Check out some of camp’s greatest love stories.
Denise ‘Mama D’ Greenwood & Jeff George
Mama D & Jeff, met during the summer of 1998, Jeff was working next door at the Inn and helping out the tennis staff at Camp. Mama D, was working at camp on basketball. They became friends and acquaintances but no one would have thought that during the summer of 2002, they would fall in love and Jeff would propose to Mama D later on. In 2004, they tied the knot at camp on a beautiful June day. They exchanged their vows on the swim docks while their friends and family watched from the beach. Mama D and Jeff continue to work at Camp and the Inn and are full-time residents of McKellar. They have two wonderful children Hannah and Carter.
Matt Brundage & Chantal Dalgliesh
I will start by saying that I hate camping out under the stars and I hate tripping…I know it’s great, and at Manitou it’s one of our best and most popular programs, but it’s just not for me. I am a city boy and my cabin at camp is as rustic as I want to get. I mention this only because I want you now to be as surprised as I was then that the girl I fell in love with was in fact a tripper. It was the summer of 2000 when I met her. We started to spend more and more time together and I found that I missed her when she was away from camp on trip – I knew she felt the same when I went back to my cabin and found her sitting on the steps waiting for me just to let me know she was back in camp. In September she went to Trent University and I wisely followed her. We officially became a “couple” while at school and moved in together in May of that year. We finished Trent together and both got accepted to York (her for her Masters and me for my Bachelor of Education.) After five years of dating, I bought Chantal an engagement ring (with that summer’s camp pay I might add), proposed on one knee and she said yes (this story would be anti-climactic if she hadn’t). Mark and Jeff seemed very excited by my engagement, even offering to have Chantal back up to the camp so that we could have a staff wide engagement party/wedding for us. On September 16th 2006, we were married in Toronto. I am proud that four members of the Manitou director team as well as friends from camp were there to see me tie the knot to that beautiful girl I met on their beautiful shores. This summer will mark ten years since I met Chantal at Camp Manitou…thanks for the best decade a man could ask for. Love is indeed grand, as are you Manitou. Love Matt.
Jessica House & Jono Monkcom
Jono and Jessica officially met on June 22, 2005. Technically, they had been introduced the month before through email, and had been busy collaborating and planning out their summer together as Sophomore Unit Heads. Instantly they clicked and became inseparable. It wasn’t long before they became the camp joke with their unit about they should get married, so it wasn’t a surprise when they organized a marriage for them in front of the Sophomore Unit one Thursday morning as an Activity Hub. Jono and Jessica worked as Co-Unit Heads for 2 years before moving to Australia for a year. In 2008, they returned back to Canada and back to Camp Manitou, where on their three year anniversary, Jono proposed, and they announced it in front of the camp at Friday Night Fireside. Their first marriage took place nearly a year later, on July 22, 2009 in Australia, where they celebrated with their Australian family and friends, and their second marriage took place on August 22, 2009, in Toronto, to celebrate with their loved ones there. For this reason, and so many more, camp is such a special place to them.
Rob Redden & Erin Stinson
Rob and Erin met back in 1997. Rob worked at camp as a counselor on water-ski and Erin, was a member of gymnastics camp; which was a camp that came to Manitou to execute their program. While Rob was working at the ski program and Erin was at Manitou with gymnastics camp they met one night under the stars around a camp fire. After that season they parted ways and Rob went back to his home town of Sudbury and Erin went back to her home town of Barrie. In 1999, Rob reconnected with Erin and unfortunately Erin wasn’t able to make it back to Manitou that summer. In 2001, Erin came back to Manitou to work as the driver and Rob was a specialist on Ski and later became head. They quickly fell back in love and in 2003, Rob proposed to Erin on one of the majestic islands on Lake Manitou-Wabing over a picnic lunch. Rob and Erin, were later married at Camp Manitou, on a beautiful September day. They now have three wonderful children Jordan, Riley and Carter.
David ‘Luigi’ Sheffe & Heather Drew
David and Heather met at camp during a rental groups retreat weekend at camp, in the spring of 2004. After having the weekend of her life, Heather applied to work at camp that summer and came to camp as a Freshkid Counsellor – working at Arts and Crafts. David and Heather became a couple that summer, and remained together for most of that year while Heather went back to school at Dalhousie University. They always kept in touch and remained close. They parted ways and rekindled their relationship a few years later after being off and on for a while. They were married in December 2009 and have two daughter, Ella & Marlowe.
