Thank you for your interest in the USS SLATER Overnight Camping Program. We want you to enjoy your stay aboard and we also want you to learn about and understand the sacrifices involved in life aboard a WWII Destroyer Escort.
When you step aboard you are actually stepping back in time. The USS SLATER was not designed as a tourist attraction, but as a warship. Every attempt has been made to restore the ship to her original condition. The USS SLATER is the last floating example out of the 563 Destroyer Escorts that served the Navy in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War. Her renovation since 1993 has been the result of over 250,000 volunteer man-hours and over one million dollars generously donated by Destroyer Escort Veterans and other interested citizens. We are pleased to offer this unique experience to your group and we ask that you respect the enormous effort that has gone into her restoration. You will be furnished with a sheet of safety regulations. Please distribute a copy to each camper and chaperone. It is necessary to abide by them for everyone's safety, including the ship.
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE:Your camping experience will begin 1730 (5:30 PM for you landlubbers). Your group will be met in the parking lot on the pier. We will have a brief orientation for all campers and chaperones before going aboard. Make sure to ear dinner before you arrive and bring snacks for later in the night! Departure is at 0900 the following morning.
PROGRAM: Your program follows a typical day in the life of a sailor. It will include Navy customs and traditions, such as retiring the colors. Chow will be served on the mess decks buffet style. Campers will take part in a fire drill and participate in ships work. Your stay will also include a tour of the ship and nautical activities.
MEALS:As stated above, breakfast is served buffet style in the mess deck. Beverages will be provided. You may bring additional beverages and food for snack time, however glass bottles are prohibited. Food will be stored on the mess deck and not allowed in any other compartments aboard the SLATER.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Campers will need to bring their own sleeping bag and pillow. They will sleep in racks (bunks) aboard ship. These are the same berthing compartments used by the original SLATER crew. Separate sleeping quarters are available for coed groups. The berthing spaces are heated in the cooler months, but the ship is not air-conditioned.
RESTROOM: On ships, the restroom is known as the head. The facilities aboard the SLATER are limited. Some heads are part of the museum exhibit and are not functional. However, there are two modern working heads aboard and one shoreside. The sinks the campers use are the same used by sailors of that era.
PARKING: The parking lot on the pier is limited. We share the parking lot with Dutch Apple Cruises. Camping groups are limited to one car per five individuals. We encourage you to car pool as much as possible.
TELEPHONE: Telephones are available aboard ship, but their use is limited to ship's business and emergencies. If cell phones or any other valuable personal property are brought aboard, the USS SLATER assumes no liability for lost or stolen items. USS SLATER does not provide electrical outlets for charging personal devices. PLease charge these devices prior to your arrival.
PARENTAL AUTHORIZATION & INSURANCE: Campers are required to have a signed authorization form to participate in the program. Campers need to read and agree to comply with the safety regulations. A copy of these regulations will be sent to your group leader with your confirmation. Group insurance information is required three weeks prior to your stay aboard the USS SLATER.
MEDICAL: USS SLATER staff cannot be responsible for holding or dispensing any medication. Pertinent medical information can be listed on the authorization form. The staff will call for professional help in the event of an emergency. A basic first aid kit is available aboard ship and we encourage each group to bring their own as well.
COST: To reserve your dates aboard the USS SLATER a $100.00 non-refundable deposit is required. The total charge per person is $50.00 regardless of age. All participants must be at least seven (7) years of age and official members of the group. A minimum of one (1) chaperone is required per eight (8) campers. Maximum group size is limited to fifty (50) participants. Minimum group size is twenty (20) participants. Each camper will receive a small memento of his or her camping experience; other reasonably priced souvenirs are available at our gift shop. All proceeds from this program go towards the restoration and preservation of the USS SLATER.