Celebrating 40 years of The Echo Our Father at Camp Ondessonk
By Pati Egan
In the summer of 1982, the Girls’ Staff decided to try a new way to close the Friday Night Campfire. From the 1960’s until 1982, the girls’ staff would end the campfire with a song titled Each Campfire Lights Anew. The most remembered verse being…
And as the embers die away, we wish that we might ever stay. But since we cannot have our way, we’ll meet again some other day.
This song had its origin in the Girl Scouts. The Camp Ondessonk staff would come on stage at the end of the Friday Night Campfire and sing this to the campers in hopes of them returning again the next year. Since the campers did not have a role in singing this song, it was felt that a prayer said by the entire Camp Family would be a better choice.
Two 1982 staff members, Michelle (Prkut) Martin and Michelle (Kreppert) Bretscher, brainstormed an alternative to a verbal prayer. Michelle Prkut suggested that The Echo Our Father (which was used at her home parish at the time) would be a fitting way to end the weekly campfire. The staff would come up on stage and lead the prayer song, and the campers would be the echo. It was immediately clear that this was a hit with both the campers and the staff.
From that time forward, the Friday night campfire ended with giving praise for the friends we made, the blessings we received, and for the beauty of God’s creation all around us. The Echo Our Father has been performed for 40 years and will continue for many more years to come. As we celebrate Camp O Day, we acknowledge Camp’s rich history, and look forward to Camp’s bright future, because each one of us has played and will play an important part in it.
The Echo our Father played by Michelle (Kreppert) Bretscher at closing campfire June 24, 2022.