Update on Summer 2020

Firstly, and most importantly we hope you are dealing with this new reality in as healthy a way as possible, not just physically, but emotionally.  We are there for you and will continue to do whatever we can for you – our precious Manitou community.  If you or a loved one, a grandparent or anyone is in need, please let us know and we can coordinate efforts to help.  Please stay healthy, as ultimately, that is all that truly matters.  

Many of you have reached out in support and hope that camp is on for the summer. We have had campers and staff begging us to ensure camp is running because if there ever was a time our kids need camp it is this summer! Of course, camp will only open if we are 100% sure it is safe and this is the sole criteria of how the government, with input from camp and health care professionals, will be making this decision. The purpose of this letter is to let you know of some updates in terms of where things are at, as of today.

It goes without saying, we fully endorse the measures taken by our government to bring the safest outcome for all of us.  We are following their direction in our homes and offices and will continue to do so as we navigate these unprecedented and uncertain times. We feel a sense of obligation to responsibly prepare for the summer of 2020 and to communicate with you about those plans and will continue to keep you up to date. We are fortunate to be directly linked to high level government officials, and physicians who are consulting with the government on health protocols pertaining to “summer camp”. In addition, Mark Diamond, co-owner of Manitou, is co-chair of the Ontario Camps Association Task force representing over 450 Ontario camps allowing him to be privy to the best and most up-to-date information available.


As of today, we believe we will be sitting at flagpole and raising our flag this summer. With our hearts, we hope for the best, and with our brains we are planning for some other alternatives, so we may need to be flexible. Flexible in possible changes to the start of the summer, the length of the sessions and the roles we will play at camp this summer.  


The best thing for us right now, if you are able to, is just keep everything as is. The entire Manitou Staffing team lead by Co-Owner Jeff Wilson, and Assistant Directors, Alec Amato and Melissa Bruce are still busy recruiting our final staff for the summer.   We so appreciate your loyalty and commitment to Manitou and reciprocate that feeling. We know the financial impact of this crisis has left some of you in a difficult situation.  As such, we hope and trust that the commitment that we are making leaves you confident about your plans for this summer at Manitou.   If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with Alec or Melissa at any time.

Right now, we are concentrating on spending every bit of our energy on planning for the opening of camp.  If you are aware of a former staff member or friend (19+ years) who had previously decided not to return to Manitou, please let them know we are still looking for some select staff.


  1. If you have booked a flight on a credit card check and see if the travel insurance covers a change or cancellation you as it likely does.  Please continue to update us with travel plans by sending all flights to camp@manitoucamp.com.
  2. If you are booking a flight, check that your credit card insurance covers you or obtain travel insurance or speak to the airline as many airlines are now offering full refunds to entice passengers to book. 
  3. We expect many more flights to be available in 2 months from now as well so don’t be concerned if you can’t find a flight right now.
  4. Please keep checking Camp Canada COVID-19 Updates Page for more information and reach out to Jen if you have any questions about your work permit.


We are excited to announce some new online programming that will take place in the coming weeks and will add a little sunshine to your days while we all navigate through this challenging time.  This Friday Night, we will be hosting our 1st virtual Friday Night Fireside.  For all staff, new and returning, we hope you will join us at 8 PM EST.  More information on how to join will be sent out in the next couple days.

In closing, let’s focus on what is most important, and that is the health of all of you and your family and friends. We will do whatever we can to make the lives of our community easier.   Please let us know If you have any ideas in this regard.


Mark, Jeff and the entire Manitou Director team

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