Boy, oh boy. It’s been mere hours since ten buses jam-packed with excited campers pulled up to the Manitou gates, but already, it feels like home!
Cabin assignments were met with oohs, aahs, cheers and quiet smiles. Kids of all ages ran excitedly through our tunnel of staff hands, hugged or high-fived Manny the Moose, and found their counsellors and unit heads. And just like that, over 400 new faces were added to the 2016 Manitou family.
We all met back on Main Field for a quick flagpole to introduce the directing team (after 18 years, Mark and Jeff still plan to do a camp-wide toilet demonstration where Mark plays the toilet), then headed into the dining hall for a wonderful traditional dinner of chicken burgers, curly fries and brownies for dessert. YUM! In case you hadn’t heard, Manitou has an all-new kitchen staff this year headed up by the wonderful Chef Gates, pastry chef Aimee, and special diets chef Vanessa. All the staff have commented on how food during pre-camp was outstanding, and from the looks on campers’ faces after dinner, we’re pretty sure they like it too!
While our Freshkids — seven, eight and nine years old — ran out to experience the Activity Fair and meet their activity heads, our Sophomore, Junior and Senior units met to learn cheers for their units. Even though the years pass and music tastes change, we still heard rousing choruses of “Ain’t No Flies on Us” and “Jump Shake Your Booty” from every corner of camp.
The CITs, meanwhile, moved into their wonderful village just past the camp gates, then headed down to the waterfront to complete their swim checks in preparation for their upcoming canoe trip.
After all was said and done, everyone went back to their respective cabins to unpack, make their beds and settle in for what’s looking like another clear Manitou night under the stars.
Parents, if you’re reading, rest assured: your kids are safe and sound, and we couldn’t be more excited to give them the best summer ever.
The Manitou Team