The Start of Second Session!

YAHOO! I can’t believe it, but it’s officially the start of Second Session of summer 2021!

But before I get to the start of our exciting new session, let me recap our last couple of days! On Tuesday all of our First Session campers had to sadly pack-out and get ready to go home. But even though it was a sad day for some, we had an exciting and happy evening. We had our traditional banquet, where our Dining Hall and Dining Tents are decked out in decorations, and the camp even served steak! We then went to our awards ceremony where each activity gives out a couple of awards to campers they feel have improved or made an impact at their activity. I saw so many smiling campers holding onto their awards and I hope that everyone is so proud of all they have accomplished First Session! Then of course we followed up the Awards with our end of month slideshow, where we could see beautiful pictures of all of our campers and staff having a blast! And then we ended the night with all of us singing our camp song, “Deep in the Heart of the North” together. It was a great ending to a fantastic session, and though I was sad to see some of our campers go, I know they’ll be back next session for some more summer fun!

Just yesterday, we had all of our Second Session campers arrive with big smiles on their faces ready to have some fun! They were all greeted by their Counsellors and Unit Heads, and I can tell they’re already all having a great time. They got to tour the camp and hear from our Activity Heads about the things they can put on their schedule, and this morning I see them all running around to activities and to do their swim tests. It’s so exciting to see familiar faces and to also meet some new friends…I know they’ll all fit in to our big Manitou family!

Well, I’ll have more news to tell you soon, but right now I’m off to see our Head of Sail Arielle so she can teach me how to properly sail a boat!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

Theatre, Dance, and…MANITOU GAMES!

WOWZA! We’re almost at the end of First Session and I just can’t believe it! We’ve all been having a blast up here, so I guess time really does fly!

Sunday night we had our Dance Show and then our final Theatre show of the session. The Dance Show was incredible, with campers from every age group doing all sorts of styles! We saw performances from their Air Bands, modern dance, and just some fun routines to all of our favourite summer tunes. I wish I was up there dancing with them, but I’m glad we left it to the experts.

After the Dance Show, the Seniors and CITs performed The Drowsy Chaperone, a comedy poking fun at old musicals. It was hilarious, and I was so impressed by the talent from our older campers…they’re all triple threats with their singing, acting, and dancing skills! I know all of you readers will be watching it after the summer when the video goes up, and I’m positive you’ll be just as impressed!

And then after the show, we were told it was the start of Manitou Games! For my new readers or those who don’t know, Manitou Games is our end of First Session colour war, where four teams based around a theme compete to win. This year, as we found out, the theme is Villains! Each team of Villains is trying to prove they can be just as helpful as the Heroes, and whatever team wins will save the camp! This year the teams are Witches and Wizards, Supervillains, Mad Scientists, and Pirates!

Yesterday, they all competed in sports, arts, and skill-based competitions, plus they all cheered their hearts out for their team. The day started with a sports rotation, where teams competed in basketball, volleyball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee. After an intense morning of sports, we all went to Spirit Lunch! Each team had spent the morning decorating the section where they eat and now they could show off what it looked like. I’m always impressed with the way our Dining Hall and Tents are transformed into different places and this year was no different! After eating, we had a four-way cheer off, and I can tell you each team was loud and spirited, and everyone wanted their team to win! After a packed morning, it was off to a busy afternoon. All four teams competed in Backdraft, which is a competition where each team builds a fire, and you want to be the last fire standing. Other teams will try to reach you and put your fire out, and you also want to put other teams fires out. It was very intense but very fun and exciting to watch! After Backdraft had finished, we were off to the annual Four Way Tug of War. We had a Junior, Senior, CIT competition, and then a Staff competition. Both matches were in gridlocks for awhile, but eventually Supervillains and Pirates were able to pull through.

The last part of the day ends with some of the most exciting parts: the presentations of each team’s song, dance, and plaque. Each team designed a beautiful plaque fitting their team that will hang in the Dining Hall for years to come. Then we got to see each team’s amazing group of dancers do a routine in the theme of their team. The creativity was outstanding and I can’t believe they were only made and rehearsed in a day! Finally, each team presented their song…another incredible feat of imagination and also made in a day. You could tell how passionate everyone was about their team with the way they all sang their hearts out.

