Nautical Nights Overnight Camping:
America's Original Overnight Camping Program:
Did you know that Battleship Cove pioneered overnight camping on board naval vessels? It all began in 1972 when a Boy Scout leader asked Paul Vaitses, then Battleship Cove's executive director, "Is it possible for my scout group to spend a night aboard?" Mr. Vaitses promptly replied, "Absolutely!"
And so Nautical Nights began, with 80 scouts sleeping in their bedrolls on the battleship's main deck. For some it is an annual adventure steeped in history, patriotism and pride. It is not uncommon to see a father, who as a boy spent a night aboard the battleship, return with his son to repeat the experience. They trudge up the gangway carrying sleeping bags, pillows, backpacks (and an occasional teddy bear). They may be weary from their journey, but they're soon transformed. The awesome size of the ship dazzles them. They gaze at the masts where the U.S. flag and an array of signal flags flutter proudly. They marvel at the 16" guns, the 40MM mounts, the turrets and the superstructure. You see it in their faces. They've never seen a ship so big and they say to themselves, "I can't believe we'll be spending the night onboard!"
After stowing their gear, campers wander in wonder at
everything Battleship Cove has to offer. The look of amazement
turns to glee when they climb on the 40MM mounts and crank
the handwheels. With imaginary shells bursting all around they
fight off the enemy and save their proud ship. They scamper
about, investigating the guns, ducking into the turrets, sprinting
up the ladders. . . exploring everywhere. The enthusiasm and
pride is contagious for this proud lady of the sea. Add in the
exploration of a WW2 submarine, a Vietnam War-era destroyer,
PT Boats, and numerous other exhibits, it can quickly be seen
that no other museum has more to offer.
Our Nautical Nights program is offered to Scouts, Youth and School Groups, and even families! A visit to Battleship Cove is special. Spending an overnight on board one of the mightiest defenders of freedom truly is an unforgettable experience.
Although Battleship Massachusetts was designed to carry 1,800 men, she typically carried nearly 2,300 on board throughout the war. Steaming more than 225,000 miles over four long years, Big Mamie rotated her crew frequently, hosting more than 6,000 different officers and crew by 1945.
You'll be sleeping exactly where these men slept: in authentic sailors' racks. Built of tough cotton canvas stretched across a sturdy aluminum frame, these racks will give you a firsthand feel of what it was like to be a sailor in World War II. Upon arriving to the museum, campers are led to their assigned bunkrooms where they may stow their sleeping bags and belongings.
If you're lucky, your average hotel might throw in a complimentary continental breakfast with your lodging fee, but at Battleship Cove we give you breakfast and dinner. All meals are served "chow style" in the original Officers' Wardroom on board USS Massachusetts. Campers then partake in a number of activities such as the new "Kilroy IS Here" scavenger hunt, story teller, feature films, play the game Battleship aboard a battleship, have a set of your own dog tags made, and much more.
Reservations and Bookings:
Please use the form below or call us at 508-678-1100 ext. 102.
Dog Tag pre-Orders:
Want to have dog tags ready for you upon arrival? These authentic G.I. Dog Tags are just like those worn by sailors aboard ship. Crafted in durable stainless steel, each dog tag can be customized with up to four lines of type. Includes two personalized dog tags with silencers and one 22" stainless steel neck chain.
Order yours today by filling out our dog tag order form and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org