Camp Unalayee Association

Rating: 4.98 stars   57 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Environment, Sports

Location: 3921 E Bayshore Rd Palo Alto CA 94303 USA

Mission: Camp Unalayee is a wilderness camp for kids from all walks of life, begun in 1949. We are a community that cultivates a deep respect for the natural world. Our programs offer a balance of freedom and responsibility that generates self-confidence while creating a safe place for kids to discover their own creativity, new friendships and a unique sense of community. Our campers: · Grow through personal challenge and cooperative living · Develop respect for themselves and others · Develop a sense of self and the confidence to stand up for what they believe · Experience challenges and unexpected accomplishment · Have life changing experiences that stay with them forever · Become stewards of wild places We stand for: · A deep love of the wilderness · A commitment to self-discovery and responsibility · A dedication to transformation · Being a place of friends Camp provides a world away from technology where kids have fun working together and becoming a part of a community and a place they can always come home to.
Target demographics: Children age 10-17 from all economic, cultural, ethnic, and social backgrounds.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 145 campers per year come to summer camp on scholarship.
Programs: Unalayee operates a wilderness summer camp for children ages 10 -17. Campers live in small groups outdoors, prepare and cook their own meals. They spend 1/2 of the two week session on the trail exploring the natural world and learning wilderness skills. We also have a teen leadership program and a two-week backpacking program for more intensive primitive and outdoor skill development.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

Camp Unalayee is the most life changing community I have ever been apart of. It is more than a summer camp; it is a powerful, loving family that is deeply passionate about showing children and families how sacred and beautiful nature is, as well as the importance of trust, respect, and courage. There is no place in the world I'd rather be. Camp Unalayee is the only place I can be my true self 100% of the time. I am accepted for who I am, I am challenged to be the best person I can be, and I am honored for expressing myself fully. Camp Unalayee encourages us to dig deep down into the depths of our hearts and souls and to celebrate growth, friendship, challenge, courage, music, laughter, wilderness, community, and FUN. The friendships I've made at Camp Unalayee are the strongest I've ever had. My friends, family and myself have all noticed what a positive impact Camp Unalayee has had on me these past 5 years. I'm more confidant, thoughtful, healthy, and compassionate. Camp has touched me and changed me in a way that I am eternally grateful for. In my first week up in those mountains, I felt like I had been grabbed by a hook and pulled deep into its core. I will forever be connected to Camp Unalayee. It's the closest to utopia I've ever been. I am so incredibly grateful for Camp Unalayee.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

Operation Yelliw Ribbon of South Jersey sends care packages to our men and women deployed, we shipped 40,000 pounds this 2014. We give returning Hero's rockstar welcome homes to thank them and their family for the service and sacrifice.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Best thing we've ever done for our kids. Our two boys have spent 2-6 weeks at Camp U each summer for the last 7 years. Unalayee is a welcoming, adventurous, creative community that is both peaceful and energetic. My kids have learned to appreciate nature, physical challenge, deep friendship and much more. The staff have high expectations for both learning responsibility and having fun. The location in the Trinity Alps is magnificent and offers a huge range of backpacking terrain.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son attended Camp U two years in a row. The worst thing about sending him there is that no other experiences have ever met the interest and fun factor of the camp. He LOVED IT! He was given responsibilities for helping with the cooking and the clean up. He helped other campers set up their camp sites. The counselors treated my 14 year old with great respect and positive regard . My child learned that he is a competent person and camper. He also learned that he has a very valuable skill--telling captivating stories around a campfire. The other campers were friendly, accepting and kind. Camp U should be given all the credit for building a positive community where all the campers are valued contibutors to the camp experience. I can't say enough nice things about this camp. It really did change my child's life.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Five years ago one of my children's best friends convinced my 3 boys to go to Camp U. Their lives have been forever changed and a summer has not gone by without them attending. They have enjoyed a combination of base camp and trail tribe. For them, the surrounding mountains are their most beloved landscape. As teenagers they describe that there is no other time in the year that they feel so at home with who they are and what is important in life. Strong friendships and beautiful views are the backdrop for them to discover who they are and how they relate to the world. Could there be a better gift we could give our kids? With three sons, Camp U is a financial burden for my family but their generous scholarship fund has helped us to make it happen every year. My family will forever be grateful for everything that Camp U does for our kids and all the children who have the chance to feel the magic of the basin. We are committed to contributing to Camp U long after our kids have grown.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter has this to say about Camp Unalayee, "The camp counselors were really kind and humorous, the adventures were nature-filled and challenging, the arts and crafts were creative and fun. My favorite part was living with nature for two weeks. I sure hope my parents will let me return to Camp Unalayee!"

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Rating: 5 stars  

What an amazing camp! My kids all went there and grew so much, both in self confidence and socially. They learned to love the wilderness, and they learned how to backpack and they were away from screens for two weeks at a time, which is really important. The camp is well run and the counselors are very well trained so that kids both have a good time and learn how to work collaboratively. I have nothing but good things to say about Camp Unalayee!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've been a part of Camp Unalayee most of my life. First as a camper, then as staff as a young adult and then back again in middle age when my own kids were camper age, and now into my senior years. It changed my life, formed it really. It is truly The Place of Friends. Everyone in my family loves camp and it will always be the place we can come home to.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My ten year old daughter enjoyed 15 days at Camp Unalayee last summer - what a terrific experience! She did not go with a friend, but was welcomed by a warm group of kids and counselors. It was her first backpacking experience and despite some difficult hikes, she came home feeling strong and empowered. The experience has stayed with her and she often refers to the summer, continuing to reflect and revisit the camp weeks. I would recommend this to any parent of an adventurous kid!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The most thoughtful and considerate group of people you and your child will ever meet. As a single mother of a son, I couldn't be more pleased with Camp Unalayee. Imagine a child spending summers in the natural world- priceless!

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