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!
Camp Echo uses an online registration platform called CampInTouch. In addition to registration, this platform will be where parents will complete camper forms, send online communications in the summer, and view photos of camp throughout the summer. Learn more by watching this video below:
What is the weather like at camp?
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, if you are interested in seeing camp before your camper attends, you can call us to schedule a visit between May 19 and June 9. Please be sure to call first so we know to expect you. You can also tour camp if you drop your camper off or pick them up from camp by car as well as during our layovers between sessions. Please indicate this on the transportation form on your CampInTouch account if you plan to visit during a layover, drop your camper off at camp, or pick them up from camp. We also encourage you to consider attending Family Camp together if you want to experience camp for yourself! We do not allow parent or family visitors during the camp session. Visits can be stressful for campers because they are reminded of home, and are especially stressful for other campers who don’t get a visit.
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!
The extra fee for Ranch Camp covers the rental of the extra horses used by the campers in this program. Comparatively, the additional amount charged for Ranch Camp is less than the cost of the equivalent — three sets of horseback riding lessons — three lessons a day for a week.
What is this $50 dollar trading post fee?
At the time of registration a $50 charge will be added to the amount due for all Main Camp and On-Site Teen programs. This charge goes towards your camper’s Trading Post Account. Adding it separately to the total program cost allows us to do a few things. First it makes it part of the overall program fee which allows us to apply fee assistance to trading post allowing every kid that comes to camp the chance to get a sweatshirt or have some snacks, regardless of where they are coming from. It, being a separate charge, also allows for the amount to be adjusted in the spring when filling out your camper forms. If you would like your child’s TP account to have more in it you may add it then and if you would like to forgo the charge you can give us a call to remove it. Please also note that at the end of the session any balance in your campers TP account over $20 will be automatically refunded and any balance less than $20 will be donated to camp.
Do members of a YMCA other than McGaw pay member discounted fees?
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 phase.
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! 98% of parents that responded to our survey for Summer 2016 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?
Unfortunately, no. You must already have an active membership at the time of registration in order to receive the discounted member rate. The membership application is separate from the Camp Echo application. If you are interested in becoming a member and paying the associated membership fee, please contact the Front Desk at 847-475-7400
The camper Code of Conduct form, required to be signed by campers and parents before attending camp, covers many of the expectations, but a few more specifics are outlined below:
General Behavior in transit to/from Camp Echo
Camp Echo staff members monitor camper behavior on the bus and in camp vans. Specific rules will be announced prior to each trip. Appropriate behavior is necessary for the safety of everyone on board; misbehavior distracts the drivers.
General Behavior at Camp Echo and on Adventure Trips
The Camp Echo Staff will review the Code of Conduct with all campers on the first day. Appropriate behavior is necessary for everyone to have a safe and enjoyable experience at camp. Among other things, “bullying” of any form will not be tolerated and will be dealt with quickly and seriously.
Getting enough rest is essential for staying healthy at camp. After the “Taps Talk” it’s time to go to sleep. One of the two cabin counselors will remain in the cabin at all times to ensure the health and safety of campers. Campers will remain in their cabins for the night (except for individual trips to the bathroom). Late night group excursions out of the cabin are allowed only in extraordinary circumstances and only with the approval of the Program Director.
Theft will not be tolerated. Turn in any lost items that you find to a staff member so they can be returned to their owner.
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs
Camp Echo is a drug-free environment. Campers who possess, consume, or are under the influence of any illegal drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or are in possession of drug paraphernalia will be isolated immediately; parents will be called and the camper will be sent home. Any extra travel expenses will be billed to parents and all camp fees will be forfeited.