Halloween at Manitou!

Camp was a little bit spookier as we kicked off Manitou Halloween. Activities made decorations and campers and staff worked on their costumes in preparation for the big night. We had our epic Halloween dance, where we all danced together in our costumes. Our LITs put together an incredible haunted house and after the rain clouds cleared, everyone had the chance to trick-or-treat throughout camp.


First Week Recap!

The weather is warming up and activities are in full swing here at Manitou! The end of our first full week of camp is approaching and so much has happened already.

All week, our Freshkids and Sophomore thespians have been hard at work preparing to put on the musical ‘Annie’ for the whole camp. You can hear them practicing every day during 5th period and we can’t wait to see the show! Talent show auditions were held on Wednesday and many campers are now busy perfecting their acts for later this week. Overall, it’s been a very busy, fun-filled week here at camp!

On Tuesday, our CIT’s returned from an epic 4-day long canoe trip. They portaged, paddled, and had a great time out on trip. When they got back, they received their activity placements and began their activity training. They also received their cabin placements and are now busy training as counsellors and bonding with their campers. So far we’ve been incredibly impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that the CIT’s have shown and we can’t wait to watch them grow into fantastic counsellors this summer.

We had our classic Thursday sleep-in day. The brunch buffet was at its all-time best with delicious muffins, croissants, fruit, eggs, grilled cheese, smoothies, cereals, oatmeal and so much more! For the younger kids who didn’t sleep in as late, the day was made even more exciting by Danny the Magician who came to do some tricks and make balloon animals all morning. Many campers chose to change their schedules today meaning that next week will bring a whole new level of excitement with new activities and friends made.

Many campers have experienced unit and cabin campfires – there’s nothing better than ending the day with sing-a-long and making s’mores. Also Toothalah the Tooth Fairy (featured above) made their second rounds to cabins to give tuck to the campers who had lost a tooth at camp.

Well, that’s all for now— looking forward to more great weather and excitement in week 2 of Manitou 2022!

Bring on Manitou ’22!

Summer 2022 has begun, and it feels like Manitou has come back to life once again! After months of planning for, and dreaming about, this summer, our campers and staff are back together in their favourite place. Nothing makes us happier than hearing the sounds of campers and staff laughing and chatting filling up the camp. It’s good to be home!

Here’s a little recap of what we’ve done so far:

The buses rolled in a little later than usual (the long weekend traffic was nuts), but the energy of the camper’s arrivals was just as exciting as usual. We made up the extra hour by postponing our incredible activity fair until the morning, so the kids had time to unpack and make their beds. We started with a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Will and then went to our ceremonial raising of the flag. The whole camp gathered around the flagpole as we officially kicked off Manitou 2022.

On Friday, everyone spent the day in cabin groups, doing swim assessments, trying many different activities and for those who are new, getting to know camp. We then headed to the Activity Fair; an interactive experience lead by the Activity Head and Specialists where campers get to know and understand what each activity is all about. After experiencing the Activity Fair, campers ranked their favourite activities they wanted to try for the first week.

After a beautiful first day, the whole camp gathered together for our first Friday Night Fireside ceremony. We honoured 2 staff who had been exceptional during our pre-camp training and explained to everyone what the purpose of ‘Fireside’ is. We also introduced this year’s theme: “GROW THROUGH WHAT YOU GO THROUGH”. It was amazing to have everyone back together, singing the camp song and embracing their friends – it was like no time had passed! Campers returning for their second summer spoke about what camp means to them and why they decided to come back to Manitou. We hope you enjoy hearing their words in our video of Fireside, as it was a very emotional and special night for us.

After a long wait throughout the year, camp is off to a wonderful start! It feels like we are back to 2019 where we can focus every second of the day on the campers rather than the more complicated summer we faced logistically last year due to COVID. We almost forgot what it’s like to run a normal camp with so many happy kids and a staff that are incredibly motivated and energized to give our campers the best summer ever! It’s clear that the staff and your children are emotionally ready for camp. At the same time, we realize that although many of the campers are doing so much better than last year, the adjustment to camp will still take a bit longer than normal.

On another pandemic related note, we thought it was important to give you an update on our Waterski/Wakeboarding program. Usually when one of our boats breaks down, we get the boat fixed in a day or two and always get a rental boat if necessary. Unfortunately, due to supply chain issues there are no rental boats available immediately this year and parts are in short supply. As a result, our ski program is running at 2/3’s capacity right now. To make up for this, our ski staff have volunteered to work overtime, taking kids skiing at 7 am and at rest hours. We hope that by the end of the week we will have all three boats up and running again as we know this is a lot to ask of our ski staff team. We are so proud of them for wanting to do whatever they can to manage this situation.  As we say to our campers and staff; life is 10% about what happens to you and 90% about how you react to it. We are proud of our campers being patient while our staff step up to the challenge to solve the problem.

