Residents of Montauk who are upset about this summer’s exploding population of day campers in the seaside hamlet vented their displeasure at last Tuesday evening’s municipal meeting.
The crowd of people assembled to demand action became so large that police were called to maintain order. For the most part, the residents complained that the uncontrolled proliferation of summer camps in Montauk are causing the hamlet to lose its traditional character.
“The weekend evenings are fine,” explained one local who got up to speak. “That’s when all the 20-somethings come out to crowd the local bars and raise hell—we’re used to that. I mean, that’s what Montauk is for. But it’s the weekday mornings, with the big groups of kiddie campers carrying their sand pails down to the beach—you wouldn’t believe the noise. Try listening to that with a hangover!”
Numerous residents echoed this complaint, noting that the traditional weekday morning in Montauk has always been observed as a quiet affair as residents attempt to sleep off last night’s revelry on a public bench, or, waking, gingerly walk to the local watering hole for their hair of the dog. Now they worry the Montauk morning’s customary sick-ward hush is threatened by what one local called “screaming mobs of bouncy, healthy rug rats marauding through town in search of ice cream.”
Officials promised to ask the children to keep a respectful silence until at least noon, and this seemed to satisfy the crowd, which soon dispersed to hit the bars.