• Volunteering – Good for you, good for others

    The Canadian volunteer sector has certainly been impacted over the last 12 months. Stats can suggest three significant shifts:  

    1. Finding opportunities to volunteer has become more challenging. Hospitals, religious organizations, sports, and recreation benefit the most from volunteers, but many of these programs, events and roles have been suspended or cancelled since March 2020.  
    2. Older adults are more likely to volunteer significant amounts of time each week, but they are also among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and therefore have been staying home.  
    3. And lastly, there has been growth in informal volunteering. More individuals are directly assisting others, such as picking-up and dropping-off groceries, neighbourhood initiatives, cooking meals or sewing non-medical masks. 

    You may need to be more creative in finding opportunities, but we know that serving others is a powerful form of self-care. 

    Volunteering can:  

    Combat stress, anger & anxiety. Meaningful connection to another person, working with animals, spending time outdoors and growing your support system can improve mood, lower risk for depression and relieve stress.  

    Increase happiness. Volunteers will describe the “helper’s high” or that “it feels good” – there is a euphoric rush that releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers when you help others.  

    Increase physical activity. Movement is a natural part of many volunteer opportunities. Whether you are visiting a senior, packing goods at a food bank, planting trees or raising funds by walking or running.  

    Find a sense of belonging. The human need to belong is fierce. Dedicating your time to serve the greater good provides a clear purpose and place to belong. It will also help you expand your social & professional networks. 

    Explore Volunteer Opportunities: 

    Other ways to support community agencies: 

    • Sign up for their newsletters. 
    • Follow and engage with your favourite agencies on social media. 

    Build your volunteer capacity through personal development. 

    • Read books, take an online personality/leadership quiz online. 
    • Follow inspiring advocates & leaders on social media. 
    • Join virtual conferences & workshops. 

    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Badger

  • 10 steps to stay safe during swimming season

    The temperatures are climbing, and the sun is shining. For all the pool owners out there, you know what that means! Swimming season is here. 

    There are few things more enjoyable and refreshing on hot days than a pool in the backyard. Of course, we all know, pool fun also has its risks. Though we at Brock University Aquatic Centre are not open yet, we encourage you to follow these backyard pool safety tips from the Lifesaving Society to make sure you’re staying safe this season. 

    Every year, the Lifesaving Society pulls together statistics on water-related deaths. So, we know several things about backyard pool drownings:  

    • Children who drown have usually gained easy access to the pool or have been left unsupervised, sometimes only for minutes.  
    • Older adults who drown in backyard pools have often been swimming alone.  

     Lifesaving Society courses can teach you and your family prevention strategies, self-rescue, rescue of others and basic first aid. When able to safely do so, Brock Aquatics will have offerings in lifesaving courses here. In the meantime, follow these tips to improve the safety of a potentially dangerous environment:  

    1. Stay within arms’ reach of children:  
    Don’t leave your children unsupervised. Drowning can occur in as little as 10 seconds. Let the phone ring; don’t barbecue and attempt to supervise at the same time; and keep your eyes on the pool even when you’re having a conversation with others. If you’re in the water with the children, don’t turn your back to them. Watch closely at all times.  


    2. Always watch children closely when they’re playing with inflatable toys:  
    Inflatable toys can be dangerous. They can overturn and put the child underwater. Limit the number of toys in the pool at a given time and remove all toys from the pool after swim time. This precaution prevents children from falling in while trying to reach them.  


    3. Restrict access to your backyard pool:
    Build a lockable fence around your pool—check local by-laws for the required height of pool fences. The fence should surround the pool on all four sides and have just one entrance. Ensure that no one can climb over, under or through it. The gate should be self-locking. When inside the house, lock all doors that lead to the pool. A toddler can slip through an unlocked door in seconds. When you aren’t using the pool, remove pool ladders and steps from above ground pools. Lock all hot tubs with safety-approved hard-top covers.  


    4. If children can’t swim, insist that they always wear a lifejacket or PFD unless you’re in the water holding them: 
    But remember that lifejackets and PFDs don’t replace supervision of children.  


    5. Keep all chemical products away from children:
    Lock the chemicals in a place with good air circulation.  


    6. Don’t dive or go head-first into the shallow end of the pool, and never dive into an above ground pool:
    Protect your neck. Many head and spinal injuries are caused by horseplay in backyard pools.  


