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.
When our son was 13, he decided he wanted to go to a sleep-away-from-home camp. We looked into several and decided that Camp Unalayee would be a good place. I called the camp office and got several references. I called one of the numbers and the following conversation ensued. "Hi, is this xxx?" 'No, I am sorry you have the wrong number." "Oh, please excuse me, I apologize for disturbing you" (I am ready to hang up phone.) Woman on the other end says "Why are you calling me? I feel like I really should be talking to you." I say, "Nothing, never mind, I am sorry to bother you." She is very insistent, "Please, why are you calling." I say, "Well, I got your number for a camp reference.". She says, "Oh. Unalayee. I should have known." Conversation about camp follows, the essence of which is "Camp Unalayee made my kids the people they are today." Fast forward several years. Our son, who is now 27? I would say with confidence-- "Camp Unalayee made him the person he is today." And we are proud of that person. Thank you Unalayee. And the mysterious reference from years ago.
Review from #MyGivingStory
I am a Happy Camper mother. My son attended Camp Unalayee some 30 years ago and nearly every following Summer since that first adventure. As he grew older, he became a counselor in training, then a counselor, later he helped manage program, and after training as a paramedic and finally a fireman, he acts as a medic backup. His wife and daughters attend family camp each year and his oldest, now 12, dreams of becoming a counselor.
What more can I say, Camp Unalayee is our family. Thank you "Place of Friends".
My boy Rio loves camp Unalayee like a home away from home. He would stay all summer if he could! He talks about it all year long and plans to become a CIT and then a counselor when he's old enough. He has gone for three summers straight since he turned 10, and each time he returns from camp, he seems different.....more grounded, mature and centered. We feel so blessed to have Camp Unalayee to help us raise a compassionate and generous-hearted boy!
Both my daughter and son have attended Unalayee and loved it. It's an inclusive, creative, calming atmosphere and the staff and campers let each kid be themselves. Art and the outdoors are celebrated. Highly recommend!
Camp Unalayee is a wonderful organization and I feel incredibly lucky to be connected with them. For me, the most outstanding feature is joy: so many people are always not only excited to be there but deep-down joyful. The beauty of the wilderness setting has a lot to do with this, of course, but it’s the air of confidence and calm that matters most: all the staff and many of the older campers seem to be thinking “we are capable and know what to do, it’s not complicated, we can live fully in this moment.”
Campers learn practical skills, get stronger, make friends, and build self-confidence - but in the end the experience is much more than that. Camp Unalayee strikes a rare balance between promoting group experience - with the goal that everyone helps out and everyone belongs - and honoring individuality - giving campers choices of activities, alone time when needed, and many opportunities to perform and create. And another balance comes to mind, between economy and exuberance: the economy of leaving few traces and living simply; the exuberance of the long hike and the high peak climbed, the all-out splashing game on the shore of the lake, the crazy performances improvised around the campfire. These essential social, ethical, and emotional lessons are not deliberately “taught” or forced, they just grow naturally out of the camp experience.
I am the parent of a camper who returned for many years, and I myself participated as an adult camper at family days and as a volunteer. We paid when we could, took advantage of camperships when we couldn’t, and plan to keep giving back for the rest of our lives.
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.
Camp unalayee has been a highlight for our teenage son the last 2 summers. The first summer as a 12yo he participated as a camper as basecamp. He came home with tremendous stories about great activities, fun cooperative games, and amazing backpacking trips. Last year, as a 13 yo, he did a 12 day backpacking trip through the Trinity Alps. His wonderful stories of wilderness, camaraderie, and working together to get his 'tribe' through the trip made me feel like he got a lot more out of camp than just fun. Cam Unalayee has given our child a unique experience outside of what the other 340 days a year are like for him and helped him become more independent, able to work together wirh others better, and love the outdoor.