After our final presentations, it was time to reveal the winner. We all gathered around a large fire, and were told that the flag getting burned was the winner. It was a tense few minutes while it was debated which flag would go in, but eventually the Supervillains flag went in the fire and they were declared the winners of Manitou Games 2021.

It was a thrilling day of competition, spirit, and sportsmanship, and I know that everyone had fun, whether they won or lost.

Tonight we have our First Session Banquet and then our Awards, but I’ll be sure to tell you all about that tomorrow!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

Blankets, Freshkids, and Hercules…Oh My!

YIPPEE! It’s been an awesome couple of days up at camp! We’ve had beautiful sunny weather, great food, and, of course, lots of fun!

On Thursday we had our first ever Freshfest for our Freshkid unit. They all went down to our swim docks to play in the water, get some yummy treats, and listen to some great music! Plus there was an awesome foam machine that sent bubbles everywhere and our campers and counsellors loved it! I sure hope they continue doing Freshfest for years to come, because this moose had a blast!

That evening, the whole camp then watched the first half of our annual 10-year blanket ceremony. Whenever campers or staff reach ten years at Manitou, they receive a beautiful fleece blanket complete with their name and the Manitou logo stitched on. Our directors Mark and Jeff then make speeches about each recipient, and we get to hear fun stories from years past. It’s a really great tradition, and I know I still sleep with my 10-year blanket every night. I can’t wait until next session when we get to see the rest of our blanket recipients be honoured.

It’s hard to believe that our Friday could be just as exciting as Thursday, but boy was it ever! After a full day of activities, we went down to Friday Night Fireside where this week we listened to the Sophomore unit talk about our theme “Together We Can Go Far.” They all spoke so beautifully and even sang together too! It’s always so great to sit by the fire, look out at the lake, and listen to our incredible campers speak.

And after Friday Night Fireside, we were in for another treat: another theatre show! This time our Junior Unit campers were putting on the Disney classic Hercules. It was our first ever outdoor Manitou theatre show, and the cast and crew did an incredible show! It was amazing to see the outside of the theatre decorated like Ancient Greece, and to watch our very talented campers sing and act their hearts out. I can’t believe the talent we have at this camp, and I know all of you readers will be blown away when you watch the video of this amazing show!

Well that’s all from me for now, but I know there’s more exciting stuff coming up to end off this fantastic First Session. I’m going to go learn how to paddle a kayak with Ines, our head of Canoe/Kayak. And while I’m doing that, you can all read the latest edition of the camp newspaper, the Mosquito…hot off the presses…HERE!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

Camp is Bursting With Creativity!

WOW! It’s been a busy few days here at camp, and I can’t wait to tell you about all the fun stuff that’s been going on!

On Sunday morning, we all awoke to find the Dining Hall had been transformed into Smurf Village! The Freshkids and Sophomores got to enjoy a Smurf themed breakfast put on by our LITs (our second year Seniors), and I think they did a fantastic job of decorating the Dining Hall to make it feel like we were transported to another place.

After an exciting breakfast, the day got even more thrilling because it was Pirate Day at Sail and Swim. Down at Swim, campers were searching in the water for buried treasure, specifically a special golden rock. And over at Sail, our young sailors were learning how to properly tip a sailboat by “pirating” and “capsizing” each other. It was a lot of fun to watch all our young pirates that day, and to see everyone get so enthusiastic about their activities.

And just yesterday we had even more excitement happening at our activities. Four of our visual arts activities (Woodworking, Pottery, Crafts, and Creative Arts), held a day called Trash Panda Day. All the campers and staff at those activities dressed as trash pandas (more commonly known as raccoons) and went around camp picking up any garbage they saw and making this beautiful place as clean as it could be. I for one loved that they were doing something so great for the environment, and I think everyone had fun while they were doing it too!

And after a big day of activities and being trash pandas, we had some very exciting Evening Programs in our Units as well. Our Junior unit started an epic multi-night program called Art Heist, where the campers had to figure out who had stolen a valuable piece of art. The mystery hasn’t been solved yet, and I am so excited to find out who did it! And then over at the Freshkids, they had a classic Manitou program called Stock Ticker, where different Activity Heads run fictional companies, and the campers come and buy or sell stocks from the companies, based on how the company is doing. It was lots of fun seeing everyone running around with their Moosebucks and getting invested in different companies, and I can’t wait to find out which cabin did the best at the Manitou Stock Exchange.

