Many of you might know I am a proud member of the Saint Joseph School Cornet Chehwan Scouts Group. The 450-strong 45-year-old group is one of Lebanon’s most prominent and most active volunteer organizations. Each year, Clan and Caravelles SJS organize a charitable project that touches hundreds of lives from across Lebanon. This year’s project is the 5th edition of the Colonie summer camp for severely underprivileged children.
The colonie brings together over 100 children from all across the country. The children welcomed to the 15-day summer camp often experience indoor plumbing and other luxuries you and me take for granted, for the first time with the clan and caravelles members. This heart-wrenching experience though, has several major goals and benefits. At the top of that list is making sure the kids have as much fun as humanly possible. Two, ensure they’re exposed to as much wholesome activities and programs as possible. And three, transform the volunteers working with the children, ultimately putting life in perspective
Scouts though, is of course a non-profit volunteer organization. And a massive project like the Colonie needs plenty of financial and logistical support. One amazing way of fundraising is through the Manitou restaurant. The scouts-run restaurant has been serving food for decades now and many of its volunteers are now food and beverage magnates. Most prominent of which is of course Chef Anthony Maalouf, CEO of the Casper and Gambini’s empire. Roadster Diner, Deek Duke and Shtrumpf also comprise ex-Manitou staff in their executive positions.
The Manitou is run by the Clan and Caravelles, who take turns doing shifts daily from 5:30 PM till Midnight all throughout the summer. The meals available include a selection of burgers, sandwiches and pizzas. The prices are also very affordable, with the signature Manitou Burger (beef patty, ham, cheese) costing only 5000LBP. Apart from the insanely cheap prices, the atmosphere is far from what most of us are used to. Smoking, arguilehs, and alcohol are forbidden. Cursing and ill-mannered behavior is heavily frowned-upon. That, together with the fun-loving, volunteering spirit creates a wholesome, family atmosphere that you wouldn’t expect to find in a restaurant.
Here, I would like to take the chance to thank the Cornet Chehwan municipality for generously offering the Manitou’s current venue, which relocated back from Rabieh’s Botanical Garden, to its original venue at the center of Cornet Chehwan. The new venue offers a wider menu, larger capacity and loads of amenities and of course a BABYFOOT table (Fussball).
Le Manitou also organizes theme nights, such as Karaoke Night and Family Night, keeping things interesting and fun whilst you don’t go broke, but help fund the 2011 Colonie. So, I invite you all to come visit the Manitou and challenge us to a Babyfoot match! Follow Le Manitou on Facebook to stay up to date with special events and new additions to the menu. And if you would like to know more about the 2011 Colonie, make sure you like our page and find out how you can help.
Vedict: A wholesome, unadulterated restaurant for a good cause
Price: 10000-12000 LBP should be more than enough for dinner for two with coke
Atmosphere: Upbeat, livened up by theme nights and the fussball table
Music: On theme nights
Staff: Scouts! They do it out of love =)
Location: Cornet Chehwan, 7 minutes from Antelias highway.