Parent FAQs

Who runs SUNIA?

Our program is run by a team of thirteen volunteer counsellors, all of whom previously attended SUNIA as campers. Counsellors complete a security clearance, safety training, and a first-aid certification course. You can read more about our counsellors hereThe team of counsellors is led by our Executive Director, Emma Jones. If you have any questions or concerns about the program, or wish to get in touch with someone while your child is attending SUNIA, she can be contacted at (587) 437-8583.  SUNIA Staff is supported by a Board of Directors made up of former counsellors, who oversee SUNIA’s financial and legal interests. You can read more about the SUNIA Board here.

Where does SUNIA take place?

SUNIA is held at the Goldeye Centre in Nordegg, Alberta. Students sleep in bunk cabins, eat meals in Pavillion building, and participate in simulations and activities in the Seminar building. If your child has any dietary restrictions, the Goldeye Centre is able to accommodate them so long as they are indicated on your child’s registration form.

While there is adequate cell service and Wi-Fi at the Goldeye Centre, your child will often be too busy with SUNIA’s many activities to get in touch with you during the day. In case of an emergency, you can always contact our Executive Director Emma Jones (587) 437-8583 or contact the Goldeye Centre directly (403) 721-2102.

SUNIA provides transportation from Red Deer to the Goldeye Centre, so you don’t need to worry about driving your child all the way to Nordegg. Instead, you just need to drop them off at the Red Deer Greyhound station, where four of our counsellors will help them load their things onto busses provided by Prairie Bus Lines.  If you have any questions about transportation, you can contact our Registrar, Erika Hurl, at (780) 263-1999, or see our transportation page here.

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What will my child be doing?

An average day at SUNIA is packed with activities, from international affairs simulations, preparations for the Model United Nations Security Council, hikes, time spent at the lake, or lectures from our United Nations speakers. You can read more about our programming here.

The recreational aspect of our program is lead by our Recreation Coordinator, Anna Goplen. To ensure that every student has a safe, engaging experience out in the Rockies, our team of staff members conduct a safety check of each hike in advance of the program, and develop detailed safety procedures for any possible situation. If you have any further questions about our safety procedures or recreation programming, you can contact Anna at (780) 964-0227. 

What will my child get out of the experience?

SUNIA aims to equip students with a variety of tools to make a difference in the world, in whatever field they choose to pursue. Students take away lots of different things from our program, whether it be new connections, stronger public speaking skills, newfound knowledge about the world, or ideas on how to make a change in their own communities. We bring together a wide range of students from all walks of life, and give them a chance to develop themselves and their skills, all while taking in a beautiful summer in the Rocky Mountains.

How much does SUNIA cost, and how do I pay?

SUNIA costs $595 per student who attends our program. That cost covers everything your child will need during the week -- their transportation to Nordegg, their accommodations, their food, and all of the activities they participate in.

We collect our registration fees in installments, to ease the process for everyone involved. The first installment of $200 is due June 1st, and the second installment of $395 is due July 10th -- or you have the option of paying the full $595 upfront if you prefer. We accept payment via PayPal or by cheque. If your child registers later than July 10th, they are still allowed to attend the program! We just ask that you pay the full registration fee within a week of their registration.

We recognize that this cost can be a barrier for some families, and we are firmly dedicated to keeping SUNIA as accessible as possible to as many students as possible. In 66 years of operation, we have never once turned away a student because they couldn’t afford to attend our program. That’s why we’re happy to provide a variety of scholarship and bursary opportunities. Information about bursaries can be found here, and information about scholarships can be found here.

If you have any questions about registration fees or scholarships and bursaries, you can contact our Registrar Erika Hurl at 780-263-1999.