Last night we had another beautiful twilight evening at Friday Night Fireside, and I think it was one of my favourite nights of the summer. After our weekly candles were given out to very special campers from each unit, Mark and Jeff talked about Community Week, an annual event we have here at Manitou. For those of you who are new to our Manitou family, Community Week is a week-long event where every cabin, every unit, and every activity does something for our chosen charity, or they give back to the local community. If you want to check out the amazing list of things that are activities are doing, just click HERE!
We then heard from our guest speakers who came from Eva’s, a charity that provides incredible support for homeless youth, including housing and vocation training. For more info on Eva’s, just click this link: https://www.evas.ca/ and you can see all of the wonderful things that they do! Our friends from Eva’s engaged our campers so much that we had endless questions from campers…so many that we couldn’t even answer them all!
What surprised and impressed me even more is that for a very long Fireside—1 hour and 20 minutes!—our campers were so respectful, and absorbed everything that was said. By hearing about kids ending up the street, I think a lot of our campers indirectly learned how much gratitude they should have for the support from their own families, and they were even asking how they can help people who may not be as lucky as them. Campers from last summer may have remember Eva’s, as some of them had worked hard providing personalized cookies for homeless youth and sending messaged of love and support to youth in distress. If you scroll to the bottom of the post, you can see an amazing video of our speakers!
It was a very successful Community Week kickoff, and we will be having so much amazing stuff during the next few days to help our charities and give back. Activities and cabins will be raising money for Eva’s with various fun events, and then Manitou will be able to donate based on how much money we raised! We also have some of our Rock Music, Guitar, Theatre, and Dance campers heading out to a local Parry Sound senior’s home to entertain the residents, and other campers will be going into town to hand out gift cards to local businesses. Plus, tomorrow we will have our Manitou athletes participating in the Muskoka Rocks Run for Camp Oochigeas, and these campers have been training for weeks for this very tough 8km run! And on Monday night, we will have our annual Walk of Hope, where we will have another guest speaker, performances, and much more…but I’ll tell you all about that later!
There are so many great things going on this week that it’s hard to explain just how impactful this is for all of our Manitou campers and staff. Just imagine the maintenance staff receiving thank you cards, the kitchen staff seeing beautiful posters thanking them for their hard work, and numerous Random Acts of Kindness that campers spread around to just say thank you or that they appreciate you. It fills my heart with happiness! Community week defines Camp Manitou, and all of the values that we stand for her. Our theme this summer is Caring is Community, and Community Week is our best example to live out our ultimate mission for our campers and staff, to respect and care for one another in the Manitou community, but also the greater community as a hole.
I’m heading off to Ropes now for Wacky Sock Day! Until next time…
Manny the Moose