    7. Don’t swim if you’ve been drinking alcohol:
    Alcohol reduces your ability to respond quickly and appropriately.  


    8. Always swim with a buddy: 
    In case of emergency, someone is available to help you. Have an emergency cellphone nearby in case you need to use it.  


    9. Drain all backyard wading pools after use:  
    A child can drown in just a few centimetres of water. Also untreated water left in these pools becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Position the empty wading pool such that it can’t fill up with rainwater.  


    10. Establish a set of pool rules:
    Ensure that everyone using your pool follows them.  


    Have a safe and fun summer,

    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Badger 


  • Outdoor Recreation opportunities beginning June 14

    On Monday, June 14, we are able to offer limited outdoor activity for Brock Students (spring/summer ’21 registered, or were registered in Fall/Winter 20/21), including singles tennis, basketball shooting, and throwing/kicking on the field.  As per Ontario Step 1 Regulations, participants must maintain 3 m distance, and may not play or scrimmage on field or on the basketball court.

    Advance registration is required –

  • 5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Ticks this Season

    We’re all enjoying the outdoors this year, especially as the weather gets warmer and sunnier. We want you to be aware that this year is an active year for ticks, which are picked up outdoors. They are more prevalent in grassy, wooded areas, but can also be found in urban areas. In the Niagara Region, the American Dog Tick is the most common tick found – this tick does not carry Lyme disease.  However, there are also Black-legged, or Deer Ticks found here, these ticks can carry Lyme disease. 

    It is important that you examine yourself and your pets after being outside, to ensure that you do not have a tick on you.   

    The Niagara Region provides some tips for protecting yourself against picking up ticks.  These include: 

    1. Wear light-coloured clothes to spot ticks. Wearing high socks and tucking in your pant legs keeps insects away from your lower legs while walking in grassy areas. 
    2. Use insect repellents that have DEET or Icaridin (always follow the instructions)
    3. Conduct daily full body checks on yourself and pets after coming in from the outdoors. 
    4. Cut your grass and dispose of leaf litter.  
    5. Outdoor workers should shower or bath within two hours of being in forested or long grass areas. 

    For more information from Niagara Public Health, including removal of ticks, where to submit a tick for identification, and statistics about the prevalence of ticks in the Region, visit Niagara Region Ticks and Lyme Disease. 

  • 5 Reasons to Start running Today

    5 Reasons to Start Running Today 

    With the nice weather arriving, it’s the perfect time to lace up those running shoes that have been sitting in your closet all winter. Taking time out of your day to be physically active is so important and running is a great way to do this! 

    If you’re not sure where to start your running journey, look no further than Brock Recreation! Starting on Wednesday, May 25 we will be running a 6 week “Learn to Run a 5k” program. With this program you’ll be provided with weekly plans, tips and tricks for running, drop-in sessions with a personal trainer, nutrition advice, and accountability. Here’s some reasons why joining this program is a great idea: 

    1. Stress relief

    Running is a great outlet for your stress! The “runners high” you always hear about is due to our brains releasing endorphins, which are known as the “happy” hormones. Also, it can reduce anxiety and stress by slowing down the release of cortisol, one of the “stress hormones.” 

    1. Good for your immune system

    Having a good immune system is on many peoples mind right now. Running is a great way to give your immune system the boost it needs! It can reduce chronic inflammation, increases white blood cells and antibodies, and fight off infection/slows bacteria from multiplying. 

    1. Gets you outside

    `Getting some fresh air is needed for many of us during lockdowns and after winter weather. Being outside is proven to restore our focus, enhance creativity, and reduce blood pressure and heart rate. Not to mention it gives us our daily dose of vitamin D, something many Canadians are deficient in. 

    1. Gives you energy & helps you sleep

    Kick the caffeine and start running for that daily boost of energy! Those endorphins that come from the “runners high” can give you energy for up to hours later. Running also strengthens the heart, which will give us more stamina. Additionally, running can help you have a better sleep, which will help increase your energy. 

    1.  Live longer 

    If all those reasons didn’t convince you than this one will! Running can help you live longer! Studies have shown that those who run regularly for even as little as 50 minutes a week have less of a chance of developing cardiovascular disease or cancer. That’s only 5-10 minutes a day! 

