📣 NOW OPEN: Rookie Day Application!

Greetings!

We are excited to announce that registration for our Rookie Day Program is now open for 2022!

Children age 6-9 can enjoy Manitou’s annual ‘Rookie Day’ first time camper experience on Saturday, July 16th! They will get a taste of the activities and the wonderful community of Manitou as a full-fledged one-day camper. Most importantly, our Rookie’s will make new friends and get a sense of the independence and self-confidence that come from a quality summer camp experience.

SIGN UP HERE!

 

Registration for this full-day program is $90.00 (taxes included). Bus pick-up at 7:30AM and drop-off at 9:30PM is from North Toronto.

For more information please call our Toronto office at 416-322-5888 or email us at camp@manitoucamp.com. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please share this information or have them get in touch.

Mark, Jeff, Chris, Jen, Alec and Melissa

📺 Our 2021 Video Gallery is LIVE!

As we continue to enjoy the beautiful fall weather, we can’t help but look back fondly on our incredible 2021 camp season. We are pleased to announce that all of our videos from this past summer are all finally officially posted in our video archive! Click the image below to access the gallery relive the magic of the summer, the password is summer2021 

PLEASE NOTE: there are 2 pages of videos from camp. To access the second page, please scroll to the bottom of the webpage and click the arrow in right hand corner.

Also, we have added more photos to the Bunk1 Photo Gallery with albums for the campers who participated in the photography program this past summer. We were so impressed by the creativity of our many campers who took part in this activity. If you need information on how to access the photo gallery, CLICK HERE!

We are already hard at work planning to make sure Manitou 2022 is the BEST SUMMER EVER!

We can’t wait to see you all soon.

Mark, Jeff, Chris, Jen, Alec & Melissa

Exciting News to Share

Dear Manitou Families and Friends:

As the golden days of summer fade and the seasons shift, we find this year holding particular significance.

When we bought Camp Manitou 23 years ago, our mission was to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. We took the best of what traditional camps offered, but then challenged ourselves to improve upon it. Value-based in-camp programming, year-long programming like Manitou Cares, and an emphasis on supporting each individual camper was fundamental, but our vision went even deeper.

As every parent, camper and staff knows, we take enormous pride in ensuring that every person who becomes part of the Manitou family is valued and honoured. Manitou is a village in which to grow, a place to embrace, an empathetic and caring way of being. Friendships are founded on non-judgemental acceptance of one another and the beauty of shared experience; gratitude and giving back are a way of life at Manitou.

At the heart of all that we do is our own commitment to mentorship. From CITs and unit heads, to our ten-person summer director team, we’ve always had an eye on the future, supporting those in leadership roles just as we were once supported in our more formative years. The passion we’ve always had to make Manitou the most special place on earth for our campers and staff permeates our culture.

As you may know, not only did we (Jeff and Mark) meet at summer camp but we became best friends there and were fortunate enough to be able to take that friendship and our shared values to Manitou so we could create a camp that would be like no other.

We are proud and excited to announce that three other camp friends who met at Manitou over 20 years ago, will now join us as part of our ownership team. Twenty year Manitou veteran Chris McKibbin has been, and will continue to, work full time in the camp office, while his best camp buddies, Dan ‘Goldy’ Goldenberg and Russ Verbeeten will be supporting us behind the scenes. Chris, Dan and Russ met at Manitou in 2000, and their bond is as strong as ever. It’s been their dream to be an integral part of Manitou, and to invest in the place that helped shape them into the people they are today. That dream has now become a reality.

Chris started off as a counsellor at Manitou in 2000, moving up to a director position 15 years ago, and has been our right hand man ever since. He was a teacher in the public school system for over two decades, working with children of all ages. Chris also specialized helping students with various learning challenges. He will continue to guide us with his wisdom all year long, just as he has every summer since 2000! Chris, along with his wife Nicole and two children Jack and Charlie are so excited to be back at Manitou next summer. Chris can always be reached by email at chris@manitoucamp.com so feel free to drop him a note anytime.

Daniel, a lawyer in the entertainment industry, is looking forward to following a dream of his since he was a young adult. While Dan won’t be a day-to-day camp director, we look forward to welcoming him, his wife Mohr and their two kids Hazel and Molly to Manitou for Summer 2022.

Russ, a second generation Manitou camper and staff, will be in the background as well, but will provide ongoing support. Russ, along with his brother and sisters, all grew up at Manitou going back to the early 80’s!

Together, these best friends will follow their dream and their passion, joining the two of us as owners, along with Jen, Alec, and Melissa, in making sure that Manitou grows and thrives for many years to come. You couldn’t ask for a stronger team!

