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The Manitou community is always making positive contributions to the world around them and our recent Service Weekend gives us a chance to highlight some of their latest accomplishments.

In early September, Elon University junior Taylor Zisholtz and a friend created a fundraising campaign to support a beloved community member and her family.The duo’s efforts made national news as they raised over $10,000 in a drive that brought spirit and positive attention to their campus. Taylor is a current tennis instructor and sophomore counselor at Manitou. Check out what happened when she was invited to the Ellen Show:

Each August, Manitou hosts the Experience Camps for Grieving Children and five of our CITs were among the volunteers. Alex Freeman, Mathew Gelman, Jack Meiselman, Mitch Rothstein and Jordan Yaffe were members of the 2nd class of VIT (Volunteers in Training). As VITs, the boys were responsible for organizing activities, teaching instructionals, officiating College League games and producing the famous final “Banquet”. Led by alum Jon Wells, the VIT program has established itself as an indispensable aspect of the Experience Camp program and we are excited for next year’s CITs to have the opportunity to volunteer.

2015 ManEx VITs

Prior to participating in the VIT program, CIT Mitch Rothstein was able to host a magic camp in partnership with the the Ronald McDonald House of Camden, New Jersey. During “Magic Mitchell’s Kids Camp,” children were taught a variety of tricks and Mitch encouraged them to develop their own forms of magic. The Philadelphia Fox News visited the camp and produced a story about Mitch’s accomplishments.

Most recently, Manitou Nation came together in cities across the US for a weekend of impactful and engaging service events. In New York, campers and parents partnered with New York City Cares and Concrete Safaris to revitalize a garden project in East Harlem. Our volunteers worked together preparing beds for seeding, shoveling topsoil and raking leaves. In Westport, campers and parents volunteered at the Westport Animal Control Association where they worked to make improvements to the dog play area. Our Boca families, led by campers Ethan, Jake, Adam Knowles, met at the Spanish River park where they spent an afternoon cleaning the local beach.

Service Weekend wasn’t limited to labor as Camper Specialist Stephen (Big Bird) and counselor Brandon Alloy led 5k teams in Washington, DC and Philadelphia. Stephen’s team’s run benefitted the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation and Brandon’s team raised money for the Spina Bifida Foundation of the Delaware Valley.

Camp Manitou is passionate that our campers can have incredibly eventful summers while we instill a sense of service and community purpose at the same time. This summer our High Seniors and CITs spent 4 weeks creating a fire pit sanctuary from the ground up at a local special needs camp. Read more about this project here.

We are so proud of the efforts Manitou Nation has dedicated to their communities. If your son or family would like to contribute this fall, please visit our DoSomething.org page for more ideas on giving back. If you’re involved in service at home, please share photos and news with us!

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