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.

2019 event details

A Taste of Camping

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!

Note: This is an overnight event.


Saturday July 27 (1:00 pm) - Sunday July 28 (10:30 am)


McDonald Campground (Sidney, BC)


$88/campsite (up to 4 people); additional $22/person (after 4 people; max 6 people per site)


Space is limited. Reservations are required. See below

Who can participate

Anyone can participate in the Learn-to Camp program.

What's included

  • Tent and sleeping pads
  • 2 burner stove
  • Snacks*
  • All scheduled workshops and activities
  • Camping fees

*Note: Meals are not provided


Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for the event, please contact Parks Canada toll free at 1-844-365-2646 (10:00 am to 6:00 pm EDT - Monday to Friday).

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

Event Location

McDonald Campground
10740 McDonald Park Road, North Saanich, BC, V8L 5S5
GPS Coordinates: 48.673156, -123.425449

*Please park at the adjacent Blue Heron Park and follow the signs through the forest to the campground.


Participants may drive to the site themselves. If needed, we will provide a free shuttle service from Swartz Bay ferry terminal to McDonald campground. Participants must indicate during the registration process if they require this service.

From Swartz Bay ferry terminal
  • Head south on Patricia Bay Hwy/BC-17 S toward Victoria for approximately 2 km. Exit (on your right) at McDonald Park Road/Wain Road/Deep Cove, and follow for 250 m.
  • Turn left onto Swartz Bay Rd (signs for BC-17 N/Ferries), and follow for 400 m.
  • Turn right onto McDonald Park Rd (signs for Sidney), and follow for 225 m.
  • The campground will be on your right
From Victoria
  • Head north on Patricia Bay Hwy/ BC-17 toward Swartz Bay/Ferries. Follow for approximately 28 km.
  • Take Exit 31 to McDonald Park Rd toward Deep Cove/Wain Rd. Continue for 400 m on McDonald Park Rd.
  • The campground will be on your right.
Via public transit:
  • Route 72 (Swartz Bay/Downtown)

Additional information

For more information, visit Learn-to Camp Vancouver.

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


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.