As a third generation owner, Tony grew up at Camp Echo Lake, giving him a unique perspective and insight into what it takes to lead a community of 500 campers and their staff. Tony started as a 6-year old camper in 1969, and has held almost every job at camp along the way to becoming the Camp Director in 1995.
Widely recognized as a leader in the camping industry, Tony has served on the American Camp Association’s National Board of Directors, has been President of the ACA’s New York Section, and has served on the Board of Directors of Project Morry since its inception in 1996.
Tony has spent the better part of 50 summers at Echo Lake, missing just a few years while earning his MBA and working in the “real world.”
When asked what makes Echo Lake such a special place, Tony replied…
“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 has been at Camp Echo Lake for most of her life and she truly bleeds green and gold! She started out as a camper in 1986 and has never left, rising steadily up the ranks from Cabin Specialist all the way to Owner/Director. In addition to her vast camp experience, Laurie has a degree in Psychology and Education, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work, both of which she draws upon as she leads (and cares for) our campers and staff.
Laurie has been honored with both local and national awards for her work with EPIC (Emerging Professionals in Camp), and in the camping industry. She is the Program Chair for the Tri State Camp Conference, serves on the American Camp Association NY-NJ Board of Directors, serves on the New York State Camp Directors Association (NYSCDA) Board of Directors, serves on the Girls Leadership Institute Board of Directors, and is also very actively involved with Project Morry.
Although Laurie is involved in all areas of camp, she focuses on camper recruitment, communication with parents and camp families, and staff hiring, She does so with the same enthusiasm that she brings to her legendary campfires each summer.
When asked what makes Echo Lake special, Laurie replied…
“Camp Echo Lake helps each camper and staff member feel valued and important as they build life skills, form connections with others and become an 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.”
Amy Medine Stein
Amy Stein is the Director Emeritus of Camp Echo Lake, and Chairperson of the Board of Project Morry.
Amy is the only person who has been a part of the fabric of Camp Echo Lake since its inception. Her parents, Edith and Bill Medine, founded the camp in 1946 when she was just 8-yrs old. Even as a camper, Amy was committed to ensuring Echo Lake’s success, going so far as to have playdates each winter with campers who were on the fence about returning the following summer.
While attending Brandeis University in the 1950s, Amy met her husband, Morry. In 1964, the couple purchased Camp Echo Lake from Amy’s parents. For thirty years (until Morry’s untimely passing in 1994), the dedicated duo worked tirelessly together to quadruple the camp enrollment, while still maintaining the close-knit community that defined Echo Lake since its inception.
Amy is incredibly proud of how Echo Lake has continued to evolve through three generations of family ownership. Even though she still works very hard to this day, as she has since she was a child, Amy truly believes that she has the best job in the world!
When asked what makes Camp Echo Lake special, Amy replied…
“We always work to celebrate and recognize the best in every child that grows with us. It’s no wonder that our campers leave at the end of the summer feeling ten feet tall. They have been loved and respected, and their days and nights are filled with the best of learning and confidence-building. This fabulous community shares, shapes and enhances everyone.”
Brenda’s history with Camp Echo Lake dates back to 1992, when she was a Cabin Specialist for the Frosh Girls. Her Cabin Specialist experience was the stepping stone that helped her to evolve into the roles of Group Leader, Evening Program Director and eventually, Girls Head Counselor.
While working at Echo Lake, Brenda met her husband, Jay (who is also a longtime Echo Laker). After spending several years away from camp raising her three kids, Brenda returned in 2008 and now serves as Senior Village Director, working year-round as part of the Echo Lake team.
In addition to her B.S. in Elementary & Special Education, Brenda also has a Masters Degree in Education. Her off-season involvement in adolescent –centered professional education helps to shape her approach to leading our teenagers at Echo Lake.
When asked what makes Echo Lake such a special place, Brenda replied…
“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!”
Director of Customer Service and Camp Administration
Kelly began her Camp Echo Lake career as a cabin specialist in 2007. She has since worked with campers of all ages as both a Group Leader and Girls’ Camp Head Counselor. Kelly has a Bachelors in Childhood Education and a Masters in Literacy Education. Before joining the full time team in 2016 as the Director of Customer Service and Camp Administration, Kelly worked as an elementary school teacher in North Carolina. Kelly uses her experiences as an educator to continue to lead Girls’ Camp as a head counselor during the summer season.
When asked what makes Echo Lake such a special place, Kelly replied…
“The people who uphold the values and traditions of camp make it a truly unique place. Camp is filled with good people. It fosters a community that allows people to build strong relationships and to step out of their comfort zone. The confidence that the camp environment infuses in its campers allows them to continue to develop their skills with pride. There is no better place to learn about yourself and others. Not to mention, we have a ton of fun along the way!”
Matt began his Camp Echo Lake career as a Cabin Specialist in 2010, and has since worked with various ages as a Group Leader and Inter Boys Head Counselor for the summers of 2013 to 2015. Matt has a Bachelors and Masters in Political Science with a concentration in economics and organizational behavior, and he has remained dedicated to the Camp Echo Lake mission throughout his education. As a member of our full-time team, Matt will be helping to bring in exceptional domestic and international staff to maintain the magic of Echo Lake and facilitate many of the operational components of camp in the off-season. During the summer months, Matt will return to his summer home and support Boys’ Camp as a Head Counselor. Matt will work to enhance the camper and staff experience while he contributes to the growth of our camp community.
When asked what makes Echo Lake such a special place, Matt replied…
“Every year I am astonished by Echo Lake’s capacity to move forward and grow while always staying true to their core values and beliefs. This is something that many organizations, camps or otherwise, tend to lose sight of over time. There are always new and interesting ways of doing things, and Echo Lake is not afraid to think outside-side-the-box, but in every decision we make, the rationale always remains the same, ‘how will this further advance our dedication to human development?’
From a staff, camper, and personal standpoint, Echo Lake creates a unique environment that fosters friendships that last a lifetime. As a result of the inclusive and compassionate community, some of the closest people in my life today are friends I met while working at camp. It truly is a wonderful place to learn, grow, develop, and have a ton of fun!”