    To learn more and register for our Learn to Run 5k program, visit 


    Happy running! 

    Your friendly neighbourhood Badger 

  • Brock Recreation announces new virtual camps, online safety courses for youth

    Brock Recreation has launched new, engaging programming for youth that will take place from June to August.

    Recreation Services is offering two more weeks of virtual camp for youth in Grades 2 to 8 after successfully running its first Virtual April Break Camp last month.

    Participants enjoyed hands-on activities designed by Youth University, the innovative learning environment for kids.

    “It was nice to connect with old and new participants to our camps. In addition, we received positive feedback from parents and campers around our April Break activities,” said Greg Zwiep, Program Manager, Recreation. “There was a dance activity and slime-making session that were highlights for everyone.”

    The new sessions of programming run from July 12 to 16 and Aug. 16 to 20.

    Registration is open and includes a camp kit with a collection of unique participant materials, including a T-shirt. Hands-on activities touch on various themes such as art, adventure, science, technology and sport.

    Youth University has also created a new series of virtual workshops revolving around online safety for youth, including the Babysitting Training Course, Home Alone Program and Online Safety Course.

    “These workshops are full of practical tips and ideas for both youth and adults to help kids be engaged, have fun and stay safe while at home,” said Michelle Leone, Program Manager, Recreation. “Our new Online Safety workshop was developed in response to how much more time we are all spending online and how navigating all these new games and platforms safely can be a challenge.”

    The Babysitting Training Course is for students in Grade 6 or above and runs Friday, June 11 to Saturday, June 12 from noon to 4:30 p.m. The course includes an online exam to be completed to earn a Canada Safety Council certificate.

    The Home Alone Program provides children 10 years of age and older with the necessary skills and knowledge to be safe and responsible when home alone. Youth University staff will help students understand how to prevent problems, handle real-life situations and utilize basic First Aid. This session takes place Wednesday, June 30 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

    The Online Safety Course is for students in Grades 3 to 6 and their accompanying adults, and is geared towards learning helpful and practical tips to stay safe online. Topics include Your Digital Footprint, cyberbullying, following YouTube and social media rules, and safe online gaming. These sessions take place Wednesday, June 16 and Thursday, July 8. Both run from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

    For more information and to register for these courses, click here.

  • 5 Steps to Starting your own Veggie Garden

    Have you ever tried fresh picked vegetables from the garden?  There’s nothing quite like it, especially if you’ve grown them yourself.  Planning, planting and eating from your own garden is a rewarding experience and can be a lifelong hobby. 

    1. Planning ahead. 

    • If you rent at a student house, make sure your landlord is okay if you start a veggie garden plot.  Using a pallet garden or raised garden box would save you from digging a plot in the backyard. 
    • If renting an apartment, don’t feel left out. You can use an upright pallet or garden box on your balcony. 
    • Will you be at this location in the spring, summer, and fall?  Some vegetables take a while before they are ready. 

    2. Pick a location for your garden. 

    • The location of your garden is important as the wrong location could result in poor growth and subpar veggies. 
    • Pick a sunny location that gets at least 6 hours a day.  Very few veggies do well in the shade. 
    • Plant veggies in a well-drained area. A constantly wet area will rot the roots of the plant. 
    • Be sure that you can access a water source, whether a hose or watering can. 

    3.  Garden Plot Size 

    • The most common beginner gardening mistake is planting too much.   
    • For reference, a garden that would be 10 ft long and 11 rows across would feed four people. 
    • Remember the bigger the garden the more weeding you have. 
    • A couple of planter boxes or pallet gardens would be a good starting point. 

     4.  Choosing your vegetables 

    • Pick vegetables that you enjoy eating 
    • If it’s your first time planting a garden choose vegetables that are easy to grow. 
    • 10 easy vegetables to grow are: peas, beans, tomatoes, beets, leaf lettuce, spinach, chard, zucchini, peppers. 
    • Some vegetables prefer cooler temperatures over hot and should be planted in early spring where others prefer warmer temperatures and should be planted later.
    • Cool temperature vegetables should be planted now. These include peas, spinach, lettuce, radishes 
    • Warmer temperature vegetables should be planted around May long weekend.  These include beans, zucchini, beets, chard, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins. 

