The Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners (MACO) annual meeting, held on March 20 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel in Springfield, Mass., went very well, according to Paula Carroll, MACO executive director. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Northeast Conference on Camping and Trade Show.

“We had pretty good attendance with around 35 people representing 14 campgrounds,” Carroll said.

Cheryl Smith, education director with  the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), and Cyndy Zbierski of the Northeast Campground Association gave updates.

Carroll said there was legislative discussion concerning the Title V regulations on water gallon usage by campgrounds.

“Right now the issue has gone to the Statehouse and they have asked to do a study in order to possibly get a new classification for our campgrounds because right now we are in the same classification as condos,” Carroll said. “Every campground regardless of its size has to have a 10,000-gallon system based on these large water usages the state has said we use.”

But not all campgrounds necessarily use that much water, she noted.

“The state assumes each site uses 90 gallons a day and for most travel trailers that is way beyond what they are using so a lot of people hold their tanks for two or three days before they even pump them out,” she explained. “We want to make sure campgrounds can expand and make sure the state understands just how this all works. Some campgrounds have given up on expansion and closed because they could not afford these elaborate septic systems the state has said they have to have.”

Another topic of discussion was the “Do Not Move Firewood” issue.

“We are going to set a standard policy and we are working on posters to deter campers from bringing their own firewood into the campgrounds,” Carroll said. “What is happening is bug infestation because the bugs from this outside wood get into the campground trees and ruin the trees.”

Officers elected at the annual meeting were:

  • President Michelle Ackerman, Sodom Mountain Campgrounds, Southwick.
  • Second vice president Jim Leaming, Yogi Bear, Sturbridge.
  • Treasurer Tessa Wisnewski, Pine Acres, Oakham.
  • Secretary Barry Johnson, Bourne Scenic Park, Bourne.

There was also one new board member, Bob Lipodski, Old Sawmill, Brookfield.