What does this mean for Manitou in the days and years ahead? It really means the new energy makes us even better! We, Jeff and Mark, are still an integral part of the ownership and director team, but are excited to welcome Chris, Dan and Russ, who come with an abundance of energy, ideas and commitment. It’s time for the next generation to join us in building this legacy, so that future generations will benefit from all that has come before. True success occurs when you can create a culture, a value system and a mission that can be passed on from generation to generation.

As always, we are full steam ahead as we work towards Summer 2022. We’ll continue to work as hard as ever and feel blessed that we can mentor our younger ownership team, and learn from them at the same time.

Now it’s back to camp work. The overwhelming number of campers for next summer is so exciting! No matter what part of the Manitou family you fit into, we cannot wait to welcome you to Manitou for Summer 2022 and beyond!

Warmly,

Mark and Jeff

🤝 MANITOU CARES: Fall Newsletter

After an incredible summer, we are looking forward to continuing the magic of camp by connecting with our Manitou families to help make a positive impact on those less fortunate. Our community efforts throughout the summer at camp is only the first step. In spite of the ongoing pandemic, Manitou remains committed to supporting many life changing initiatives and charities all over the world! Due to restrictions on gatherings, we are unable to have some our most popular in person events at this time like our community meals, soup making, and more, but we have developed some incredible for families to enjoy!

Take a look at our upcoming #MANITOUCARES programs below. We are officially kicking off the year with card making in honour of Emergency Nursing Week. We are also working to support a refugee family from Rwanda through JIAS. If you or anyone you know has a lead on a subsidized 2 bedroom apartment, please get in touch with Mark at mark@manitoucamp.com. We will provide more updates on opportunities to get involved in helping welcome this young family to Canada.
Stay tuned closer to the events for more information and how to sign up. Please feel free to reach out if you have ideas of other programs helping those in need!

EMERGENCY NURSING WEEK

Manitou is excited to support the nurses in the ER at SickKids Hospital in honour of Emergency Nursing Week with a card making program. Many of our families have benefitted from the incredible nursing team at SickKids and now it’s time for us to show our appreciation. For any family who signs up, we will provide the name of a nurse in need of some uplifting during these challenging times. Please email Jen to get matched with a nurse. We hope to be able to send at least 1 letter to each of the 100 nurses who work in the Emergency Room department. Time is of the essence for receiving letters, so if you are interested, please let us know right away!

EVANGEL HALL SANDWICH PROGRAM
 

We are now able to restart our successful Evangel Hall Sandwich Initiative! We have partnered with Evangel Hall for many years to help in food insecurity for both their residents and marginalized people in the area. We are reaching out to Manitou Families to ask that one family sign up each month from October to June to take on preparing 200 sandwiches. These sandwiches will then be delivered by the family to Evangel Hall Mission to be given out to their clients.

Please email Jen at jen@manitoucamp.com to sign up!

ECHOAGE BIRTHDAY PARTIES

We are proud to be part of ECHOAge with the Manitoucamp Foundation as a charity for birthday parties. By choosing ECHOage, you are allowing your child to understand the joy of giving back as part of the birthday party experience. This is a great way to have a birthday party with a meaningful impact. Please visit www.echoage.com to learn more!

