MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — The campgrounds at Hammonasset Beach State Park are officially open for the summer on Friday, and the weather didn’t impact any of the guest’s plans for Memorial Day weekend.

Toni Baranowski is a natural when it comes to camping. She started learning all the tricks as a Girl Scout, and to this day, she’s still the one who makes the campfire. While she said a lot of her friends think that camping is too much, “if you love being outside in nature, it’s great.”   

Every summer, Baranowski and her partner, Wayne Sherwood, take the RV to Hammonasset to meet up with family and friends. They go kayaking, biking, fishing, and of course, enjoy meals cooked on the grill.

The last two holiday weekends weren’t the same, however, as they were impacted by the pandemic and bad weather. They hope that this year, that will change.

“You don’t want to do everything inside, you want to be outside,” Sherwood said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Even some pop-up showers on Saturday didn’t damper anyone’s mood. Instead, families like David and Logan Jayxoc just took advantage of the dry weather when they could. David, who lives in Old Greenwich, said that the weather doesn’t matter.

“Rain, shine, doesn’t matter the weather, as long as you’re with good friends and good people, that’s all that matters,” David said.

After some time spent in isolation, it’s something we can’t take for granted. Sherwood expressed how great it is to see everyone outside enjoying themselves.

“You look around and instead of seeing empty campsites, you’re seeing everything full, and that’s a happy feeling,” Baranowski said.

The Hammonasset campground will be open through October 10. Cabins are also available to rent for those who don’t have their own camper.

For more information on camping at Hammonasset, visit CT DEEP’s website.