Big Ideas: $100,000


Mini University’s vision is to be able to offer 500 bursaries to our summer day camp programming to campers who have financial need, or face cultural and socio-economic barriers to attending camp. Brandon is a peri-urban centre that provides services to Southwestern and Central Manitoba (approximately 300,000 people). Many parents are in need of summer programming for their children when they work throughout the summer and school is out for the year. Mini University offers 8 weeks of summer camp programming in a culturally sensitive, safe environment that is welcoming to campers of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities.

Each year, students meet new friends, and have fun, new, educational experience in a variety of areas that they might not get anywhere else in Brandon. In addition to the Brandon area, Mini University would like to expand it's offering to students from out of town, and be able to provide financial assistance to students living on and off reserve and in rural and remote areas.

Our summer camp program currently hosts over 1200 campers each summer, but we would have the capacity to increase this to over 1600 if we received funding. This year, we received limited funding for bursaries for campers, and requests for bursaries could not be met with our available funding. Should we not be able to use all the funding in the summer, we also offer fall programming and would have no problem using the money up by the end of 2019.

To name just a few of the exciting opportunities Mini university has to offer campers: we currently offer Robot coding, Robot making, Digital Music, Survivor Camp, Horse Sense Camp, and many sessions in Phys Ed, Fine Arts, and performing arts.

What makes Mini University different from other summer camps?

Many Different Ages, Many Different Programs: As a whole, Mini U is for grades Pre-K to 8. We offer half-day and full-day programming for younger campers: Junior Chipmunks (Pre-K to K, minimum of 4 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 half- or 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 alone we offer 40 courses from six disciplines: Physical Education, Science, Computers, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, and Humanities. Our choices allow for a student in the Senior program to come every week of camp and never have to take the same course twice (unless they want to!).
High-Quality Instructors: We carefully select our 40-person 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 have a current Emergency CPR and First Aid certificate and complete satisfactory Criminal Record and Child Abuse Background checks.

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Mini University

Location: Brandon