How Campers Stayed Connected This Year

Our campers are creative! We checked in on some of our campers to find out how they are staying close while staying at least six feet apart!

At the end of every summer, after goodbyes are said and tears are shed, our campers all head home for a long ten months. Despite those homes being spread all across the country and the world, our community has never been deterred from keeping connected and maintaining that Echo spirit with their friends during the long winter months. This year brought a new challenge for campers to keep in contact with the Coronavirus locking us all into quarantine for months. With campers unable to visit each other during the year and without the annual Camp Echo reunions or our traditional seven-week summer we had to change it up and think of some new ways to have fun with our friends. 

2020’s most iconic word and the MVP of the year was Zoom. Plenty of cabins had their own Facetime and Zoom reunions that allowed them to hang out and have fun from the comfort and safety of their homes. We weren’t able to get together and see a movie, but some campers took advantage of Netflix Party. Netflix Party lets our campers watch any Netflix show or movie at the same time and chat together, making it feel like the miles between us are much fewer than what they are in actuality. Despite the distance and quarantine, campers enjoyed some amazing content together such as Kissing Booth 2, a Camp Echo Family Camp Favorite!

Campers also got the chance to reunite in Camp Echo’s “Guess Who?” Challenge, where groups of campers or counselors could enter a Zoom call set up by Echo’s directors, and have a surprise guest or two join in on the call! B3/4’s Zoom Party was so surprised and excited when Kyle McKay and Max Heal, the bunk’s Group Leader and Counselor, hopped into their call. B7-2 had some fun with their “Guess Who?” Zoom call, and after their guests revealed themselves and the game concluded, they continued to try to get as many people in their Zoom call as they could, creating their own Echo Reunion! Their Zoom Party had over 30 7th-grade campers and staff members at once. Familiar names like Euan McGill, Natalie Mckay, and Jason Berg as well as some other friendly faces like Sticky, Scott, and Dave were all in attendance! Other cabins, like B6-1, decided to keep their Zoom Calls small. Despite this, they were still reunited with counselors going all the way back to their first summer at camp, with Jake Gross, Dylan Kareff, and Zach Meyerson all dropping in and surprising them! “Guess Who?” ended up being a great opportunity for campers to see each other and old counselors that they might not have otherwise!

Usually, when thinking about video games and gaming in general, a word that doesn’t come to most parents’ minds is ‘social’. But, this year online video games played on Xbox, Playstation, or PC were a very popular way for campers to have fun together and stay connected in a safe and distanced way! Big video games like Call of Duty, Among Us,  Fortnite, Rocket League, and NBA 2K became an ever more popular way for some people around the world to keep in contact and even engage in some friendly and spirited competition. 

This year may have kept us from coming together for now, but it also introduced us to a whole new slate of new ways to keep us from missing our camp friends more than we already do. For many of us, quarantine also provided a reason and reminder to reach out more and stay in touch with friends that we may have taken for granted in a normal year. Among the many lessons that this year has taught all of us, one thing we learned to appreciate is the strength and innovation that truly makes the Camp Echo community a family.