Happy campers: A guide to McGill’s summer daycamps

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013

A group of young campers plays a game of Canada's official summer sport, lacrosse, at Molson Stadium. Between 1,000 and 1,200 attend the McGill sports camp every summer.

By McGill Reporter Staff

The kids will still be in school for another two months, and with the chilly spring we’ve had so far, summer feels a long way off. But those parents who’ve gone through the process before know that you shouldn’t wait too long to start reserving a spot in a summer camp for your child.

McGill-affiliated camps offer something for just about everyone, from junior jocks and sawed-off scientists to computing enthusiasts and budding musicians. And with drop-off and pick-up likely close to mom or dad’s place of work, everybody wins.

The following is an informal guide to McGill summer camps. Follow the links provided for more information and to reserve a spot for your child.

Computer Science Camp

At this one-week camp, your teenager (ages 15-17) can learn what it’s like to be a computer scientist…and it’s free! The focus of the camp is to explore the role of the computer scientist in group problem solving. The student will not only be introduced to computers and programming, but this introduction will be within real life application areas like robotics (AI & Robots in Space), video game programming (Game Programming Guru), or medicine (Medical Computing). Strong math, science and other computer-related skills are required. The 2013 edition runs July 8-12 only. Registration is open until May 16. Learn more here.

Conservatory Camp

The McGill Conservatory Day Camp is held at the University’s Schulich Scool of Music. No musical background is required to participate in this bilingual camp. However, enthusiasm, cheerfulness and a desire to learn are a must!

The camp’s main program is called Artemusik and is offered to children aged 7 to 12 years old. A version for children aged 5-6, called Camp Artemusiki, is also available. The camp also offers many different specialized programs for children aged 8 to 17, like Dance Camp, Drum Camp and Sound Recording Camp, to name a few. Then there’s the ever-popular Garage Band Camp, where young rockers will spend two weeks learning some boss tunes before putting on a show. Learn about all of these programs and camp registration here. Note that many of the programs are already full, but a waiting list is available.


Explorations (July 1-26), sponsored by McGill’s Faculty of Education and the English Montreal School Board, brings together kids and professionals in a setting designed to be fun, exciting, and challenging to young minds. A wide variety of programming is available, with many options to accommodate the individual needs and interests of children aged 4-18 in music, science, theatre, arts, media, and more. Explorations is unique in that the staff are professional teachers. They are not counsellors. They are teachers from the public and private sector schools.

One four-week or two, two-week sessions are offered. Note that the Junior and Intermediate Programs take place at Royal Vale School (5851 Somerled Avenue), while the Senior program takes place at McGill. Click here for detailed program and registration information.

Sports Camp

Between 1,000 and 1,200 children from the ages of six to 15 attend the legendary McGill Sports camp each summer. Taking over the sports complex, McGill Stadium and Forbes Field, an average of about 325 kids attend each of the eight week-long sessions crammed with just about every sport you can think of, soccer, swimming, racquet sports, basketball, rugby, lacrosse, baseball – you name it. The camp employs approximately 100 counsellors every summer, the majority of whom are McGill Education students. The group also includes many McGill varsity athletes. The Sports Camp is open to all but offers a discount to McGill employees. Act fast, as the sessions fill up quickly at this popular camp.

In addition to the regular Sports Camp, McGill Athletics also offers specialized programs like the Basketball Camp, Martlets Hockey School (for girls) and the Children’s Learn to Swim Camp. Click here to register or for more information about the camp.

Ecomuseum Zoo Nature Camp

While not officially McGill-associated, the Ecomuseum located on University property in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, near the Macdonald Campus. Animal and nature lovers aged 5-11 won’t want to miss this unique camp. The camp, broken into eight, one-week sessions (June 24-August 16), allows direct contact with nature, offering children the chance to interact directly with the animals and discover the nature around them. At the camp, children will learn how to care for animals, observe animal behaviour, identify birds and bugs, and more. The Wild Discovery Camp for kids 12-15 offers similar, but more advanced, programming. Learn all about it here.

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