Thursday, June 1, 2023


Only the vaccinated are welcome at this popular Maine campground

We have closed comments. The one-tenth of one percent of our readers could not resist losing their tempers last week with angry, disrespectful and conspiracy theory-driven comments. It got to be too much for us to handle, so we had to delete the angriest comments and then close comments all together. We are slowly but surely convincing these readers to do their RV-related reading elsewhere. 

By Mike Gast
Pat Kosalka doesn’t see herself as a crusader for COVID-19 vaccines. The 74-year-old owner of the Sagadahoc Bay Campground near Georgetown, Maine, just wants herself and husband, Eric, 75, as well as their campers to stay safe.

Kosalka is among the very first campground owners in the United States to put the “not welcome” sign out for unvaccinated campers.

All campers must be vaccinated at this Maine campground!

All campers at the popular Southern Maine campground 46 miles northeast of Portland will now need to be fully vaccinated – and be able to prove it – when they arrive to set up their site.

“I’m 74 years old now, and I’ve never in my life heard the kind of language and nastiness I’ve received online and over the phone since we announced the vaccination requirement,” Kosalka said. “But somebody needs to stand up for those of us who want to be vaccinated and safe.”

This notice now appears on the campground website.

Along with the strongly worded messages received from “anti-vaxxers,” Kosalka said she’s received heartwarming support from those who welcomed the chance to camp in a fully vaccinated environment.

“We are both fully vaccinated, and so is everyone who works here,” she said. “We work hard, and I don’t want to get sick.”

Call for a refund

Kosalka expected she’d cause a bit of a stir when she posted “If you selfishly refuse to get a vaccine, you can call for a refund,” on the campground website (

“I guess if your feelings get hurt, so be it,” she said. Any campers showing up without a proper vaccination card won’t be allowed to camp.

“I really did get a lot of positive feedback, too,” she said. “One woman with a reservation called me to say that she had been vaccinated, but her husband hadn’t been. When she told him she was going camping without him, he went and got his shot,” she laughed. “If I can influence just one person to do the right thing, it’s worth it.”

Kosalka said she’s had to deal with “a lot” of cancellations from those unwilling to vaccinate, but her business hasn’t been negatively affected.

No lost business here!

“As soon as we post that we have a site available, someone who is vaccinated picks it right up,” she said. “I have not lost a bit of business and don’t really expect to.” The campground is already taking bookings for 2023.

Although she’s received camper input – both pro and con – from as far away as California, she doesn’t see herself as a vaccine crusader.

“I’d like to see other campground owners do the same thing,” she said. “The motivation to take a stand like this shouldn’t be whether or not you will lose or make money. The motivator should just be doing the right thing.”

The land has been in Eric Kosalka’s family since the late 1700s.

This aerial view shows why the Sagadahoc Bay Campground is so popular.


COVID-free towns to visit this summer – No pandemic worries!


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.


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Terri R
1 year ago

Love this choice for a campground & thank you for caring for your own health as well as all around you in requiring vaccination. I am in the heart of the delta outbreak in FL & losing people left & right that chose not to be vaccinated right now – an ICU nurse friend on Thursday just bagged 6 people age 18 -55 from COVID in a small county hospital. DH & I got vaccinated back in April then got a 2 day round of virus ourselves in July while those around us have been ill for 3-6 weeks and counting. If people don’t want to be vaccinated fine. Stay home to do your part to extinguish this virus. We must act together in order to get back to a normal life without risk … and vaccines have always extinguished bad diseases for many years. I welcome any questions about the science & R&D that led to this vaccine…. if I can help one person overcome their fear of vaccination I am more than willing ….

1 year ago

I think this is great. For those that have an issue you can go elsewhere. No need for name calling and personal attacks. If you choose not to get a vaccine that’s on you and she has every right to run her business as she sees fit. Freedom goes both ways.

Carson Axtell
1 year ago

Kudos to folks like this who still feel free to conduct their businesses as rationally as they see fit. If stores and vendors can still post signs that state “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” then being able to post “No Vaccine, No Service” based on public health policy is fine by me. 99.9% of all species that ever existed have gone extinct because they didn’t adapt to changing conditions, and viruses are just another force pushing the non-adaptive towards extinction, IMO. Ce la vie…

1 year ago

They can run it any darn way they want.

