1) What program is my child eligible for?
As of 2017, Mini U determines program eligibility based on grade level rather than age. Your child is eligible for our various programs based on the grade level they are currently registered in during the 2016/2017 school year. So if your child is in Grade 1 this year, going into Grade 2 in the fall, they would still be in our Junior Turtle program (for grade 1 campers).
2) When do registrations open for summer Mini U?
The times at which registrations open for the summer can depend on staff availability and brochure updates, but generally occur in the vicinity of March.
3) What makes Mini University different from other summer camps?
Many Different Ages, Many Different Programs: As a whole, Mini U is for grades K to 8. We currently only offer full-day programming for younger campers: Junior Chipmunks (K, minimum of 5 years old and fully potty trained by July 1), Junior Turtles (grade 1) and Junior Moose (grade 2). In our Senior program (grades 3-8), campers choose 4 courses from ~40 offered. Finally, our Specialty Camp program offers a chance for students to focus on a single subject (e.g. Robotics, Movie Making, Archaeology, et cetera) for full days.
Hands-On Fun for Everyone: While professors lecture, we don’t. There are no “assignments” at Mini University. We provide fun, safe, and exciting hands-on learning activities that encourage creativity, higher-level thinking, teamwork, and social development.
Variety & Choice: In our Senior program we offer a variety of courses from six disciplines: Physical Education, Science, Computers, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, and Humanities. The number of programs we offer in a given year is dependent on available staff as well as space and supply requirements.
High-Quality Instructors: We carefully select our staff from the best and brightest post-secondary students. Our instructors are known for their enthusiasm, knowledge, and desire to work with children. Many come from the Faculty of Education at Brandon University, while others are still in their first degree and would like to share their knowledge with kids.
Instructors receive 2-3 weeks of intensive training including seminars on such things as classroom management, lesson planning, health and safety, behavioral management, and learning disabilities. As well, all staff are required to be trained in Emergency CPR and First Aid and complete satisfactory Criminal Record and Child Abuse Background checks.
4) How does registering for the Senior Mini U program work?
Our Senior Mini U courses are offered in slots throughout the day. Students choose two slots in the morning and two in the afternoon during registration and then use that schedule for the whole week.
Please note that not all courses are offered in every slot. Consult the schedule of courses listed in our registration guide to determine what is available each slot.
5) My child doesn’t like one of the courses they’re taking. Can they switch to something else?
Within our Senior Mini U program, participants are able to transfer to another course (space permitting) as long as they do so before the Tuesday at 9:00 am deadline. “Course Change” staff will be available at a designated table.
Due to the tight schedule of project or skill work, transferring into the following courses is not recommended: Robotics, Movie Making, Flying Machines, Game Design, and 3D Printing.
Specialty Camp participants cannot normally transfer camps once their camp has started. The amount of material that would be missed makes transferring prohibitive.
6) Is there sponsorship/bursaries available for underprivileged children and youth?
There may be limited bursary funding available.
7) Where do I drop-off/pick-up my child(ren) and are there any special procedures?
- Morning drop-off is between 8:00 am and 8:45 am in the new Healthy Living Centre building. On the first day of each week, participants should be checked in and receive their name tag and gift by 8:30 am.
- Pick up is between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm in the new Healthy Living Centre.
- The Mini University HQ is located at Brandon University’s Healthy Living Centre.
- Camp arrival/check-in: Both Senior Mini U and Specialty Camp students will meet in the Henry Champ Gym, while Junior Chipmunks, Turtles and Moose will meet on the south half of the large HLC gym.
Students will return to the Healthy Living Centre between 4:00 and 4:10.
If a parent needs to pick up a camper early for any reason, the Mini U Office in the Heavy Living Centre must be informed of the time and date they need to be picked up. The camper(s) in question will be brought to the office for pick-up, where they will be signed out.
- When leaving camp, participants must be signed out with a Mini U staff member. In order to ensure participant safety, all parents/guardians may be asked to show identification when signing their child out.
- When registering, please indicate the full names of anyone else authorized to pick up your child (grandparents, etc.).
- Please note that those listed as emergency contacts on your registration are automatically authorized for pick-up unless you dictate otherwise.
- Also indicate on your registration form if you authorize your child to sign themselves out.
8) Why do you charge a fee for late registrations?
Yes, there is a $15 late registration fee (2017). Mini University determines course cancellations and prints off name tags and attendance sheets on Thursdays for the following week. Any registrations received after Wednesday for the following week must have their attendance materials processed individually, and that adds to our administration costs.
9) If I don’t purchase the lunch program, is my child still supervised over lunch hour?
Yes, tuition fees for full-day programs cover supervision over lunch hour. Whether they bring a bag lunch, purchase food from the cafeteria or purchase our weekly Lunch Program, the students will eat their lunch in the BU cafeteria “Down Under” with supervision. Following lunch, there will be supervised games and quiet activities.