Northern California Wilderness Summer Camp Teaches Wilderness Survival Skills to Campers

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Camp Unalayee campers learn how to stay safe and survive in the great outdoors.

Forget "Survivor Man" and survival expert Bear Grylls, Camp Unalayee (Camp U) campers are the real deal when it comes to knowing skills to survive in the wilderness.

Here is a list of just some of the things that the Camp U campers learn about on how to stay safe and survive in the outdoors:

  • Water- where to find it, how to treat it for drinking,
  • Navigation,
  • Basic map reading,
  • Direction finding: Using the sun and stars as a guide,
  • Shelter building,
  • Basic food forging,
  • Fire building/safety, and
  • Basic first aid.

Additionally, the campers take away several secondary skills that are important including, how to organize yourself/gear/time, how to communicate your needs, how to work as a group, as well as important decision making skills.

Each summer Camp U not only works to connect its campers with the wonders of nature but also provides them with a two-week wilderness experience that teaches self-sufficiency, self-reliance and ultimately builds confidence and nurtures a positive self-esteem.

Camp U is located in northern California's majestic Trinity Alps. Children age 10-17 are picked up in the San Francisco Bay Area and driven by bus to the campsite. Once there, campers live in small communities of 8-10 children, called tribes. Campers sleep beneath the stars, cook their own meals over an open fire, divvy up chores and hike out to a natural lake each day. The "Leave No Trace" philosophy teaches children an appreciation for nature. These personal competencies are reflected in the four "C's" of the camp community: compassion, contribution, commitment, and character.

Camp U offers "camperships" (camp scholarships) to families who need a helping hand in getting their children to camp. They believe that every kid should have the opportunity to go to summer camp.

There is still plenty of time to enroll for summer 2008. There is space in each of the three summer sessions.

Camp Schedule 2008
1st Session - June 29 - July 13, 2008
2nd Session - July 16 - July 30, 2008
3rd Session - August 2 - 16, 2008

Camp U also offers a one-week session for families called Family Days. Family Days takes place from August 18 - 23, 2008 and offers families an opportunity to visit the camp and spend family time camping in a cooperative community atmosphere.

About Camp Unalayee
Camp Unalayee was founded in 1949 in the coastal mountain range above Santa Cruz, California. Unalayee was originally started by the American Friends, and while an independent organization since 1956, the camp still holds peace, community and nature as high ideals. In 1960 the camp moved to its current location in the Trinity Alps of Northern California. In 1968 the lands around our property in the Shasta-Trinity forest were designated an official primitive area. In 1985 when the Trinity Alps Wilderness area was officially created our land holding was "grand-fathered" and allowed to remain private.

Our mission is to bring together children from all walks of life to learn the lessons of respect for nature and community, as well as sharing the joys of camping and backpacking.
After operating for over 50 years we still maintain close connections to our root values of diversity, community and simplicity. We practice the "Leave No Trace" wilderness ethics. Camp Unalayee operates as an independent private camp under as a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. More information on Camp U can be found at

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Allison Neves

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