On April 21, 2014, the Camp Echo Lake blog was officially launched.  With years of blogging experience, and a passion for camp born out of my many years as a camper, I came on board to help create the blog after being introduced to Tony Stein and Laurie Rinke through a mutual friend.
When we initially launched the blog, the goal was to not only share more insight than ever before about the Echo Lake experience, but also to create a virtual year-round community for Echo Lake families.  From profiles of staff members to feature stories and weekly recaps from the Head Counselors of each age group, we achieved our goal of sharing unique insight, but to turn the blog into the community that we envisioned, there was still work to be done.

Much of the time since camp ended in August has been spent working on the new Echo Lake website, which took time away from the blog.  Now that the new website has been launched, the focus will be shifting back towards the blog for the rest of the “off-season.” We also have some special things planned for the blog once the summer arrives.

To coincide with the improvements that we are making to the blog, we thought that a name change was in order.  Because Echo Lake families already identify so strongly with our Trail Newsletters, it made perfect sense to call the blog “The Trail” going forward.  All of the content that you have come to look forward to in the newsletters will still exist, albeit in a new and improved format which allows for more sharing and community interaction.

Like any new venture, the blog (now known as The Trail) had some hurdles to overcome to fully realize its potential.

Although I spent some time at camp last year, for the most part, my Echo Lake experience was done virtually.  However, working on the weekly recaps for the Juniors, Inters and Senior Village throughout the summer really gave me an appreciation of everything that Echo Lake has to offer, which is one of the many reasons that my children will be attending camp this coming summer.  In fact, my family is truly becoming an Echo Lake family in every sense of the word.

In addition to my children attending Echo Lake, my wife is going to be the new Cooking Head Specialist, and I will be overseeing the media team and teaching the new creative writing elective.

My plan is to take The Trail to another level this coming summer (and beyond) by involving campers in a meaningful way.  The campers enrolled in the creative writing elective will be known as “Trailblazers,” and they will have the opportunity to have their pieces featured on The Trail during the summer and throughout the rest of the year.  Although this program will officially kick off in the summer of 2015, if your child is interested in contributing to The Trail in the months leading up to camp, please feel free to e-mail me (adam@campecholake.com).

From now until camp starts, The Trail will be updated regularly with: staff profiles, answers to common parent and camper questions, an in-depth look into our programming, helpful monthly tips as we countdown to camp, alumni spotlights, articles about youth development, Echo Lake values and more!

With a renewed sense of purpose and meaningful contributions from campers, The Trail will allow us to create the year-round community for past and present Echo Lake families that we envisioned when we launched the blog last spring.

Personally speaking, my family and I are looking forward to being a part of the Echo Lake community this summer, and for many years to come!

Adam Waldman

Editor, The Trail