Our theme for 2022 is “Grow through what you go through”, but just as easily it could also be “What a difference a year makes.” We hope you enjoy the video clip as we kick off summer 2022

💌 2022 Alumni Mooseprints

Dear Alumni,
We are excited to share with you a brand new edition of our Alumni Mooseprints with contributions from Landon Wexler, Sarah Spitz, Gabi Kaplan & Jamie Gorlick, and Christine McNicol. We always love to hear your Manitou memories and stories so please don’t hesitate to reach out and share!
As a Manitou alumni, there is always a longing to spend the weekend up at camp again. We’ve been fortunate enough to host Camp Yoga at Manitou since 2015. It isn’t very often that alumni 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!



It goes without saying that Manitou is a special place. The opportunity to disconnect and share in an authentic experience with others is beyond valuable in today’s world. I decided to take that one step further when I joined the canoe tripping program. Over the years, my passion for the outdoors grew and is something I will have for the rest of my life. I consider myself lucky to have taken many good friends out into the wilderness to share in the beauty of Ontario’s amazing provincial parks. The experiences and lessons learned go so much further than how to carry a canoe above your head – like how to handle the unexpected. What do you do when a camper decides to throw their used toilet paper into the fire, and a gust of wind blows flaming poo all over the campsite? Keep calm and make sure it doesn’t hit you in the face. That’s one I apply to my everyday life and business. Sometimes life throws flaming crap at you – but it’s important to keep a steady head, assess the situation, and make informed decisions on how to proceed. Lessons like these and so many others were learned at camp, most of the time along with tears of laughter.
I always felt that despite Manitou being a first class facility, it was the people that made it. Many of whom I’m still friends with to this day. Now instead of celebrating days off, it’s weddings and life milestones. To my friends and mentors that I met along the way – I can’t thank you enough. 
I am forever grateful for my time at Manitou, talk about it frequently, and visit as often as I can. A special shout out Mark and Jeff for an excellent run – without them, who knows if it would all have come together the way it did. To Chris Mckibbin (my first ever counsellor) and the rest of the new ownership group, I wish you guys the best of luck in carrying the ever special torch that is the Manitou experience, and know you will do an unbelievable job! 


When I first came to camp Manitou as a shy 9-year-old in the summer of 2001, I didn’t think much of it. I stayed for a few weeks and went back to training as a gymnast for the next few years. I came back to camp in 2006, a still very shy 14-year-old, after my gymnastics career ended. I thought I’d stay for a few weeks again and do something else the next year. Instead, I met current Manitou director Alec Amato a few days into the summer, became best friends, stayed at camp for 10 years, became a counsellor and then eventually a unit head. It completely changed my life. 
Camp to me is so much more than a place where I had fun as a kid. It is where I grew up and became the person I am today. Camp taught me to laugh without inhibitions, to embrace what is unique about each of us and to value the strong friendships that formed there over the years (everyone with me, “these friendships!”).
Camp helped me find my voice. Not just literally in the sense of screaming cheers during World Games or singing at the top of my lungs in the dining hall. I learned how to stand up for myself. Eventually, I learned how to use that confidence to stand up for other people. Being able to apply that as a counsellor and eventually as a unit head was one of the most rewarding experiences I could have imagined. I became someone others look to for help resolving their conflicts. I became someone who could advocate for them. 
Now, I’m a lawyer (and a commercial litigator, at that) and all I do is advocate and resolve conflicts. The conflicts have escalated in scale, but the core is the same. Being a lawyer is—in all honesty—not that different from being a freshkid counsellor/unit head. 
Whether I’m mediating a fight between two freshkids about who moved someone’s shoes or representing a client in a contentious shareholder dispute, I draw on the skills I learned at camp to remind me to listen, to communicate and to help others do the same.


Our journey with Manitou officially started back in 2001 and 2003, when we rolled up to camp as little Fresh Kids. During our early camper years, we made our own Manitou memories and occasionally crossed paths (Art Hill and Ski Docks were way too far apart).
Fast forward 10 years, when we were both on staff, Jamie finally built up the courage to speak to Gabi. Fast forward another 10 years and Jamie built up even more courage to propose.
After sharing the news with our Manitou family, Mark eagerly asked us “So, when are we having the camp wedding?”. Of course, it was only fitting that the place where we met, shared so many great memories, grew up individually and together, and created lifelong friendships (our now bridesmaids and groomsmen), be the place we get married.
Our 16-year-old selves are pinching each other at the fact that we’ll be walking down the aisle at the very same spot we made memories that will quite literally last a lifetime. To our past, present and future Manitou family, we can’t wait to reach this milestone with all of you, and are so thankful that deep in the heart of the north there’s a place where we can continue to make those memories. Three months and counting until we are married at fireside! 


