It's not exactly camping deep in the forest.
Lakewood Ranch Community Activities' annual Community Campout has a food truck, bike trails, a dog park, playgrounds, a feature movie, telescopes, and all the amenities that a county park offers.
And for this event, that's perfect.
So perfect that the 50 campsites being offered Feb. 25 were sold out in 10 days. Keith Pandeloglou, the executive director of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, had to add another 30 sites.
“We just absolutely love it. It’s a great family event,” said Greenbrook’s Tim Grewe, who said his family was returning for the third year in a row. “It’s a good time to bring everybody together and have a blast.”
Pandeloglou said about 30% of the campers were from Greenbrook and loved that they could camp in their backyard.
“While hardcore camping can require you to travel one two hours and pack a lot of things, this is more like Lakewood Ranch camping, so it's a little bit more subdued," Pandeloglou said.
Those who attend said they will continue to return.
“Everybody bonds and gets to know each other, and since it's an up-and-coming. community, it’s good to bond.”” said Lakewood Ranch’s Larry Santiago.
Grewe said his family loved the telescopes set up by the Sidewalk Science Center.
Sarasota's Christina Barshinger said her kids love the event.
“I think it's just wonderful when you can bring families and friends together, because the kids just have a blast,” Barshinger said. “It's a great place where you feel relaxed and feel safe. And the kids have the park and can run around and be safe.”