2021-2022 MANITOU CARES CALENDAR
CARD MAKING
Letters Against Isolation
October
We are excited to report our first Manitou Cares Program of the season exclusively for our 2021 LITs helped kick off another year of incredible Manitou Cares events. We created cards with words of encouragement for senior citizens who are dealing with isolation due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Thank you to all who participated!
SHOE BOX PROJECT
Gifts for Shelters
Month of December
Let’s start the new year off on the right foot by supporting The Shoebox Project. Each thoughtfully created and decorated Shoebox is filled with items valued at $50 that can enhance self-esteem and reduce feelings of isolation for women in crisis. Create, decorate and then drop off your box throughout the month of December at our Toronto office to help!
VE’AHAVTA PROJECT
Ve’ahavta
December 3
The Ve’ahavta Project is back for it’s 3rd year! As a Manitou community we will once again come together with Ve’ahavta for an afternoon of virtual volunteering and learning. With our family and friends of all ages we will have an opportunity to work together on hands-on projects that will directly benefit Ve’ahavta’s clients.
MANITOU FEEDS THE WORLD
Manitou Cares
March
Once again this spring, we are excited to continue our 4th annual Manitou Feeds the World campaign. Campers, parents, staff, alumni, grandparents, aunts and uncles – join us as we help curb  hunger across the globe.
BAKING FOR A CAUSE
Irresistibly Delicious
Spring
Long time parent of the Manitou Family, Jennifer Grossman, of Irresistibly Delicious is going to be leading baking sessions where participants will make treats for those facing food insecurity benefitting Ve’ahavta, Seaton House and Evangel Hall.
MANITOU GOES GREEN
Seeds of Hope
May
Please join us to clean up the Seeds of Hope garden. As a Manitou Family, we can make a difference in our environment by working together to get this garden ready for the summer and for residents to grow their own vegetables!
WALK FOR THE AGES
Baycrest Foundation
June
Join Manitou for the 2nd annual Walk for the Ages. This event includes an exclusive walk around Canada’s Wonderland before the park opens to the public and full access to rides for the remainder of the day. This is a great day for the whole family! Stay tuned for more.
BAYCREST BUDDIES
Baycrest Foundation
CIT Program
We are excited to announce our 2nd year of our Baycrest Buddies Program open to our Summer 2022 CIT Unit. This is a fantastic way to receive community service hours, be part of a movement and show that #ManitouCares. This will allow CITs to connect with seniors in our community, one of the most vulnerable and isolated populations right now, and embody our Manitou values of supporting and learning from the wisdom of the older generation.
WELCOME REFUGEES
JIAS
Winter 2021-2022
Want to help a refugee family in need? Mark and Jen are joining forces with JIAS to welcome a family arriving from Rwanda in the next couple months. Please be in touch if you are interested in becoming involved in assisting with helping the family settle into life in Toronto.

💌 May 8th is Provincial Camp Letter Writing Day!

Dear Manitou Community,

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 8th, the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) is calling on every camp community to take part in the Provincial Camp Letter Writing Day. As we continue to plan and hope for another summer at Manitou, we need your support in reaching out to Doug Ford to safely reopen overnight camps. Every letter will make a difference in showing our Premier the profound impact that a camp experience has.

We’re asking you to add your voice to this specific cause and share your story. Help our Provincial Government understand what camp means to the people who love it the most and why we need to continue to work towards operating safely for Summer 2021.

We know how many of you have already written letters to your MPP asking for overnight camps to be reopened, which we are incredibly grateful for. To help amplify the collective voice of the Ontario camp community, we ask that you please resend your letter to the contacts listed below.

We need all friends of camp – campers, parents, staff, alumni and more – to write to Doug Ford, the Ontario Premier, on Saturday, May 8th telling him why camps need to open this summer. Thoughtful and heart-felt letters will help make this campaign successful, and support camps in Ontario!

WRITE YOUR LETTER

Write to Premier Ford and send it on May 8: premier@ontario.ca

Please CC the following people:

EXAMPLES

CAMPER LETTER

“Dear Premier Ford,

I’ve struggled a lot over the past year. Here’s how…

In fact, kids are struggling all around me.

It’s so important that you find a way to let me be with some friends this summer!

The best way I can think of is my camp. Here’s why…” 

PARENT LETTER

“Dear Premier Ford,

My child(ren) has/have struggled a lot over the past year. Here’s how…

In fact, children and youth are struggling all around me.”

DETAILS TO INCLUDE

  • The mental health impact on camper-aged children in your family
  • The critical loss that children and youth have experienced is social time with friends a.k.a. “social malnutrition”
  • Camps have been planning all year so that the summer can be delivered carefully and responsibly.
  • CLICK HERE for more inspiration on what to write

When we write these letters, please know that while we are certainly doing this on behalf of our own campers, we should also be aware that there are children who are less fortunate who rely on camp as their only way to leave the city. It is estimated that 1 million kids from every possible background, are eligible to experience camp this summer and we are working on this initiative on behalf of them as well.

We really hope that you will take a few minutes on Saturday to participate in this important initiative. While camp should only operate if health conditions permit, let Premier Ford and his colleagues know that you trust and are confident that we will deliver this experience carefully and responsibly.

Mark and Jeff

🏒 The Manitou Hockey Playoff Pool is Back!

Dear Manitou Community,

After much demand, the Manitou Hockey Playoff Pool is back! With more time spent at home right now in our Manitou sweats cheering on the Leafs, we have become even more invested in this year’s NHL season!

We are excited to announce that we have joined forces with The Playoff Hockey Challenge & Auction for Wishes to bring the biggest prizes to this year’s pool: a $5,000 Grand Prize to the winning team and over $9,000 in prize money available!

So get ready to join in on the action! Get your household on board, pick your dream team together and submit a family entry, complete with the team name of your choice. The cabin with the most entries will get an additional prize of a movie night this summer – now that is something worth playing for!

