The formal parent packet has now been replaced by this webpage ‘Infomation for Families.’ This change is to include more information, videos and hyperlinks to other resources. Also to cut down on paper. Please read and review if you have any questions please contact the Echo office at 847-475-7400 x259
Camp Echo’s Goals
Visit our Mission & Goals webpage for more information about Camp Echo’s seven goals for campers.
Campers turn in their bus pass when they board the bus. Every camper should board the bus with his or her bag lunch in hand. Luggage need not be on the same bus as the camper. Once campers board the bus, they may not get off. Parents who wish to view the bus interior may do so between 8:00 and 8:30 am. Parents may not board the bus once campers begin boarding at 8:30 am.
Buses depart at 9:00 am sharp. Buses are air-conditioned and restroom-equipped. Camp Echo staff members serve as monitors on each bus. Campers who miss the bus must provide their own transportation to Camp Echo.
Payments for Camp
If we do not have your payment by May 1, we will contact you by e-mail. If we do not receive full payment within 24 hours, your camper will be cancelled from their enrolled program(s). Payments can be made online through your CampInTouch account.
*There is not an unlimited amount of fee assistance and it is awarded first come, first serve based on date of registration and date 1040 is received.
All forms are available on your CampInTouch account. Please contact us if you need to setup a time to come into the Echo Office to do online forms or if you need the two paper forms.
This includes information like bed wetting, ADD, or an IEP from school.
There have been times when, because we didn’t know about a particular child’s needs, we could not respond to behavior properly and the child was not able to remain at camp. The better prepared we are before camp, the better we can help your child be successful once they are here. Once you share information with us, our promise is to share it only with the people who will have direct contact with your child. This may be our directors, health officers, head counselors or your child’s cabin counselors.
We cannot stress enough the importance of sharing as much information as possible on your camper’s forms: specifically the Health and Personal History forms. We believe that working together is the best chance we have of helping your child have a safe, happy and memorable time at camp. Please call us to discuss anything in greater detail.
Session 1: Sunday, May 6
Session 2: Sunday, May 13
Session 3: Sunday, May 27
Session 4: Sunday, June 10
Session 5: Sunday, June 24
Session 6: Sunday, July 8
- Health History Form – A physical exam signed by a physician is no longer required
- Additional Health & Personal History Form
- Parent Authorization Form – Parent has to read the required authorizations, then on the front, signed and dated in two places. Copies of front and back of insurance card affixed
- Code of Conduct – All participants and their parent in all programs must sign this form
- Waiver of Liability Form
- Transportation form – Please select bus, pickup or layover
Some teen programs and adventure trip programs may have multiple groups in the same session, so we encourage parents to complete a bunk request form for these programs as well.
Verify cabin requests with other participants involved to be sure they are filling out the form with matching information.
Click here to log into your CampInTouch account to view the bunk request form.
Main Camp Schedule
8:15 Flag Raising
8:40 Morning Reflections and Waiter’s Call
9:40 Cabin clean-up
10:00 Camptivity #1
11:05 Camptivity #2
12:10 Camptivity #3
1:05 Waiters’ Call
2:25 Saska (Rest Hour, Mail/Email/Fax Delivery)
3:30 Service Tasks and Cabin Group Activity
5:15 Fun Swim (Non-Edible TP, Choice Time, Package Pickup)*
6:15 Waiters’ Call
7:15 Twilight Fun (Edible TP, Choice Time, Package Pickup)*
8:15 Flag Lowering
8:30 Evening Program
9:30 Taps Talk – Bed Time
10:15 All Quiet
Packing for Camp
Moosejaw, REI, and Campmor websites do not offer a discount specifically for Camp Echo, but often have merchandise that is disounted or on sale. Check the bottom of this page for local partnerships and discounts.
Remember that layering clothing helps keep you warm and cuts down on the amount of clothing needed. For example: lightweight long underwear, a loose fitting wool or fleece jacket, and rain gear will keep you warm in the mountain cold. Cotton is discouraged because it will lose almost all of its insulating value when it gets wet and will remain wet and heavy for extended periods of time.
Choose a lightweight, synthetic or down filled bag that is rated 20 degrees or lower. Types of synthetic material to look for include:Quallofil, Hollofil, Polarguard. Cotton-filled bags are too heavy and bulky (they do not pack down small enough).
Don’t underestimate the importance of staying dry! A lightweight, sturdy rain jacket and pants are best. Expensive Gore-Tex is not necessary but thin plastic does not endure the rigors of trip use. Coated nylon or rubberized coats will work well. Do not bring ponchos. Consider rain gear that is also wind proof (as stated on the tag).
A good backpack will offer many years of travel enjoyment! Be sure to have your pack adjusted to your body and try it on with weight in it. It needs to be big enough to carry your own gear as well as a portion of the group’s equipment. The pack can either be an internal or external frame – the size of the pack you should carry depends on your height and weight, but should be no larger than 5500 cubic inches. Trailblazers do not need a pack with much much more than 3500-4800 cubic inches. Female participants should consider buying a pack that is specifically designed for women.
