Intercamps, Fireside and More!

YIPEE! It’s a beautiful sunny day here at Manitou and we’ve had a fun filled week recently!

This week we had two incredible events and they were great opportunities for Manitou to show how special we are to other camps! We had two dance teams go to Camp Wahanowin for the annual Dance Intercamp, where multiple camps compete against each other and show off their incredible choreographed dances. Our teams were filled with dancers who showed off their impressive talent and skills! We are all very proud of our Dance Team and how well they did at Wahanowin and I can’t wait to see their fantastic dance routines at some point this summer!

Later in the day on Tuesday, we had another incredible annual event, which was our partnership with CNIB and our LIT campers. LITs (Leaders in Training) are our campers who are going to be CITs next summer. They participate in multiple leadership and programming events during the summer, one of which is our annual partnership with CNIB Lake Joseph. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind camp at Lake Joseph is an awe-inspiring place where campers go to activities similar to Manitou but the facilities have been revamped so that anyone with sight disabilities can also be a camper. Our LIT campers go to Lake Joseph, learn how to work with people who are visually impaired, and even participate in activities at their camp. The following day, CNIB Lake Joseph campers come to us and our LITs assist them in all of their programming at our camp! The Lake Joseph campers participate in Archery, Ropes and Adventure Park, and even though they’re here for a short afternoon, they really get the full Manitou experience. It’s incredible for our LITs to experience, and amazing as well that we get to host the CNIB campers as well! On Thursday, we then had our annual Manitou Film Festival in the morning and it was great seeing all the films by our campers – I think we have some future filmmakers in our midst! Plus on Thursday, we had some of our Manitou Moose athletes head to Camp Northland for their annual basketball tournament. We joined in with other camps to have a great day of competition and sportsmanship, and though our team didn’t win, our athletes still had the times of their lives!

And then to end the week, we once again had an incredible Friday Night Fireside. After our important Land Acknowledgement, each Unit Head gave candles to some amazing campers who have been leaders throughout the week. The reception for these candle recipients is always so loud and supportive and it’s heartwarming to see. We then had our Sophomore Unit speak on our theme of the summer, “Walk Together, Understand Better.” Each cabin worked together and wrote about what the theme meant to them and spoke about it at Fireside through poetry and speeches. As always, we ended with our song, arm and arm with each other.

And then if you can believe it, the week wasn’t over just then! After Friday Night Fireside, the whole camp went to the theatre for our double-header evening of the Dance Show and the Junior theatre production of The Greatest Showman. First, we had the opportunity to see our Junior campers put on the stage adaptation of The Greatest Showman. I was once again blown away by the costumes, sets, music, and of course the incredible cast who acted and sang their hearts out. I was smiling from ear to ear when the show ended, and I know the rest of the theatre was too! After a huge applause, our dance campers showed off their airbands, hip-hop dances and our Intercamp teams performed in front of the camp and showed off their unbelievable talent!

It’s been a fantastic couple of days at Manitou and I just know all the fun and memories will continue!

Off to Theatre to see all of our kids rehearse for our upcoming shows. Stay tuned for that!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

Carnival Fun!

WOOHOO! Another day and another exciting Manitou event! It’s a sunny, warm day over Lake Manitou-Wabing which means it’s perfect weather for our annual Carnival.

On Sunday afternoon, all the campers and staff went to Main Field to celebrate Carnival, and it was as amazing as ever! There were inflatables, bouncy castles, classic games like ring toss, an incredible foam party, and fantastic carnival food like cotton candy and sno-cones. Campers and staff had the best time running around, playing games, and laughing. It was a successful Carnival as always and I know our campers will have memories for years to come.

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of First Session, but there’s still lots of fun to be had! On Saturday night we had our Stock Ticker event where a number of our Activity Heads ran companies for the Manitou Stock Exchange. Our Freshkid and Sophomore campers invested in companies and cabins won some big Moosebucks – our official Manitou currency! It was a fun night for all and a great Manitou tradition.

As well, Saturday was our annual Rookie Day where kids who are a little too young to become campers try out Manitou for the day! They get to experience activities, eat delicious meals, and see how a day at camp runs! Our Rookies all loved the day and I can’t wait to see their smiling faces as Manitou campers next year!

