Remember the times we've had here, Remember when you're away. Remember the friends you've made here, and don't forget to come back someday.

Camp Echo Alumni News: September 2016
There are so many ways for you to reconnect with Camp Echo. We are excited to keep you informed of all the great things that are happening.
A Word from our Camp Director, Bernard Rocca

Summer 2016 Highlights
It happened again. Summer disappeared faster than we could possibly comprehend. The end of summer is a bittersweet time, as we sadly watch the last of our summer campers depart and reflect on the incredible impact of the summer. Without a doubt, Summer 2016 gave us much to be grateful!
Campers attended a total of 1556 sessions of camp over the course of the summer. Main Camp continues to provide foundational experiences to the largest number of campers.They enjoyed many of our traditional camp activities while also making the most of several program upgrades such as a larger stand-up paddleboard fleet, an extensive array of musical instruments for music activities, and a brand new, donor-funded ski boat.
Camp Echo's Adventure Trip program is growing, with 183 campers participating in 23 trips. These included many of our long-standing trips, a return of our trip to Isle Royale, and exploring new areas such as the Lake Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota. To support the program's growth, we built yurts in the Trip Center area for staff housing and equipment storage sheds. The new structures and energy of trips passing through camp created an exciting "Base Camp" environment all summer long.
Living and learning within a diverse group of people is one of the greatest opportunities for impact camp can have. Continued outreach efforts in the Evanston community made Summer 2016 the most racially diverse summer yet, with 27% of campers identifying as non-white. Though we know there is more work to be done, both with making camp accessible to all and ensuring that the camp experience is inclusive to all, we take pride in the progress we have made.
None of the impact above would be possible without the hard work and commitment of Camp Echo's passionate and dedicated staff. Both our year-round and seasonal staff teams stepped up to challenges and turned them into amazing life-changing opportunities. A huge THANK YOU goes out to that team.
Stay tuned for more exciting developments in the coming months, as Camp Echo prepares to amplify our impact for Summer 2017!
Spirit - Mind - Body,
Bernard "Nardo" Rocca

Bernard T. Rocca IV
Executive Branch Director
McGaw YMCA Camp Echo
847-475-7400 x263


Left to right: Molly Baron Baars, Larry Petrillo, Bob Tarkington and Jimi O'Neill gather around the fireplace in the dining hall after work on Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bob Tarkington returned to Echo for Spring Work Weekend 2016

Tark had not been back to Camp since the late 70's and joined us for spring work weekend. He is living in Atlanta and is recently retired from Coca Cola. Bob helped out on the moving crew as we unpacked all our winter storage and prepared for campers to arrive. 

You can join us for our Fall Adult Work Weekend: Friday, September 30, Saturday, October 1, and Sunday, October 2.
For more information about our work weekends click here.
If you would like to RSVP to attend this fall please click on RSVP and complete a short survey to help us plan for the weekend. You must be 21 years of age or older to attend our adult work weekends. 

Meet our Volunteer of the Year 2016,
Brian Becharas

The magnitude of Brian's contribution to the McGaw YMCA and Camp Echo is spectacular in quantity and quality. For decades (yes, decades), Brian has been a volunteer leader, serving camp with the most sincere passion for preserving the magic that changes campers' lives summer after summer. From cooking Friday night dinners for volunteers to advising on camp's long-term facility enhancements, Brian has been a thoughtful and generous volunteer.
As for the numbers? Over the past 35 years Brian has volunteered 1,786 hours for Camp Echo. Brian has been an active volunteer for Camp Echo since 1981 and has attended nearly every Spring and Fall Work Weekend. Brian has served as a member of the Camp Echo Committee since 1986. In supporting both of these important volunteer pathways, he has been instrumental in the recruitment and retention of additional volunteers. Adding further responsibility, Brian often leads groups of 10 - 12 adults in the installation of our program area piers in the spring and then their removal and storage in the fall. Thus, a majority of Brian's volunteer hours have been spent in the frigid waters of Long/Ryerson Lake.
We are so grateful for Brian's lengthy and impactful service to Camp Echo!
Camp Echo cultivates strong Community Partnerships.

Thanks to the great work of our Youth Outreach Specialist, Jesse Chatz, Camp Echo has cultivated and nurtured many partnerships among other youth serving organizations in Evanston to help us identify and serve kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend Camp Echo. 
Our partnership organizations include:


Thanks to these awesome collaborations more than 100 campers, 
4 families, and 2 staff members attended Camp Echo this summer. 
More Summer Highlights:
Buddy Benches built by Voyagers

Each summer our Voyager Village program (for entering 9th graders) designs their own community service projects to be completed while they are at camp. Projects in the past have included volunteering for a local animal shelter, working with the local Habitat for Humanity organization, hosting car washes and beautifying various areas of camp. This summer they recognized a need for buddy benches to be built and located as well as staffed during free times, all around the peninsula. The first buddy bench was located near the waterfront so that anyone who needed a buddy to go swimming could sit on the bench and wait for another person who needed a buddy. Additional benches were located near the Trading Post, 4 square courts, and Dining Hall, creating a space for campers to hang out together and play games or make friendship bracelets during fun swim and twilight fun when everyone is looking to make a new friend. These benches and the impact they had on campers made Camp Echo a better place this summer. Thanks Voyagers!

Camp Echo Dates for 2017

Camp Echo registration for returning campers and their siblings will open on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.
Dates and rates for all programs will be posted on our website in early November.

2017 Camp Echo staff application will be posted on the Camp Echo Website at 9:00 am on Monday, November 7th.
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, October 13
Where:   Temperance Brewing Company
   2000 Dempster St
   Evanston, IL 60202
 
Time:     7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Topic: Meet the Echo Staff
 
Future Dates and Venues:
 
Thursday, November 17
Indoor Campfire at the McGaw YMCA in Evanston
1000 Grove St, Evanston 7:00 PM
Bring the whole family, you don't have to be 21 to attend this one. Join us for an evening of songs and skits. 

Topic: Classic Echo Campfire

Thursday, December 29
All time Camp Echo Holiday Reunion
Prairie Moon Restaurant in Evanston
7:00 PM - 11 PM
Help us organize reunions with your friends before hand and we will all come together later in the evening at Prairie Moon. Contact Katie Trippi if you are interested.

Thursday, January 19, 2017
Topic: Ensuring the future of Camp Echo
Location: Temperance Brewing Co in Evanston

Thursday, February 16
Topic: Teen Leadership Programs at Echo
Location: Bluestone Restaurant in Evanston

Thursday, March 16
Topic: Family Camp
Location: Smylie Brothers in Evanston

Thursday, April 20
Topic: Teen Adventure Trips
Location: Tommy Nevins in Evanston
Alumni News for September, 2016  

Nate Baumgart
Stuart Cannon and Tanya Summers
Linda Heiberger Hemwall
Kitt Healy
Laura Jaffe
Abner J. Mikva
Carolyn R. Morby
Diego Para-Duque

Katie Tucker Trippi| McGaw YMCA Camp Echo | 847-475-7400 x 226 | katiet@mcgawymca.org | www.mcgawymca.org/campecho
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