    5.  Maintaining Vegetables 

    • Water regularly in hot summer months. 
    • Pick weeds around plants to ensure weeds aren’t taking plant’s food and water. 
    • Keep an eye out for bugs eating plants and check online for solutions to managing harmful ones. 
    • When the vegetable is ripe you could be picking everyday as certain varieties can mature quickly. 

    Most of all have fun with the process and enjoy the fruits vegetables of your labour. 

    Happy gardening!  

    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Badger 


  • 5 Ways to Spend Your Exam Study Break

    Between final exams and assignments, the end of a school year is often a very busy and stressful time. It’s important to check in with yourself, assessing what you need to maintain your personal wellness throughout long and tiring study sessions. Rather than having to google tips, we’ve compiled 5 ideas for how to spend your study break to help with your health and wellness. 

    Go for a hike 

    • Getting outside and connecting with nature is a great way to break away from your studies and get some sun!  
    • Check out our previous blog about some great hiking trails in Niagara here.  

    Try aonline fitness class 

    • Brock Recreation offers fitness ondemand classes on our website that you can take advantage of whenever it fits your schedule.  
    • You can complete a full class or just do part of one based on your time and energy. 
    • Check out the classes available here. 

    Go for a walk (or run) 

    • A quick walk around the block or jog around your neighborhood is a great break from studying to get your body moving and enjoy some fresh air. 
    • Bring your pet or ask your housemate to join you for some company! 
    • If you want to get into running, take a read through our previous blog on 10 ways to become a successful runner. 

    Healthy meals and snacks  

    • Meal planning and preparation is important to schedule into your routine to ensure that you do not waste time at meals thinking about what to make  
    • This also helps with ensuring you’re eating healthy meals and snacks to fuel your studying. 
    • Check out our previous post about 5 money-saving tips for eating healthy to get you started. 

    Take a nap 

    • Naps have many benefits that can help optimize your studying 
    • The length of your nap will determine the different benefits to you. Take a look at Brock Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre’s Instagram posts regarding naps to see what works best for your needs 

    Best of luck on your exams! 

    Your friendly neighborhood Badger 

  • 5 Ways to Leave Behind Cooking Complacency

    Ever feel like life gets too busy and the next thing you know you’ve eaten pizza and pasta for the past month? You may feel like you are stuck in the same routine where cooking and meal prep has become no exception to that. Sometimes preparing and eating a meal feels more like a chore than an enjoyable experience.  

    Its time to spice it up a little (no pun intended) and find ways to make cooking a more enjoyable experience on a friendly budget. Rather than setting up for a meal service that may be too expensive on a student budget, here are 5 ways to leave behind meal complacency and say hello to fun exciting meals.  

    Plan your meals!  

    • Choose at least one fun meal a week.  
    • Plan your meals around your schedule so you know you can fit them in each day. 
    • Meal prep your lunches so you only have to make your dinners. 

    Have a theme to your meals 

    • Travel around the world and choose recipes from different countries. 
    • Have breakfast for dinner. 
    • Plan your meals around the seasons (bbq in the summer). 

    Make a meal from scratch 

    • Buy the ingredients to make a meal from scratch. 
    • Look up a recipe before going to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients you will need to do this.  
    • Choose some fancy ingredients you would like to try and find a recipe that incorporates them. Youll be impressed with your own cooking skills after this one.  

     Try something new 

    • This could be recreating your favourite meal from a restaurant or something you’ve seen on Tiktok 
    • Pinterest is like an online cookbook, check out some amazing recipes there for more inspiration.  

    Cooking together 

    • Invite members of your household to make a meal together. Put on some music and dance in the kitchen as your delicious goodness is baking in the oven. 
    • Make cooking an event by giving everyone a step of the recipe to complete.  
    • Living alone? Call up a friend or family member on video chat and make the meal together online. 

    For now, while we can’t socialize over food and drinks with friends, we can make cooking the event you look forward to throughout the week. Challenge yourself to try something new and find your inner chef! I bet you have more cooking skills than you thought you did.  

    Good Luck!  

    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Badger  

  • Walker Sports Complex closed until further notice (Zone, pool, courts, BSP, fields)

    The Walker Sports Complex is closed until further notice as part of Brock University’s response to positive cases in residences.

    See Brock Information