A Taste of Camping (free drop-in) | Learn-to Camp (registration Required) | Partner | What's next? 

A Taste of Camping 2018

Parks Canada is promoting the great outdoors through food! As part of our national Learn to Camp program, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and Mountain Equipment Co-op are hosting free mini-workshops on camping and campground cooking—tasty samples available! McDonald campground in Sidney will be transformed to celebrate open air cooking and camping fare. Connect with nature as you stoke the fire and add fresh ideas to the cooler. New and seasoned campers are welcome to join us for this festival-style event. Circulate through the campsites, roast up a tasty treat and learn great camping and cooking tips along the way!

When: Saturday July 28, 2018, 12:00 pm -3:00 pm (Drop-in, free, everyone welcome!)

Where: McDonald Campground

10740 McDonald Park Road, North Saanich, BC, V8L 5S5
*Please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs through the forest to the campground.

Get Involved

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate in the Learn to Camp program. Come join us for an afternoon of tasty bites as you gather camp cuisine tips and tricks!

Join drop-in activities

Join the drop-in activities and plan an afternoon of fun that works with your family’s schedule. Or pack your camping gear and make it into a weekend of adventure. Lots of hands-on activities and opportunities to learn new culinary and camping skills.


Volunteer as an Event Assistant

Are you someone with lots of energy and enthusiasm and a willingness to learn? Parks Canada needs help with the operation of A Taste of Camping. Gain experience for your résumé and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve contributed to something worthwhile.

Contact 250-654-4000 or gulf.islands@pc.gc.ca.

Learn-to Camp

Visitors at a campfireWhat’s a great way to connect with nature? Camping in the great outdoors!

Sleeping in a tent under the stars, taking an evening flashlight walk, telling stories around the campfire, it’s time to start the tradition and make some memories! Thinking about learning how to camp? Every year, Parks Canada and Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) team up to teach hundreds of people how to camp.

Experience camping the guided way at McDonald Campground in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

When: Saturday, July 28, 12:00 pm – Sunday, July 19, 11:00 am (Advance registration required)

Note: Learn-to Camp participants will join members of the public attending A Taste of Camping, the free drop-in event, from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Saturday July 28.


Where: McDonald Campground

10740 McDonald Park Road, North Saanich, BC, V8L 5S5

What will I learn?

  • How to pitch a tent
  • How to build a campfire
  • Camping-outdoor recreation safety
  • Camp cooking

What's provided?

  • Tent
  • Sleeping pads
  • Dinner (a hot meal, such as chili or pasta will be provided by a local caterer Saturday evening as part of the program. Remember to indicate your dietary restrictions when you register).
  • All scheduled workshops and activities
  • Camping fees for your site

What do I bring?

  • Sleeping Bags. Sleeping bags are not provided. Please ensure you have one for each member of your group
  • Food for breakfast (dinner is provided, but breakfast is not. Please ensure you have food for each member of your group)
  • One cup, one bowl, one plate, one fork, spoon, knife per person
  • Snacks
  • Pillow
  • Suitable, comfortable clothing for the outdoors (remember that it can be cool at night so bring a variety of clothing so that you will be able to layer for warmth)
  • Pyjamas
  • Rain gear
  • Comfortable and supportive shoes (you will be involved in many different activities, so be prepared to be on your feet)
  • Toys and books for the kids
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottles
  • A hat to protect you from the sun
  • Personal toiletries
  • Any personal medication
  • Camera
  • Items for young children (bottles, diapers, etc.)
  • Your health card
  • Flash light

How much does the event cost?

2018 Rates

Reserve by campsite: $99.20 (Maximum 6 people per site). Taxes included.

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate in the Learn to Camp program, if you want to learn how to camp, you are welcome to join us!

How do I register?

To register for the event, please contact Parks Canada:

  • Toll-free telephone at 1-844-365-2646 (10:00 am - 6:00 pm EDT, Monday to Friday)

*Please note that registration for this event can only be made using a credit card.


MEC logo

Mountain Equipment Co-Op is our national partner and is participating at Parks Canada places from coast to coast! Staff will be on-site with tricks and tools for an even more delicious camping experience.


What's next?

After attending a Learn to Camp event, you will be comfortable camping on your own. Parks Canada has many options for those who wish to begin planning their next experience:

Gulf Islands National Park Reserve Campgrounds

More Learn to Camp Experiences

Family using Equipped Campsites at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, NS
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A group of young campers relax at their campsite
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Reserve. Relax. Experience.