McGaw YMCA Camp Echo Alumni News:
News from Nardo, the Camp Director:
Camp Echo's positive life-changing experiences occur via the strengthening connections between people, places, and ideas.
Staff members serve as great role models through their relationships with campers. The Dining Hall brings our community together to share family meals and check-in on the memory-making moments of camp life. And, at the very core of camp, we celebrate the connection between Spirit, Mind, and Body at Camp Echo.
Interestingly, Camp Echo is also about providing relief from the constantly connected technologies that dominate life when not at camp. Camp Echo's "screen-free" policy for campers is still in full effect and communication with family and friends is exclusively through handwritten letters and post cards.
In fostering positive connections, Camp Echo is continuously reviewing and updating practices to ensure the safety of all campers that engage with camp. Keep an eye out in this newsletter, and future communications, for additional information regarding how we can all support the safety of all Camp Echo campers.
Connection is also at the heart of Camp Echo's alumni engagement plan. We have created opportunities to connect that emphasize the traditional un-plugged spirit of Camp Echo while also leveraging virtual connection tools. Through in-person and remote activities, Camp Echo creates paths for all alumni to remain connected with the energy and experiences of camp.
I look forward to connecting with many of you throughout this coming camp season, deepening our relationships, and strengthening our community.
Pay the Spirit forward,
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
We invite you to get involved...
There are so many ways you can be part of the fun.
Saturday, April 9 1:00 - 2:30 PM at the McGaw YMCA.
We are holding a fruit tree grafting workshop using cuttings from the Camp Echo Apple Orchard. You can take home your project and plant it your own yard.
Click here to register
for this workshop run by our own
Camp Echo's Orchard Master. There are further details about the workshop on the registration page or you can email Chuck by clicking on his name with any questions.
Lead a Crew of High School Students at our High School Work Weekend:
Friday, April 22 - Sunday, April 24
Each spring we invite our high school participants to join us for a weekend of unskilled physical labor to help get Camp ready for the summer. Tasks include leaf raking, distributing wood chips along our nature trails, and various cleaning and sprucing tasks. We are seeking adult volunteers to serve as crew leaders for groups of 10 - 12 high school students. We will travel to camp from the McGaw Y via coach bus on Friday afternoon at 5:00 PM, we will work all day Saturday, enjoy a campfire and s'mores on Saturday night, move some canoes and sailboats out of winter storage on Sunday morning and be back at the Y by 5:00 PM Sunday afternoon.
Adult volunteers must undergo our background check so if you are interested in volunteering with our high school students, please contact
, the Camp Echo Volunteer Coordinator, by
Friday, April 8th
in order to have time to process your paperwork before the weekend.
Join us for Adult Work Weekend
Friday, April 29 - Sunday, May 1
Anyone over the age of 21 is invited to help us get ready to open Camp Echo for the summer. Tasks for Adult Work Weekend tend to be a little more skill oriented than for high school work weekend. Tasks include but are not limited to: Pier installation, painting, roofing, landscaping, cleaning, and moving all sorts of things out of winter storage. There is no transportation provided from the Y but we can help you to find a ride to camp if you do not want to drive. Most folks arrive on Friday evening, we work all day Saturday, Saturday evening we celebrate our accomplishments and on Sunday, folks are welcome to enjoy a walk around the Echo property before heading back home. Click here for a packing list and more information about the Adult Work Weekend as well as driving directions to Camp Echo. Contact Katie Trippi for more information or to reserve a bunk for the weekend.
Join us for a week as an Expert in Residence during camp this summer
June 7 - August 12, 2016
Last summer we had the opportunity to welcome several folks who lent their expertise to our camp community. Fran Morel is an avid bird watcher, he spent a few days with our Nature Area Head and the Nature Camptivity campers teaching about all birds at Echo. We had Jordan Shea, an attorney, make a presentation to our staff about risk management and the laws of liability. We had Rachel D. Goldberg teach the staff about the art of relaxation and reiki.
This summer we would like to expand and formalize our Expert in Residence Program. Anyone over the age of 21 is invited to complete an application to serve as an Expert in Residence at Camp Echo this summer. We encourage you to complete an application if you are interested in spending a week at Camp Echo during the summer to share your talent and expertise with the Camp Echo community.
Applicants will be expected to detail their plan for sharing/teaching/leading their activity with campers and/or staff in writing as part of the application process.
Examples of possible Expert in Residence offerings could include:
Offering a 5 day special camptivity for campers
Offering classes/lectures/presentations for staff during their time off
Working on a project to benefit camp
On Camp housing and meals for the Expert in residence will be included. No other compensation is included. Cost of materials may be covered, at the discretion of the Camp Echo Executive Director. At this time we are not able to accommodate additional family members or pets during the Expert in Residence period.
Experts in Residence will undergo a criminal background check and complete our volunteer packet of paperwork.
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
in advance of attending, though last-minute arrivals are always welcome!
When: Thursday, March 17
1516 Oak St
Evanston, IL 60201
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Topic: Meet the Camp Echo Full Time Staff
(we have some additions)
Future Dates and Venues:
Thursday, April 21, 2016
1209 N. Wells
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
Topic: Main Camp Innovations
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Topic: Teens and Leadership at Echo
Camp Echo is Bringing Back our Music Camptivity
It has been a few years since we have offered music as a camptivity option for our Main Camp campers. We have staff who are excited about teaching music to kids, we have a few instruments, Bill Geiger donated a guitar before he left for North Carolina, Bruce Carmichael was kind enough to restring it for us. We have a sound system and CD player. We have temperature controlled storage for all of it over the winter so now we are reaching out to see if you might have an instrument that we could add to our collection. We are looking for more guitars, keyboards, drums, sheet music, and anything else you might be willing to donate to camp for this endeavor. Please contact Katie Trippi to arrange for a pick up, or you may drop your donation off with the Front Desk at the Y. Be sure to tell them it is for Camp Echo.
Here is a wish list of other items you might have laying around:
Twin Sheets (fitted and top sheets)
Books for our cabin libraries (especially books recommended for middle school boys)
If you would like to donate any of these items or if you have something that you think we might be able to use, please click on Katie's name above and let us know.