Camp Yoga 2022 at Manitou!

Whether you are a long time Manitou alumni or a parent of our campers – there is always a longing to spend the weekend up at Manitou as an adult. We’ve been fortunate enough to host Camp Yoga at Manitou since 2015. It isn’t very often that the public can come up to camp, and certainly less often that adults can attend without any kids. Camp Yoga has done an incredible job over the years of creating a weekend where you can choose your own adventure. Don’t let the word “Yoga” fool you – they offer fitness, arts and crafts, bring in an incredible live band (including alumni of Manitou) AND have an amazing black light DJ party on the Saturday night too. You’ll get to  go to the high ropes course, archery range and canoe on beautiful Lake Manitou-wabing as well. Needless to say, it’s certainly a great chance to take a weekend for yourself and we’d LOVE to invite you for a weekend at Manitou on behalf of Camp Yoga. Early-bird tickets are available now, so please join us and we’ll hope to see you there on Sept 9-11!

🤝 Manitou Cares February Newsletter!

JOIN US FOR THE COLDEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR

Calling all families, staff and alumni! Please join us on Saturday, February 26th for the Coldest Night of the Year, a global family-friendly fundraiser and walk that supports organizations who provide essential care to individuals experiencing homelessness. We will be joined by Ve’ahavta, and have the opportunity to learn more about what street outreach looks like in the winter, and see our Mobile Jewish Response to Homelessness van in action prior to starting the walk.

Click REGISTER TO WALK to join the Camp Manitou Team. On Saturday February 26th, we will be meeting at 7:00 PM at the Loblaws at St. Clair and Bathurst to hear from Ve’ahavta and begin the 2KM or 5KM walk. If you are unable to make it, there is also the option to participate virtually and walk in your own neighbourhood! Please email Jen for more information!

BAKING WITH IRRESISTIBLY DELICIOUS

Long time parent of the Manitou Family, Jennifer Grossman, of Irresistibly Delicious is going to be leading a virtual baking session where participants will make treats for those facing food insecurity.

We will learn how to make 2 different treats such as cookies, muffins, or brownies. The only cost for this program is the supplies you purchase and a list will be sent to you ahead of time.

We have our next baking event coming up on Sunday, February 27th. Email Jen at the camp office to learn more and sign up for this event! The baked from this activity will be distributed to Ve’ahavta. Volunteer hours available for this event.

ONGOING YEAR ROUND INITIATIVES

MONTHLY SANDWICH MAKING

EVANGEL HALL

 

We have had Manitou families sign up for this monthly program and it has been a huge success! We have availability April onward for Manitou Families to take on preparing 200 sandwiches as a family or bubble. These sandwiches will then be delivered by the family to Evangel Hall Mission to be given out to their clients. Please email Jen to sign up.

GIVING ON YOUR BIRTHDAY

ECHOAGE

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. If interested in looking into this further, please visit www.echoage.com

❄️ Happy Holidays!

To Our Manitou Family:

We wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you and say thank you for your continued and unwavering support. This past summer, and throughout the past two years, our families and staff have been so patient and understanding with us and reflecting on that kindness brings us so much pride, love, and respect for our community. For our new families who have just joined us this year, we feel so privileged to have you as part of our Manitou Family.

With the year wrapping up, this is a wonderful time to pay tribute once again to the resilience and determination of our Manitou family, our summer and off-season staff, our community’s health care workers, essential workers, and all of those who have given so much of themselves for our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our children.  

Despite the challenges of the past year, it’s been wonderful to see that more of you than ever have participated in our Manitou Cares events, a testament to the incredible values of our families. On our side, we will keep doing everything we can to make Manitou Cares programming available to everyone so that we can continue to make a positive difference and work together to teach our children the value of giving back.

As 2021 draws to a close, it has never been clearer that our Manitou community is one that believes in putting the needs of others first and providing love and support to not only their own families but to our greater community at large.

Let us all remember that despite the recent setback of the variant, we can still look forward with hope and positivity for the future. Let’s try to celebrate all that we have and look at the glass half full. This way when we look back on the past year, we can say that we truly lived each day to the fullest just like we say in our Friday Night Fireside poem.

Here’s to a wonderful 2022 filled with good times, good health, and another ‘best summer ever’ at Manitou!

P.S. Due to COVID supply chain issues, our printed yearbook will be sent out in the new year to our 2021 families and staff.

-Mark, Jeff, Chris, Jen, Alec and Melissa

🎁 GIVE BACK: The Manitou Cares Shoebox Project is here!

