Mark Mazur and his family had no idea their week away at their favourite campsite would take a quick, potentially dangerous turn.
The family headed out to Madge Lake in Duck Mountain Provincial Park on Monday. Madge Lake is about 250 kilometres northeast of Regina.
Mazur was having a drink with his family when his friend George came running, warning of a storm coming across the lake.
"It's going to be a real big one," Mazur remembered George telling him.
Mazur, his wife, their 12-year-old daughter, their 14-year-old son and the dog all went into their camper as the storm ripped through with wind, rain and hail.
"I was getting really concerned and my daughter was terrified," Mazur said.
"Next thing you know this massive tree falls through the side of our camper."
The camper was a hard shell with tent pop-out sides for the beds, Mazur said. The tree ripped through a pop-out and branches went everywhere. Mazur said thankfully no one was hurt.
"Everyone was definitely shaken up and my camper is destroyed," he said.
"The scary thing is probably 10 minutes before that, my son and our puppy were laying on that bed ... I can't think what could have happened."
The storm itself was only about 15 minutes, he said. As the rain died down, Mazur's truck had a large stump on it, but was still usable.
People started to come to his site to check out the damage.
"I contacted the campground and told them what had happened and they said they'd get out there when they can with a chainsaw. But there's felled trees all over the place," Mazur said.
With some community help, the tree stump was off the truck and they started clearing what they could.
"Luckily my old friend George, he had a chainsaw."
Mazur and his family are safe at his mother's home in Canora, Sask., trying to sort out the next steps.
Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Rural Municipality of Cote, including Duck Mountain Provincial Park, at about 4:45 p.m. CST on Monday.
The warming said the thunderstorm was near Kamsack and tracking east. Environment Canada said it was capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel size hail and heavy rain.
SaskParks said many trees were knocked down and some power poles were blown over by the wind throughout the park and in some of the subdivisions. SaskParks said there were no injuries and that the cleanup is continuing, but the park is still open for camping and day-use.
SaskPower said on Twitter that power was out with no estimated time of restoration after the storm on Monday.
Mazur said he believes the storm was a very strong plow wind that passed through.
"I think our campsite took the worst of it in our neighborhood but there was a number of people that did get damage," he said.
"When we drove out, you could see there were falling trees on the road that were cleared a few minutes earlier and they were broken trees — just general debris on the highway and stuff like that."
Campers, we look after each other. - Mark Mazur
Mazur said his daughter is hesitant to go camping again, but he just reminds her of how the people nearby came to help.
"They all pitched in," he said. "Campers, we look after each other."
Mazur said he isn't worried about heading back out for the next trip.
"I love camping, everything about it," he said. "That darn 100-year-old tree decided to break off … But, you know, what are the chances that's going to happen to me again? I think the benefits of going camping outweigh the risk."