Information on this page might be affected due to changes resulting from COVID-19. Please visit our dedicated COVID-19 Updates page to see what changes have been made to the following.
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 throughout the summer and will vary depending on your campers’ session. Earlier in the summer we can see temperatures as low as mid-30s, especially at night. In the middle of the summer we have had some periods of extreme heat. During these periods are counselors are instructed to make sure campers get plenty of water, wear sunscreen and protective sun gear, and promote programs in the shade. 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. 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 throughout the summer. Please indicate this on the transportation form on your CampInTouch account. We also encourage you to consider Family Camp 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 for other campers who don’t get a visit.
Does Camp Echo value diversity? At Camp Echo, we do our best to create and maintain an environment where everyone is respected and included. 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.
Do AWAY members (members of YMCA other than McGaw) recieve member rates? Yes! If a camper is a member at any YMCA, they will receive discounted member pricing
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!
Does joining the McGaw YMCA provide an advantage? Yes. During our initial registration phase applications are randomly processed in the following order: returning families, McGaw members, and non-members. 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? 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, please contact the Front Desk at 847-475-7400.
How do I share more information about my camper’s program preferences on the application? When you rank your camper’s preferences you can add comments below to let us know specific details about which programs and sessions you prefer. If you’d like to call to give us more information or ask any questions please feel free to call the Camp Echo office, 847-475-7400×259 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is CampInTouch? CampInTouch is the camp management software for Camp Echo where you can register, and after enrollment where you can access camper forms, add-ons, financial information, photos, camper e-mails, and more!
What can I do if I forgot my CampInTouch password? If you have forgotten your password for CampInTouch account please click “Retrieve/Set Password” on the log in screen. If your account is locked out, please contact our office at email@example.com or 847-475-7400 x259.
If I’m a new camper, can I setup a CampInTouch account? Great question! Only returning campers have existing CampInTouch accounts. New campers will set up their CampInTouch account as part of the registration process.
Why is my email address not recognized on CampInTouch? All returning parents have CampInTouch accounts in order to register their campers. If you are parent of a returning camper and your email address is not recognized when you attempt to log into CampInTouch, this means we have a different email on file. If this is the case, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-475-7400.
Why does Echo need a photo of my camper? We strongly encourage you to upload a photo of your camper for our staff to know your children by face before meeting them. Your camper maybe have been to camp for several years but may have counselors that are new to Echo or may not know your camper.
How do I pay the application deposit by cash or check? Deposits are due at the time of registration. If you selected to pay by cash or check, please submit this payment to the Echo office at the McGaw YMCA.
Will I be charged for the full amount listed at the end of my application? The amount listed on the “Payment Information” page is reflective of ALL of the programs you’ve listed as a preference on the application. You will not necessarily be enrolled in each of those programs and will not be required to pay for programs for which you are not enrolled. At the time of registration you will only be charged the deposit for programs you’ve been enrolled in and the $50 wait-list deposit for programs you are wait-listed for. If you selected the “Pay in Full” option, you will be charged the full fee for programs you’ve been enrolled in as well as the wait-list deposit for any programs you’ve been wait-listed for.
What are the payment options? There are three different payment options. You can Pay-As-You go, pay monthly installments or pay in full. Check out a full description of our payment options here. All payments for all sessions are due by May 1.
I’ve been placed on a waitlist, when will I find out if a spot opens up for my camper? If a spots opens up in a program you’re wait-listed for, camp staff will contact you to give you an opportunity to accept enroll your camper. You will have 24 hours to confirm the enrollment. If you do not confirm or if you decline the spot, you will forfeit both your spot in the program and the deposit.
I am on a waitlist for a program that I no longer want to be enrolled in, what can I do? You can remove yourself from a waitlist at any time. In order to remove yourself from the list, please call the Echo Office, 847-475-7400×259. You will receive a refund for the waitlist deposit that was paid at time of enrollment or you can choose to have that deposit applied to your final balance.
What is the backpack rental option? Backpack rentals are included in the Mini-Blazers and Trailblazers program at no additional cost. For other backpacking Adventure Trips (Superior, Porcupine Mountains, Rockies, Isle Royale, and Cascades) you can opt to rent a backpack for an additional fee of $25.
What is included in the Camp Echo Starter Kit? The Starter Kit includes a waterbottle, a sticker, 2 postcards, and a T-shirt. The deadline to order a Starter Kit is May 1. Please note that all items in the Starter Kit are also available for purchase in the Trading Post at Echo.
When is layover offered? Layover is offered between sessions 1&2, 2&3, 4&5, and 5&6. We are not offering layover between sessions 3&4.
What are specialty camps? Specialty camps are offered the second week of a two-week session to 7th-9th graders in Traditional Camp programs (Navigators or Explorers). They are an opportunity for older campers to develop stronger skills in a specific program area or activity by spending the whole morning in a specific area for a whole week (instead of regular camptivities).
The fee for participating in a Specialty Camp is included for Explorers and we strongly encourage all Explorers to sign up.
7th and 8th graders who are Navigators can also sign up for a Specialty Camp at additional cost.
Campers are limited to participation in one Specialty Camp per session.
Please note: Voyagers are not able to participate in Specialty Camps; however, they can sign up for Ranch Camp.
Can my teen camper sign up for Horseback Riding or Ranch Camp?
Explorers and Voyagers can sign up for Horseback Riding or Ranch Camp.
Voyagers only participate in one week of camptivities, so they can only sign up for one of these options.
Explorers do two weeks of camptivities, so they can sign up for Horseback Riding and Ranch Camp (or another Specialty Camp).
When will the forms be available to fill out online? Forms will be live in February on your CampInTouch under ‘Forms and Documents.’
How do I fill out the Bunkmate request? The bunkmate request will be a form within your CampInTouch account, available on February 1.
What if I am sharing a cabin at Family Camp? Only the primary family needs to complete the registration form. On the form, you can also indicate if other families will be staying in your cabin so that they can establish their own online accounts. Please note: the primary registered family is responsible for the minimum cabin fee and communicating any roster changes with the Echo staff.
Campers and parents will be required to review and sign the Code of Conduct before attending camp. Campers will review the Code of Conduct again once they arrive to camp. Please note that the Code of Conduct is applicable from the moment campers arrive at McGaw YMCA for bus departure. This form covers all our expectations, but a few are outlined below:
Bedtime: Getting enough rest is essential for staying healthy at camp. Bedtime ranges depending on age and program. A counselor will always remain in the cabin to ensure the safety of campers. Campers will remain in their cabins for the night (except for individual trips to the bathroom).
Theft: Campers will be responsible for the contents of their personal luggage/bags. If campers are concerned about missing items, they should notify their counselor immediately.
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs: Camp Echo is a drug-free environment. Campers who possess, consume, or are under the influence of any banned items, such as: alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, vaping products, illegal drugs, prescription or non-prescription drugs, or related paraphernalia will be isolated immediately. Parents will be contacted, and the camper may be sent home.