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM RON MACLEAN

The best reason to get involved is that you are also supporting a great cause. This year net proceeds from The Playoff Hockey Challenge will benefit Make-A-Wish Canada. As you may have learned during our Virtual Fireside Series last summer, this incredible organization has a mission to create life changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Even through the challenges of COVID-19, Make-A-Wish Canada has remained committed to their vision of granting the wish of every eligible child – a wish has a positive and lasting impact on the children and their families, beyond the experience of the actual wish.

HOW TO SIGN UP

Register your Team: CLICK HERE

Cost: $100/team

Deadline: May 20, 2021

We hope our entire Manitou community will get involved this year’s exciting playoff pool challenge. You don’t need to be a hockey expert to join, as either way you helping to grant wishes for children in need. We thank you in advance for your support.

Jeff and Mark

💌 #PLANFORCAMP: How to Get Involved

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the OCA’s Plan For Camp Virtual Campfire. Hearing about the resilience of the Ontario camp community was truly inspiring. We were grateful that so many of us joined together as a Manitou community to show our support even if only virtually. The virtual campfire has now been viewed over 20,000 times and we hope to continue with this incredible momentum.

If you were unable to join us for the YouTube livestream, we have included a link at the end of this email – we encourage you all to watch and learn more about the #planforcamp movement for Summer 2021. This incredible production is approximately 90 minutes long. If you are not able to watch in full, CLICK HERE to listen to the CEO of SickKids Hospital Dr. Ronald Cohn discuss the importance of camp and the outdoors for children’s mental health.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We have so much to be grateful for with the support we have received from so many families, staff and alumni. We hope this is the last time we need to reach out to ensure camps open this summer!

We need your help. We need your leadership. We need your advocacy and commitment. And we need you to speak in your own loud voice! There are 2 ways in which you can show your support:

1) WRITE OR CALL YOUR MPP

Premier Ford, his Cabinet Members, and provincial public health leaders must understand that now, more than ever before, kids need camp. When our Government has the opportunity to hear why camps need to open this summer for our children and youth it is only more impactful. CLICK HERE for instructions and for MPP contact information.

2) SUPPORT CAMPS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Connect with your community on Social Media by using the hashtag #planforcamp and tagging our Provincial leaders. CLICK HERE for more information and images to share.

ARE YOU A CAMPER?

Even the younger members of our community can find ways to get involved. CLICK HERE for ways to show your support.

We remain hard at work to bring Summer 2021 to fruition. We can’t wait to be back together on the sunny shores of Lake Manitou-Wabing!

Mark, Jeff, Jen, Alec and Melissa

WATCH THE #PLANFORCAMP LIVESTREAM

COME LIGHT A CAMPFIRE: THE PATH BACK TO CAMP

🏕️ JOIN US: The OCA’S #planforcamp Virtual Campfire!

Dear Manitou Families, Staff, and Friends,

We need you! Join us, the Manitou community, and more than 10,000 other camp families for a special 1 hour presentation hosted by the Ontario Camps Association. This is an opportunity to celebrate Manitou and more importantly it’s to let our greater community understand the importance and significance of what a summer camp experience does for the future of children and youth in our province. While we wish we were all together at Queen’s Park to rally for camps to open, by having you at this virtual event, you will be advocating for camps.

You have been so supportive of Manitou over this past year by writing letters, sending us words of encouragement, and participating in our Firesides and online Manitou Cares programming. Many of you have asked how you can continue to help us bring Summer 2021 to reality. We now have a new way for you to help Camp Manitou and all Ontario summer camps through this inspiring event!

DETAILS

Date: Monday, April 12, 2021

Time: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Where: Virtually – join us on YouTube Premiere at bit.ly/planforcamp

HELP SPREAD THE WORD

RSVP at Facebook Event Page and please invite friends as well.

Post your support on social media, CLICK HERE for an image to share.

The Ontario Government really wants overnight camp to happen this summer. Recently a letter from Dr. David Williams was publicly sent to Ontario camps stating that Public Health realizes it takes time to open camps and is in support of reopening. We now need to take action to make our voices heard.

You will hear from Camp Directors, campers, and experts including SickKids CEO Dr. Ronald Cohn who will discuss both the OCA guidance and field guide process, along with the social, emotional, physical and mental health rationale for the OCA to open and serve our youth this year.

Meanwhile we are hard at work planning for another incredible Manitou summer. We look forward to gathering virtually on April 12th with your household and thousands of camp supporters!