Our campers still have 4 days of full regular activities left, filled with sports championships and tournaments, special arts programs, and amazing theatre productions to see as well! To top it all off, as always we end our session with Manny Games! I’ll tell you more about all of this very soon…stay tuned!

And if you want to catch up on all the news of camp, take a look at our camp newspaper The Mosquito HERE!

Off to go to Pottery and learn the wheel with my friend Zara!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

 

Another Incredible Friday Night Fireside

WOW! It’s been such a busy few days at camp, I haven’t had the chance to tell you all what’s been going on! We’ve been blessed with beautiful sunny days for all of our fun activities! It’s all blue skies and sunshine here at Manitou!

On Friday we had our third Friday Night Fireside of the summer, and it was another inspiring evening. We started off Fireside with our land acknowledgment, recognizing how fortunate we are to be at Manitou and the importance of being caretakers of this land. As always, the Unit Heads gave out camper candles to campers that have gone above and beyond in their daily routine and truly demonstrate the Manitou spirit. After the candle ceremony, some of our amazing Junior campers spoke about what our theme of the summer, “Walk Together, Understand Better,” means to them. Their speeches were amazing, thoughtful, and inspiring. There was also another group of Juniors who shared poems based on our theme, and it was an amazing way to wrap up the Junior unit Fireside. We ended our Friday Night Fireside as we always do, with the reading of our special poem and the singing of our camp song. It was a great way to end the night, and I think it inspired a lot of our Manitou campers. To check out our amazing evening for yourselves – watch the video below!

Well, I’m off to go see my friend Alfie, the Head of Radio, and he’s going to teach me how to broadcast live!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

Sailing the Seven Seas with our Talented Campers!

Ahoy! Today we’ve been sailing the seven seas at Camp Manitou! But before we get to our very special day we had on Tuesday, we want to share with our Manitou family all about our 1st Intercamp of the season!

On Sunday, our Manitou Moose athletes went to another Intercamp competition, this time at Camp Tamakwa…a long time Intercamp competitor! We faced off in basketball, softball, hockey and soccer and demonstrated athletic prowess, grit and amazing spirit and sportsmanship! We’re always so proud of our Manitou athletes and coaches and they all returned to camp with the biggest smiles on their faces!

After the excitement of Intercamp, everyone put on their pirate hats and eyepatches and got in the spirit for Pirate Day! When everyone woke up on Tuesday, the Dining Hall had been transformed into a ship, and the whole camp was in buccaneer spirit! There were cannons at breakfast, people in their best pirate costumes, and all the swashbuckling fun you can imagine. The day then ended with an amazing dance put on by the Magen Boys. I saw all of our campers and staff dancing to all their favourite hits with lots of that classic Manitou spirit and I know Pirate Day will be a day everyone remembers for a long time!

And after Pirate Day, our next evening was exciting as well! We got to watch our first theatre show of summer 2024, and this time it was the incredible Freshkids and Sophomores treating us to a fantastic production of Beauty and the Beast. It was amazing seeing our youngest campers going onstage in front of the whole camp and singing their hearts out! It was clear everyone was having a fun time performing and they all knew the songs and dances so well! I can’t wait until our next show, but for now I will be humming the tunes of Beauty and the Beast and thinking of our performers!

Finally, we also had the opportunity to celebrate half of our 10-year Blanket recipients. This special milestone night celebrates campers and staff who have been at Camp Manitou for ten years. We get to hear some amazing speeches about all the recipients and it’s a heartwarming and special evening. Next session we will celebrate more of our Blanket club!

For now, I’m off to Canoe to see my friend TJ…he’s going to teach me how to do a proper J-stroke!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

Another Friday Night Fireside and Our Talented Campers!

WOWEE! It’s been such a busy few days at camp, I haven’t had the chance to tell you all what’s been going on! We’ve been blessed with beautiful sunny days for all of our fun activities and nice cool nights to rest after full days.

