McGaw YMCA Camp Echo Alumni News, November 2011
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In This Issue
Mr. Grierson
Annual Alumni Reunion
Echo Online
Alumni Activities
Summer 2011 Highlights
Capital Projects at Camp
Alumni Notes
Quick Links:


Greetings from Camp Echo!


This email is going out to over 2,100 alumni of Camp Echo for whom we have current email addresses. We are constantly finding and adding alumni to our database so for those of you who are receiving this newsletter for the first time Welcome!! 


If you would like to catch up on previous issues of the Alumni News you will find them in the newsletter archives on the Camp Echo Website.


If you would like to unsubscribe you can simply click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this newsletter.


If you know of Camp Echo alums who did not receive this newsletter and would like to, please send their name and email address to Katie Trippi, Camp Echo's Alumni and Development Director. We would love to have your current mailing address as well.


Many of you are listed in our database at the mailing address you had when you attended camp.  If you would like to update your contact information it is easy to do. Simply fill out the Alumni Update Form.


 Camp Echo... where adventure awaits.

A Note From Rob Grierson, Camp Director

As you may have heard, Camp Director, Rob Grierson will be leaving Camp Echo at the end of March. Between now and then the McGaw YMCA will be conducting a search which will include internal as well as external candidates. If you have questions about the search please contact Monique Parsons, Chief Operating Officer, McGaw YMCA.

Below is a note from Rob:

"It's bittersweet to be leaving Camp Echo behind and moving on to new challenges and adventures. I'm proud of a lot of things I've accomplished at Echo, but I'm the most proud of the folks that work year-round making it happen. Over the past ten years we've institutionalized a lot of great 'systems' that will help to ensure that Camp Echo continues to offer great fun and generate great memories, all while managing the risks associated with an outdoor summer camp. At Camp Echo, we've always held onto the best parts of the past while adding fresh ideas and new approaches.


The 'powers that be' at the Y will be working hard this winter to find leadership for Echo that can continue all the great things, into 2012, and beyond, without skipping a beat: We're raising over $150,000 a year to support scholarships; we've made spectacular progress with diversity and inclusion; we've gone through ACA accreditation three times over nine years; we've raised over a million dollars in capital, endowment, and planned gifts; and we operate the 'finest camp I know, without a doubt.'


I'll be moving back (again!) from the ranks of 'Camp Echo Staff' to the ranks of 'Camp Echo Alumni' but I will remain a strong, ongoing supporter of Echo's mission and goals. Please join me in doing the same!"


All Time Alumni Reunion, December 28, 2011
Save The Date:
Our annual holiday get together is planned for
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Prairie Moon Restaurant
1502 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL
You must be 21 to attend
Again this year we are using this event to raise money for the "Send a Kid to Camp Fund" which provides scholarships for 12 campers each summer identified for us by the Ted Fund of Evanston. A $20 donation at the door is suggested. 
Even if you can not attend the reunion, you can donate to "Send a Kid to Camp" via PayPal. (you do not need a paypal account to donate, just a credit card.)

We have had great success in years past of convening small cocktail and dinner parties of alumni from each era so that folks who were at camp at the same time get together earlier in the evening at someone's home or a local bar or restaurant. Then we all come together at Prairie Moon to rekindle camp memories, laugh and recount stories. If you would be interested in hosting or convening your camp friends at an era party please contact Katie Trippi. 
Type caption text here.

Janet Tramel Eads, Chuck Carrington, Patti Carrington and Bill Tramel share memories of Camp Echo at last year's reunion. 

The Camp Echo Website Has it All!
Visit our website to view up-to-date information about all that Camp Echo has to offer.
Echo Alumni Activities
There are many ways for you as an alum to reconnect with the Camp Echo Spirit!
  • Join us at a work weekend in the spring and fall to open and close camp. Contact Rob Johnston for information.
  • Help out in the Echo Office at the McGaw YMCA during the off season. There is always something we need help with. Contact Katie Trippi for information.
  • Serve on the Echo Spirit Team at bus departures and arrivals at the McGaw YMCA. Contact Bernard Rocca for information. 
  • Volunteer to be a member of the Camp Echo staff during Family Camp and/or Main Camp . Contact Meredith Stevens for details.
Sign up for Camp:
  • Send your kids and/or friends kids to Camp Echo.
  • Sign up for Family Camp.

Come for a Visit:


You are always welcome to visit and take a tour of camp. At first glance Camp Echo looks very much the same as it did when you were here last, but we would love the chance to show you all that is new and improved as well as give you a peek at our plans for the future. During the off season, please call or email Rob Johnston. During the summer months, call or email Katie Trippi to let us know when you plan to arrive so that we can plan accordingly.


Travel with Echo Alums:


Many camps offer trips for their alums, some go hiking and canoeing, some travel around the world. We would like to gauge the interest of our alums in this type of activity. Please contact Katie Trippi if you are interested in hearing more about traveling with Echo Alums.