Manitou, oh Manitou.
I met Mark, Jeff and Markus at the camp office in late spring of 1999. Kathryn Winnik brought me and her sister Daria in for a spontaneous last minute interview. Apparently, we were a fit for the summer and Markus offered us a job on the spot. I was 19 years old and headed to camp for the first time…. ever. Being from the Caribbean, summer camp was not part of our culture or my family traditions. I had no idea what I was in for.
I wasn’t the only one embarking on a camping journey as Camp Manitou as we know it was also only in its first year! It was a strange concept for me to grasp that I was going to make very little money, get even less sleep, work from sunup to starlight for the ‘soul’ purpose of creating fun and memorable experiences for kids and staff.
It was incredible.
New traditions to be created, fun programs to try out. Mark and Jeff were open to all the ideas staff brought forward. It was an incredible inaugural summer which changed my life completely.
It was a strange and foreign sensation for me when my Condo girls, or my Eco Kids would shout across main field, “love you Christine” or hug me and tell me they loved me. I felt the words bounce off me. How can these campers love me? They barely know me! They were so freely throwing around the words, I wondered if they really knew how important and special love is. Turns out they had a lot to teach me about love. They were so happy, joyous and full of excitement about each day. It took me a while to understand that I was a part of those feelings and experiences.
After a failed attempt at making a raft out of foraged fallen wood from boys camp, one kid in particular was disappointed about the dismal outcome. I remember suggesting we run and jump off the dock with our clothes on. Her eyes lit up and off we went, down main dock and into the water. Walking back up to girls camp, soaking wet, was the first time I understood the power of camp and the small ways and opportunities to let love in. When she said ‘bye, love you!’ I yelled it back. And I have been saying it back ever since.
In the 11 years I worked at Manitou, there were a lot of life sacrifices that had to be made in order to prioritize the magic of Camp. Getting to be a part of the Sr. unit, Jr. Unit, Eco, Ropes, World Games, Manitou games, the CIT unit and to be close to Mark, Jeff, Mama D, Dave, Jen and Chris, was all based on feelings of belonging, growing and love. Love for the people, the magic of camp, and the opportunities to make magic happen.
I would have stayed if I could.
A day at camp, feels like a week. A week feels like a month and when you’re there for the whole summer if doesn’t feel nearly long enough. There is so much more fun to be had, memories to make and love to share.
My kids now go to Manitou. Camp is and will be a part of our family traditions.

Thank you again for all your ongoing support. We wish you a happy, healthy, and successful rest of 2022 and beyond. Please stay in touch through our social media – the countdown to Manitou 2022 has officially begun!

Mark, Jeff, Chris, Jen, Alec & Melissa

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!

🏒 The Manitou Hockey Playoff Pool is Back!

Dear Manitou Community,

Once again, 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 $3,000 Grand Prize to the winning team and over $6,000 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!


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.



Register your Team: CLICK HERE

Cost: $100/team

Deadline: May 1, 2022

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.

🤝 Manitou Cares February Newsletter!


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!


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.





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.



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

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


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!



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!


📺 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

Farewell Summer 2021!

OH MY! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! I can’t believe the end of summer 2021 is upon us already, but thankfully we’ve all made some lifelong friends and memories.

Last night, we got to celebrate the last night of camp as a whole. First, we had our activity awards, where each Activity Head gives out two awards to campers who have improved at their activity throughout Second Session. After our awards, we watched the slideshow, and everyone had an amzing time reliving their favourite moments of Second Session. We then finished off our night in the theatre by giving out some 15-year gifts to this year’s recipients, CIT Director Halle Purther and Assistant Director Melissa Bruce, and a 20-year gift to Administrative Director Jen White. There were amazing speeches about all of our recipients and I know they felt the Manitou family love.

To finish off the night, we all headed out to flagpole where we heard Camp Is speeches from campers from each unit, where they told us what camp means to them and how it has changed their lives. Then, the Jordana Lokash Award for Spirit and Sportsmanship was presented to two camper recipients. This award is in memory of a former camper and staff who loved camp with all her heart, and unfortunately passed away at a young age. This year, our two award recipients were CIT Dylan Nathanson and Senior Boy Damian Mehilli. Congrats to them both….I know everyone was so happy for them!

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

Well, I’m off to say my goodbyes to everyone, but I know before you know it, we’ll be back for summer 2022. That’s all for now.

Yours Moosily,

Manny the Moose