Jeff Peltz spent Friday evening pitching three tents at and keeping an eye on two of his children. He also shelled out about $50 — $15 per tent, $5 per person for activities and extra to rent canoes so the kids could paddle about the big pond.
"Is it worth it? Oh, yes," said Peltz, a GM factory worker who commutes to work in Toledo, OH, since his job at Willow Run was transferred out of state. He said his campsite would eventually have 10 people, including family friends. The Peltz party was just one of hundreds of that flocked to the park to play, dance and watch an outdoor screening of Despicable Me.
' annual family camping night at the park is a good time for family bonding, Peltz said, especially since the family's ice cream business, Scoopy's, was sold to new owners. "We never had time like this before," he said.
His son, Jacob Peltz, 13, brought friend Mike Snow, also 13, to canoe and camp. The boys said they had fun and got a little wet but overall, "it's pretty cool," Jacob said.
His older sister, Kristin Peltz, 18, said she was camping with two girlfriends in a tent a short distance from the rest of her family, which includes sister Micaylin, 15 and their mom, Denise Peltz.
As the family talked about the campout, fireflies flickered in the dusk and, over the hill near the park amphitheater, children and adults danced to such songs as Michael Jackson's Thriller as well as kid-friendly classics like Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance.
At 8 a.m. Saturday, campers — and anyone else inclined to visit the park — can pay $5 for a pancake breakfast by .