Boots should be waterproof and fit while wearing a pair of wool socks and sock liners. They should be suitable for all terrain, while carrying a 50 lb pack. Choose high quality boots to ensure they can withstand the wear and tear of your trip. The boot you select must also offer ankle support. Also, purchasing insoles will greatly increase the comfort and cushion of your boots.
We do understand that cameras can be a distraction from activities. Staff have the ability to confiscate a camera or video device if the device is being used irresponsibility.
- Alcohol, tobacco products illegal drugs or intoxicants
- Vapes: usually battery-operated electronic device (such as an electronic cigarette)
- money, valuable jewelry, or keepsakes (or pets!)
- matches, lighters, firecrackers, sparklers, or equivalent
- bottled drinks or food (other than for bus to camp)
- guns, knives, weapons of any sort
- glass containers (aerosol cans discouraged but permitted)
- cell phones
- MP3 players with a screen (ie iPod Touch, Classic, or Nano)
- devices with Internet connectivity
- e-readers (ie iPad, Kindle, or Nook)
- wearable screens (ie Apple Watches, FitBits)
- Snapchat glasses also know as spectacles
The camper Code of Conduct form, required to be signed by campers and parents (as a paper form on your CampInTouch account) before attending camp, covers many of the expectations, but a few more specific behavior expectations are outlined on our website: general camp behavior, dining hall, bedtime, theft, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.
Communication at Camp
NOTE: Cabin lists will be posted on your Camp-In-Touch account by midnight (Eastern) on arrival day. Parents will receive the website in an email a couple of days prior to the start of the session.
Note: Access to online photo galleries is FREE. If you would like other friends or family to view photos you can add guests on your CampInTouch account.
Note: Every camper will have at least one group photo posted on CampInTouch by the third full day of the session. Participants in Villagers, Voyagers & RANGERS may also have more pictures on CampInTouch due to the location of these programs.
We do understand that cameras can be a distraction from activities. Staff have the ability to confiscate a camera or video device if the device is being used irresponsibility.
We expect all participants on the Trailblazers Trip, Minnesota Canoe Trip and Georgian Bay Sea Kayak Trip to qualify as Blue swimmers. Call the Teen and Adventure Trips Manager immediately if you anticipate a problem 847-475-7400
In case of serious illness or confinement to the clinic for more than 12 consecutive hours (or for the night), or the need seek further medical care, the Health Officer will notify parents by phone. Parents can reach the clinic directly by calling 231- 924-7072.
All medications are stored and locked in the Klein Clinic. This policy is for the safety and welfare of all participants at camp and to discourage misuse; it is also a camp licensing requirement for the state of Michigan. The signature on the front of the Health Form authorizes Camp Echo to provide emergency medical care. Alternatively, a parent or guardian may sign a Release from Health Exam, Immunization, and/or Permission to Treat and Waiver of Associated Claims, available on your CampInTouch account.
We want your child to have a successful camp experience. So if you child takes a medication to help him/her while at school and/or when interacting with others, we highly recommend that the medication should also be taken while your child is at camp. This is recommended practice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association of Camp Nurses, and the American Camp Association’s Healthy Camps initiative. In our experience, campers who continue on the same year-long health regiments in the summer are more successful while at camp.
There is poison ivy at Camp Echo. We do our best to eliminate it from areas frequented by campers, but we can’t get it all. Please note any history of significant reaction to poison ivy in the allergy section of the Health Form.
Counselors will encourage their campers to apply sunscreen prior to exposure to the sun and to re-apply sunscreen throughout the day, and to apply bug repellent and put on long pants and shirts prior to outdoor evening programs or hiking in our woods. We keep an additional supply of sunscreen and bug spray with DEET in our health clinic so that it is available for use at any time. Above all, counselors are trained and encouraged to watch out for campers who show signs of skin irritation, and to send campers to the Health Officer if they show signs of illness.
If you anticipate bed wetting will be a problem, please consider talking with your pediatrician about medication to help with this while at camp.
Medications for RANGERS, Adventurers and Adventure Trips will be held and dispensed by their leaders as per instructions. They may also administer non-prescription medications to teen campers as needed. Parents who circle CALL FOR OTC PERMISSION on the Health Form should be aware that in the wilderness context, the counselors with the group are the first line service providers and phone permission to administer non-prescription medication may simply not be possible.
- Make sure to talk about camp with your camper. These positive conversations help build excitement and positive anticipation. Start these conversations a month prior to your child attending camp. You can visit Camp Echo’s website together and watch videos. Talk about all the great things they will be able to do at camp and about all the new friends they will make. Include a quick mention about missing home. Reassure your camper that missing home is normal.
- Go shopping for camp gear, and label clothes together. Ensure that your child is present when packing so they are able to find everything while at camp.
- We suggest discussing strategies on how to cope with these feelings while at camp for example, writing letters home.
