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!
Historically, Session 6 has come along every 5 years – once in a camper lifetime! Camp Echo last offered a Session 6 in 2012. However, the Evanston school calendar, which provides a starting point for the Camp Echo calendar, has shifted in such a way that we are excited to offer Session 6 in 2014!
Is Bunk1 really free in 2014?!?!?
Yes! And no. Access to the summer photo galleries, where we post daily photos of what is happening around camp, will no longer require an additional fee. We are very excited to eliminate this additional fee for families and hope that all families will take advantage of the opportunity to see what happens at camp. However, communicating with campers via the BunkNote system will still have an additional fee, the amount of which will depend on how many you decide to send. Visit our Communication page to learn more.
What are the Family Trips?
The Family Trips are a great opportunity for families to spend time together in some of Michigan’s beautiful natural settings, being led on an adventure by Camp Echo’s wonderful Adventure Trip Guides. Similar to Camp Echo’s summer Adventure Trips, families will first venture to Camp Echo’s Fremont, MI site to get acquainted with the other participants and guides, pack out gear, and practice a few skills. The Adventure Trips are open to participants of all ages, as long as they are able to handle the physical requirements of the trip. Trips will have up to 12 participants.
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 2014.
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 5th and June 13th. 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, we end up with waiting lists in certain sessions and programs. 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! 99% of parents that responded to our survey for Summer 2013 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.