👋 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


Dear Manitou Families,

The residents at Baycrest need our support! Their daily lives have changed with more isolated time and restrictions on visitors. A group of our 1st year staff are involved in a yearlong initiative where they have committed to an ongoing relationship with a Baycrest resident. Their connections have grown over the past months and we are so proud that they have dedicated their time to helping seniors in isolation. Now you also have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a Baycrest long term care resident living at the Apotex, Jewish Home for the Aged. We are asking our families to write 2 Manitou postcards, one for Passover and one for Easter, that will be handed out to residents who celebrate these respective holidays. This meaningful gesture will help to keep the residents feeling engaged and connected. Please feel free to get creative by making it personal with a note, drawing, or including a quote using the template below. By writing a few kind words and signing your first name at the bottom, you will brighten the day of a senior. Below is a link to the 2 postcard templates:


Please email back the completed postcards to Jen at jen@manitoucamp.com by March 5th. We greatly appreciate the involvement of our Manitou Family in this project and know this will help each senior who receives your card. 

Thank you, 

Jeff, Mark, Jen, Alec and Melissa



Dear Manitou Families and Friends:

It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are to you, our Manitou community, who has supported us every step of the way through this most challenging year.  We said it so many times last spring, but we will never forget your kindness, selflessness and compassion. Your responses were made even more remarkable considering that you faced, and continue to face, the insurmountable challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So at this time may we just use the New Year to say how grateful we are that we have our “Manitou Family” around the world to keep us strong, positive, and to give us the resilience we need to get through these winter months ahead.

Until we raise the flag on Manitou 2021. 

With gratitude,

Mark, Jeff, 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 announce a new 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 ability to opportunity to celebrate with friends and family even virtually. This year our Manitou Cares Shoebox project will be benefitting the 123 youth at Eva’s who now more than ever could use some holiday cheer!

The Manitou Cares Shoebox Project is about to begin! 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!


We have the necessities to live this holiday season, The Manitou Cares Shoebox Project is the perfect way to give back to youth how 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.



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!


The contents of the box should have a value of approximately $50. Items could include beauty/hygiene products, 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.


Youth who receive a gift from The 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!


Drop off your shoebox between December 14th – 17th between 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

TORONTO – Toronto camp office 2478 Yonge Street (knock on door upon arrival)

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.


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 #ManitouCaresor e-mail them to us to share with our community!


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!



Join the Manitou Family on Sunday November 8th from 2:00 – 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, our actions are needed to propel positivity and change. It’s time to open our hearts and our homes (virtually of course!) to what is possible. 

You can participate in The Ve’ahavta Project virtually from home as an individual, family or based on your comfort levels, with a team of people in your social bubble. You will be able to engage live with facilitators, educators, and fellow volunteers. You’ll also have the unique opportunity to hear directly from their clients who have faced hardship. They will share their story of transforming their lives, including the role played by Ve’ahavta’s programs. Nothing helps to put your volunteer work into context quite like hearing from the people who have been directly helped through your efforts.

When signing up you will have the option to choose between 4 activities to participate in: Blanket Making, Cooking, Baking and Kit Packing. Our Manitou Director Team will be leading and facilitating the Blanket Making, we would love to have you join us, but please choose the activity you feel most connected to!

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

-Mark, Jeff, Jen, Alec and Melissa



Weave in with warm blanket enthusiasts, Camp Manitou, as they demonstrate how to create easy, no-sew blankets that will be put to use by those sleeping outdoors this winter. Learn more about the issue of affordable housing in Toronto. Blanket materials will be available for pick up in advance.


Get chopping with Ruthie & Nathan Ladovsky from United Bakers as they guide us through a hearty, winter soup. Learn more about the issue of food insecurity in Toronto and what you can do to help.


Whisk up something special with expert baker and self-proclaimed “food geek”, Linda Waks. Learn more about the issue of mental health and how it affects our clients.


Get packing with Ve’ahavta’s support workers as they educate us on the importance of harm reduction kits for those in need. Kit materials will be available for pick up in advance.

Please note: this activity involves handling drug paraphernalia and therefore may not be suitable for young children without adult supervision.

đŸ€MANITOU CARES: Fall Newsletter

After an unprecedented summer apart, we are looking forward to bringing our Manitou families and staff together to help make a positive impact on those less fortunate.

