Crucians pack up Easter campsites

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ST. CROIX - As quietly as they had popped up on shorelines across the island in the last week, camping tents began disappearing Monday morning as the Easter season and holiday weekend drew to a close and families prepared to return to their homes, work places, schools and normal lives.

Tired from a week of late nights of storytelling, cooking and socializing, campers broke down their tents and tables, folded up chairs and bedding, packed up food and furniture and drove away - one after another - from their campsites Monday with hopes to return again next year to build on the memories.

While most of the tents were off the beach at Grass Bay by early afternoon, Don Prentice said he was contemplating staying out just one more day.

He said the camping has been a time he has enjoyed for years and after being really sick last year, he was glad to be out and enjoy the family time.

"This is something we do in our family for years, and I hope it continues even when I'm gone," he said.

At Salt River and along the bayside near Water Gut, the festivities continued as campers packed up. DJ music was blaring loud and the eating, drinking and dancing continued into the afternoon.

Louis Rivera said his family had a great time at Cramer Park and they had no complaints all week long.

"We just had a good time all week, and that is how it is supposed to be, stress free," he said.

Rivera said the V.I. Sports, Parks and Recreation Department officials were very cooperative and assisted them with keeping the bathrooms and grounds clean and his family is very appreciative.

"It was camping out, and we were roughing it, but they helped us to keep our home away from home clean," he said.

Rivera said the fire department also played a big role in providing the campers with fresh water.

Delores Hansen, who was one of the few residents who began the Easter camping tradition almost 60 years ago was also packing up her campsite with her family on Monday after a week of fun on the beach.

Beach camping during the Easter weekend has been a St. Croix tradition for decades, and while it all began at Cramer Park years ago, the tradition has spread out to many of the island's beaches, bays and coves across the island from east to west.

Many families see Easter weekend camping as an opportunity to reunite, catch up with friends and give children a chance to bond through games, storytelling and feasting.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email

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