I’m sure there will be more excitement I can tell you about soon, but for now I’m off to Soccer, where the Activity Head Neil is going to show me how to properly kick a ball!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

Manitou Theatre is Back!

Golly gee! I am in such a great mood today, because on Thursday Manitou theatre came back with the first production of the summer. We saw the Freshkids and Sophomores perform Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and it was incredible! From Willy to Charlie to the big cast of Oompa Loompas, our campers were great actors, singers, and dancers, and most importantly they all seemed to be having a fantastic time! Plus some of the sets were worked on by campers, and I love seeing the creativity of Manitou campers come through in so many different ways. I wish all of you readers could have seen it live last night and given the cast and crew a big round of applause like we did!

It’s another exciting and sunny day at camp, but it’s also a bittersweet one because our two-week campers went home the other day. We’re all sad to see them leave camp, but before we know it, they’ll be back next summer and I bet they’ll stay even longer!

It’s hard to believe we’ve already hit the two week mark of camp, but time flies when you’re having fun! And not only are we having a blast, but camp is as healthy as ever and we’re able to reduce mask use. Which means we can see all the smiling faces of our happy campers.

Well, I’m off to Eco where activity head Michael “Macca” McHugh is going to show me how to fish properly! In the meantime, you can read the latest edition of our camp newspaper The Mosquito HERE!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

An Awesome Carnival!

YAHOO! It’s been an exciting few days at camp, and I can’t wait to tell you about all the fun we’re having!

Our cabins have been rotating to different activities all around camp and have been working on some amazing projects. I’ve seen chia pets made at Greenhouse, bowls being glazed at Pottery, and French Toast being cooked up at Culinary Arts. Plus, I’ve seen cabins work hard to improve their sports skills, and I think by the end of the summer they’ll be pros!

But yesterday we stopped our activities for a bit and had a special afternoon because it was Manitou’s annual Carnival! This year we had the most booths and games I’ve ever seen, and I think it was the most fun Carnival we’ve ever had! There were the Carnival classics like Sno-Cones, Cotton Candy, and the Dunk Tank, and then we had new additions like a Pie Eating Contest, Butter Sculpting, and Fortune Telling done by our incredible Assistant Director Alec Amato. It was such a blast and I loved seeing everyone running around smiling and trying every booth the Carnival had to offer.

And today we have a classic Manitou Thursday lined up. For our readers who don’t know, Thursdays are a bit different at Manitou. We all get a little more time to relax in the morning with a long sleep-in, and for those who are early risers, there’s an amazing buffet spread put out by Chef Will and our incredible Kitchen staff. I always start my Thursdays off with eggs, hashbrowns, and a chocolate croissant! Plus for those campers awake on Thursday mornings, we have some different activities every week, and this week there will be a dance party and a paper airplane making class. This afternoon, counsellors will plan and run Cabin Activities for their campers, which are fun special programs that a cabin does together! I can’t wait to see what our creative counsellors have all planned for today!

Plus later today we will have our first Theatre show of the summer! The Freshkids and Sophomores will be performing Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and I know it’s going to be great with all the hard work they’ve put into it. I’ll be sure to tell all of you about it tomorrow!

Gotta go clean my cabin…I’m hoping to win cabin cleanup this week so I can get an ice cream sundae party!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

Evening Programs, Survivor, Friday Night Fireside, and Lots of Talent!

YIPPEE! It’s been a great first week at camp and I can barely contain my excitement! There is so much to catch up on!

The campers and staff are always laughing and smiling, and the sun has been shining down on Lake Manitou-Wabing. Even on our rainiest day, everyone sang and danced and went mudsliding. Camp is all about having fun even on imperfect days!

Throughout the days, our cabins are rotating through different activities. A cabin could have Swimming and Sailing in the morning, and then go off to Pottery and Woodworking in the afternoon to flex their creative muscles. I’ve seen cabins go from Hockey to Yoga to Culinary Arts…what a day that must be!

