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Programs & Services: Camps

Mini-University Summer Camp

A sneak-peek at real university life, without the tests! Mini-U is a community of learning, friendship and adventure like no other. 

Campers choose 1 of 3 Modules to take part in each session!
Check the 'Activities Offered' tab below for details

Mini-U: A Day in the Life - Summer 2015

Early-Bird Discount: Save $15 - register by March 31st!

The camp is built on a foundation of community - where every camper is valued and respected - and is designed to engage children through hands-on activities. Campers explore the earth, unravel the mysteries of the human mind, discover what it was like to live thousands of years ago, solve crime scene mysteries, test the laws of chemistry and physics, and create their own drama and multimedia shows...the possibilities are endless!

We believe that all children inherently like to learn, and that the best way to learn is through exploration and adventure. At Mini-University, this idea is fostered through hands-on, self-directed activities spread across 3 unique modules and camp-wide excitement. Instructors provide a framework with topics of interest and challenges, brief guidelines, and campers take it from there! The end result, and what they discover will be up to them.

Our beloved Mini-U Cup challenge, outdoor games and a swim in our Olympic pool - complete with pool noodles, inner-tubes,  mat running and countless other toys - round-out each day at Mini-U.

Also offered at Mini-U: Junior LeadershipOne-on-One Support

Register Now!

For more information: 905-525-9140 x24464 miniu@mcmaster.ca

Mini-University Summer Camp

Activities include: Children & Youth Programs

Session 1: July 2-5, 2019

No camp on Mon-July-1, Canada Day Observed

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $260
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Session 2: July 8-12, 2019

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $310
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Session 3: July 15-19, 2019

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $310
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Session 4: July 22-26, 2019

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $310
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Session 5: July 29-August 2, 2019

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $310
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Session 6: August 6-9, 2019

No camp on Mon-Aug-5, Civic Holiday

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $260
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Session 7: August 12-16, 2019

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $310
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Session 8: August 19-23, 2019

  • Module Selection: A, B or C? Campers select their Module during registration - see the 'Activities Offered' tab above for details!
  • Mini-U registration opens Monday January 28th, 2019 at 12:15 PM EST.
  • $310
  • Age: 8-14 as of Dec-31 of the current camp year
  • Registration Required

Mini-U Modules & Activities 2019

What are modules? Modules are four activities grouped together. Campers choose either Module A, B or C when registering for a session and take part in all four activities within it. In addition to the activities, each module includes a special event each session as noted below.

Module A: Super Scientists & Inspired Inventors

All new activities each year!

The Wacky World of Chemistry: Chemists spend their lives watching substances explode, change colours, ooze, bounce and behave strangely. Now it is your chance to work in a university lab, testing chemicals yourself and maybe even discovering the next super-substance!

Human Performance: Bodies, Brains & Everything Else: From head to toe, discover how and why your body did that. Human Performance explores the human body and human potential. Diving into kinesiology - from training to nutrition to mental preparation - you get a sneak-peak into some of the world's most amazing human performances. An optional animal dissection is included, allowing campers to reveal under-the-skin biology and the differences between animals and humans.

Go-Go-Gadgets: No great invention is without its fair share of trial and error. Enter the mind of an engineer and develop a plan, learn the skills needed to build your designs, and test the boundaries of creations!  Can you build a catapult to launch an egg over a tree? Previous campers have and who knows what you might design and build this summer!

Astounding Astronomy: Blasting into Outer Space!: Houston, we have lift-off! Become an astronaut and blast-off on the adventure of a lifetime to the great depths of our solar system! What is behind a black hole? Is there anything that travels faster than the speed of light? How many moons does Jupiter have? This summer at Mini-U, the sky is not the limit! 

Feature Presentation

In addition to the activities listed above, Module A campers will get a chance to explore worlds beyond our own through an intergalactic adventure at McMaster's Planetarium

Module B: Expert Explorers - Inside & Out

All new activities each year!

Into the Wild: Campers set out on adventures to discover the secrets of the natural world, learning how to live off the land and scavenge to survive in the wild. Build survival shelters, learn how to make fire, and study how to navigate the terrain to become an expert explorer.

Biology: Life & Its Wonders: Explore and investigate the living and non-living Earth! Learn about the many different aspects of biology and life sciences, such as animals, plants, genetics and ecology, and our human impact on it all. An optional dissection will allow campers to take a closer look, under the skin, at the biology of animals.

Crime Scene Investigation: Join the C.S.I. team! Together campers will look at evidence and decide what exactly has happened. Learn how visual pieces of evidence can help to tell the story of what happened. Practice your problem solving skills on sample cases and see if you can use that information to help you with new cases.

Exploring Earth: Did you know that volcanoes helped shape the geology of Lake Superior?! Hop on board as we journey across Canada's diverse landscapes; exploring everything from deep sea life off the Atlantic coast, to the swampy wetlands of central Canada, across the icy glaciers of the Rocky mountains, and through the lush rainforests of British Columbia. Who knows, you might even discover a new species of dinosaur in Alberta's eroding badlands!

