posted on July 26: Happy campers play, design, create on campus


[img_inline align=”right” src=””]At Venture engineering and science camp, they're making remote control cars and pinball machines. At Adventures in engineering computing camp, they're designing Web pages.

At Sport Fitness School they're biking, learning to bunt or striking soccer balls.

At Mini-U, “just the facts” of journalism and the human body in motion or kinesiology are some of the topics campers are tackling.

And the beauty of it all is that for campers this is fun.

Summer camps are in full swing with about 3000 children enrolled in a variety of camps offered on campus this year.

About 850 children are enjoying hands-on projects at Venture engineering and science camp and Adventures in engineering computing camps operated by the Faculty of Engineering. This week is all-girls week at computer camp with 22 girls from grades 5 to 10 learning about computer design.

Karen Zuccala, assistant co-ordinator for Mini-U, says about 550 children ages 10 to 15 are studying subjects like chemistry, physics, the arts and psychology. Mini-U campers also enjoy a sleepover in residence on their second last day at camp and take part in a no-fire campfire and canoe trip at Princess Point.

The counsellors, as well as the children, learn while they have fun.

“The people are great and it's a fun atmosphere,” said Zuccala, 23, who graduated from McMaster this spring with a degree in kinesiology and a minor in business. She's off to the University of Windsor this fall to pursue a post-graduate degree in sports management.

“People think it's school but it's all hands-on. A lot of people want to go to teacher's college so this is a great opportunity for them to work with kids and see if they really like it and want to continue on.”

Tim Louks, program co-ordinator of Sport Fitness School (SFS), said the counsellors, who are all university students, make SFS as successful as it is. The 24-year-old sports camp this year added its 24th sport, cycling, and boasts 85 staff.

“The strength of our program is the counsellors,” Louks said. “Our ratios are 1 to 5 and 1 to 8 in sport group making it one of the best around.”

About 1600 children will rotate through three sports, trail running, cardio funk and daily swimming during their two-week camp sessions.

SFS has been at capacity the last three years with registration beginning Feb. 1 and closing in early May.

BUILDING FUN: Venture engineering and science campers Adam Burt, 9, (front left), Geoffrey Lawson, 10, and Ali Lawson, 13, worked with counsellors David Colangelo (engineering physics) and Kelli Celeste (mechanical engineering & management) creating machines this summer.

Photo by Shelly Easton