Camp Unalayee has been a fantastic opportunity for my children! My son and daughter have expressed amazing experiences and emotions that I dont think kids normally get. Listening to silence, seeing a bear, swimming in the mountains, singing around a campfire, and howling at the moon! The friendships at the camp are rich and they look forward to seeing these friends year after year.
Every summer since 2010 (or was it 2009?) our boys have gone from campers to counselors in training, and then to work as counselors, first spending 2 weeks in the Trinities and Marbles, now about 9 weeks. Each step of the way, Camp U has been just an amazing community that manages to wrap together fun, growth, challenge, friendship and so much more. As a parent, I see camp from a gravel parking lot where we drop them off and pick them up - for me that lot is one of my favorite destinations, especially at pick-up when we see the kids emerge from the woods, dirty, scraped up, energized and calm at the same time. Ever grateful it's been a part of our lives, and quite certain it always will be! Thank you Camp U!
My son who is now a senior in high school has attended Camp Unalayee ever summer from the time he was 12. It has become his special place to go every summer and he looks forward to it for months. Over the years my son has grown from a very timid shy kid to a very confident and driven young man. I credit a lot of that confidence to the time he spent at Camp. Time where he can hang out in the wilderness, with his people, and not worry about the stresses of everyday life. I can't say enough good things about this program.
There is no place my kids would rather be! the counselors! the food!! the hikes! the camaraderie! the location! the lakes! the education! the animals! the bus ride! TOTAL kids package!
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
Camp Unalayee gave my daughter the time and space to challenge herself and free herself. Her experience was beyond beautiful and energizing. She has muscles inside and out upon her return. She sled down a snowy mountain in July and had counselors who nurtured her freedom and skills. What a wonderful camp. So very grateful. A must do !
My child had SO much fun! She learned a lot about herself and the way she interacts with others. I felt that she grew much more here than in any other place.
Unalayee has been an amazing experience for my daughter. She has gained a confidence not only about hiking and camping but about her place in the world. She has made great friends and talks about camp year round!
Camp Unilayee was an awesome experience for my shy reserved girl. She blossomed in good company and was positively radiant upon her return from camp. A real game changer for her self esteem! Thank you Camp Unalayee!!
Camp Unalayee is an incredible community and environment that provides campers and staff the opprotunity for immense positive growth physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. I've witnessed so many campers bloom into self-confident, capable, caring, team-players with a newfound reverence for nature and the medicine it provides. The staff are experienced, highly skilled, aware, well-trained, incredibly enthusiastic and awesome role models for the campers. This camp fosters the expression of each unique person in a caring accepting community. Truly a place of friends that enriches the lives of all who experience it!!
A great way to nurture community! My daughter went to Unalayee and loved it! She will never forget carrying the shovel on the trail! I will never foget how thrilled she was to explore the wilderness among friends, the wide open sky, forever in her heart.
Many of my best experiences happened with Camp U. But besides my selfish interests it does great things for underprivileged kids. Nature is the best medicine and Unalayee is the best place for kids to get it.
I went as a kid and couldn't stop going back. Then I worked there because I had to go back! Camp Unalayee does great things for kids, teaching them confidence, self-sufficiency, social interaction, and about the beauty of the wilderness. It gets kids from the city who would never get out there to experience the wild. Through camper-ships it helps less well-off kids have the most awesome summer camp experience.
Awesome summer camp that changed my life. It has led me to my friends, family and most of all to my community.
I started going camp Unalayee at 12 and at 32 I can't wait till my children are old enough to attend.
Through wilderness, backpacking, and a close knit community you learn so much about your self when your there.
Camp Unalayee had an unparalleled impact on me throughout life. It teaches youth the importance of team work, nature and community. I started going to camp when I was 12 and after the 1st week new I would keep going back the rest of my life. At 18 I started volunteering and have worked in one capacity or another for the past decade. My best friends in life I met at camp, old councilors feel like aunts and uncles, and young campers that keep coming back feel like little cousins. My father always says it was one of the best things he did as a dad.