Camp morphs to teen heaven

By Natalie Dixon

7 comments
BRAVE: Silver Birch Holiday Park manager Richie Robin will open up her business to more than 200 under 25 year olds this week.PHOTO/JOEL FORD
BRAVE: Silver Birch Holiday Park manager Richie Robin will open up her business to more than 200 under 25 year olds this week.PHOTO/JOEL FORD

They are "young, dumb and full of beer" but that has not stopped one Tauranga business opening its doors to more than 200 teens this week.

Adults and families will be banned from Silver Birch Holiday park from December 29 until January 5, when managers Allan Sherson and Richie Robin welcome a crowd of more than 200 under 25 year olds to set up tents on their grounds.

It's "teenage heaven", according to Ms Robin, who said they decided to say yes to young people because so many others were saying no.

"We started to let young people camp out here about five years ago when we noticed numbers were dropping," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"The first year we had a group of 10 or so and it went pretty well, we had a few issues, obviously they are young, dumb and full of beer, but they are good at heart and they just want to have fun.

"Back then we separated the group from all the families we had camping out.

"We nicknamed their site Alcohol Alley and over the past few years it has got bigger and bigger, so this year we decided to let them have the whole camping ground to themselves.

"There will be no adults allowed this week, apart from us and the security guards. Any families have been booked into our motel next door, but the camping ground is just for the young ones.

"It will be teenage heaven."

Ms Robin said the couple had fenced off the camping ground to keep unwanted visitors out and hired security guards to patrol the camp.

"We want to make sure our young people have fun and are safe," Ms Robin said.

"We are going to organise a whole lot of games and we have a bus for New Year's Eve which will take the teens to the Mount or wherever they want to go and back here at the end of the night.

"Really, this is just about listening to the kids and giving them what they want so they can have fun in a safe environment.

"Everyone else is saying no so we are saying yes."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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