Brian Liberty & Emily Tafler
Emily and Brian met during the summer of 2006. Brian was a tripper and Emily was the head of swim and they became friends right away. Over the next few years they stayed close, even playing floor hockey together in the city with their camp friends. It wasn’t until the summer of 2008 however, when they realized they were more than just friends. They started dating in the fall of 2008. In April of 2011, they went on a camping trip in Gatineau Provincial Park, where on the first night, they camped in a parking lot (despite Brian’s well developed navigating skills). The next morning they went on a hike through the hills where Brian proposed. They spent the rest of their time in beautiful Wakefield, Quebec celebrating their engagement. They married the following September in Toronto, surrounded by their family and friends. Emily and Brian have three wonderful children Nora, Clara and Andy (and two cats: Simon and Maggie!)
Betty & François Lee-Daigle
Betty met François at Manitou when he was a tennis pro and counsellor and she was the piano accompanist for the ballet program, volleyball coach and counsellor. They remember fondly the cafeteria, flagpole gatherings and singalongs and where they first all gathered at the basketball bleachers. Betty was hired by Ben and Sheila Wise in 1980 from Kingston, Ontario and she travelled to Toronto for the interview. Francois was hired from Grand Falls, New Brunswick and being a French-speaker, he used a tape recorder (what is that?) placed at the net to improve his instruction in English. They both boarded school buses to take them from the Yorkdale Shopping Centre to Manitou Sports and Arts Centre (as it was called then). They have wonderful, happy memories there. Many counsellors and campers came from different parts of the world (and still are) and they remember when Barbra Streisand’s son Joshua was the lead for Jesus Christ Superstar in the camp musical theatre music program. It was a fabulous show and Betty was in the end-of-the-camp session Talent Show and sang harmony to Bette Midler’s song The Rose with another counsellor, Loretta who played the guitar and sang the melody of the song. Another special event was watching Prince Charles marry Lady Diana with other counsellors at the cabin across from the music theatre stage and they crowded around the television set to watch the wedding as millions of people did that day. There had no cellphones in those days. They even used the pay phone outside of the office for long-distance calls. They only left for Parry Sound to wash our clothes and get a bite to eat and they were wondering what everyone was playing with on the streets. It was the Rubrics Cube which became a popular pasttime. The weeks went by so quickly and Betty still treasures her friendship with Sharon from Hamden, Connecticut who was her first of many co-counselors in the bunk for the 6 weeks she was there and Sharon worked as the secretary at the tennis office. They still keep in touch since they met 42 years ago and both of them saw each other get married, their children grow up, and now they have retired. François and Betty went back to Camp Manitou on their 25th wedding anniversary and 37th anniversary and they still see that camp is going strong because of the bonds that were created and campers who return year after year. They see that there are newer buildings and programs and some that have disappeared. Betty was one of the secretaries at the office during her second year there and Francois moved to the Inn where he taught tennis to many clients like the great Wayne Gretzky and his hockey pals. The Inn does not exist anymore, but guests were flown in. There are too many memories to share on this page so Betty and François just want to thank the camp and the wonderful people who were the staff, the senior leaders and the campers who make and made this camp so very special and they are certain there will be more friendships made throughout the years from this camp.
Warren Carmichael & Ginger Derochie
Adam Levinter & Erika Caouette
Steve Richards & Rachel Wentling
Matt Cole & Allie Gottlieb
Although Matt and Allie grew up together as campers, it wasn’t until after the summer of 2010 that they started dating. They spent the next two summers together as staff members – Allie as a Theatre counsellor and Matt working on Guitar – and their bond together only grew stronger. After 11 years of dating, Matt and Allie were married in October 2021, in front of family and many friends they met at Camp Manitou. Though neither Matt or Allie have worked at Manitou since 2012, they credit camp with being the place they met, forged a strong relationship, and fell in love.
Gabi Kaplan & Jamie Gorlick
Jamie and Gabi grew up together at camp, simultaneously working their way up from Freshkids, but rarely crossing paths. But in the summer of 2011, when they were both staff, all of that changed, and Jamie and Gabi started dating. Though they were on different ends of camp – Gabi worked as a Creative Arts Counsellor and Jamie as a Waterski Counsellor – their relationship grew stronger and stronger the more summers they spent at camp together. After over 10 years of dating, Gabi and Jamie were married in September 2022 at the place where they met – in front of their friends and family at Fireside on the shores of Lake Manitouwabing. For Jamie and Gabi, nothing was more special than celebrating with all of the friends they made at camp in the place where they fell in love.