It Must be Summer, Because MRU Kids are Here

MRU KidsThe MRU campus can be a bit quiet toward the end of June as students and faculty go off on their summer adventures. But it’s full of life once again at the beginning of July when MRU Kids summer day camps for children and youth ages 5 to 17 begin.

The one- to two-week MRU Kids camps run from July 7 through August 29, 2014. There are programs to suit any child’s interest – sports, art, computers, science, theatre, leadership, engineering – MRU Kids has something they will love. They have so much fun they don’t even notice that they are learning at the same time.

“I am pleased to once again to welcome all of our campers to the wonderful facilities on campus at Mount Royal University. I’m very proud of our tradition of combining educational activities with fun and friendship. We are excited to introduce a Physical Literacy Component (PLAY) to all of our camps this year, consisting of a variety of fun physical activities,” says Kevin Gilbert, Program Coordinator of MRU Kids.

The PLAY program replaces daily swim time since the MRU pool will be closed for renovations this summer. Campers will also visit Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

A unique feature of MRU Kids is the free before and after care, so busy parents can easily accommodate dropping their kids off to camp in their work day.

The camps are divided by age group: Elementary Programs (5-9 years of age); Junior Programs (9-14 years of age); and Youth Programs (13-17 years of age).

There are also Sports and Adventure camps, including Cougars Gym Highlights offered in partnership with MRU Cougar Sport Camps.

Popular programs for the elementary set include CATS (Computers, Arts, Theatre & Science).

New this summer for junior campers is Academie Artiste, a combination of art history and drawing, painting and sculpture.

For the older teens, there’s the ConocoPhillips Youth Science Academy. All participants receive a $100 scholarship towards the cost of the program courtesy of the corporate sponsor.

Thanks to our generous donor Co-op Community Foundation, MRU Kids is able to provide bursaries to parents to help them pay for children to attend our programs. The donation also provides free lunches to bursary recipients.

MRU Kids has offered top-quality child and youth programming in a creative, fulfilling environment for 24 years. Last summer nearly 3000 children and youth participated in MRU Kids camps.

MRU Kids employs dozens of post-secondary students as camp instructors and group leaders every summer.

Congratulations to our MRU Kids Win a Camp draw. Winners were chosen on May 15.

Rita Dong with Kevin Gilbert, MRU Kids program coordinator.
Prize winner Rita Dong with Kevin Gilbert, MRU Kids Program Coordinator.
Winner Tara Poncelet with son Evan.
Winner Tara Poncelet with son Evan, who is a returning MRU Kids camper. He enjoyed CATS last summer, especially the Pokemon play his group put on.

If you’ve got recently released schoolchildren underfoot, MRU Kids can be a great way to keep them happy and busy this summer.

by Karen McCarthy


Big Bob’s Beautiful Day

The newly named Charlton Pond.

It’s a little corny to talk about the weather for a picnic, but goodness, a beautiful day around here this year is worth celebrating.

Blue skies and sunshine welcomed MRU staff and faculty to Big Bob’s BBQ in support of the Transitional Vocational Programs (TVP) for developmentally disabled adults.

This annual fundraiser was started 32 years ago by Bob Charlton and Stu Gauthier. Bob was head of Security and Stu worked in custodial when they began fundraising for TVP. They continued after retirement. The annual highlight was the Picnic in the Park, now fondly known as Big Bob’s BBQ. The event has raised nearly $110,000 over the years in support of TVP.

The outdoor courtyard where the event is held was named for Stu Gauthier. President David Docherty announced today that the Board of Governors has approved naming the MRU pond the Charlton Pond in Bob Charlton’s honour. It is one of the most beautiful locations on campus, home to generations of Canada geese, and it is fitting that is right beside the Gauthier Courtyard.

Bob passed away on April 22. MC Gord Gillies of Global Television joked that the beautiful weather – as well as the recent winning streak by Bob’s beloved Toronto Blue Jays – could possibly be attributed to Bob’s influence. A Bob and Crystal Charlton memorial scholarship has also been established at MRU and is accepting donations.

Event and prize sponsors included:

  • MRSA – Mount Royal Staff Association & Delta Hotels
    Weekend at Kananaskis Hotel – won by Dave Wanigas
  • MRFA – Mount Royal Faculty Association
    $100 Costco gift certificate – won by Muneerah Dattadeen
    $400 Costco gift certificate – won by Brenda Black
  • Calgary Correctional Centre/SAIT carpentry program
    Patio set – won by Stephanie Stone
  • BookStore gift basket – early bird prize
    Won by Janel Olinger
  • Jack Astor’s
    Food and beverage
  • Chartwell’s
    Food services

Entertainment was provided by the Calgary Fire Department’s Cappy Smart Band and the Calgary Fiddlers.

Bob Charlton’s son Dave and daughter Judy were on hand to thank the crowd for honouring their father’s legacy. They both had worked in custodial at MRU alongside Stu Gauthier.

In addition to MRU staff and faculty, former TVP students turned out for Big Bob’s BBQ, including Carol Galbraith, who was part of the first TVP graduating class in 1980. She has recently retired after working 31 years at a day care centre and was accompanied by her husband of 23 years.

458 tickets were sold for this year’s event.

