Leaders for Summer
|Week||Hike Leader||Assist. Hike Leader||Assist. Hike Leader||Naturalist||Evening Leader|
Echo Lake Camp is run by a group of five senior staff who are dedicated to making the camp run as smoothly as possible. Their talents are augmented by a staff of young, enthusiastic members of the "croo" who take on the daily tasks of keeping the camp clean and the campers fed. Also essential to the smooth operation of Echo Lake is a group of volunteers who assume the important responsibilities of leading the hikes, planning the evening activities and providing knowledge about the natural surroundings of Acadia National Park. These camper/volunteers are an essential part of the Echo Lake experience and their presence and expertise is extremely important to a pleasant and enjoyable week.
It is the important responsibility of the hike leaders to take charge of the daily hikes during each week at Echo Lake. They work closely with the camp managers to plan the routes the hikes will cover, ensure the safety of the campers while they are on the hikes and communicate clearly information about the hikes to enable campers to make educated decisions about which hike to choose on any given day.
There are three hike leaders. The main leader works with the other leaders to outline where hikes will go during the week. The leader is someone with greater experience who is thoroughly knowledgeable about the trails and terrain in Acadia, current conditions and the influence of changing weather conditions on hiking. The Assistant Leader and Third Hike Leader are responsible for leading the less strenuous hikes offered to campers daily. All leaders protect the safety of the campers on their hikes by keeping the group together and allowing for a pace that is appropriate for the composition of the group.
Each morning the leader announces where the day's hikes will go, describing the distance, time, strenuousness, steepness, presence of rungs and open ledges, anticipated weather, and the clothes and water that will likely be needed. It is important that this announcement be as clear as possible to assist campers in making their decisions. The leader can also take this opportunity to discuss proper footwear and commonly used hiking supplies such as sunscreen, bug repellant and hats.
The Evening Leader plans and prepares for the evening activities. Examples of such activities are slide shows, "game nights", dancing, sing-a-longs and scavenger hunts. He/she also plans and publicizes the tournament activities that take place during the week. These tournaments include such competitions as Scrabble, Boggle, ping pong, bridge, volleyball and horseshoes. The Evening Leader also organizes the traditional "Banathlon", the relay race for five campers involving race-walking, paddling a swamped canoe, swimming and eating the banana. His or her final responsibility is to organize the talent night held on Friday night after the Pretty Marsh picnic. This position requires the volunteer to make continual announcements promoting events and to generate enthusiasm throughout the week.
The camp Naturalist's objective is to broaden and enhance the guests' camp experience by sharing and experiencing with them the flora, fauna, geology, history and natural beauty of Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park. He/she organizes hikes to places of interest to the guests. These are meant to be alternatives to the morning hikes and are expected to take place at least five days of the week.
The Naturalist must possess a knowledge of some aspect of the natural history of Mt. Desert Island, be outgoing, patient, personable and flexible with the ability to accommodate the needs and wants of the guests. This person must be prepared to speak to a group of people with enthusiasm about their particular area of expertise.