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Campground Rebuilds Stronger Following 2011 Tornado

BRIMFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — For many folks, the clean-up continues more than three years following the June 2011 tornado. ABC40 revisited a special campground in Brimfield that was all but destroyed in the storm and one person on the site was killed when their trailer was violently thrown in the intense winds. The rest of the property did not look much better. Rescuers expected to find more casualities as they trampled through woods.

“You couldn’t even walk down these roads,” 38 year veteran summer camper Jack Lawrie said.

In the days following the storm, the future was dismal at best. Village Green Family Campground owner Lester Twarowski pledged to slowly work back, better than the property ever was before.

“It was hard to sell a parking lot, you know with trash in it but they still kept coming,” Twarowski said.

This year, 41 families are once again calling Village Green their summer home, up from 27 in 2012. Downed trees are mostly cleared, new bathrooms and a retail store are built, while a state of the art pavilion is near completion. It’s all the product of constant work from Twarowski and his crew of dedicated volunteers, including local vocational students who will return this fall.

“The camp fires like on Saturday and Sunday have 10 chairs around them, not two, ten,” Twarowski said. “So that way when you come in you have a place to sit down.”

Part of the reason the campground is growing again is because the beach is back open and the pond is too- good for fishing and swimming.  Twarowski adds that some bizarre, beautiful flowers that never previously existed on their site have started growing each year since the tornado.  A green canopy is regrouping over the horizon with careful care and wildlife creatures are back. Both new and old campers agree Village Green is coming around.

“It’s just a fantastic group of people, hard to explain,” Lawrie said. “It’s like going to college and your fraternity brothers. Same type.”
“The best part would have to be just being here with all the friends. We are kind of like a giant family,” 14 year old camper Nathan Lowell said. “We always do a big cook out on sundays before everybody leaves.”

And that’s the reason Twarowski can honestly say:

“I’m smiling. I finally am smiling. I feel happy. I feel like we got a pretty good chance at survival,” Twarowski said. “Two years ago I said 50/50. Now I’m 80/20 and growing everyday.”

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