Originally published by Ryerson University Advancement (February 2019)
This year, we have partnered with Ryerson Day Camps to bring more family fun to Alumni Weekend (May 3 and 4).
Our Saturday, May 4th programming will include an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where families can take part in various activities, getting a real flavour for the offerings of Ryerson Day Camps.
Ryerson Day Camps were started in 1984. Jean Kennedy, former director of Athletics at Ryerson, founded the camps as a way to create summer jobs for students and keep the campus busy over the summer months. Kennedy’s children worked as counsellors, and her grandchildren attended the camps, making it a real family affair.
Kennedy’s philosophy favoured skills over competition. “When we taught sports, all the kids had their own ball,” she said. “They were learning the basics of the different sports.” The campers also visited labs that were open over the summer to see the many projects taking place on campus. Employees of the major department stores of the day (Simpsons, Eaton’s and Sears) were the camp’s primary customers, remembers Kennedy.
What Kennedy didn’t anticipate was how successful the camps would be. Thirty-five years later, there are 12 camps offered, ranging from Multi-Sport to Eureka to News Academy. The camps are attended by 2,700 kids annually, and the Rinaldi Kids to Camp program provides financial support to families who couldn’t otherwise participate. The Ryerson School of Performance also offers day camps for children aged 4 - 18 from June through August. Registration is now open for both Ryerson Day Camps and the School of Performance Day Camps kids.