The Centennial Campaign for CAMP


The Centennial Campaign for CAMP aims to raise $1.5 million to undertake much-needed renovations, repairs and expansion to the site. These comprehensive upgrades will be in keeping with the rustic tradition that makes CAMP unique, preserving the site’s rich 100-year history while also serving the needs of a changing student population and educational landscape. All gifts to CAMP will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $750,000, by the University of Toronto.


Kristin Philpot
Senior Development Officer
Phone +1 (416) 946-7827

Gull Lake is home to the University of Toronto’s CAMP (Civil and Mineral Practicals), a multi-week field educational program that challenges Engineering students to overcome the adversity of unpredictable, real-world field situations.

Located 200 kilometres north of Toronto in Minden, Ontario, this unique site welcomes hundreds of students each year, providing them with the opportunity to develop important engineering and team-building skills.

Many will remember this Skule tradition as Survey Camp. While surveying remains an important component of the program, the CAMP experience is now about so much more. The program has a renewed focus on environmental, social and economic sustainability to better prepare our students to take their place among the world’s engineering leaders as champions of change and stewards of our planet. The curriculum incorporates elements that relate to geology, hydrology, water treatment, woodlot management and sustainable energy systems. This new vision bridges the second- and third-year curricula with learning outcomes that challenge students to practice and embrace what they have learned.

We also offer a three-day orientation course during second year that examines city, suburban and rural applications of civil engineering. Students spend one day and one night at camp, learning how urban infrastructure mimics natural systems, and generating excitement for their upcoming CAMP experience.

While the curriculum has evolved, what remains the same is the life-changing experience our students and alumni remember so fondly.

Quick Links:

"CAMP was a defining moment for so many of us. We worked incredibly long hours to solve interesting problems, while we learned about engineering fundamentals, surveying, team-work and leadership – all of which have helped shape my career. Though not found in text books, some of my greatest take-aways were the lifelong friendships I formed, the fun experiences I had, and the memories I created.”

~ Arun Channan (CivE 8T0)

survey camp gazebo

“This campaign demonstrates the Department’s leadership in providing a hands-on educational experience that will be fondly remembered by graduates for the rest of their lives. The restoration and expansion of CAMP will provide many great benefits to generations of Civil and Mineral Engineering students for the next 100 years.”

~ John Starkey (MinE 6T1)

survey camp stewart hall

"This is an incredible opportunity to introduce students to nature’s biological and ecological processes. I can’t think of a better way to orient students to issues of urban sustainability. We need CAMP more than ever. That’s what really made me decide to give.”

~ Peter Halsall (CivE 7T7)

camp classroom

“CAMP is a very special place where classmates form bonds with one another and the natural environment around them.”

~ Marianne Touchie (CivE 0T9)

survey students

Project Overview

bunk rendering

Rendering of bunk house

CAMP is a beloved and integral part of every Civil and Mineral Engineering student’s education. For nearly 100 years, the CAMP Program has provided a journey of self-discovery, connections with others, and a creative, innovative environment that complements conventional classroom learning with hands-on experience, enabling students to engage in collaborative exercises to solve challenging engineering problems.

Since the inaugural camp in September 1920, nearly 8,000 students have walked the trails of CAMP at either our Dorset or Gull Lake facilitiesToday, as many as 200 Civil and Mineral Engineering students participate in CAMP each year – far more than our CAMP founders ever imagined!

With the support of generous benefactors, U of T has undertaken a series of renovations to maintain the facilities. However, with crumbling foundations, storm-damaged buildings and insufficient water/waste infrastructure, the camp is in need of a comprehensive upgrade and expansion – both to restore the historic structures and to accommodate our growing needs.

The Centennial Campaign for CAMP aims to raise $1.5 million to address these challenges. The project will both honour the history of CAMP and make the most of modern engineering wisdom.

Key Initiatives:

Bunkhouse Conversion

The historic bunkhouse has long been a hub of memories and activity. By converting it into a student hall, we will provide a venue for lectures, group study, student mingling and events. Renovations will include: repairs to the foundation, replacement of rotting wood, installation of new siding and roof (as needed), and more.

Additional Renovations & Repairs

A number of other projects will ensure the safety and preservation of the existing building. Plans include the addition of staff sleeping quarters to the cookhouse, roof replacements, window repairs, foundation work, installation of an emergency generator and more.

New Bunkhouse

A four-season bunkhouse, including sleeping quarters,  bathroom and shower facilities, and common area, will be constructed to accommodate up to 80 students.

Water and Wastewater Infrastructure

Significant upgrades are required to enable extended use and accommodate a growing student population.

When complete, this $1.5M campaign will:

  • Relieve pressure on the growing program by accommodating the larger class sizes;

  • Free up space in the historic bunkhouse for use as additional teaching, learning, working and social space;

  • Protect and preserve the existing buildings and infrastructure to ensure they continue to serve the needs of the Faculty long into the future;

  • Provide greater accommodation privacy for female students (now totalling 40% of incoming students) and ever-more diverse student population;

  • Provide a “living lab” for research initiatives and other educational programs during non-CAMP season.

Matching Opportunity

Double the impact of your gift: the University of Toronto has shown its commitment to the Centennial Campaign for CAMP by offering a generous matching opportunity. All gifts to CAMP will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $750,000, by the University of Toronto.


Summer 2017 & Ongoing

Research, planning and design of CAMP revitalization.

Fall 2017 & Ongoing

The Centennial Campaign for CAMP: Recruiting financial and volunteer support from alumni, friends, industry, class campaigns and more

Spring 2018

Tender and award to general contractor

Summer 2018

Construction begins

Spring 2019

Construction completed

Summer 2019

Centennial reunion and campaign celebration

Support CAMP!

If you loved CAMP, and want to ensure it provides future generations of engineering students with a once-in-a-lifetime educational experience, please give generously to the Campaign for CAMP. Through private philanthropic support, alumni and friends have an opportunity to ‘make their mark’ on camp.

Building naming opportunity


Room naming opportunities


Donor plaque recognition


Donor wall recognition


Online recognition


Every gift matters

Surprise us!

Ways to Give

Donate online:

Phone: 416-946-7827

Mail or visit: University of Toronto, Engineering (35 St. George Street, Room 116, Toronto, ON M5S 1A4)

Gift of Stock: Donating appreciated securities, such as stock or mutual funds, is a tax-wise approach to support the Campaign for CAMP. Contact us for detailed information.

Monthly Giving: Show your support to CAMP year-round by signing up as a monthly donor.

Class & Group Giving : Establishing your own group mini-campaign is great way to maximize your philanthropy and make a bold statement about the importance of CAMP. Ask us about setting up a class, family or company campaign. We’ll work with you to bolster your efforts and recognize your group.

Our Supporters

Special thanks to everyone who has contributed to the CAMP campaign:

Honouring the Past

The revitalization plans include a tribute to past CAMP students with the display of a photo gallery, historic survey equipment and donor wall. Of course, student graffiti from almost 100 years will be maintained!


For additional information, or to make a gift, please contact:

Kristin Philpot
Senior Development Officer
Phone +1 (416) 946-7827