Saturday was a night of firsts for the Gaitskell family.

It was the first time the foursome went on vacation with their two new puppies, a rambunctious duo named Casey and Finnegan.

It was their first night sleeping in a tent — though their luxury three-bedroom model, complete with a screened foyer, scarcely qualified as “roughing it.”


It was also the first chance they had to check out the Glen Rouge Campground, an 8.7-hectare site nestled in the wilds of Rouge Park, where the family has hiked in summers past.

The camp, just minutes away from the Toronto Zoo, opened for the season last weekend, drawing some 20 groups of campers and RVers.

“We thought we’d try something close to town, so if it doesn’t work out, we’re not stuck three hours in the car,” said Gail Gaitskell as she pumped up inflatable twin mattresses for Kyle, 11, and Shannon, 10. The trip was a last-minute decision for the Gaitskells, who packed their gear into the family van and left their home in Pickering around 2 p.m. that day, she said.

“It gets very busy,” said Bonnie Dunsby, who manned the visitor centre Saturday night and registered campers. “When the kids get out of school, that’s when it really hits.”

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