Middlesex 4H camp in East Haddam to receive makeover


EAST HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) — Look up the word “glamping” and you won’t find a picture of the old Middlesex 4H Camp in East Haddam. That closed in 2019.

It might be premature to call it a “post-pandemic” makeover, but the former Middlesex 4H camp is getting one and the timing couldn’t be better.

“It was dwindling, and the costs were rising,” East Haddam’s Land Use Administrator Jim Ventres said.

COVID changed everything. Kampgrounds of America estimates that 48 million households went camping last year. About 10 million for the first time. Now, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Getaway is developing the former camp located in the Moodus section of East Haddam.

“One of the things I said to them is that if you do come here and you do set up sites,” Ventres said, “is we still have hundreds of acres of open space.”

He pointed out the Goodspeed Opera House, the Gelston House Dining, Gillette’s Castle, the Fox Hopyard Golf Course, and the casinos.

For Getaway it all made sense. “They also took a look that they’re two hours away from Boston, two hours away from New York. Close to Providence, Hartford, Springfield.”

The makeover will include four-person cabins complete with a kitchenette, individual bathrooms, heat, and air-conditioning.

“East Haddam is not going to, their backbone is not going to be on commercial industrial endeavors,” Ventres said. “It’s always gonna be on the tourism, the outdoor activities…you might as well take our natural assets and highlight them.”

Glamping in the country…The time was right.

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