Parents seeking last-minute summer care for their children may be in luck.
There are still a few spots remaining in Brock University’s summer youth camps, which run until the end of August and include options in everything from the arts to science to athletics.
“There are so many different things to do,” said Nathan Murray, Aquatics Operations Supervisor, Youth Programs. “Our camps offer opportunities to be athletic, intellectual, scientific, creative or computer-driven. Kids could spend all summer at Brock if they wanted to.”
The University’s size and access to space allows it to offer a wide variety of camps.
“We can have 400 kids on campus at the same time because of the access we have,” said Michelle Leone, Program Manager, Youth Programs. “We have space that nobody else has. We have fully-equipped science and computer labs and an outdoor rock climbing tower and ropes challenge course. Our athletic facilities are some of the best in the region.”
In addition to using the facilities at the main Brock campus, camps are also offered in downtown St. Catharines at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and at the Rodman Hall Arts Centre.
MIWSFPA Director Elizabeth Vlossak says the performing arts camps help kids and youth “hone their fine motor skills, boost their self-confidence and develop improved spatial sense while nurturing their creative spirit and developing a love for the arts.”
Brock camps also use off-campus locations, such as the Welland International Flatwater Centre and Henley Island rowing course.
Brock’s pool is the largest in the region, allowing for several groups to do different things at the same time.
“Some weeks there are three camps taking place next to swim lessons,” said Karen McAllister-Kenny, Director, Youth Programs. “The size of the pool also allows enough space for specialized programming such as synchronized swimming to take place next to other activities.”
Aquatic camps are in high-demand, with most of the aqua sport, synchronized swimming, diving and junior lifeguard camps selling out within the first couple of weeks after registration.
Camp instructors are a mix of community experts and Brock students and alumni. Varsity student-athletes often coach the Badgers Sports Camps.
“Every sports camp week is different,” said Tyler Harrison, Club and Camp Co-ordinator, Athletics. “The activities vary depending on the instructor. Badgers camps are also unique because proceeds are directed to the Brock Badgers teams to help assist athletes’ fundraising efforts and offset the costs of competition.”
Some of Brock’s most popular camps are in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), focusing on areas such as robotics, game design and coding.
“Our STEM camps expand on school curriculum and present youth with real-world challenges,” said McAllister-Kenny. “Through exploration, sharing and problem solving, youth develop important STEM skills needed in many of today’s careers.”
Brock has built a strong reputation for its youth camps over the past 45 years.
“People used to camp out overnight with lawn chairs to get their kids a spot in sports school,” said McAllister-Kenny.
Age ranges for each camp vary, with programming available for children from Grades 1 to 12. Most camps are one week long and cost around $200.
To register, visit brocku.ca/kids. For help with online registration, phone 905-688-5550 x4060 or visit the welcome desk at the Walker Sports Complex.