6 October 2012
(Updated: January 20, 2013)
This is almost, but not quite, a bare-bones campground. If you don't call in advance to arrange for a site, you will be camping on the side of the lake where there are no services. The parking spots on this side have twin concrete slabs about three feet wide to provide a secure footing for your RV, but there is no electricity nor water on that side. There is no dump site for your holding tanks anywhere on the base. The campground does have a number of portable toilets for campers who aren't in an RV. The other side of the lake is available by prior arrangement. You must call to obtain a key to the site you will be using. I did not use this side, so I can't comment on the procedures. These sites also have a concrete slab for your RV, but at least some of them are about eight feet wide rather than the twin tracks provided on the non-reserved side. There are 15 amp electrical receptacles available at many, if not most, of the sites on this side of the lake. Some of these sites have fire rings or pits. Fires are not allowed elsewhere. There is one twin-faucet hose connection available to the lucky campers who get one of the sites adjacent to the faucet. The faucets were not the freeze-proof type and I suspect that the water is shut off to them during the coldest months. Many of the sites on both sides of the lake have a picnic table. At the entrance to the camping area is a large covered pavilion with lots of tables. I assume that this is available for use, but I'm sure that you must call and arrange for that. Next to the covered pavilion is a single, freeze-proof hydrant. I didn't use it, but would guess that this is the only location where you can get water year round. There aren't any playgrounds for children, but some of the campers' kids were playing happily on a pile of broken concrete that was nearby. I have done the same when I was younger and don't have a problem with that, but more careful parents may not want their kids playing where they could be seriously hurt if they fall. The camping sites surround a small lake which was very low when I stayed. It looked like it would be very nice during non-drought years. Swimming and boating (no powerboats) are allowed in the lake at your own risk. There is a fenced-off pond at the end of the campsite area. The sign reads "KEEP OUT - SEWAGE LAGOON". In spite of what you would assume there were no odors wafting towards any of us campers. The camp guardhouse is staffed by civilian employees who were friendly and courteous when I came by. The few other campers in the campground were exactly what I would expect from my fellow Midwesterners, friendly, outgoing, and helpful. The camp is only ten miles or so from the Strategic Air & Space Museum. That museum is certainly worth several hours of your time, even if you're not an airplane nut like I am. That museum is open every day except Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Admission is $12 for adults as of October 2012. The contact number is 402-944-3100. The price for camping was certainly right, no charge at all for a site without services. I don't know if there is a charge for using the sites with electricity. Anyone with a valid military ID card or Nebraska state military department employees may stay at Camp Ashland. The maximum stay is two weeks. As with most (all?) military bases, firearms, and even BB or pellet guns, are not allowed. Pets are allowed if they are on a leash and attended. It's a good idea to call the camp before arrival to ensure that your stay will not interfere or conflict with training. As you would expect, military training has priority over all other activities. I got the impression that sometimes trainees will camp in the campground during their stay at Camp Ashland. They may fill it up. According to the paperwork I received, the contact person for Camp Ashland Recreation Area is First Sergeant Richard D. Goodenberger at 402-309-7648. From my military experience, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that another person has assumed 1SG Goodenberger's duties by now.