As many Camp Echo Lake families dealt with yet another winter storm this past weekend, our Head Staff was busy planning for the summer of 2015 (only 136 days away!). Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to the 2015 Head Staff, who bring a wealth of experience and an unmatched depth of passion to Echo Lake. One of the main reasons that we are able to raise the bar of excellence with our entire staff is because of our Head Staff, many of whom are returning for another summer of leadership.
In this, our 70th summer, our Head Staff brings nearly 300 summers of experience to the table. It’s safe to say that the 18 members of our Head Staff (including five year-round staff) all bleed green and gold!
Next week on The Trail, we will introduce you to the Summer of 2015 Head Counselors and the LIT Director, and the following week, we will introduce you to the Program staff.
This week, our five year-round staff members share their thoughts on what makes Camp Echo Lake such a special place…
TONY STEIN (Director)
“At Echo Lake, kids and staff alike can both truly thrive and feel a HUGE sense of self. We strive to partner with parents to help them develop their children into wonderful young people, willing and able to contribute to the world in which we live.”
LAURIE RINKE (Director)
“Camp Echo Lake helps each camper and staff member feel valued and important as they build life skills, form connections with others and become and important part of our overall community. We help each camper and staff member set higher expectations for themselves by teaching them the importance of self-respect and respect for others.”
BRENDA LEVINE (Senior Village Director)
“Morry and Amy Stein used to say…‘when the campers leave they are 10-feet tall.’ The words may have changed, but the sentiment remains with Tony and Laurie leading the way. You arrive at camp as either a camper or a staff member, and you are given the opportunity to grow. I have had the blessed opportunity to grow as a person through the years, most notably in my first summer, when I realized that this sort of like-minded community existed. One of the things that I love about Echo Lake, is the magical way that you learn without realizing that you are learning because you are having so much fun!”
JOHN “JP” PEZZOLLA (Operations Director)
“What really stands out for me are the values and expectations that we place on both the campers and the staff. This is something that I talk about with each potential staff member before hiring them. From day one, they are going to be looked up to as role models, so they must be prepared to take on that responsibility.
Campers and staff both gain a lot from their Echo Lake experience. They get to focus on relationship building, and learn how to show respect to others while living in close quarters. This environment truly brings out the best in people.
I’m always amazed at how we bring people in from all over the world, and with a week of being with us, they are totally invested in our culture and our campers.”
MATT “JACKO” JACOWITZ (Program Director)
“Campers get to learn new things, and expand their horizons by leaving their comfort zones to take chances in a safe haven. I am always amazed when I see a child stand on stage in front of 750 people singing a song, even if he or she is not a particularly good singer.
Ultimately, camp is about the relationships that are formed. Even though we are only together for 51 days each year as a community, the relationships that are formed here are strong, and stand the test of time. Echo Lake is the ideal setting for skills development in an incredibly fun environment.”
Click here to read the full bios of each of the five year-round Head Staff members.