Never have we seen so many tears. It was for sure the summer of all summers. Read on to hear what some of our campers and staff had to say as we enjoyed our final banquet, camper awards, five year backpack ceremony along with a wonderful “slide show”, and the camp singing three days in counting after honouring three life long staff for their 15th summers. The flag came down as we heard from our eight campers speak about their summer, and honoured our Jordanna Lokash winners.
Our 15 year honorees had such touching thoughts after hearing warm felt words about them.
We love their sentiments such as:
“how does someone manage to enjoy something for this long. In reality people tend to hold onto a typical job for roughly four years before moving on, so what can motivate someone to be part of something for 15 years? …Perhaps it’s the ability to enjoy doing anything with little judgement what so ever…maybe it’s the people that are so invested in sharing their experiences and outlooks on life that create this rich environment of happiness and acceptance. At camp you are never too cool, tool nerdy, too quiet, or too different to be yourself”
“Dear seven year old Jordy I am so proud of you for making the decision to camp to camp this summer. Manitou will help you grow as a person, it will develop your sense of humour and your personality, it will expand your social skills, and allow you to meet people who you will call your friends for the rest of your life. It will show you emotions you never knew existed. It will shape who you are and mold you into a person you can be proud of… Be ready for a family of 500 people who at a moments notice are ready to jump in and make you laugh.”
“Firstly I would like to thank each and every camper. Whether I know you well or we have never spoken each one of you plays a role in making this place what it is to me. To the Soph boys, your constant high energy and desire to have fun is hard to match and working with you has made the last two summers the best of my 15 years here. This place has completely shaped who I am today and I can say that there is no way I’d be close the person I am without the time here. This is the most special place in the world and my message to all of you is to stay here as long as you can. Whatever your excuse is for not coming back I highly suggest you reconsider. The greatest thing about camp is how diverse we are yet we all have one thing we all share which is our love for this place. “
Freshkids: “ This year I was old enough that my mom said I could stay six but I convinced her to let me stay two months, camp means to me being in a fun place with others and family, to grow camp spirit. Thank you to my counsellors and my friends for the best summer ever”.
“ Camp means to me having fun and meeting new friends, especially the girls in my cabin. I am really proud of me because my mom told me to smile and right away I will make a friend and that’s what happened. I just wanted to say thanks to all the campers, cits, and staff for an amazing summer”
Sophomores: “ Camp is like my second home…scratch that- it is my home…if I didn’t come to Manitou years ago I wouldn’t have made these awesome friends, great memories …I have learned so much over the years from waterskiing to cooking”.
“ Another reason that I love this amazing camp is because of the great activities here plus the great staff that run them. Also because of the warm, kind and loving people that are here, no matter how bad the situation they can always manage to cheer me up and make me feel at home. Camp also has great food and people who actually know how to cook it….”
Juniors: “ My favourite memories from this summer have come from camp’s more understated moments- whether it’s a joke told during an evening program or a theme of cabin clean up, it seems the fun at camp never stops. I feel camp is a place where I’ve grown and matured over the years. I am glad to have had the experiences I had and to have made the friends I have made this summer. To all the new campers and staff I hope your first summer was unforgettable and just know that every year is better than the last. “
“Camp is playing camouflage with my best friends, camp is living with 13 of my best friends for two months, camp is loving all of my counsellors, camp is getting really sweaty and messing around in the water, camp is being yourself no matter what “
Seniors: “ Camp cant be described by one memory or feeling. It’s the countless memories and feelings that camp has given me over time. Camp is waking up every morning with my best friends. Camp is feeling confident in myself and having the security to stand up in front of my entire unit trying to get a cookie from my forehead into my mouth., camp is working together and accomplishing things as a team….because no matter how different we may be we al share one thing in common and that is our love for camp.”
Camp is beautiful. The forests that surround us are breathtaking. The view of the hot yellow sun as it sets over the panoramic blue lake is a sight we only get to see here. And if you look up its nights like tonight where the stars are glimmering in the dark sky, that truly shows the beauty of Manitou…Here at Manitou we are taught to give back to our local community and the rest of the world. Manitou Cares. Manitou Cares because it wants to. Manitou cares because it builds character and helps us become good global citizens. Camp is all the staff putting in hundreds of hours keeping us safe, planning events and making sure we have an amazing summer. They put in so much energy each day to see a smile on all our faces. Camp is lessons learned, lasting memories and lifelong friends.
CIT: Camp to me is being able to represent the place you call home. It is laughing with friends as you airball your next shot. Tt is waking up every morning knowing that in the end the play you perform will be amazing. It’s the chills when you sing “deep in the heart of the north” every Friday. Its choreographing something hilarious with your cabin mates. Camp is our emotional home. Thank you to everyone who has made the past five summer of my life the best ones yet.