I am thrilled to announce that Manitou Experience, a one-week camp for boys who have lost a loved one (www.manitouexperience.org), will be opening a West Coast program this summer.
Manitou Experience (Maine), which began with 27 campers in 2009, will host 80 campers this summer. Due to the success of the program, and generous contributions from fellow alumni, staff, camp families and friends, we have been able to grow our camper numbers each summer. However, we don’t want the program in Maine to get too large, and dilute both the intimacy and quality of the experience.
That being said, we have received a strong base of support for such a program on the West Coast and have partnered with a camp in Southern California so we can make it happen.
Our goal for the first summer is to host 30 boys who have experienced a significant death-loss. All camp expenses are paid through fundraising by our Foundation and the week experience is entirely free of charge. Our team is partnering with a bereavement center to help with camper intake and now we are focusing on getting volunteers for the week.
Manitou Exprience in Maine is entirely volunteer run, from bunk counselors to chefs and a doctor. While the West Coast program will have paid facility staff from the camp that is hosting us, we do hope to have a strong representation from our Manitou Family. A lot of the activities, events, themes and values are the same as what we do in Maine. We are also seeking clinical professionals (LICSW) to assist with the bereavement and facilitation aspects of the week.
If you are interested in helping, we would love to hear from you – there are so many ways to get involved! Nothing beats the experience of spending a life changing week with these children and sharing in the magic that happens at camp.
My wife, Sara, is the executive director of the program and is the primary contact for all volunteers, referrals, thoughts and ideas. She can be reached at . Sara will be in the LA area from the 20-22nd meeting with prospective campers and volunteers.