s, but in a more modern way. They spend a lot of their time jet skiing and boating.”

Most Buttonwood campers have transitioned from towable and motorized RVs into 400-square-foot recreational park trailers or “park models,” which are roomier and more residential in look and appearance than typical RV.

Park models average about $40,000 and can be set up on leased or purchased campsites in RV parks and resorts across the country, said William Garpow, executive director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), adding that about a third of the nation’s privately owned parks make spaces available for park model owners.

“It’s really an affordable way to vacation,” Lynch said, adding that her unit at Buttonwood is literally 50 steps away from the beach and about 100 feet from a swimming pool. “To me, it’s my home away from home,” she said.

And even after Labor Day, when the kids go back to school, many families will still be coming to Buttonwood on the weekends until the park closes for winter in November.

“When we’re at Buttonwood, we can relax,” Fleming said, “because we’re totally away from the ‘real world.’”

“It’s a refuge, a place to escape,” Lewis said, adding, “I’m sure I’ll be there every summer until I die.”

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