- Encourage your camper to talk with counselors or other staff if they feel sad or upset.
- If your child is not used to spending the night away from home, make sure to schedule some sleepovers with friends or relatives prior to camp. These small experiences can make a big difference for kids while adjusting to camp life.
Studies have shown that family influence is a powerful factor in whether a child will be homesick. There are some important things to avoid saying.
- Do not tell your camper how much you’ll miss him or her (even though you will) and do not tell your camper that the house will be empty without him or her (even though it will). These statements cause children to feel guilty about being away and having fun while you are at home miserable without them.
- This can be very difficult, but avoid crying when sending your child off on the bus. This will be their last memory of you and we want it to be a positive smiling face.
- Most importantly, DO NOT tell your camper that you will come to camp and take them home if they are not happy. Many parents tell their campers this with the best of intentions, but it causes huge problems while at camp. First, the statement sends the message to your campers that you don’t believe in their ability to succeed at camp. Secondly, it sets up unrealistic and low expectations about camp. These feelings often leave campers to take the easy way out if they are ever sad at camp instead of working through the issues and gaining independence.
- Finally, make sure to avoid telling camp “horror stories.” What is funny to you or an older sibling about camp memories may scare your camper.
We encourage all parents to come to an agreement with their child about how many letters you will write and how many letters he or she must write. No matter how much you may want it, it is not realistic to expect that your camper will write every day. We require that campers write home once while at camp. Writing to your camper and reconnecting with them helps to put your mind at ease, so write often. – but not too often.
Avoid mentioning that you are miserable without your camper or any sad news. It is okay to say that you miss your camper, but it is important to not make the camper feel guilty that he or she is having such a good time. It is best to save bad news until you can talk to your camper face to face. Unfortunately, there are situations in which it is necessary for your camper to be aware of an issue immediately. In these cases, we expect that you will call camp and relay that information to us. We will decide together the best way to handle the situation while at camp.
In all of these cases we ask you to consider the “two letter rule”. As we said before, if you get a letter with an issue in it, remember that your camper sent that letter days ago and that the issue is already resolved. If you get two letters expressing a concern, please call camp. Not only will this put your mind at ease, but if your camper is not expressing the problem to anyone else, your phone call will help us to provide the best care for your child and address the issue immediately.
If you have been receiving happy letters all summer and all of the sudden you receive one that isn’t sad, but just doesn’t sound quite right, by all means we encourage you to call camp. We are here to be your resource into your child’s world while he or she is at camp. Helping to put your mind at ease and ensure that you are enjoying your child’s time away without worrying is very important to us.
Food and Food Allergies
Neither peanuts nor peanut oil are used in the preparation of camp meals. Additionally, Camp Echo no longer serves peanut butter in the Dining Hall. Campers may be in proximity to peanut butter sandwiches, and other peanut products, on the bus to/from camp. Campers that are bringing any epi-pen to camp will have their epi-pen carried by staff on their bus, to ensure its availability if needed. Please let us know if proximity to peanuts could trigger a reaction, either on the bus or at camp.
Campers with food allergies and dietary needs will be assisted with managing their allergies by their counselors and kitchen staff. However, we let campers know that they are expected to also be aware of their allergies and ask an adult questions early and often if they aren’t sure what ingredients have been used in a meal. Camp is a great environment for campers to continue learning life skills to help them manage their allergies throughout their life.
Other Important Details
Note: Off-site programs follow different protocols.
NOTE: The schedule below is the schedule for our standard two-day layovers.
Friday, 11:00 AM: Camper buses depart for Evanston
Friday, 12:30 PM: Lunch
Friday, 1:30 PM: Saska
Friday, 2:30 PM: Games on the peninsula, swimming, tubing
Friday, 6:30 PM: Dinner
Friday, 7:30 PM: Hanging in the Social Lodge, games and a movie
Saturday, 10:00 AM: Breakfast
Saturday, 11:00 AM: Depart for Michigan’s Adventure
Saturday, 7:00 PM: Return from Michigan’s Adventure, enjoy pizza dinner
Saturday, 8:00 PM: Hanging in the Social Lodge, games and a movie
Sunday, 11:00 AM: Brunch (cold cereal available earlier if needed)
Sunday, 12:00 PM: Relax on peninsula, move into next session’s cabins
Sunday, 2:30 PM: Camper buses arrive from Evanston!!!
How do campers purchase items?
Parents setup a TP account prior to the start of the session with funds to cover the anticipated purchases of their camper – a good budgeting exercise to go through with campers! The TP is open most night of the session before and after dinner – edible snacks are only available after dinner. Camp Echo clothing and souvenirs are available at the Trading Post; prices range from $5 to $40.
Your initial TP deposit is made at the time of regstration of $50. We are unable to extend credit to campers that run out of funds, but if your child’s TP account runs low mid-session we will email you and explain how to add it on your CampInTouch account. (Feel free to say no; Campers will learn to budget!) Do not send money to camp.