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Why Manitou?

By Jon Deren
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Originally a fishing camp, the Marcus family opened Camp Manitou as a residential boys summer camp in June of 1947.

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Beginning as campers & staff, and now as owners and directors, Dave Schiff and I have been returning to Manitou since 1987.

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Manitou maintains a 1:2.5 staff to camper ratio to ensure each child has a memorable camp experience

A Community of Respect

At Manitou, counselors know campers’ names, younger campers interact regularly with older campers, and all members of the camp community respect one another.

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A Day in the Life

of a Manitou Boy
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Flag Raising

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First Elective

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Second Elective

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Third Elective

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Rest Period

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Afternoon Game

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Open Waterfront

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Wash Up for Dinner

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Flag Lowering

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Dinner & Dessert

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Choice Activity

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Evening Activity

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Milk & Cookies

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After Dark

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Diverse Camp Program

Athletic and creative diversity, an amazing waterfront and big off-campus trip program distinguishes the Manitou program. With a choice of more than 40 teaching programs, every camper finds an area in which he will experience success and develop a passion for more.

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Manitou promotes team building through inter-camp competition, the College League and the Color War tournament. For boys who prefer individual activities, Manitou offers a variety of individual programs for instruction, discovery and fun. Each camper, once accustomed to our program selection, chooses his own activities to pursue each week. With the privilege of choice, boys learn to make decisions and understand the value of responsibility in a comfortable and supportive environment.


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Through team building in sports, cabin activities, trips and personal growth in individual activities, campers gain confidence and awareness. We train our staff to promote our core values by ensuring that the camper challenges himself and learns to succeed in many situations.

Learning to Lead

40% of Manitou’s counselors are former campers!

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Residential camping provides an ideal framework for leadership development.

Camp Manitou has long been providing its oldest campers a comprehensive Counselors-in-Training program that prepares them for counselor positions. The curriculum is custom-tailored for each age-group, from 14-year olds all the way up to full counselors.

Campers learn the many aspects of leadership, with practical application so they can be a benefit to themselves and their community. Those who successfully complete the program receive a certificate and letter of recommendation reflecting their leadership education and performance over the summer.

The Cabin Experience- Your Summer Family

Camp Manitou strives to provide a transformative experience for each and every camper, and a lot of our efforts focus on facilitating an amazing cabin experience. A camper’s closest relationships will be formed in their cabin. It is our goal to assemble cabins that will be together for years. Before becoming directors, Dave and I spent six years as bunkmates!

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Boys step out of the cabin and into the action of camp.

At Camp Manitou, we recognize that one of the most significant factors in your son’s camp experience will be his cabin life.

More than just the cabin facility itself, Manitou cabins are organized and planned according to the grade and age group of kids that will be housed there. We also group new campers with other new campers who are doing the same session.

Our goal is to always be proactive, making sure there is sufficient staff coverage to oversee the campers at all times. The camper to staff ratio for boys under the age of 11 is 2.5:1 and 3:1 for boys 11 and older.

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The cabin layout is designed to feel like home. Each camper has his own drawers and personal space and every cabin is equipped with bathrooms and private showers. Each has a table or area rug to foster a sense of community - a place where campers can get together for games, conversations, birthday cake, and milk and cookies before bed.

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We spend a lot of time getting to know each camper and ask questions to help us place them in a bunk they will thrive in. To help with a first year camper’s adjustment to camp, we place all new campers together.

Jon Deren, Owner

A Lifetime Investment

During their summers at Manitou, campers develop self-identity, confidence, leadership, and self-respect.

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The Core 4

This set of values defines everything we do at Camp Manitou.

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Sending your son to a quality summer camp is an investment in his growth. Camp provides children with a community of caring adults who collectively stand for a shared set of principles and hold each other to high ethical standards. Manitou leaders embody teamwork, sportsmanship, an appreciation of nature, integrity, friendliness, courage, passion, and ultimately, love.

Manitou’s impact will last a lifetime. Your son will develop athletic and creative skills he never thought possible. He will forge friendships that endure.