OVERNIGHT STAYS – ENCAMPMENTS
Spring encampment season starts the first weekend in April through the second weekend in June. The Fall season starts mid September through the weekend before Thanksgiving. Arrival at the Naval Park for encampments should be between 3:30 and 4:30 PM, to ensure adequate time for check-in, payment of program fees and escort onboard and berthing assignments. Campers sleep onboard the USS Little Rock with a capacity of 250.
“This is very popular with Scout troops from in an around the region but one organization that continually amazes me is the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps, which calls the ships home for its monthly meetings from May through October each year….”
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Reservations are taken by telephone only, please call: 716-847-1773, ext. 10. Cost is $50.00 per person regardless of age. The $50.00 buys dinner, breakfast, the overnight, a tour of the Park and one ride on our motion simulator. Parking is located on Erie Boulevard at the north end of Marine Drive (we share the lot with the Miss Buffalo cruise boat customers).
Encampment Night Planning
What to Bring
Sleeping compartments are CO-ED, and each visitor is responsible for bringing his or her own sleeping items (bag, blanket, pillow, etc.), the bunks onboard do not have sheets or blankets. Also campers are advised to dress appropriately for the outside weather, during the winter layers are advised. See note (7) in “Code of Conduct” section. Remember storage space is limited onboard the USS Little Rock, so pack minimally for your overnight stay. It is also recommended that you bring:
1. Personal toiletries.
2. Appropriate clothing. We recommend no high heals or flip-flops (remember the shipboard ladders are steep and during bad weather can get slippery).
3. Camera, film and batteries.
4. Specific Special Dietary needs.
5. Card or board games, if desired.
6. First Aid Kit, the Naval and Military Park Staff will not dispense any medications or first aid supplies.
Please remember this is a public museum and park facility. Any garbage generated by the encampment group must be disposed of in the proper containers provided, adopt a “Clean as you go” policy. The Buffalo Naval and Military Park should be left in the same condition as it was found upon the group’s arrival.
What Not To Bring
None of the below are allowed at the Naval Park during an encampment:
1. Alcoholic beverages.
2. Coolers (unless authorized by Duty Officer).
3. Snacks, Chewing gum, etc.
4. Drugs other than those prescribed for the individual by a medical doctor or over-the-counter medication.
5. Knives, Tools or Cutting implements.
6. Appliances, including coffee makers (Coffee and Tea is available on the USS Little Rock) hot plates, stoves, fueled lanterns.
7. Pets (guide animals are the only exceptions).
8. Items that may cause damage or injury.
If you have a question if an item is allowed call: 716-847-1773, ext. 10.
The Duty Officer has final say so on all safety-related issues at the Naval Park. Failure to comply with posted rules, directions, or special instructions by any member of an Encampment Group could lead to expulsion of the entire party and forfeiture of the program fees.
Please keep in mind several points, USS Little Rock, USS The Sullivans and USS Croaker are naval vessels that were built to defend the United States and were operated by highly trained Naval and Marine Corps personnel. They are not “Cruise Ships” and therefor have many areas that are not “user-friendly”. USS The Sullivans is a National Historic Landmark, and USS Croaker has recently been placed on the National Historic Register and should be respected as such, but safety should always be the priority while visiting the Buffalo Naval and Military Park. See note (7) in “Code of Conduct” section.
Violation of ANY Safety procedures will be grounds for ejection from the park. The Buffalo Naval and Military Park staff is not responsible for any expense of a person or group associated with ejection or voluntary departure from the Park.
The Duty Officer will give a Safety Brief explaining the “Do’s and Don’ts”, basic park and schedule information at 1730. Locations will be announced.
Emergency Fire Drill
An emergency Fire Drill will be conducted immediately after the Safety Briefing and participation is mandatory for all overnight en-campers.
Smoke detectors are located in each berthing area and in all “common spaces” (heads, mess deck, etc.) and passageways. And are not to be tampered with in any way. If any alarm sounds, follow the procedures listed below:
1. Exit the interior of the ship in a quick, quiet and orderly manner, follow the “Red Lines” (painted on the decks and ladders) up to the main deck and muster in the designated areas by group for head count and evacuation from ship.
2. Do not close any doors or hatches on the ship.
3. Follow all instructions issued by Naval Park Staff; Duty Officer will call 911.
Remember the adult chaperones in each group spending the night must have control of the overnight encampment younger visitors within their group.
Code of Conduct and Safety Rules
Safety is paramount during overnight encampments, all campers will abide by the following rules, and the visiting group must provide adequate supervision at all times.
1. No running, pushing or “horse play” allowed at the Naval Park.
2. Discipline is the responsibility of the individual group chaperones.
3. Adults who leave the Park premises without prior authorization from the Duty Officer will not be permitted to return.
4. Do not turn switches or valves, open electrical control boxes or operate any equipment.
5. Respect all barriers, do not go outside authorized areas or enter restricted spaces without prior approval from the Duty Officer.
6. Do not lean against Lifelines.
7. Adult encampment chaperones are required to stand fire/security watches between Taps and Reveille in occupied berthing compartments.
8. Encampment personnel, other than adults, will not be permitted on deck after Taps.
9. Do not block any passageways or ladders to access hatches or doors with personal gear, boxes, bags, etc. Stow all gear safely out of the way.
10. Exercise caution climbing in and out of bunks. Be attentive especially in the upper bunks, of piping, valves, beams and light fixtures in the Overhead.
11. Do not wear shoes while in the bunks. Shoes are mandatory whenever en-campers are not in their bunks.
12. Do not turn OFF or ON any lights unless instructed to do so by Park Staff.
13. All food must be consumed in the Crew’s Mess. Food and drinks are not allowed in the berthing compartments.
14. An adult must accompany all children in the Weapons Display Compartment on board the USS Little Rock, and in the Museum Gift Shop.
15. NO SMOKING is permitted except on Park Grounds and on the Main Deck of the USS Little Rock.
Anyone caught damaging, defacing or stealing any item or exhibit on board ship or on Naval Park grounds will be ejected from the premises, and will be prosecuted. Groups responsible for damage will pay for ALL REPAIRS, REPLACEMENT, and/or RESTORATION of damaged items.
Where To Park
The Buffalo Naval Park recommends overnight parking in the Erie Street lot.