All Male Clothing Optional Camping in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania

All Male Clothing Optional Camping in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania

A Message from the Administrator re: COVID-19

35 years ago, our founder decided to combat prejudice and fear when he opened Hillside Campgrounds. Gay men from around the world, but mostly the East Coast, gathered each summer amidst some horrible statistics surrounding the gay community and the outbreak of a virus that changed many lives. Little was known about the long-term implications of the disease and how it was transmitted. Treatments were tested and found.  An entire generation of artists, musicians, factory workers, ministers, and talented people from every walk of life, were lost. Throughout those years Hillside members made their own courageous decisions on how to relate to others.  Over time, medications have arisen, and HIV is not the killer it once was.

Today, Covid-19 is spoken about throughout the world. Of course, this is NOT the AIDS epidemic and the recovery period for most, according to current data, is 14 days. But prejudice and intense fear are still rampant. The former response to someone sneezing may have been, “God bless you.” Now a simple sneeze gets a sneer or demeaning comment. To allay fear of the uncertain, people are hoarding toilet paper and anti-bacterial soaps as if survival of the fittest is based not on overall health and hygiene, but rather how many rolls of toilet paper can be bought.  Some are participating in group think, name calling and fear building.  Stores, schools, restaurants, factories, bars and beaches are closed. The thousands of individuals who have died from the flu this season are forgotten, and many well-intentioned individuals want to know what others are going to do NOW for them.  Instead of personal responsibility, MANY blame others and seek to be taken care of by anyone who claims to have all the answers.

Hillside Campgrounds is first and foremost a community. We are incredibly strong men, living in the beautiful mountains of PA for five months each year. We garden, read, swim, walk trails, enjoy fresh, healthy air, work remotely, and enjoy the sounds of the streams and forest.  Our cabins are a refuge from the hustle and bustle of life.  Many gather at the pool or at parties. Perhaps this year we may need to remove half of the lounge chairs, or other steps to offer some added physical distance.  We are more than people at the Rec-hall.  We are a community and summer home for many.  We may have to curtail some of the parties and re-learn some appropriate spacing between ourselves and others. While some are socially distancing themselves from others, we know how to wave, talk to others by phone and the internet and respect personal space.  We know how to nod, write notes and even go on quiet walks, acknowledging others without hugs and kisses. We have faced fear, hate, and prejudice, served in battle, survived 9-11 and many personal illnesses. We are self-made success stories, real men who have historically chosen to fight and win, instead of looking for others to come to our rescue.  We have the courage to make the best decisions for ourselves and for our vulnerable partners….and we continue to survive, thrive and win! 

If you are frightened about the present virus, you are not alone.  If you feel that you need to make major decisions today about your life at Hillside this summer, know that we are here to listen and to address your individual fears.  Like you, we watch and listen every day.  Not to the fear, gossip, name calling or the fog that has many acting without common sense, but to the recommendations of many and to the facts as they are briefed each day.  For those who will move into their summer home on May 1st or after, rest assured, we will be there to welcome you with a gentle wave, extra deep cleaned restrooms, and happy hearts to see you once again.  If needed we will be prepared to change the plan but as for adjustments that are needed to keep you happy and safe, we remain committed to do our part and expect you to do yours.  Until then, like we’ve all been taught…Wash your face and hands with soap and water, eat right, exercise, and treat others the way you want them to treat you.  I will continue to offer updates as we move toward opening Hillside.

Any questions, please email me at wayne@hillside.camp.




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Welcome to Hillside Campgrounds

a camping destination that has been serving the gay male community for 34 years! Open from May through the end of September each year, we offer a unique, private setting on more than 235 secluded acres in the Endless Mountain region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Whether your camping style uses a tent, a popup camper or a rental cabin, our experienced staff can help you decide between a site in the middle of all the action or a secluded site deep in the woods.

As a clothing optional, attitude-free environment, your experience at Hillside Campgrounds can be as busy or as relaxed as you want. Make new friends at the pool, hike the nature trails, explore our wooded playground, join the crowd at the nightly bonfire, or dance the night away in our disco. Younger or older, bigger or smaller, bears or leather, whatever your style of men, you can find a themed weekend to pique your attention.

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