Derbies and painting and fairs, oh my: a look at this summer’s evening programs

Every day, a memory is made at Manitou. No doubt you’ll be hearing plenty about our campwide programs when your kids get home at the end of the month. World Games and Tribal Games are huge spirit events that emblazon themselves in the minds of campers and staff alike, and make up the hallmark of a Manitou summer. This year we’ve even added a few new big-ticket programs, such as the Manitou Olympics.

What you might not hear about, however, are the spectacular evening programs that our creatively minded unit heads run almost every night of camp! On many evenings, after flagpole, the camp splits up into its respective units — Freshkid, Sophomore, Junior and Senior — and participates in a wild, high-energy and occasionally messy activity for about an hour.

Often eclipsed by our larger programs at the end of each session, stories of these evening programs may not make it home. So lucky for you, we’re here to let you know about what your kids get up to after dinner lets out!

Freshkids (our youngest unit, aged 6-9) have done some pretty great stuff. They had a garbage bag dress-up show, their very own talent show, an evening of ghost hunting, Pokémon Go live, and a good old-fashioned Paint Your Counsellor night.

The Sophomores, aged 10-11, got to play some of Manitou’s zaniest games yet! The unit did a mock beauty pageant, wherein regular pageant-worthy talents were replaced with things like “best animal call” or “loudest burp.” They played sleuthing rescue teams in a plane crash scenario, demonstrated their survival skills in a zombie apocalypse, lip-synced to their favourite hits as “air bands,” trained to be superheroes, gave their all in a slam poetry battle, tested scientific theories in an egg drop, and finally co-celebrated a coming of age of both the Sophomore and Junior girls unit head, bat mitzvah-style!


The Juniors, aged 12 and 13, played similar camp favorites… and then some! In addition to the big Bat Mitzvah, air bands and mock beauty, juniors made large-scale artworks in Art Attack, got treated to both a magic show and a mentalist show, played high society in their very own Kentucky Derby, and “hunted” their counselors like wild animals (catch and release, of course).

Seniors, aged 14 and 15, are often the “coolest” kids of the bunch; their unit heads put together slightly more mature versions of camp favorites, with great results. Along with the Kentucky Derby, mock beauty and air bands, seniors got to do a night of infomercials, painted their counselors for a runway walk off, got to know one another in a Dating Game-style gameshow, and fought water with water in a wet and wild Splash Bash.

And as our oldest unit of up-and-coming leaders, CITs have spent night with their cabins. On their nights off, they’ve enjoyed everything from salsa nights to hockey games, to special dinners in town, to unit-wide mystery hunts and insightful guest speakers.

Suffice it to say, we’re having fun up here. Last night was Halloween at Manitou, this morning the LITs were off on their rafting trip, and soon enough it’ll be time for World Games. Stay tuned!


Manny Moose and the entire Manitou Family

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