See below for some of our inspiring programs and stay tuned closer to the events for more information and how to sign up! We hope many of you will join us throughout the year as we keep the spirit of camp alive through our charitable initiatives. Due to restrictions on gatherings, we are unable to have some our most popular in person events at this time like our community meals, the tough nutter and more. Please feel free to reach out if you have ideas of other virtual programs helping those in need!

Our community effort throughout the summer is only the first step. We hope you’ll take part throughout the year with our Manitou Cares programs as we support many great initiatives and charities all over the world!

– Mark, Jeff, Jen, Alec & Melissa 


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!


Mark your calendars – on Sunday, November 8th, The Ve’ahavta Project is back for it’s 2nd year and moving online! 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.


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 virtual birthday party with a meaningful impact. Please visit www.echoage.com to learn more!


A friend of the Manitou family, Daniel Herzog is selling reusable masks and clothing to help fund his cancer treatments that are not paid for by the government. If you are looking for a well made mask that include a filter and want to support Daniel, CLICK HERE.

⌛Summer 2020 Time Capsule Project!

Calling all campers! We hope all of you will participate in our Manitou Summer 2020 time capsule project. Write about your highlights and lessons learned from Summer 2020 by filling out this easy form. The time capsule will be buried at camp this fall and in 5 years, at our first fireside of Summer 2025, we will dig it up. We will then share the thoughts and feelings of our Manitou community to properly reflect and remind us of how far we will have come since COVID-19. We strongly encourage all campers to be a part of this powerful project as we know reflecting on this unprecedented summer will be an important way to learn and grow. We know your participation in the project will not only benefit you, it will also inspire our greater community in the future.


Watch this video to meet Marvin Gord! Marvin is 99 years old and walks five kilometres every day around his neighbourhood. Marvin will celebrate his 100th Birthday on Dec. 31, 2020, at the turn of the calendar year.

Between now and his birthday, Marvin is on a mission to walk 1 Million steps and raise 1 Million dollars for Baycrest’s SOS Campaign, which funds critical protective measures and medical equipment to safeguard residents, patients, and staff. Every dollar donated is equal to one step that Marvin takes in his mission to 1 million steps. In the video, you’ll hear from our CIT Baycrest Buddies about why they’re supporting Marvin.

Since we were so inspired by Marvin’s story, we have created our very own Manitou team for Marvin’s Million. We encourage you to visit manitou.marvinsmillion.com to support this incredible initiative. We hope you will all join our team and help Marvin reach his goal.


Longtime camper and staff, Jonah Opler has started the Don’t Give Up On Me: A Virtual Community Music Project. This is a way to unite as a community in efforts to uplift each other and pass on love, care, and cheer to all those around us through music. They are creating a virtual music video to Andy Grammer’s “Don’t Give Up on Me” featuring voices singing together in harmony. If you like to sing on stage, around a campfire, or in the shower this project is for you! All they need from you is to record yourself singing the song! They want to involve as many people as possible and no previous experience is necessary, so take this opportunity to learn, uplift, and be a part of something meaningful. CLICK HERE to sign up by Friday, August 21st to join the project!

VR Video Gallery, Time Capsule & Giving Back!

Thank you to everyone who joined us last night for our final Virtual Fireside with Baycrest and Make-a-Wish Canada. Hearing about the resilience of our youngest and oldest members of our community was truly inspiring. We were grateful that so many of us joined together as a Manitou community on what should have been the last day of our 2020 season, even if only virtually. We heard some cabins and groups of camp friends were even able to have socially distanced viewing parties – as we always say, camp is about the people rather than the place. It was also so special for us to have our fireside poem read by those who would have celebrated their 15 & 20 year Manitou milestones at camp this summer.

If you were unable to join us for the YouTube livestream, we have included a link to our fireside below – we encourage you all to watch and learn from our incredible speakers.



Last night, we were so inspired by Marvin’s story and in light of our new partnership with Baycrest, we have created our very own Manitou team page for Marvin’s Million. As our Baycrest buddies explained, every dollar raised represents one of Marvin’s million steps. We encourage you to visit our team page, which is manitou.marvinsmillion.com to support this incredible initiative. We hope you will all join our team and help Marvin reach his goal.

