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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camps, Children & Youth, Environment, Environmental Education, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Youth Development

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.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Marcel2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm from The Netherlands and I was a counselor in 1990 and 1991. That was livechanging. In 2012 I wet back for the thirth time, but this time with mine 12 year old daughter. Is was an wonderfull experience for her too. Even now days she wants to go back and do it all over again.
Marcel Lancée, The Netherlands.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the place of dreams. Once you go it's always on your mind I can't wait for next year when this year just ended, great kids and family camp, would highly recommend

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This camp helped raise me and shape who i am today. Stong, committed, and willing to try new and difficult things. This is such a valuable place for kids to experience.

1 Troll H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Taylor G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a camper at Camp Unalayee, for 8 years. To say going to camp made for the best summers of my life would be an understatement, going to camp honestly changed my life. I am 24 years old now, and am still friends with people that I met my first year at camp when I was 11. I have found shelter with camp people all over the country, all of whom share my complete passion and love for Camp Unalayee. Camp Unalayee not only helped me appreciate a life outside of the internet and cell phones, but helped me grow more confident in my abilities to over come challenges, and really work and live as a community. I can't say enough about how much Camp Unalayee means to me.

Brian79

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp Unalayee is, perhaps, the world's last rural outdoor camp. It provides an amazing, mulit-cultural, mixed socio-economic environmental experience for kids. It's a true, grass-roots organization, and runs entirely on volunteers and lightly paid staff. It's been around for 50+ years. It's hidden away in the Trinity Alps. It's a very special place - everyone should send their kids there.

Agnes T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was a wonderful and memorable experience to be one of the international counselor at Camp Unalayee in 1992. At then in 1992, It was my 1st time visiting USA, my 1st trip leaving Singapore all by myself, 1st long haul flight journey from Singapore to US, 1st time taking an aircraft, 1st time attending the summer camp, this was an awesome and exciting journey for me.
The camp has fantastic orientation program for all counselor before the summer camp season starts. Not forgetting the caring and fatherly camp director - Lowell Fitch who has followed through with me to ensure that I could adapt to the complete wilderness at Camp Unalayee which I have no experience at all while I was staying in a big city in Singapore. My sincere heartfelt appreciation to Lowell Fitch and his mother, this experience has significant impact in my personal development and my great interests towards wilderness.
In addition, I were privileged to have a few great mentor/buddy who have guided me - Craig , Bob , Katherine , Rueben. All these names were deeply imprinted in my mind despite it has been more than 21 years ago.
It was an enjoyable time spending three sessions with kids coming from different background and upbringing. There were so much fun in participating and organizing tie dye workshop at craft shack, teaching the kids to speak Mandarin, cooking over the fire using pint cone as a fire starter, leading the kids for hiking trip, baking delicious cake in the kitchen, experiencing solo nights during the hiking trip, sleeping in the tent with deer roaming around me, kayaking in the freezing lake water, camp fire on special day and so many more . These experiences were 21 years ago yet every details of the experience were still so cleared.

Tom_28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp Unalayee is the finest wilderness backpacking summer camp in the country. Sounds too strong. No it is not. What other summer camp is inside a USFS wilderness area, is located on a spring fed Alpine lake, has the PCT pass though its property, has a dozen or more Alpine lakes within a days hike distance and requires all its campers to don a backpack and hike over the ridge for 2 and 3 nite overnights.

If you want your child to learn to go into the mountains and the woods safely and confidently send them to Camp Unalayee. Your child will not be left inside.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Unalayee arguably may be the best wilderness, backpacking summer camp in the U.S. if you want your child to love the mountains, to feel comfortable in the mountains, in the wilderness, let them come here. They won't regret it. And no one ever comes to Unalayee for the money, we all volunteer here even if we get paid. An amazing place.

Kate38

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Camp Unalayee for 18 years, and have watched the camp experience change the lives of the kids that attend, as well as the volunteers. I plan to be there every summer, as long as I am we'll enough to totter up the hill.