And I haven’t even mentioned one of the best parts of camp: the food! Chef Will and his awesome team have been cooking up some of the best camp food ever. This week alone, we have had brisket for dinner, tacos for lunch, and French toast for breakfast! We’ve also had the yummiest desserts like chocolate cake and lemon squares, and of course Manitou’s famous Salad Bar has been out every lunch!

After a full day of delicious meals and awesome activities, our cabins participate in Evening Programs: fun activities run by our amazing Unit Heads for their whole age group. So far we’ve had camp classics such as Cribs and Egg Drop, and also new and exciting programs like Late Night Talk Shows and human Scrabble! And even our Activity Heads got in on the fun and ran Evening Programs for the units where we saw Sheep Herding with the Freshkids, the Westmanitou Dog Show with the Sophomores, a Counsellor Hunt with the Juniors, and an epic obstacle course for the Senior unit. They all looked like a blast and I loved walking around and seeing everyone having fun together!

And I almost forgot to mention what our CITs (Counsellors in Training) have been up to! In place of their usual canoe trip, the CITs completed an in-camp version of Survivor, where they have been split into teams and went through challenges that help them learn leadership, trust, and other skills that will help become great staff members. Their Survivor challenge ended with an epic relay and rope burn and the whole camp was there to cheer them on! Now they’re using some of those skills and lessons are placed on cabins and activities to get the feel of what it means to be a staff member.

And a few nights ago we had Friday Night Fireside: our weekly time to reflect and think about how lucky we are to be in such an amazing place. At this Fireside, our Freshkid campers spoke about our theme “Together We Can Go Far.” They talked about working together as cabinmates and friends, and how good it feels when we complete things together. Looking over the lake and hearing their words was inspiring, and I bet our campers and staff felt the same.

Plus a big highlight of the week was the Camper Talent Show! We had classical piano performances, singing, gymnastics, and we even had a camper hang upside down while completing a puzzle! The camp is bursting with talent and it was thrilling to see some of it showcased for everyone to see!

Well I’m off to Newspaper, where the Activity Head Carter is going to help me write an article! To see our first volume of The Mosquito (our camp newspaper), click HERE and enjoy!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

The First Activity Day!

YAHOO! The campers are here and it’s officially the first day of activities! All of our cabins are travelling around camp and going to all sorts of activities. Some cabins are trying things for the first time, and some are old pros, but in every case they’re all laughing and smiling and having the best time!

Just this morning I saw Seniors at Pottery, Freshkids at Basketball, and Sophomores at Fitness. Plus we have swim checks happening all day, and I even saw some campers preparing their auditions for Theatre! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and it’s a perfect first day!

And tonight we will have our first Fireside together. Usually we hold Friday Night Fireside, but this week we’ve switched it up and it’s a Saturday Night Fireside, because it’s too important to miss. For those readers who are new to camp, Friday Night Fireside is a time for the whole camp to gather around a campfire, looking over the lake, to sit and think about how lucky we are to be in such a beautiful place. We always have different speakers talk on a theme, and this year the topic is “Together We Can Go Far.” I think it’s a perfect theme after the difficult year we have all had, and I know at Manitou everyone is in it together! Tonight at Fireside we have campers doing “Camp Is” speeches where they will talk about what camp means to them, and I can’t wait to hear how all of our wonderful campers speak about this amazing place.

I know I will have lots to fill you all in on tomorrow, but for now I’m off to Hockey so that Richie, our fantastic Head of Hockey, can teach me how to properly shoot!

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose

Camp Has Started!

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

We got to see the smiling faces of all our campers (and all of you wonderful parents) as they came in to camp. I saw a lot of returning faces, and I got to meet some new friends too! And 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 unpacking now, and soon we’ll all get to have our first meal of the summer together, and I know Chef Will has something special in mind! Tonight 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 help my camper friends unpack!

Yours moosily,

Manny the Moose

Getting Ready for Campers!

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

Our Unit Heads, Activity Heads, Specialists, Admin and Directors have been hard at work putting the final touches on camp. The 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!

And I am one excited moose because our counsellor team arrived a few days ago! Our counsellors are the final cherry on top to an already great pre-camp, and I can already tell they are just as excited to be up here and get ready for all the amazing campers.

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