Recap of our 2011 Summer
We had a record breaking, really great, summer. The stories of our program's excellence and impact are reflected in the comments we receive from campers and their parents in the surveys we send out after camp.
"The people I met there will surely be some of my best friends forever." 
- 2011 Camp Echo Camper
"The Georgian Bay Sea Kyak trip introduced my daughter to the almost completely unfamiliar world of camping and wilderness activities. Somehow, her trip leaders instilled in her the confidence that she could handle it all, no problem."
- 2011 Camp Echo Parent
"Family Camp give us opportunities to converse and spend quality time with each other. Activities open the door to expressing praise, encouragement, and feelings; and discussing hopes, fears, goals and ideas.
- 2011 Camp Echo Family Camper 

Below are some of the statistics behind these stories
Summer enrollment was 1358 camper spots filled, up 6.4% from last year. The number of individual campers served was 1233 - up from 1165 last year, and the most ever in Echo's history.
Adventure Trip participation increased to 115 from 105, 99, and 86 in recent years. Enrollment of campers entering 9th-12th grade increased to 343 up from 310, 280, and 267 in recent years.
Campers of color (including multi-racial) represented 21% of all Echo campers. 183 or 14.8% of all 2011 campers received scholarships. While economic diversity does not guarantee an increase in racial and ethnic diversity, our intentional increase in schlarship funding has helped increase this aspect of diversity in our camper population.
198 individuals (the most in Echo's history) donated 5,272 hours of volunteer service to Camp Echo during FY11 at meetings, bus arrivals and departures, work weekends and during camp sessions. Volunteers have donated 40,211 hours to Echo over the past 10 years; valued at$20/hour this represents more than $800,000.
FY11 annual giving to Camp Echo from foundatons, parents, alumni, and friends totaled $148,997; again the most in Echo's history.
Projects At Camp
If all of the stars align we might be breaking ground for our new KYBO North. If it does not happen this year, it will happen next fall. This new bath house will replace the old one and is designed to serve 180 campers and staff  whereas the current KYBO North, built in the 70's to serve 40 staff, then expanded in the 80's to serve 60 campers and staff, is currently serving over 100 campers and staff when camp is full.
We are still looking for a few more major donors to complete the fundraising for this project. Our goal is to have these buildings up and running to serve even more Camp Echo campers in the summer of 2012 (2013 at the latest). Please contact Katie Trippi for more information.

This is an architect's rendering of a concept for the new KYBO. 
The actual KYBO, while drawing on many of these initial ideas will look different (credit: Len Koroski).

Alumni Notes
_Camp Echo Logo 
Charlie Gubman (Camper and Staff in the 90's and 2000's) will receive his MBA degree from DePaul University, Chicago, IL in December 2011.
Anders Holm (Camper and Staff in the 90's) has created and is staring in the Comedy Central's newest scripted television series "Workaholics" The show is broadcast at 9:30 pm CST on Wednesdays. Rumor has it that Comedy Central has already picked it up for a second season.
Kate Jones and Evan Howell (both Echo Campers and Staff in the 90's and 2000's) married on September 10th, 2011 in a beautiful ceremony on the shores of Lake Michigan in Saugatuck. Many of their Echo friends and family were in attendance.
Husband & Wife
Kate Jones and Evan Howell 9/10/11

Erin Karson (Camper in the 90's) wrote: "I love Camp Echo and wish I had a job that allowed me summers off so I could still be involved in camp life! I still have many friendships from Echo that are going on 10 plus years. Because of Echo, I learned who I was as an adolescent and gained confidence and maturity that have carried me throughout my early adult life."
Jon Kypers (camper and staff 1980's) is currently serving as the director of YMCA Camp Abnaki for Boys in New Hampshire. He and his extended family stopped in to visit Camp Echo for an afternoon in August during family camp.
Echo Alum, Jon Samuels (staff 1990's) and his wife Kathy welcomed their first born, a son, Noah Samuels in August.

Amanda Sullivan Sorg (staff 2000's) sent the following note:
"July 19, 2011 my husband and I gave birth (or rather I did all the work while he tried to stay on his feet) to a healthy baby boy. After 15 hours of labor and one wonderful epidural Maximillian (Max) Sorg was born coming in at 22 1/2 inches long and 9lbs. 1oz.  Five weeks later I was more than ready to get back to work as a junior high social studies teacher. After baby talk for five weeks even a conversation with a 14 year old was something to look forward to. He is a great baby and we are all doing well."
Max Sorg

Charles "Chuck" Taylor (Camper 1945 - 1947) wrote: "Seems to me I attended every year when I was young. My mother was a teacher at Willard School in North Evanston and she had to go back to school every summer for continuing education units. I do know that I was always lucky enough to go to Camp Echo for the 7 week term. I also remember going from minnow to flying fish to shark and getting to go on overnight canoe trips on the Manistee River. Great memories. I still remember the Camp Echo Song and the other great songs we sang during our meals. I also remember our camp director was Cliff Maxwell."


Jim Wall (Camper 1941 - 1943) wrote: "I am sorry to say the few photos my Mother had of me at Camp Echo were lost along the way. I do remember one of me raking the dirt/grass taken in front of what was then Cabin 6 and another of me and my cabin mates in front of what was then Cabin 12. Both summers I spent at Camp Echo I stayed a month, had cabin mates who were 90% from Evanston, guys I palled around with. I also remember the counselor sleeping in our cabin on a single bed; the rest of us on double-deckers. All very fond memories."
We'd love to hear from you! 
Send us your Camp Echo Stories and Memories.


Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons,


Remember the Spirit,


Katie Tucker Trippi


Alumni and Development Director

1000 Grove Street,

Evanston, IL 60201

847-475-7400 x 226