On Friday we had our second Friday Night Fireside of the summer, and it was another inspiring evening. We started off Fireside with our land acknowledgment, recognizing how fortunate we are to be at Manitou and the importance of being caretakers of this land. The Unit Heads gave out camper candles to campers that have gone above and beyond in their daily routine and truly demonstrate the Manitou spirit. I love hearing the cheers for our candle recipients, and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces when they see their friends being honoured. After the candle ceremony, a couple of Freshkid campers spoke about what our theme of the summer, “Walk Together, Understand Better,” means to them. It’s incredible that even at a young age, these campers understand how to empathize with others and understand how they feel, even if they haven’t had the same experiences. We ended our Friday Night Fireside as we always do, with the reading of our special poem and the singing of our camp song. It was a great way to end the night, and I think it inspired a lot of our Manitou campers.

The next night on Saturday evening is when we really kicked things into gear and had an amazing time! In the evening we all went to the theatre for the First Session Camper Talent Show! There was singing, dancing, rapping, guitar playing and drumming, and even magic! It was an amazing show and I can’t believe how talented our Manitou campers are!

We always wish all of you could see our special Friday Night Fireside speakers, so we have posted a special video below, made by our Videographer Fahim Rahman. Check it out to get a glimpse of our wonderful Freshkids and our fantastic speaker!

Well, I’m off to go see my friend Taylor, the Head of Hockey, and she’s going to teach this old moose how to shoot a ball!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

One Incredible Week at Camp!

HOORAY! We have had one AMAZING week at camp and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

After all of our campers did their swim checks, cabin photos, and unpacked to make their cabins look perfect, they were able to start their own activity schedules! So far, we have had five activity days and I can tell you the campers are having a BLAST! I’ve seen kids get up on the rope for the first time at Waterski, had campers make me mugs on the wheel at Pottery, and I’ve even played Basketball with some Seniors! Even through some rainy days, our campers and staff have high spirits and it’s so great to see everyone having fun at their activities!

In addition to their activities, we have also seen some fantastic Evening Programs in the first week. Evening Programs are when units get together at night and participate in a creative game or activity that their Unit Heads have planned. We’ve had Capture the Flag, a Paper Airplane competition, and even a night to learn their unit cheers!

Between activities, evening programs, and some delicious meals, it seems summer 2024 is off to a great start!

Time for me to go out in the sun and then I’m off to help clean my cabin for “Super Duper Clean Up” where the cleanest cabin in each unit has a chance to win ice cream party!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

Our First Fireside of 2024

Last night we had our first Friday Night Fireside for summer 2024! For those of you new to the Manitou family, Friday Night Fireside is a time where we all gather together down by the lake for a time to reflect. It’s the perfect time to think about how lucky we are to be in such a beautiful and amazing place like Manitou.

As always, we had a beautiful and meaningful time at Fireside together as a camp. The evening began with a land acknowledgement delivered by our Program Coordinator Dylan Brown, who really got the campers thinking about the land here at Manitou that we are fortunate to live on. We reflected on the beauty of the space and all of those who shared the land before us. We then proceeded to introduce to the camp this year’s summer theme: “Walk Together, Understand Better.”

Throughout the summer we will be focusing on how when we get to know others who may not have the same life experiences as us, we can truly understand how to walk in their shoes. We will be encouraging all campers and staff to think about our theme and figure out how it applies to their own life and experiences. We can’t wait to see what they come up with and hope to learn from our campers as well!

Next, we invited up a few campers to make speeches about what camp means to them, with some amazing results!

Here are some excerpts from some of our incredible speakers;

Chloe: When I picture camp in my mind I hear cheers of joy and lots of laughter! Happy campers trying new things! Everybody enjoying everything because anything can be fun at camp! Last year I came here not knowing anyone! But by the end of camp, I had lots of friends and I had lots of fun!

Jack: This is my second year at Manitou and I have been waiting for the amazing activities like water skiing, archery, adventure park and so much more. Last year I made some great friends!

Noa: Camp is my happy place. It makes me feel safe and comfortable. The cabin becomes your home, your counsellors become like parents, and your friends are always close by to cheer you on.

Jude: When I first came to camp I didn’t know anyone…but guess what? Camp is like magic. You feel at home faster than you can roast a marshmallow. To all you new campers, welcome to our big, special family! Get ready for an amazing summer full of adventures, new friends, and maybe even some awesome surprises.

