That being said, the skills that are not taught routinely in a traditional school setting are now recognized as the most critical in providing a bright future for today’s youth. These skills - communication, collaboration, creativity, grit and empathy - are taught, and practiced, for fifteen hours a day, every day, at camp.
Manitou prides itself on its ability to cultivate social and character skills such as enthusiasm, creativity, critical thinking, work ethic, communication, cooperation, empathy and acceptance.
In many ways, summer camp is a non-stop intensive course in valuable life skills. Living in a cabin with others fosters communication, empathy and collaboration as well as independence and self-reliance. Healthy competition, especially College League and Color War, help develop teamwork, creativity, enthusiasm, perseverance as well as core values such as honor, integrity and respect.
Manitou prides itself on hiring and retaining the highest quality staff who effectively model desired behaviors and traits to our campers.
A few weeks spent in a well organized summer camp may be of more value educationally than a whole year of formal school work.
Charles Eliot, 21st President of Harvard
What do leading global companies like Apple, Intel, LEGO, Microsoft, Pearson, Walt Disney and Verizon, have in common?
They all believe the most important skills needed to be successful in the increasingly fast-paced, competitive global economy are…
With the exception of written communication, Camp, and it’s community living environment, is the ideal place to develop these skills. The top two, both interpersonal skills, are best developed through face-to-face contact, in a technology-free environment like Manitou.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills comprised of leaders in education and innovation, have conducted several studies to understand how to prepare our youth to be better community members and valuable employees.
Our goal, like all parents, is to help children maximize their potential and develop their best selves. After a summer at Manitou, our campers re-enter their home environment with a sense of confidence that they are better prepared to handle challenges that come their way. While the workforce is years away for most, developing the skills that are needed to be successful when the “real world” presents itself should be ongoing. I think we would all agree, these skills are important for a lot more than the just the workforce.
The best part about camp, is that developing these important skills happens naturally, and our campers don’t even realize it. They are too busy having fun!
A session at Manitou gives campers plenty of opportunity to play sports, to try, to win, and not win. Through big intra-camp events like College League and Color War, 50% or more of our campers are not in first place.
Campers remain with their team through the duration of the event, and their experience is about something much greater than winning and losing - the journey. Such healthy competition promotes the values of sports that are so important: teamwork, sportsmanship, collaboration, communication, determination, never giving up, passion, support of others, and being part of something bigger than oneself.
In addition to participating as a player, campers take on special roles that help their teams in other ways, ensuring that each camper not only participates in gameplay, but also in other facets of their team.
Campers can also participate in inter-camp competition and can receive outstanding instruction in any of the team and individual sports Manitou offers.
Overall, Manitou’s sports program offerings benefits our campers in many ways: increased confidence, specific skill improvement, a better understanding of the sport, increased motivation for participation, increased teammate support and accountability.
The great value of sport is that it teaches us to recognize the difference between winning and striving for excellence, the better but much harder achievement. More important, sports teaches us how to handle failure, to get up and try again when we lose.
Bob Schieffer, CBS News & Bestselling Author
Every member of Manitou family is incredibly fortunate to be afforded such a unique and special summer experience. We believe its crucial to raise their awareness and appreciation of their own good fortune, reinforcing the value and importance of contributing to their communities.
While this spirit permeates virtually every facet of Camp Manitou, there is no better example than Experience Camps for Grieving Children, a free one week camp that provides bereavement support to children who have suffered a significant death loss. Experience Camps are funded in large part through the generosity of the Manitou family. 100% of the counselor staff for the program are volunteers, many who are current and former campers and staff. Many of our campers have actively raised funds and provided support for Experience Camps.
Camp activities and events such as Manitou Experience Day actively promote this program and reinforce the importance of giving back. The common cause of Experience Camps for Grieving Children has truly bonded our community and made Manitou a better place.
Experience Camps are funded in large part through the generosity of the Manitou family.
Camp Manitou supports many of the efforts our campers and counselors are involved with during the off-season. We are proud of Manitou Nation’s collective efforts to make the world a better place.
Other Manitou Initiatives:
The assumption for campers in high school is that they’re faced with the tough decision of spending the summer at home strengthening their college apps through internships and coursework or having a carefree summer at camp. With college admissions being tougher than ever, the pressure to resume build continues to grow. Manitou developed a program that targets these campers and provides opportunities for them to become leaders in action — a learning environment that is unmatched. Beginning with the thirteen and fourteen year olds, our goal is to lay the foundation for dedicated campers to become involved, passionate community members who possess the skill-set to be leaders both in and out of camp, and on their journey into adulthood.
Forty percent of Manitou’s staff are former campers. These counselors have a passion for camp, for Manitou, and the value it has played in their own growth into adulthood. They understand what it is like to be a first-year camper, what it is like to be homesick, and how meaningful a role model a counselor can be.
The foundation for transitioning into counselorhood starts with our CIT and Junior Counselor program. CITs are campers who have completed the 10th grade. To learn more, speak with a director.
Our campers travel into the heart of Maine each summer to develop and grow; we feel it is important to give back to the local communities. Manitou Leadership Program participants volunteer at Pine Tree Camp — Pine Tree Camp is an innovative barrier-free summer camp offering fully accessible recreation to Maine children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Manitou campers have designed a schedule that includes mentorship, buddy time, and activities such as sports, music/drama, nature, arts & crafts, and a BBQ lunch. The Leadership Program is proud to offer this experience to our campers, and our campers are excited to bring a bit of Manitou Magic to some very special Maine campers.)
Program participants will be certified in CPR at camp and participate in a Leadership Workshop designed around Michael Brandwein’s youth leadership model. More certification and education opportunities are in the works for our older campers and young staff.
The Manitou Leadership Program is continuing to evolve to include more off-season opportunities, participation in Manitou Service Day, and greater reach for summer events. Manitou is very proud of our past participants and feels confident they have taken home real-world skills and experience in leadership and project management. Our boys should not have to decide between an internship and camp but rather be given the skills and experience to be successful.