Camp Changed My Career Path

Michael Williams (center), came to Manitou in 2014 as an animation instructor.  Last summer, he was the High Intermediate Unit Leader (12-year olds), and he is currently completing his pre-requisite experiences to become a certified school teacher.

I came to camp in 2014 after my first year in university studying animation, I had no real ambition to stay at camp for more than one summer. But I very quickly came to realize how unique and rewarding Manitou was. When I left after my first summer, I knew I had to return the next year to build on the experience.

For the next 3 summers, I would continue coming back to Manitou, building friendships I made while creating new ones. Manitou became home, and life without it seemed impossible.

After the summer of 2016, it was time for me to get a job. I got a one as a 3D designer for a small advertisement company. It became very apparent how it was not for me, it was not as lively or as rewarding as camp. So it was easy to leave and to return back to camp in 2017.

The summer of 2017 was tough, mainly because 2 days before the campers arrived my dog Ole died after a long fight with cancer. When I returned to the UK, I knew I needed to make a change because I couldn’t go back to another advertisement job. I needed to do something worthwhile, rewarding and challenging like camp.

In October I decided to go into teaching, I found working with children to be so rewarding and enjoyable at camp, so it seemed like a natural change. I spent the next few months at a work placement in a local school, and I found that my time at camp had prepared and pushed me to this obvious career choice.

Last summer I took on the responsibility of leading the High Intermediate unit. It hit me hard on how much camp has done for me over the previous five years. It has made me a better person, given me, the best memories of my life, taken me to places I could have only dreamed of going and most importantly given me a second family and home.

Camp has transformed me into a better person and given me the confidence to achieve things I never thought I could. It has helped me find a career that is incredibly rewarding and one that I enjoy.

Manitou is a place that I believed I would only be at for one or maybe two summers, but now it is a place I can’t see myself leaving!

Staff newsletter 2018 (1)


  • The use of captains can be an important and helpful aspect of any type of team experience. Thanks to Vaughn Beckwith, who coaches high school football in New Hampshire, for sharing this article about characteristics we should teach those who will be captains on our teams.
  • Did you get outside today? According to research, going outside for 30 minutes (in good weather) will boost your mood and your memory. Get out there!