Information for Parents

Are you looking for a great way to make sure your son or daughter is getting the most out of their university experience? One answer is Brock BaseCamp!

BaseCamp is a unique outdoor orientation program designed to help your son or daughter excel in their time at Brock, and it is one of the few programs of its kind in Canada. BaseCamp is a natural supplement to Smart Start, which is Brock’s one day, on-campus orientation program.

Many parents believe their son or daughter’s biggest fear at university is academic performance, particularly in their first year. However, we’ve heard from many students that they are actually more concerned about meeting people, fitting in, making friends, and learning more about their “home away from home,” especially since they are most likely living away from where they grew up and will be on their own for the first time in their lives.

Here’s what one parent had to say about the BaseCamp experience…

What do we do?

Through canoeing, backpacking and local adventure trips in a small group environment, BaseCamp has been successful in helping students:

  • Make lasting friendships,
  • Develop support networks before arriving on campus in the fall,
  • Learn about the ins and outs of being a university student from current third and fourth year Brock students,
  • Discuss student life issues such as diversity, drug and alcohol use, and living away from home,
  • Step out of their comfort zone and increase self-confidence, and
  • Have fun!

Research has shown that students who participate in outdoor orientation programs have a greater chance of staying in university than those that don’t, and that these programs are effective at building strong social support networks for new university students! See these two recent news articles for more information:

Our curriculum

The Brock BaseCamp curriculum is designed by professors and graduate students in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies who have extensive wilderness experience. BaseCamp trips are led by highly trained third year, fourth year, graduate students and recent alumni. Our leaders have advanced first aid, CPR and water safety certifications — many work full-time during the summer as wilderness guides in remote locations around the world. More importantly, they care about helping your son or daughter get the most out of their BaseCamp experience — our leaders love what they do!

Many BaseCamp trips go to remote areas and, as with most wilderness travel, may be physically and mentally demanding at times. We’ve found these challenges help students to grow as individuals and facilitate stronger community with their trip mates. Our leaders carry communication equipment (cell phone or satellite phone) used only for outgoing calls in the case of emergency (however, there may be a lack of coverage in some areas — this is the nature of being in the outdoors) and a well-stocked first aid kit. We do not permit participants to bring any electronics such as a cell phone, IPod, or any other non-medically necessary device. We’ve found these devices get in the way of people getting to know one another and are easily lost or damaged.

In case of an emergency at home, you can contact BaseCamp staff at Brock. We’ll do our best to get in touch with trip leaders, but we may not be able to until the end of the trip (that’s the nature of a wilderness adventure!). We will only contact students on trip in case of an emergency. We do not allow for “check-ins” during a trip — your son or daughter can share his or her stories when at home!

Visit our frequently asked questions page for more information.

What do participants have to say?

“BaseCamp provided me with confidence that I will take with me throughout my university experience, as well as motivation to get involved with all the unique opportunities Brock University has to offer. I have many memories that I will cherish as a student, as well as new friends I can turn to during my days as a Brock student.” Maria (Concurrent Education)

“If you are reading this and thinking all this group did was laugh and canoe you are partially right, but we also discovered how to successfully transition from the sitcom that is high school to university life. This was incredibly beneficial for me and I think all students that come to Brock should participate in BaseCamp. It is by far the best way to help you transition to university life.” Charlie (Sport Management)

“This trip really helped kick off my school year by allowing me to make some new friends in a place where we could connect very deeply, very quickly. I feel as though I’ve made some friends for life on this trip. Coming home after a trip like this I think we are all ready to shout, ‘Watch out! Here we come!’” Kate (Kinesiology)

Want to know more?

If you want your son or daughter to start their academic year with a great group of friends and to feel comfortable about their studies at Brock,  don’t hesitate to call us for more information. We can be reached at: 905-688-5550 x6698 or by email at:

We hope to see your son or daughter this summer!