History of camping site ‘De Riesen’
Up until the sixties, camping site ‘De Riesen’ was a meadow from which farmer Cees Hek, from the village of Hee, fetched hay and where his cattle grazed. He hosted some wild campers from time to time, but he did not make any money out of it. At some point, the family decided to apply for a camping license to the municipality of Terschelling. After a number of pumps and some wooden toilets were installed, the camping site was ready to receive guests. Apparently, the camping site was appealing to tourists, as the number of reservations kept on rising. Camping site ‘De Riesen’ was property of Cees Hek until the year 1978. When the Hek family decided it could not maintain the camping site, a daughter of the family and her husband (from the Kuiper family) took over the company.
Directly after buying it, they started modernising the camping site. Firstly, they put in a water pipe, they installed electricity and a sewer system. Then, they replaced the wooden toilets with a toilet building. Not long after that, the Kuiper family bought their first caravans, which they rented out to tourists. They started placing more caravans and after some time, they started building summer cottages. This process of modernisation continued until ‘De Riesen’ consisted of 25 Finnish bungalows and 27 dune bungalows: the current state of the holiday park. Furthermore, the 8 person holiday accommodations ‘De Fuik’ and ‘Kijkduin’ in Midsland Noord also belong to ‘De Riesen’.
The name ‘Riesen’ is a word in Terschelling dialect; it signifies a type of willow (in Dutch: Kruipwilg)