-Mark, Jeff, Jen, Alec and Melissa

Update and FAQ’s: Summer 2021

Dear Manitou Families,

We wanted to provide an update regarding our plan for camp this summer amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s difficult to pick the right time to give you an update. Just like the pandemic itself, the protocols, knowledge gained, and public health guidelines will be changing right up to the summer.

The bottom line is, we can hardly wait to get to camp this summer. Your kids need camp and we need camp too. We’re doing everything we can to make it happen.

While we are not yet able to fine-tune many parts of our plan as we await official direction from the government, we want to provide you with an update regarding our anticipated framework and some of the protocols we are considering.  It’s tough to decide how much information to share at this time given that many factors are subject to change in next four months, however, in keeping with our Manitou philosophy, we would rather give you more information than necessary so you can get a sense of our safety policies and procedures as they come to fruition.

It’s likely going to be a rollercoaster until July 1st. Our best guess, like yours, is that things will continue to improve, may get worse and then get better again. We are preparing accordingly and are assuming the strictest of protocols, knowing these can always be changed.

As camp draws near, we will be communicating in greater detail our countless safety protocols and modifications being made for this summer making camp a haven for the Manitou family. Many of them are outlined in the FAQ link below.

We have extended the full payment deadline to June 1st, instead of May 1st, and invoices will be sent out in April. As we have said before, if you wish to cancel, you may do so up to June 1st for a full refund. Also, all camper medical forms and other important forms will be sent out a bit later this year in early April and will be due May 1st.

In terms of other financial considerations, we have always had an all-in fee with no extra charges, but the additional costs in preparing and keeping camp safe for this summer is exorbitant without even factoring in the testing costs for our campers and staff. We will be bearing all of those costs which would include for example PPE, physical modifications to the site, tents, and additional staffing. We may need to share the cost of testing with parents and we expect the fee could be as low as $200 and as high as $400 per camper and we will advise you closer to camp.

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel Visitors Day this year. For our full session parents, we will determine the best way for you to hear from your child. We assure you we will continue our excellent Manitou communication all summer. Also, as we are doing our best to maintain a bubble environment, we will not be holding any of our shorter trial sessions for younger campers, Intercamp games with other camps or beach days on Thursdays.

If you would like to read answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions, please click on this LINK. It will include answers to the following questions:

  • What is your feeling about the ability to run safely this summer as opposed to last summer?
  • How will you minimize the possibility of COVID-19 entering camp?
  • How will campers get tested and what will this cost?
  • Will the staff be vaccinated?
  • What about testing during camp?
  • Will my kids go up on the bus to camp?
  • Are you trying to create some kind of “camp bubble”?
  • How can you bubble the staff?
  • ·Is there any part of the camp program that will change at camp?
  • How are you addressing meals and other snack times?
  • What changes are you making to your Health Center?
  • The mental health benefits of being back at camp are huge, but how are you going to handle any mental health issues that arise?
  • What about PPE and will our kids be wearing masks?
  • Will you contact us if our child has COVID-19 symptoms and is getting tested? Also, what happens if they test positive?
  • What if a camper must go home?
  • My child is registered for second session. I’ve heard that some camps have decided to cancel this session; what about Manitou?
  • What about those potentially coming to camp from outside Canada?

We want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to make camp a safe and wonderful place this summer. We want to reemphasize that these considered protocols are still very much a work in progress and will continue to change as we prepare for the summer. If you do have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out at any time. We remain hard at work preparing to give your child(ren) an incredible summer that will allow for more interpersonal connections, positive mental state and a place for important personal growth. We know the benefits of camp are more important now than ever before.

Being outside with friends, having counsellors to mentor and guide your child, going to 33 activities, playing in rain puddles, talking in the cabin at night, having crazy evening programs such as paint your counsellor, enjoying our famous Thursday morning brunch and making unique friendships that will last a lifetime will still be the essence of Manitou 2021.

Manitou is a family, and in tough times families support each other and create silver linings to deal with adversity. We know we have one incredible family to help make that happen!

– Mark, Jeff, Jen, Alec and Melissa

👋 2021 Director Video Message!

Dear Manitou Families,

We hope you and your family are doing well under the circumstances. We are reaching out to let you know that we are thinking of all of you! We have been very busy planning for the upcoming summer and wanted to send a video message to you from our full Director Team. We know that our community is eager for a more in-depth update about our plans and protocols for Summer 2021 and we want to assure you that a detailed communication will be shared in the coming weeks. In the meantime, grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy this short video from all of us! We cannot wait until we are able to be reunited as a community at camp once again.

Mark, Jeff and the entire Director Team