Stories to Tell
Conservation Areas are full of adventure and are just waiting to be explored! There are so many great stories to tell about visits to these natural gems, and we have shared some of our experiences and the experiences of others with you on this page. We encourage you to browse through the stories below and then Step Into Nature with family and friends to create your own ‘story to tell’!
Overnight Camping at the Village Green
“This campsite rocks!” my nine-year-old shouted eagerly from the backseat of the car when I pulled beside unserviced site number four.
I had to agree. Next to the pond, on a grassy lawn and under an awning of shade trees, it looked like we had half the campground to ourselves. It wasn’t true, of course. There were plenty of other families camping at the serviced sites, but because we didn’t need more than a firepit and a flat piece of land, we had privacy galore.
I was just unpacking the tent and enlisting the kids’ help to drag the sleeping bags out of the back of the car when my six-year-old threw up his hands in frustration.
“But when do we get to go swimming?”
“Soon,” I said and scowled at him. We only had a small tent so I was confident he could wait the ten minutes it would take to set up.
No sooner had I unrolled the sleeping mats then he was dragging out the towels and swimsuits. Before I had even thrown pillows inside the tent (there are some luxuries I insist on taking along), he was changed into his swimsuit.
“So, who wants to go swimming?” I asked with more then a hint of sarcasm. They squealed and headed off across the lush green lawn to the swimming pool, where we spent the next two hours pretending to be Michael Phelps and practicing our synchronized swimming moves.
Warwick Conservation Area is a picturesque campground and day-use area that offers a park-like setting just off Highway 402. Owned and operated by the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, Warwick Conservation Area is an excellent place to take the kids camping. With a swimming pool, playground equipment, a basketball court and mini putt all in one area and under an enormous canopy of shade trees, it’s easy to relax and watch the kids have fun.
After dinner we played a few rousing rounds of mini-putt, then the kids joined up with a gang of children (their new best friends) and played a few rounds of tag while I sat on a bench and watched the sun set over the pond. That’s when I finally realized how many people were actually camping along with us. There were grandparents and grandchildren fishing in silhouette against the sparkling water, parents and children bicycling along the paths and one father and son playing an energetic game of one-on-one basketball. The entire atmosphere was so friendly and quaint, I had to keep reminding myself I was at a campground and not the village green from a past era.
Warwick Conservation Area is only one of three campgrounds owned and operated by the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority. They all have swimming pools, playgrounds, ponds for fishing, trails for cycling and canoes, kayaks and paddleboats available for rent.
As we roasted spidey-dogs over our campfire that night and reflected on the best part of our day my nine-year-old piped up.
“My favourite part was that the swimming pool, playground and mini-putt all in one area.”
I had to agree. It was easy to keep an eye on both kids, even when they went in slightly different directions (except for the swimming pool) and still feel relaxed.
“And we made new friends,” my six-year-old said.
I nodded. I guess that’s what camping at Warwick Conservation Area is all about.
For more information on Warwick Conservation Area or one of the other campgrounds owned and operated by St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, please contact them at (519) 849-6770 in-season and (519) 245-3710 off-season.
Over 60 Conservation Areas in Ontario have campgrounds. Many are close towns and cities and easy to access. To find one near you, go to www.ontarioconservationareas.ca
Christina Kilbourne is an avid outdoor enthusiast and writer. She is the author of four novels, including Dear Jo, winner of the 2009 Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award , the 2010 Saskatchewan Snow Willow Award in 2010 and the 2010 British Columbia Red Cedar Award. She lives in Bracebridge with her family and various four-legged creatures.
It's always more fun sleeping overnight in a tent
Even Michael Phelps had to start somewhere
Mini-putt to your heart's content
Checking out the pond at Warwick Conservation Area