Feature Presentation

In addition to the activities listed above, Module B campers will have an opportunity to soar to new heights as they climb McMaster's Alpine Tower or Indoor Rock Wall.

Module C: Inquiring Minds & Passionate Performers

All new activities each year!

Visions of an Artist: Your creativity will be encouraged and explored through an introduction to various styles of art and the use of different mediums.  Using paints, sculpture, and maybe even inks to create your own masterpieces - the possibilities are endless! 

All the World's a Stage! …and you are a player! With this famous line in mind, you will explore your dramatic side. By combining all aspects of production, you will work with your team to create a final performance - developing your character and bringing them to life!

Multimedia Marketers: Best in the Business: You will explore the creative potential behind technology, while developing your entrepeneurial and marketing skills. Take advantage of the software in our new Mac lab to create your own products and commercials, becoming the most savvy salesperson!

Psychology: The Power of the Mind: "Prepare to be amazed…" Take a step inside the human mind and explore the mysteries of magic and illusion, the power music and rhythm have on the mind, and even design your own experiments to test the BIG questions of psychology!

Feature Presentation

Campers will get to explore the power of the mind at McMaster's LIVELab and during our 5-day weeks campers will have a chance to work with the McMaster Museum of Art.

Additional Services

Options available during registration include:

  • Extended Care from 7:30am-5:30pm each day
  • Busing from Ancaster, Burlington, Carlisle, Dundas,Hamilton Mountain, Oakville, Stoney Creek and Waterdown
  • Lunch served daily, delicious and nutritious!
  • 1-on-1 Support for campers with exceptionalities and special needs 

Preparing for Camp

Camp Guide & Links

Daily Camp Schedule

The tentative schedule offered below outlines a typical day at camp:

7:30am Extended Care (must pre-register)
8:30am
 Camper Arrival
8:55am Mini-U Flagpole
9:10am Module Activity #1
10:10am Module Activity #2
11:10am-12:00pm Lunch 
12:00pm Trifecta Tournament
1:00pm Module Activity #3
2:00pm Module Activity #4
3:10pm Recreational Swim
4:15pm Camper Dismissal
4:30-5:30pm Extended Care (must pre-register)

Camp Checklist

  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Extra drinks
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Lunch: There is no refrigeration available. Please consider using re-usable containers. Campers will not be able to purchase their lunch.
  • Long, baggy pants if you’re in Module A (Chemistry Lab Protection)
  • Old T-Shirt if you’re in Module C (Painting Protection)
  • Some activities after lunch will involve water. An extra shirt may be useful.
  • Enthusiasm and a smile!

A note on electronics: One of the goals of camp is to provide campers with unique experiences at McMaster. Electronic devices - games, phones, music players, etc. - while great for individual entertainment, do not readily encourage socialization at camp and often present challenges, especially when they go missing. We ask that all electronics be left at home for the duration of camp, and promise to provide an awesome experience to keep campers engaged throughout their session!

Drinks may be purchased from vending machines on campus. However, due to nut restrictions at camp, campers will not be allowed to purchase food from vending machines.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • An online FAQ is available atwww.marauders.ca/CampFAQ, including answers to:
  • What are the camp hours of operation?
  • What if my child needs to leave early, or arrive late or will be absent from camp?
  • Can my child stay late or arrive early?
  • Is wearing the camp t-shirt mandatory?
  • Are there any special days I should know about?
  • What are the different colour bracelets for?
  • Is swimming mandatory?
  • What is the swim test? How do you keep my camper safe at the pool?
  • Can my child bring electronics to camp?
  • Can my camper walk or ride their bike home?

First Day Check-In

Please refer to the “Drop-Off & Pick-Up” section for information on dropping campers off to camp. Campers are to meet in the IWC Mezzanine (located on the main floor of the Ivor Wynne Centre, just inside the South Entrance).

On the first day of the session, your child will be assigned to a counselor group within their module. Every morning your child is to meet with their counselor group for attendance and prepare for the day. The campers keep their belongings at their counselor group area. All campers must also remember to sign-out with their counselors at the end of the day before they leave.

Special Guest Days at Camp -

  • Graduation Day: Friday afternoon of each session. Meet in the main lobby of the David Braley Athletic Centre
  • Module Reviews: 12:45pm - join your camper as they share what they have been working on during their session
  • Graduation Ceremony: Location TBA  @ 2:20pm
  • Feature Presentations: for campers only but cool for families to know about!
    • Module A
      • Wednesday is Dissection Day!
      • Thursday is the Planetarium!
    • Module B
      • Wednesday campers climb the Apline Tower!
      • Thursday campers have a Campfire & Dissections!
    • Module C
      • Wednesday Campers visit the Lyons New Media Centre!
      • Friday is Play Performance @ 1:30pm *families welcome

If you are unable to attend the entire afternoon, please feel free to join us during either time period. If you are not able to join at all, you will still be able to share in the magic with your camper following the session on our McMaster Camps YouTube Channel.

Signing-out after graduation: The graduation ceremony will be followed by swimming and dismissal as usual. You are more than welcome to take your camper home prior to swimming; however, we ask that you sign-out with your camper's counselor prior to leaving.