How long is the bus ride? What will I have for breakfast? Is the lake warm? How will I keep in touch with my camper?…
The list of questions for campers and parents experiencing the wonders of summer camp for the first time, or for the millionth, can be lengthy. Throughout the FAQ section of our website, we try to address the most common questions that we receive on a regular basis. Do not hesitate to contact the Camp Echo staff directly if you aren’t able to easily find the answers to your questions!
Session 6 only occurs once every 5 years or so, based on the cyclical nature of the Evanston school calendar. In 2013, Evanston and most other schools go a week later in June. Camp begins a week later, and there is no room for a 6th session. Keep an eye out for Session 6 in 2017!
What is Family Camp miniWeek?
With schools getting out later than usual, there is not time in August for two full-week Family Camp sessions. In 2012, we shortened both weeks from 7 days to 6 days. In response to the demand for a return to the 7 day session, we have moved Week 1 of Family back to 7 days. By offering the miniWeek in place of Week 2, we are offering greater variety in programs and pricing to accommodate as many families as possible!
Why is Sailing Camp only a one week add-on?
For the last two years, Sailing Camp has been a two week add-on for sailing enthusiasts. However, the program has been shortened to one week to offer more campers the opportunity to experience this great program and to improve the overall program quality. This new schedule also allows Sailors to enjoy a week of “regular” morning camptivities, allowing them to experience more of what Camp Echo has to offer. Sailors may be able to participate in two weeks of Sailing Camp, but will have to wait until they are at camp to decide if they would like to do so.
Why do TYCers no longer move mid-session?
Historically, TYCers would spend half of their one week session living at Outpost and half living in a Village cabin. In 2013, we have decided to give TYCers the opportunity to experience their full session in one location. By offering two distinct programs, TYC – Outpost and TYC – Village, TYCers can register for their preferred housing location. Just like previous years, the entire TYC group will still spend a majority of their time together during the day, regardless of where they live.
Why, after 25 years, has the Trailblazers trip changed?
Sadly, the area that had always been visited by our Trailblazers program, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was devastated by wildfires in the May 2012. This forced us to completely re-develop the trip itinerary in advance of our 2012 groups that went out in June and July. With the help of our network of great alumni trip guides, we were able to develop an incredible new trip that is perfect introductory wilderness experience in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The Summer 2012 Trailblazers trips were a resounding success and the same itinerary will be used for Summer 2013.
Register for Echo Extravaganza NOW!
For the last two years, Echo Extravaganza has been an exciting addition to the Camp Echo schedule – giving campers the opportunity to visit Echo for one more taste of summer before we close up camp for the fall. For the first time, we are offering two weekends of Extravaganza and opening the registration at the same time as all of our summer programming! To register for Extravaganza, campers must also be registered for a program during Summer 2013.
The temperature ranges from 60-70 degrees at night to about 80 degrees and higher in the afternoon and early evening. We have had some periods of hot weather in recent years, during which the Health Officer keeps an eye on the programs and counselors are instructed to make sure campers get plenty of water and rest. Rain alone doesn’t slow down camp activities, with outdoor activities remaining outdoors. During thunderstorms, activities are relocated indoors, using the Dining Hall, Social Lodge, and other indoor areas.
Can parents visit camp? What about visits during camp?
Yes, you can visit the camp any time between May 6th and June 14th. Phone first so we know to expect you. We don’t have visitors days during the camp sessions. Visitors days are stressful for the campers being visited because they are reminded of home, and visitors days are especially stressful for campers who don’t get a visit. Visits are allowed during the layovers between sessions. If you drop your camper off by car, or pick your camper up, you are welcome to tour the camp. There is a form to fill out in the Parent Information Packet (posted on our website in late March or early April) if you want to visit during a layover, drop off your child, or pick up your child.
Does Camp Echo teach Christianity or have Bible study?
No. As a YMCA camp, Echo subscribes to what some would call a “Judeo-Christian” value system. The diverse population that we serve comes from a variety of religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. We emphasize the core values that the YMCA of the USA has adopted — Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility — what some might call “human values.”
Does Camp Echo value diversity?
At Camp Echo, we want to create and maintain an environment where everyone is respected and included. One of the YMCA’s four core values is respect. Respect means we treat others as we would like to be treated, and as they in fact want to be treated. Respect means we value ourselves, and others, including those who are different. We value diversity because diversity is inclusive, not exclusive.
Camp Echo’s success is linked to the unique contribution of the many individuals that make up the camp community, representing the various dimensions of diversity. A diverse community fosters cooperation and innovation, creating a better experience; that’s what keeps campers coming back to camp, filling camp year after year — everyone wins!
Several reasons. Some people prefer a break between school and camp. The lake gets warmer as the summer goes on. The Fourth of July is a family holiday for some folks. For these and probably other reasons, sessions 2 and 4 are the most popular, and we end up with waiting lists. We have found that offering a lower price for certain sessions helps us balance our enrollment through the summer.
Why does the Ranchers option add so much to the camp fee?
The extra fee for Ranchers covers the rental of the extra horses used by the Ranchers. Comparatively, the additional amount charged for Ranchers is less than the cost of the equivalent — three sets of horseback riding lessons — three lessons a day for a week.
Do members of a YMCA other McGaw pay member rates?
Yes! We welcome members of any YMCA! However, unless you are a returning camper or sibling you must wait until the third, non-member registration period.
How do you set the fees for Camp Echo?
Our fees are set to cover all direct costs at camp as well as allocated costs from the McGaw YMCA. In addition, Camp Echo’s net positive variance helps support other mission-driven McGaw YMCA programs that operate with a subsidy or provide a community service.
Overnight camp everywhere requires a significant personal investment, but Camp Echo offers a phenomenal experience at a great value. And our campers’ parents agree! 100% of parents that responded to our survey for Summer 2011 either agreed or strongly agreed with the following statement: “I believe the Camp Echo experience is a good value for the money”.
No. Some of the most popular programs in some of the most popular sessions may fill with returning campers. But there will be plenty of spots at Camp Echo, in various sessions and programs, for new campers. We encourage you to start coming to Camp Echo as an entering 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader, then come back year after year as a returning camper!
Does joining the McGaw YMCA provide an advantage?
Yes. New campers who are members of the McGaw YMCA may register for Camp Echo two weeks before non-members and members of other YMCAs. A McGaw YMCA youth or family membership provides year-round benefits, too! If you are signing up for two or more sessions of Camp Echo, the Camp Echo fee discounts will probably more than offset the cost of a youth membership.
Can I join the McGaw YMCA when I register for Camp Echo?
Yes. If you are willing to pay the annual membership fee, you can check a box on the Camp Echo Youth Registration Form to join the McGaw YMCA. If you prefer a monthly bankdraft plan, you must set that up in person at the McGaw YMCA before you mail in or drop off your camp registration.
Does Camp Echo have online registration?
Unfortunately, no. We are not currently able to take online registrations.