COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) ─ After nearly 50 years of accepting campers, the Westwood YMCA Family Campground in Coventry is closing.
Executive Director Jeff Smith tells 12 News the YMCA’s Board of Directors voted last week to close the campground on Oct. 15.
Despite the closure, Smith said Camp Westwood will not stay vacant. He said the YMCA plans to expand its summer camp program.
“We’re going to use the land to be able to take in more kids,” Smith said. “[This year], We also had a wait list of over 100 families, so we want to be able to not turn away families who want to send their kids to camp.”
Smith said he began notifying campers as soon as the decision was made.
One of those campers tells 12 News they’re concerned about the closure, claiming that they signed a contract with the YMCA less than two months prior for their site.
But Smith said no contracts were signed for dates beyond October.
“We haven’t taken any deposits or any contracts for next year,” Smith said.
Smith said the longest tenured camper that he knows of has been staying at the campground for 49 seasons.
He’s well aware of how difficult the campgrounds closure is for those who frequent the sites.
“We’re working with area campgrounds to try to find some options for people who are looking for a place to camp for next year,” Smith said. “It is tough, but we’re going to help them through the process, we’re going to help them find options.”
Westwood YMCA is a part of the Pawtucket YMCA that has branches in Pawtucket, Woonsocket and Coventry.