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McGaw YMCA Camp Echo Alumni News, November 2012

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In This Issue
Greetings from Koffi
Thank You, Rob Johnston
Bye Bye KYBO North
Annual Alumni Reunion
Echo Website
Alumni Activities
Assistant Property Manager Job Opening
Alumni Notes
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Greetings from Camp Echo!

I am Koffi Kpachavi and it is my pleasure to reintroduce myself as the new Executive Director of McGaw YMCA Camp Echo. You are receiving this email because we believe that you have a soft place in your heart for Camp Echo. If you wish to unsubscribe to our quarterly electronic alumni news please scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the unsubscribe button.
Summer 2012 was another wonderful, record-breaking, season at Camp Echo. It was record-breaking in that we served the greatest number of campers and families in our long history. We were helped by a quirk of the calendar that enabled us to run an extra one week session of Main Camp and our Family Camp registration is at an all time high. We served 1254 campers filling 1441 camper spots, with the difference accounting for campers that attend multiple sessions over the course of the summer.
My impressions of Echo after my first summer includes admiration for a talented and well trained staff who deliver an excellent program and keep our campers safe and happy. The facilities and natural beauty of the Echo property are a great resource and contribute to our legacy and continued success. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our 196 volunteers who put in 4545.5 hours helping us open, close, and operate Camp Echo. I look forward to many years of service to this awesome organization.
Live the Spirit,
Koffi and Rob install freshly painted Echo emblem on the raft
Thank you, Rob Johnston, for 30+ Years of Service
On Saturday, September 29th we honored Rob Johnston for his many years of service as Camp Echo Caretaker by naming the new nature center after him. 130 of Rob's nearest and dearest friends from all over the country joined us for our closing work weekend and an evening of tribute to this great man. 
In honor of Rob's retirement as Camp Echo Facility Director, the McGaw YMCA Board of Directors issued the following proclaimation:
McGaw YMCA Board Approves KYBO North Project

A dream becomes a reality after the McGaw YMCA Board of Directors voted to approve the building of a new bathroom facility at Camp Echo.


After several years of planning and design meetings with architects and contractors, the Camp Echo community came up with a bathroom design that would replace the current aging and overcapacity bathroom facilities known as Kybo North.

After two years of raising funds, it seemed the effort had reached a plateau. In a historic move, the YMCA board stepped in to see this major project to completion. On Tuesday, October 2 the McGaw YMCA board voted unanimously in support of building a new Kybo at camp. In approving this project, the board also made a substantial allocation of funds to complete the project.

Features of the new Kybo:

16 toilets, heated bathrooms, 20 showers, a covered porch, and much more. (The old Kybo had 8 toilets and 8 showers)

The 4-Pod configuration will allow us flexibility in gender assignment, based on the number of males and females we are serving from one session to the next.

This new bathroom will also allow us to meet our current and future expansion needs, based on our Master Plan. It will also make camp more friendly and sanitary for our many campers, staff, and families.

We would like to thank all our donors, and supporters for their generous gifts.

Work has already begun at camp as of October 17, 2012. Completion date is scheduled for March 1st, 2013. If you would like to be a part of this great project or fund future facility needs at camp, we could use your help. Make your donation online or mail your donation to the Camp Echo Capital Building Fund, McGaw YMCA, 1000 Grove St, Evanston, IL 60201. Attention Katie Trippi.

Watch the progress of construction of the new Kybo North on our website. Updates will occur regularly.

Plan to join us this spring for the dedication of our beautiful new facility and the "Official First Flush".

Conceptual Rendering of the New Kybo North


Say Goodbye to this KYBO North
The now demolished outside of KYBO North

The now demolished inside of KYBO North


All Time Alumni Reunion - December 28, 2012
Save The Date:
Our annual holiday get together is planned for
Friday, December 28, 2012 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 cannot attend the reunion, we hope you will consider making a holiday gift to the "Send a Kid to Camp Fund". If you have attended Echo for 10 years or more, we would like to give you a special commemorative gift. You can pick yours up at the reunion, or contact Katie Trippi and she will arrange to get it to you.

