Mount Royal’s first summer camps were launched in the summer of 1990. In the 25 years since, MRU Kids (formerly College Kids) has served over 40,000 children and youth aged 5 to 17.
Check out our Facebook album of photos from summers past.
The MRU community and former MRU Kids (and College Kids) campers, leaders and staff will be attending a special anniversary celebration on Friday, July 17 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Ross Glen Hall.
MRU Kids camps combine fun and learning. This year they run from July 6 through August 28. The one- and two-week camps suit a wide variety of interests. Whatever the child’s interest — sports, art, computers, science, theatre, leadership, engineering and more – MRU Kids has something they will love. There is daily recreation and free before and after care.
As they walk from one activity to another, or play on the grass during recreation time, the groups of children and their leaders brighten up the otherwise quiet summer campus of MRU.
A lot has changed over the years at MRU Kids, but a lot has stayed the same. Former MRU Kids program coordinators all talk about their joy in seeing campers grow and change. They are full of praise for the energy and work ethic of the young staffers, 30 percent of whom are MRU students, who lead the MRU Kids activities.
Popular camps like CATS (Computers, Arts, Theatre and Science) and sports have been around since the beginning. Others, like this summer’s new camps Junior Field Trip and Leaders-in-Training, are developed each year in response to feedback from parents.
“MRU Kids reminds us of our role in providing the tools for Calgarians to become fully participating citizens,” says Community and Health Studies Program Director Christina White Prosser. “This program exemplifies our belief in ‘learning through play’ – the opportunity for our campers to naturally grow and develop while having fun and making friends.”
Kevin Gilbert has been MRU Kids coordinator since 2012. “It’s about the kids coming here and having a great time,” he says. “I look forward to seeing them return, seeing them grow.”
Andrew Varsanyi was MRU Kids program coordinator from 2010-11. “What I enjoyed most about the job was getting to see the kids experience new things,” Andrew says. “One of the most heart-warming things was making the phone call informing a parent who had applied for a bursary that their child would be able to come to camp.”
Andrew’s affiliation with MRU Kids goes back to the beginning. “I was a camper in the first College Kids, as it was then called,” he says. “I took the science program. I remember loving it and I actually kept the T-shirt ’til I was about 11.”
MRU Kids 25th Anniversary sponsors are ConocoPhillips Canada, Calgary Co-op and Mount Royal University.
— by Karen McCarthy
— main photo by Michael Poon