Check out our Facebook album for more Big Bob’s BBQ photos.

by Karen McCarthy 

Visiting with Info Night Guests

More than 200 people attended the Continuing Education Info Night on November 26 to talk to staff and instructors representing over 50 programs. Prospective students came to discover educational possibilities but we were the ones who were inspired.

We had the opportunity to chat with a few of the attendees to find out what brought them there. Here are some guests and the programs they were interested in.

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Info Night! See more photos in our Facebook album.

Door prize winners – each received a $250 Gift of Learning:

  • Raenelle Bruegerman
  • Deepa Desai
  • Valerie Ellis
  • Rita O’Malley


Join us for the next Info Night on May 28, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

by Karen McCarthy

Fun Week for MRU Kids Contest Winners

Drew Stephens
Drew Stephens

Drew Stephens’ parents were a bit skeptical when MRU Kids contacted them to let them know they’d won a free camp, until mom Alison recalled entering the contest from the Virgin Radio website several weeks ago.

Once convinced that the news was legitimate, Alison and Tim enrolled 5-year-old Drew in the Movers and Shakers camp from August 12-16, with a mix of sports, science and creative activities.

Drew said that soccer was his favourite activity of the week, adding that he plays soccer outside and inside during the year. He will be starting Grade 1 in September.

13-year-old Caelestis Chapdelaine was the winner of the free camp contest on our Facebook page. She chose the Junior Leaders camp during the week of August 12-16, where she worked on leadership skills such as responsible decision-making, goal setting and peer mentoring. The camp explored the topics of bullying and peer pressure through activities such as “Survivor” group challenges, interactive life-size maze problem solving and team trust-building exercises.

Congratulations to Drew and Caelestis! Another great summer of MRU Kids is wrapping up. Watch for information on next year’s camps, with registration opening in February 2014.

by Karen McCarthy 

“Day in the Life” Video Winner

(l-r) Christina White-Prosser, Program Director; Katrina vanPreuss, Massage Therapy student; Donna Palmer, Program Administrator

Did you know that Continuing Education has several full-time programs such as Massage Therapy, Personal Fitness Trainer, Funeral Director and Embalmer, and Education Assistant?

Many people don’t. In order to get the word out, the program administrators held a video contest this spring for their full-time students, challenging them to describe a day in their life at MRU. Who better to let prospective students know what the program is like?

Katrina vanPreuss, a first-year Massage Therapy student, was the winner. She received an iPad.

“I would have liked to know this kind of info when I was applying for the program,” she said.

Check out Katrina’s winning video here:

Congratulations, Katrina, and good luck in your second year!

CE Appreciation Night

Photo 2013-05-23 5 57 40 PM

Every year the Faculty of Continuing Education holds a special event to express appreciation to our instructors, advisory committees, curriculum partners, students and staff. This year’s event was May 23 in the Ross Glen Hall.

At the reception, string quartet from The Conservatory’s Academy of Gifted Youth: Isabelle Lebeuf-Taylor and Georgia Vogeli, violins, Odelle Ma, viola,
Hannah Wilson, cello.

A reception started off the evening, with an opportunity for everyone to meet, mingle and network. It was followed by an award ceremony recognizing long service instructors and staff, teaching award recipients and scholarship students.

Dean Norma MacIntosh welcomed everyone.
Dean Norma MacIntosh welcomed everyone.
Keynote speaker Garth Roberts, Corporate Training instructor, on the importance of life-long learning.
Certificates were given out at the award ceremony.

Gerry Law, 92, was recognized for Exceptional Service as a founder of the Transitional Vocational Programs who has served on the TVP Advisory Committee for over 30 years. Gerry’s family and friends were there to celebrate with him.

Gerry Law, centre, with Craig Baskett and Norma MacIntosh of MRU (left) and family members.
Gerry Law, centre, with his son Jamie and wife Margaret. Craig Baskett and Norma MacIntosh (left) and Elaine Danelesko (right) of MRU.

Certificates were awarded to recognize over 50 instructors and companies for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service. Not all recipients were able to attend the ceremony due to the heavy rain.

5-year certificates: (l-r) Clifton Thornton, Karmen Lippett, Biyi Adeniran (ISSEC Inc.), Riccardo Silvestro
10-year service award: Eric Scott.
10-year certificate: Eric Scott
Cornelia Chang (5-year certificate, Distinguished Teaching Award)

Scholarships (l-r): Carly Piercy (Massage Therapy Entrance Scholarship), Melissa Gerbrandt (Lucy Award, Pat & Stu Gauthier Memorial Scholarship), Sarah Blenkin (TVP Class Valedictorian), Nureen Velji and Murray Fairs (Pat & Stu Gauthier Memorial Scholarship)Eighteen staff members were also commended for 5, 10, 15 and 25 years of service. Congratulations to everyone who was recognized at CE Appreciation – we really do appreciate everything you do to make a difference in our learners’ lives.

by Karen McCarthy

Gift of Learning Winner


Kayla Watson dropped by our offices this morning to pick up the $400 gift certificate she won in our recent website draw. She’ll be using it toward her course fees in the CAPPA professional designation in the petroleum industry. She’s currently completing Level 1. Kayla has 10 years of experience in the banking industry but is working on a career change.

Congratulations, Kayla!