One of the most inspiring evenings in Manitou history

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We had a wonderful, inspiring evening last night as we welcomed the Lake family, representing the charity AUTISM SPEAKS, our charity for second month. Fireside started with our usual candle ceremony honouring campers in each unit for representing the Manitou values. We also had a wonderful Sophomore do our “Camp Is” speech as she was on a canoe trip the week before. We are including her speech below as an example of the wonderful words of wisdom that come from our campers.

We then kicked off Community Week by talking about the many events that will be held all week long to raise money for Autism Speaks. The activities, cabins and individuals will be coming up with ideas to help raise money for this charity and then our foundation will write the cheque to Autism Speaks. Even a Freshkid cabin, independent of their counsellors, approached us with an idea that was simply brilliant and well thought out. Look out for more information about our Community Week events soon! On Monday night community week reaches its pinnacle with our Walk of Hope, where campers will learn more about the POWER OF ONE and how one person can make a difference in the lives of others. Campers will partake in a discussion with their unit about the Power of One before walking around a candle-lit field to the sound of campers’ musical performances.

We also welcomed MP Mike Lake, his daughter, Jenae, and his son, Jaiden to camp. Mike came to speak about Jaiden, a wonderful young man with Autism. Together, the three of them gave an impactful speech on what it is like to have Autism and how Jaiden, despite being unable to communicate with words, is able to communicate messages of love, life and the power of one so effortlessly.  You could hear a pin drop in the theatre, as the campers were so inspired and touched by the Lake family’s talk. Mike along with Jaiden and Janae then spoke to the CITs and seniors separately for a more detailed talk about autism and developmental changes.

Jaiden, his father, and sister are spending the weekend with us and its truly an honour to see such a loving family teach us all what truly matters in our lives. At lunch on Friday, Jaiden ran up to the Microphone when he heard his name and gave high fives to over 100 campers and staff. The spontaneity of his actions set the tone for the weekend. After this wonderful evening, campers made the special paper bags with beautiful designs that will light up the field and then went back to the cabin for a special bead ceremony. Ask your kids about the questions they were asked to further educate and remind your children of the wonderful lives and privileges they have and to emphasize the values that we all hold dear to us.

If you feel inclined to support Autism Speaks, please click on the links below.

Autismspeaks.ca

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CAMP IS- SOPHOMORE GIRL

This is my second summer at Manitou. When I first arrived last summer, I had the normal jitters than any camper would have. Of course, I really missed my cat…By the way, his name is furball. But right away I started to make new friends.

The activities were great: waterskiing, cooking pottery, and of course, the famous “World Games.”

Here is a poem that I wrote about why Manitou is great.

M is for the many, many friends that you will make

A is the action and swimming in the lake

N is for the nature by day and by night

I is for the ice-cream parties…what a delight

T is for the tetherball , a game that we play

O is for optimism to start every day

U is for YOU, with all of your grace, because it is you that makes Manitou OUR special place!

To finish off, my advice is to try to keep an open mind and you will be sure to make new friends too!  And before you know it you will be going home with a whole bunch of great memories that will stay with you long after the summer ends, which remind me of the expression:

“You can take the kid out of Manitou , but you can’t take Manitou out of the kid.”

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