Hearing the heartfelt stories of Gabe and Lilly as well as from our very own camp doctor Jeremy Friedman, we gained significant insight into the impact of Make-A-Wish Canada. We can now see the true power that these wishes have for the children who are facing unbelievable challenges, but who have shown unimaginable resilience. If you wish to donate, we now have a dedicated fund through our Manitoucamp Foundation. Please CLICK HERE to show your support.


While we have run many virtual programs, we haven’t been able to bring you home, but we are hoping to try get one step closer. Several years ago, we brought a special videographer to camp to capture Manitou in 360 degrees. From music lunch to flagpole and the waterfront, these videos are as immersive as you can get. Given how much we are missing our home away from home, we are excited to announce for the first time that we will be releasing all of this footage to our entire camp community. You will actually be able to click on the videos and explore parts of camp by rotating 360 degrees. CLICK HERE to access the VR Video Gallery. The password is: manitouVR


We wanted to properly acknowledge our strength as a Manitou community by documenting our memories from the summer that none of us expected. We felt the best way to do this was by creating our very own Manitou Summer 2020 time capsule project. We are asking all of our campers and staff to fill out a form for our time capsule where you can write about the highlights and lessons learned from Summer 2020. The time capsule will be buried at camp in the fall and in 5 years time, at our first fireside of the summer, we will dig up the capsule and share the thoughts and feelings of our Manitou community to properly reflect and remind us of how far we will have come since COVID-19.


đŸ”„TONIGHT AT 7PM EST: Final Virtual Fireside

Please join us tonight at 7 PM EST on YouTube Live to come together for what would have been the last day of our 2020 season. We are looking forward to connecting for one final inspirational fireside as a Manitou family. Tonight’s fireside theme is “Making Connections” and we will hear from both Baycrest Foundation and Make-A-Wish Canada about how the youngest and oldest in our community are facing and overcoming challenges. We will also hear from our CITs about their experience joining our pilot Baycrest Buddies program.

We will close with our classic fireside traditions of singing the Manitou song and a special rendition of the camp poem honouring those who would have celebrated their 15 & 20 year Manitou milestones this summer.

The Virtual Fireside will be streamed via YouTube Live. Please click the button below to join the stream and give us a shout out in the live chat. Don’t forget to press the Set Reminder button to receive an e-mail alerting you that the stream is going live!



We hope all of our families, staff, alumni and friends join us for tonight’s final fireside of our 2020 summer.

-Mark, Jeff, Jen, Alec & Melissa

Our Final Fireside, Camp Newspaper and More!


This Thursday, August 13th would have been the last night of our 2020 camp season. We are looking forward to reuniting for one final fireside to connect as Manitou family. This week’s fireside is about “Making Connections” and we will be highlighting some who have been the most impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Mark and Jeff will give an opening address and then we will hear from both Baycrest and Make a Wish Canada about how the youngest and oldest in our communities are facing and overcoming challenges. We will also hear from some of our very own CITs about their experience joining our pilot Baycrest Buddies program. We will close with our classic fireside traditions of singing the Manitou song and a special rendition of the camp poem honouring those who would have celebrated their 15 & 20 year Manitou milestones this summer. The link to the livestream will be sent by e-mail on Thursday and the final fireside will take place at 7:00 PM EST.


Our very own Julie Foster is compiling a special virtual edition of our camp newspaper, “The Mosquito”. Campers and staff: please e-mail us your articles, crossword puzzles, drawings, photographs, mazes and more to be featured in our first ever online edition. All submissions are welcome – please make sure to send them to us by Monday, August 17th!


Members of our Manitou family Maya & Emily Froman and Katie & Jaimie Hyman along with their families were recently featured on Toronto.com for banding together to focus on their passion for baking while supporting their community during the pandemic. Since late May, they’ve sold home-baked goods and raised over $7,000 benefitting the Jewish Family and Child Service’s COVID Relief Fund. Thank you to the Froman and Hyman families for showing that Manitou Cares and creating this incredible initiative. CLICK HERE to read more!


For those of you who were unable to join us for the YouTube livestream of our World Games opening ceremonies, we have included a recording of the epic evening below – watch to relive the magic of our incredible World Games program. Thank you to all of the campers and staff who joined us for the program on Sunday and huge congratulations to Team Bermuda on their World Games victory!