DL Jenson
1 year ago

I would leap at that chance to camp where this is a requirement. Just got home from camping on West side of Washington State and most folks were wearing mask before it was required again. Back home on the Eastern side…white older men for most part not complying. Picked up a pizza last night and all of us waiting to get one were wearing when in walked “Brad” he was asked to put one on as it is required again. He stated he didn’t have one but he has a huge order and if they want him to pay they better let him in. What a selfish man. The workers are just trying to stay in business and not get sick.

Susan RN MPH
1 year ago

Great idea. And this is just the first campground. There will be many more also doing this.

Susan RN MPH
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan RN MPH

According to this article this campground was fully booked before and it’s fully booked now and is taking reservations for 2023.

Susan RN MPH
1 year ago

It is no more discriminatory than making people wash their hands after using the bathroom.

Patricia Tucker
1 year ago

Fully support their decision to not only protect themselves, but to protect those that set up camp at their grounds!!!! I have added this destination to our bucket list!
While vaccination will not prevent contracting this deadly virus, it will help mitigate the effects of the virus and will increase the odds that you will survive and not have the long lasting effects that this virus carries. Much like the flu vaccine – you may still contract the flu but you will not have a terminal case and will be less ill during the acute phase.
Those that are reluctant should be reminded that vaccinations have been protecting us from diseases for decades. Here are seven examples: Chickenpox ,Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rubella, Pertussis, or whooping cough. When enough people are vaccinated, it slows down the spread of disease. So do your part and get vaccinated!

1 year ago

No. Technically, discrimination applies only to those who — under the law — are classified as “protected” groups: race, color, religion, s*x, national origin, disability, or age. None of those apply here.

Steven G
1 year ago

Good for them, a business I’d support.

1 year ago

Thank you for being strong enough to take a stand, and for your focus on your staff and customers…not just on yourself.

I recently read a similar article about a local (SC) restaurant owner requiring proof of vaccination. Said his business has not suffered: the vaxxers are more than willing to take up the slack of the anti-vaxxers and are happy to be in safe place. His reasoning was that they had to be closed for over a year, laying off employees, etc. Now that he was opening back up, he had no intention of having to close and go through that again. So he was doing what should have been done the first time around.

Mike Albert
1 year ago

I’m reading in disbelief that some people believe Rumble and other incisive news sources opposed to medical science. That said, I support the owners in Maine and if I were to travel there, I would have no issue staying there. Thanks for your stand. If everyone would stop shoving their “beliefs” down other peoples throats, and stop trying to prove that they are correct and others wrong, we would be able to get to get her as a society without hate and anger.

1 year ago

I applaud this campground’s policy!

1 year ago

Not a bad idea, however, even among the vaccinated the variants can be spread. So we are thinking it best to continue distancing from folks we don’t know. We don’t want to get the variant, nor do we want to unknowingly spread it to others.

Yesterday the pool at our campground was so crowded that adults and kids were practically crawling over each other in and out of the rather large pool. There was also a large gathering of some kind in the park, amazingly crowded.

Despite the fact that many of those folks were likely vaccinated (except the huge numbers of kids), my husband said, and I tend to agree “wow, potential super spreader events”.

Stay safe, everyone.

1 year ago

According to yesterday’s poll most of us are at least 70 and many a lot older than that. Don’t sweat this and move on.

1 year ago

That study actually wasn’t peer reviewed – there’s a disclaimer on it.
Or would you rather simply go get Covid?

1 year ago

Bit of an exaggeration there. Get real. It’s not a ‘sacred liberty’ to be allowed to infect others. She has a private business, and she has every right to post the ‘no shoes, no shirt, no vaccine, no campsite’ sign.

Rita Rosson
1 year ago
Reply to  Kamwick


1 year ago

So many people don’t have the facts on this. The vaccine doesn’t stop the spread of the virus nor does it protect you from getting the virus, the effectiveness depends on which vaccine you get but none of them are 100% and some less than 50%.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tim

98 percent of hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated that tells you all you need to know!

Rita Rosson
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray

👍 👍 👍

1 year ago

Agreed. Just look at some of the comments here. New RV’rs might think the RV crowd isn’t nearly as friendly as they’ve been led to believe. I’m glad my wife and I overwhelmingly prefer boondocking.

Kaeleen Buckingham
1 year ago

Way to go Kosalka!

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