Oh me oh my! It’s been busy the last couple days of Precamp, but I thought I’d stop for a minute and update you all on what’s been going on up here at camp!
Saturday afternoon, the last of our staff busses arrived and we got to welcome our counsellors to Precamp! I loved seeing smiles on everyone’s faces: new, old, and even some counsellors who grew up here and are making the leap to staff. Our counsellors excitedly found out their units, and that evening, after another incredible dinner from Chef Will, all of our staff went down to the lake and heard Mark and Jeff’s journey to Camp Manitou. After that, our staff participated in a special program full of team-building games, and our new staff were able to get a taste of that Manitou spirit. We then capped off Saturday night with the perfect campfire under the stars.
Sunday was a busy day, but the sun was shining on Camp Manitou, and we had beautiful weather all day long. Our counsellors did their swim tests, bonded with the other staff on their Unit and Activity, and they participated in our CANVAS training. CANVAS is a group that comes up to camp to train our staff in consent, and for the second summer in a row, our staff were extremely responsive and respectful during this important session. Our Head Staff also participated in the CANVAS training and other safety sessions, but they had a little fun of their own in the afternoon when they had a Head Staff Salsa Dancing Lesson/Competition. It was so fun to see all of my Activity Head and Specialist friends dancing and laughing their hearts away!
After a busy day, the staff had a much calmer evening with our first Fireside of the summer. As we always do on Fridays, we went down to our cozy Fireside corner and looked over the lake. It really is the most beautiful part of Manitou. We were introduced to what Fireside is, our theme of the summer “Don’t Stand By,” and the staff had the special opportunity to hear from camper parent Al Schwartz and his views on what he feels is important for staff to hear from a parents perspective !
My friends Tanisha, Emma, and Daniel also talked about how camp has affected them and why they come back to camp every summer. It was great to hear all of their thoughts and stories, and to hear how Manitou keeps on impacting people through the years. We ended Fireside with our annual Bead Ceremony, where the staff each receive their very own bead necklace representing the number of years they’ve been at camp. It’s an awesome and colourful memento for all!
We ended the day with the first staff rec of the summer: Family Feud! Our staff made their very own little Manitou families and competed in a special camp edition of the game show. It was lots of fun and a fantastic way to end a perfect day.
Well, off to First Aid Training with Eric “Shendy” Shendelman!
Manny the Moose