A Year of Manitouring

Julia Grimmett, a third-year staff member, left Manitou last summer and has since visited 11 countries.

Last May, I graduated from Colby College–a small school about a 15-minute drive from our very own Oakland, Maine. After graduating, it was time to figure out my next direction. While I was relieved to finally have my diploma, I felt a bit lost. Having spent so much of my life in school, I wasn’t sure how to go about finding the next step. All I knew was that I wasn’t ready to be stuck at a 9-5 desk job.

Luckily for me, I had a summer of camp to look forward to. It was my second summer after being away for a year, and it was incredible being reunited with old friends and meeting so many amazing new ones. I left camp with a new perspective on life, ready to make the most of the next ten months.

Two days after leaving camp, I was boarding a plane for France, where I started a two month internship through Tufts University at their European Center in Talloires, France. During my time there, I worked to help maintain and promote the Center, facilitate events that promoted global exchange and community, and research future directions for the Center. My favorite part of the job was the morning boulangerie run, when I got paid to go to the local bakery to get fresh baguettes for the day.

After finishing my internship, I was lucky enough to see many camp friends while travelling around Europe. Some of my favorite memories from these travels included road tripping around Ireland with Mary McCrink, seeing many Manitou faces at Ainsley Richards’ birthday celebration in Wales, getting together for dinner with camp friends from several different summers in London, and traveling around Portugal and Spain with Matt Betts.

Then, after returning to the US for a few weeks, I moved to New Zealand on a Holiday Work Visa, and have been adventuring around this beautiful country ever since.  Living in New Zealand has been an incredible experience, and one that I am extremely thankful for. It has given me so many once-in-a-lifetime adventures, like swimming with the world’s most endangered dolphins (Hector’s dolphins) with Dom Buchanan, while also providing me with invaluable insight on where I would like to take my career in the future. The idea of moving here would never have occurred to me if my friends from camp hadn’t urged me to apply with them.

In total, since leaving camp last August, I have been to 11 countries and seen 11 different camp friends all over the world. It has been an incredible year filled with amazing people and places. Now, with camp coming up in just a few short months, I can’t wait to get back to one of my favorite places in the world.


  • It’s Masters week and we are sharing this note to Tiger Woods (written a couple of years ago) about his expectations and winner take all mentality.
  • Which one of these 24 Habits do you have on your daily checklist?

Consider this