We have had great success in years past of convening small cocktail and dinner parties of alumni from various eras. 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. 
Campers and Staff of Camp Echo 1935

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 Brian McGinn for information.
  • Help out in the Echo Office at the McGaw YMCA during the non-summer months. We can always use volunteer help! 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:

Come for a Visit:


You are always welcome to visit and take a tour of camp. This summer we will even have housing set aside for up to 4 people to spend a night or two at camp while we are in session. 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 winter months, please call Brian McGinn. During the summer months, call Katie Trippi to let us know when you plan to arrive so that we can plan accordingly.



Echo Year-Round Job Opening -

Assistant Property Manager

Have you always wanted to live and work at Echo year round? This may be the job for you! 

We are currently seeking applicants for the position of Camp Echo Assistant Property Manager. Application, resume and cover letters are due to Koffi Kpachavi, 1000 Grove St., Evanston, IL 60201 by Friday, December 14, 2012. Check out the job listing on the McGaw YMCA Website.


Alumni News & Notes
Bob Ettinger (Camper 80's and 90's, Staff 90's and 00's) and his wife, Ailene have their first baby, Roger Kalil Ettinger born on September 23, 2012. The Ettingers are living in Seattle, WA. 
Bob and Brother Dan with Baby Roger
Two brothers (Bob and Dan) and a baby (Roger)
Shanna Gordon (Family Camper 80's, Camper and Staff 90's) and her husband Obe Kumbirai Bvute welcomed their first child, Theo Bvute on January 16, 2012. Shanna, Obe and Theo live in Chicago.
Theo Gordon Bvute
Gus Granchalek (Camper 90's, Staff 90's and 00's) married Kristen McCullough (staff 2010) on September 14, 2012. The couple is living in Chicago.
Gus Granchalek and Kristen McCullough
Mindie Kniss (Camper and staff in the 90's) married Sean Stephenson on September 14, 2012. The couple lives in Phoenix.
Mindie Kniss and Sean Stephenson
Luke Larmee (Camper and Staff 90's) and his wife, Yoomi An gave birth to Charlotte "Lotte" Mijin Larmee on March 18, 2012.
Luke and Lotte Larmee
Sara Lipton-Carey (Camper 90's, Staff 90's and 00's) married Johnny Burhop (Camper 90's) on Labor Day Weekend, 2012. Sara and Johnny make their home in San Francisco.
Sara Lipton-Carey and Johnny Burhop
Christy Lombardi Powell (Camper 90's Staff 00's) and her husband J.J. Powell welcomed their first child, Wyatt Anthony Powell on October 29, 2012. Wyatt and his family live in Denver.
Wyatt Anthony Powell
Marc Morris (Camper 80's Staff 90's) married Joanna Beames in December of 2011. They are living in Japan for the next several years. Alumni news submitted by Marc's Mom, Carole Morris (Camper 50's Staff 60's)
Jacki Pochopien (Staff Kid, Camper 90's) gave birth to a baby boy, Tavari King Williams on November 2nd, 2012. Jacki lives in Oklahoma. He is the 1st grandchild for Helene Pochopien (Health Officer 90's, 00's)
Helene, Jacki and Tevari
Alissa Pywell (camper 90's, Staff 90's and 00's) married Greg Hollmann on October 13, 2012. The couple resides in Southern Illinois.  
Alissa and Greg Hollmann
Beth Iams Wellman (Camper and Staff 90's) and her husband David welcomed their first child, Edward Iams Wellman (Teddy) on October 13, 2012. The Wellmans live in New York City.
Beth and Teddy Wellman
We'd love to hear from you! 
Send us your Camp Echo Stories and Memories.


Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons,


Live the Spirit,


Katie Tucker Trippi


Alumni and Development Director

1000 Grove Street,

Evanston, IL 60201

847-475-7400 x 226