As the holiday season is now upon us, it can be hard to find programs to give back in a meaningful way. We are very excited to be continuing our partnership project with Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth for the holidays. Eva’s provides shelter, transitional housing and programs for youth experiencing homelessness. They work to empower young people towards brighter futures by building skills and providing support to reach their goals and dreams.

We are fortunate as a Manitou community to be able to give and receive gifts during the holidays. However, the homeless youth at Eva’s, will most likely not be receiving gifts or have the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family. Again this year our Manitou Cares Shoebox project will be benefitting the 123 youth at Eva’s who could use some holiday cheer!

If you haven’t had the chance to join our Manitou Cares movement this year, now’s your chance! We hope all of our Manitou families and greater community will choose to give back this holiday season!

THE MANITOU CARES SHOEBOX PROJECT

The Manitou Cares Shoebox Project is the perfect way to give back to youth who need it most. This year, we will collect and distribute gifts in the form of Shoeboxes to youth who have experienced homelessness or have been at risk of becoming homeless. Each thoughtfully created and decorated shoebox is filled with items valued at $50 that can enhance self-esteem and reduce feelings of isolation for youth in crisis. It helps provide youth with gifts they would appreciate, but not necessarily purchase during difficult times.

FOLLOW THE 4 EASY STEPS

1. DECORATE

Decorate your shoebox with wrapping paper to make it festive. Make sure to wrap the lid and container parts separately so it can still be opened! You can also find pre-decorated holiday boxes at your nearest dollar store too!

2. FILL

The contents of the box should have a value of approximately $50. Items could include beauty/hygiene products, Black hair care, nut-free chocolates, flip flops, headphones, warm accessories, small notebook and pen and gift certificates from stores such as McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Dollarama, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

3. WRITE

Youth who receive a gift from The Manitou Cares Shoebox Project are touched by the effort that goes into decorating the Shoebox as well as the special cards, messages, and poems contained inside. Get creative and have fun!

4. DROP OFF

Drop off your shoebox between December 13th – 16th between 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

TORONTO – Toronto camp office 2478 Yonge Street (at Castlefield Ave.)

VAUGHAN – 217 Southdown Avenue (leave on porch)

If you need to drop off outside of these times, please email Jen (jen@manitoucamp.com) to arrange.

BONUS: INSPIRE!

As always, we encourage you to motivate your friends and family to get involved and give back. Post photos with your shoeboxes on social media using #ManitouCares or e-mail them to us to share with our community!

OUR GOAL

 

Our goal is to collect as many shoeboxes as possible from our Manitou community, 123 shoeboxes would be enough to provide for each youth at Eva’s right now. We will collect the boxes at our Toronto office (2478 Yonge Street) to be distributed in time to the youth for the holidays. Please join us and give to those in need!

🤝 LAST CHANCE: Join us for The Ve’ahavta Project!

LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP – DEADLINE THIS FRIDAY!

Looking for a meaningful way to giveback with your family? Join our Camp Manitou Team on Sunday December 5th from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM for an afternoon of volunteerism that will inspire you to roll up your sleeves and make a difference. Now more than ever, we are looking for ways to connect as a community and make a difference.

We are just past halfway towards our fundraising goal! These funds will go towards much needed resources for marginalized people in our city that Ve’ahavta serves each day through their ongoing programs and the Mobile Response to Homelessness Outreach Van.

 

Thank you for your support of this important cause and we hope you’ll show that #ManitouCares!

 

JOIN OUR MANITOU CARES TEAM!

To Sign up:

  1. CLICK HERE to begin
  2. Click Join an Existing Team then type ‘Camp Manitou’ into search field and click the green JOIN button
  3. Complete account information

Deadline to sign up is this Friday, November 26th!

There is a suggested minimum fundraising goal of $250 upon registration, but please do not feel pressure to fundraise to that full amount. This event is really about giving back on December 5th and being part of a larger community to learn about homelessness in our city and what we can do to help.

When signing up you will have the option to choose between 3 activities to participate in: Blanket Making, Cooking, and Baking. For this year, a second time slot has been added so you will have the opportunity to try out more than 1 activity. Our Manitou Director Team will be leading and facilitating the Blanket Making in both time slots, we would love to have you join us, but please choose the activities you feel most connected to!

Please reach to Jen at jen@manitoucamp.com with any questions!

NOT ABLE TO JOIN US? DONATE HERE!

📣 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