Ellie: If you are a new camper this summer, don’t worry because once you start going to your activities, summer will go by so fast and you will be packing up to head home before you know it. So take advantage of the incredible experiences camp has to offer.

Jacob: The kids in my cabin always made me feel welcome by keeping a positive vibe around camp. Having a great cabin is what makes camp the special place it is.

Lily: The friendships and memories I’ve made here are what makes camp so important to me. Once you’ve experienced all the good things camp has to offer, you’ll never want to leave.

Evan: Camp is a wonderful and fun place where you can socialize with your friends, meet new people and do a wide range of fun activities. When I first came to camp, I felt welcomed by everyone around me.

Sofia: For me, Manitou became a place to try new things I wouldn’t do at home, things out of my comfort zone. Manitou is a community full of joy, adventure, and excitement.

It was so nice to have the Manitou family together again, singing the camp song with our arms around their cabinmates. It just felt right. We’re so happy to be back and to get to have many more amazing Friday Night Firesides this summer.

Off to dinner…I can’t wait to see what amazing meal Chef Will has made!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

Camp Has Started!

WOW WOW WOW! The most exciting part of camp is here….our campers have arrived! Summer 2024 has OFFICIALLY started!

We got to see the smiling faces of all our campers as they hopped off the busses. I saw a lot of returning faces, and I got to meet some new friends too! Our head staff and counsellors greeted them all so warmly wearing their wackiest costumes and holding up big signs.

Our campers are all settling in, and soon we’ll all get to have our first meal of the summer together. Chef Will definitely has something special in mind! This afternoon we’ll have our Activity Fair where the cabins get to see the HUGE selection of activities we have for them, and then they’ll get to decide which ones they want to try out. It’s an exciting first day and I know it’s going to be the BEST SUMMER EVER!

Off to grab a yummy lunch and then help my camper friends unpack!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

Getting Ready for the Campers!

WOWEE! It’s been a long year, but we are finally back at Camp Manitou and we can’t wait until all of our camper friends join us!

Our Unit Heads, Activity Heads, Admin and Directors have been hard at work in rigorous pre-camp training, and also putting the final touches on camp. Our Kitchen Staff are cooking up the best meals we’ve ever had here, and our maintenance staff are making the camp look spick and span. We have staff that are new to camp and people who have worked here 20+ years– the perfect staff team!

I am one excited moose because our incredible counsellors arrived yesterday! The counsellor arrival is the final cherry on top to an already great pre-camp, and I can already tell that they are just as excited to be up here and get ready for the campers arrival!

Well, I’m off to do my swim check so I can go canoeing with all my friends this summer!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

A Final Goodbye to Summer 2023!

OH MY! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! I can’t believe it’s the end of summer 2023 already, but thankfully we’ve all made some lifelong friends and memories. We’re so lucky here at camp to have the greatest staff and campers in the world in one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

Yesterday, all of us were hard at work packing out. It’s a bittersweet time, but if I know our campers, I’m sure they all had a blast packing together and helping each other out.

Last night, we celebrated the last night of camp. First, we had our activity awards, where each Activity Head gives out two awards to campers who have improved at their activity throughout Second Session. It’s so awesome seeing our campers cheer for each other when their names get called out! After our awards, we watched the slideshow, which our Photographer David Hamilton put together, and I can tell all the hard work he put in capturing the magic of camp. We finished off our night in the theatre by giving out a 15-year gift to this year’s recipient CIT Director Jonah Opler and honouring Mark Diamond in his final summer. We then all headed out to flagpole where the Jordana Lokash Award for Spirit and Sportsmanship was given out to our well-deserving recipients: Margo Cholakis and Cooper Pantel. The cheers for them and the smiles on everyone’s faces made it clear these campers are an awesome pair and perfect recipients for this award. We then sang our camp song as we lowered the flag, and I saw cabin groups arm in arm singing the song one final time.

It was an amazing last night, and a perfect way to end a perfect summer.

The buses are just rolling out and I am going to say goodbye to my friends, but I know I will see them all again next year for summer 2024.

Until then…

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose