McGaw YMCA Camp Echo Alumni News: 
February, 2016
News from Nardo, the Camp Director:

As this newsletter is landing in your inbox, it is very likely that Camp Echo's annual appeal is also landing in your real-life mailbox. The annual appeal is Camp Echo's a time to reflect on the good fortune that we have all had to build a meaningful connection with, and possibly have our lives altered for the better by, Camp Echo.

Camp Echo is malleable to so many different needs, giving each of us purpose and direction when we least expect it. The impacts include recreational passions, lifelong relationships, core values, community, self-growth, parenting philosophies, and professional direction - one to which I can speak personally.

The youth of our communities are facing more challenges and complexities each year. Yet camp is a constant. Camp will continue to be a constant. As you reflect on your personal good fortune to have found camp and have camp in your life, consider how you can contribute to the experiences of our next generations of campers. Further, consider how you can contribute to the youth who aren't yet campers and want to be. Our generous donors make it possible for us to reach campers more and more campers who wouldn't otherwise attend Camp Echo.

If you have read this far, into the fourth paragraph of a monthly newsletter about camp, you clearly care. I challenge every individual that reads this letter to make a pledge to support Camp Echo this year. It could be a pledge to give your time or it could be to give financially.

We all have something to give and every gift counts.

Pay the Spirit forward,

Bernard "Nardo" Rocca
Camp Echo Branch Executive Director  

PS If you have not received a physical copy of Camp Echo's annual appeal and would like a copy, please contact   Katie Trippi. 

Camp Echo Changes Lives...

Camp Echo has played such a significant role in shaping the lives of so many campers and staff members over the years. Sometimes it is hard to describe just exactly what that impact has been. This video was created by Sarah Franke, our camp videographer last summer, who was tasked with the challenge of using video to define how exactly Camp Echo changes lives. Let us know what you think. We are collecting stories of impact for use with our stakeholders (campers, parents, alumni, donors, etc.) If you have a story to share or you would like to express your personal experience or the experience of someone close to you, please contact Katie Trippi, Camp Echo Alumni/Development Director.
Camp Echo Annual Campaign Goal: $280,500.00

The annual fund mailing should be in your mailbox later this week. We hope you will consider making a gift to Camp Echo to help us increase the number of children who can attend Camp Echo this summer with the help of scholarship. Our annual fund is also used to keep camp affordable for all families by helping to offset the growing cost of staffing, food, program equipment, facility upkeep, and other operating costs.  

Your contribution will strengthen Echo and ensure that we will continue to nurture campers, foster values, and develop leaders for tomorrow.

Click Here to make a donation on line, or contact Katie Trippi to make a donation over the phone or by mail. Please let Katie know if you do not receive a mailing from us in the next week or so. 
Thank You Notes from Campers and Staff

Anyone who donates $100 or more to the Camp Echo Annual Fund will receive a hand written thank you note from a Camp Echo camper or staff member. Each summer we engage campers in an afternoon of learning about the history of Camp Echo and the people who have given their time and treasure to ensure the existence of this most favorite place. We point out plans for our capital improvements and give campers a chance to dream about what camp will be for future generations. At the end of our tour we ask everyone to write a thank you letter to folks like you who care enough about Camp Echo to make a donation. These letters are filled with heart felt love for camp and favorite activities and counselors. Some even include drawings.  You will also receive our traditional gift acknowledgement letter to be used for tax purposes, but we bet you'll keep your letter from a camper somewhere close by to remind you of Echo. 
Join us at our monthly Alumni Gatherings 

Join us on the third Thursday of each month for an Echo networking event designed to engage and connect our alums. We have added specific topics for each evening in hopes of engaging more of you in your areas of interest. You must be 21 years old to attend. Location will change each month, but event will always begin at 7:00 pm.

Please RSVP to  Katie Trippi in advance of attending, though last-minute arrivals are always welcome!

When:   Thursday, February 18

Where:   Home Run Inn
   3215 N. Sheffield Ave
   Chicago, IL 60657

Time:     7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Topic:    Camp Echo's Master Plan
What is next for Echo?

Future Dates and Venues:

Thursday, March 17, 2016
Smylie Brothers Brewery, Evanston 60201
Topic: Meet Camp Echo's full time staff (we have some additions!)

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Happy Camper
1209 N. Wells
Chicago, IL 
Topic: Adventure Tripping Program

Thursday, May 19, 2016
Prairie Moon, Evanston
Topic: Family Camp Program

Thursday, June 16, 2016
Campfire at the Fire Pit at Light House Beach
You do not have to be 21 to attend this one. Bring your whole family!!
Topic: Classic Echo Campfire

Thursday, July 21, 2016
F.E.W. Spirits
Topic: Main Camp Innovations

Thursday, August 18, 2016
Peckish Pig
Evanston/Rogers Park
Topic: Teens and Leadership at Echo
Staff Spotlight

N atalee, Scott, Isaac, and Robin Tyink
We are very excited to share that Scott Tyink has been promoted to Property Manager, Camp Echo.
Since April 1, 2013, Scott has served as the Assistant Property Manager at Camp Echo. During that time he has worked hard to learn about the Camp Echo and the McGaw Y in order to best support our mission and goals through the continued improvement and support of the Camp Echo property. In addition to tackling the short-term tasks required to keep our programs functioning well, Scott has displayed an eye for the long-term enhancement of the Camp Echo property while ensuring the safety of everyone that enjoys Camp Echo. Additionally, Scott has shown great leadership in the absence of an appointed Property Manager during the last two months. Over this time, he has worked tirelessly to ensure that all projects and preparations for Summer 2016 stay on track.
As Property Manager, Scott will ensure that the Camp Echo property is supporting all of our campers and staff during the summer, while overseeing improvements and enhancements on a year-round basis. Scott lives on-site in Fremont, MI year-round with his wife, Robin, and their two children, Natalee and Isaac, and makes the trip down to Evanston for occasion meetings and development opportunities. Scott also serves as a liaison for the McGaw Y and Camp Echo to the local Newaygo County community.

Gavin Jon Watson

We are also excited to share that Gavin Watson is re-joining the McGaw YMCA staff on a full-time basis as Operations Manager, Camp Echo.
You might recognize Gavin's name (and face) because he worked for Camp Echo as an Operations Intern during calendar year 2015. Prior to 2015, Gavin worked for Camp Echo as Operations Coordinator during Summer 2014 and as Camp Photographer during Summers 2011, 2012, and 2013. In addition to his wealth of operational experience at Camp Echo, Gavin has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Media Studies from Bath Spa University in Bath, England. Gavin met his wife, Stacey Christman Watson at Camp Echo and the two were wed this past September.
As Operations Manager, Gavin will provide oversight and support to many of Camp Echo's essential logistics during the fall/winter/spring in Evanston and during the summer at Camp Echo. While in Evanston, a portion of Gavin's time is also allocated to supporting the McGaw Y Marketing Department on various projects that align with his skills.
We are thrilled to have Gavin in this full-time role and excited about how he will work to deepen the community impact of Camp Echo and the McGaw YMCA. Please congratulate him; we are fortunate to have him on our team!

Alumni News for February 2016

Bill and Beth Geiger: Staff 60s, 70s, 80s, Family Campers 80s, 90s, Volunteers 00s, 10s

Chad Limones: Staff 00s
Jamie Deutch Noll: Camper 90s, Staff 00s, Family Camper 10s

Christie Pollock: Camper 60s, Staff 60s & 70s

We'd love to hear from you! Send us your Camp Echo stories, 
Memories and News.

May the Echo Spirit be with you always,

Katie Tucker Trippi
Alumni & Development Director, Camp Echo
1000 Grove St. Evanston, IL 60201
(p) 847-475-740  847-475-7400 x226 (f) 847.475.1764
The Y: We're for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.