Macsai-Goren Family, Gwen & Paul, Kip, Mo & Ruby
For Gwen, Camp Echo is a familiar place. Ever since she was 11 years old, she heard talk about Camp Echo throughout her childhood here. “I knew about Camp Echo just from growing up here,” says Gwen. “But I had never been to camp, so Camp Echo was always kind of a mystery to me.” When Gwen’s husband, Paul, suggested that their family should go to a summer family camp together, Gwen suggested they try the “famous Camp Echo” she had heard so much about growing up in Evanston. Gwen says, “so we went that first year, about 8 or 9 years ago, and of course we never left.”
For the Macsai-Goren Family, going to Family Camp at Echo was more than just a vacation to get away from the city. It was a time to bond with each other and other families. Echo was a place where they grew and discovered new things they never would have tried before. Gwen recalls, “Family camp not only offered us the relaxation, the friends, and the tradition, but Echo opened up whole new worlds to my kids.”
Quickly, Echo has become part of the Macsai-Goren family tradition. Gwen notes, “it’s great also to watch your kids fall in love with something, to want to go back and be able to create a tradition. Family life is nothing if it’s not traditions that your kids look forward to that becomes part of your memory bank forever.”
If it weren’t for Camp Echo, there are many things the family wouldn’t have tried otherwise. “That’s the way it is – you find things you enjoy doing, and you come home from camp and want to try things. My son played viola for years when that would have never happened if he didn’t go to camp, and my other son saw him and wanted to start playing the cello. It really brought music into the house,” recalls Gwen.
It’s not the physical beauty of camping that draws in the Macsai-Goren family. Gwen says, “To be totally honest, I don’t think it’s the most beautiful camp I’ve ever seen. There are no mountains, or oceans, or purple waves of grain… but the spirit of the place is really what brings us back.” The people and tradition at Camp Echo are the heart of the spirit of camp that draws the Macsai-Goren family back year after year.