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Category Archives: Why do I do UniCamp?

Profile, Why do I do UniCamp?

Why Do I Do Camp? – “Buttercup”

Leadership 2012

As Week 10 of Winter Quarter begins, 400 UCLA students will have their first taste of UniCamp for the 2012 year. What are now referred to as “10th Week Meetings” are the first time Leadership teams will meet their sessions. It’s a time of excitement, anticipation, anxiety and fear as this group of 30 volunteers that has been training for the last 10 weeks are  sent out  to train and lead their own volunteers. To celebrate this momentous occasion we have chosen to revisit the day when 30 individual volunteers became 7 united leadership teams:

As camp season quickly approaches and applications have flooded in, the Leadership teams for the summer of 2012 were revealed in the early morning hours of Saturday February 11th. The Head Counselor Assistants, or HCAs, were led on a wild series of rotations by the Classic Camp Program Directors and the 2012 Head Counselors, who had already been notified of their respective teams. Recent changes in Unicamp also affected this year’s Leadership Co-Revelations. Due to generous grants and the increased number of cabins, Camp River Glen will happily hold the largest camp sessions ever this summer, serving more children than ever before. However, the number of sessions has decreased from last year’s eight down to seven, leaving several Leadership teams with five members instead of four. However, the slightly bigger size of two of the teams was welcomed with enthusiasm, with Co-Head Counselors Fiji and Funfetti donning “Mama Co” and “Papa Co” t-shirts at the end of the reveal.

Classic Camp Program Directors: Spiffy & Tails

The Program Directors, Head Counselors, and Head Counselor Assistants all rose before the sun itself- just after 5 o’clock in the morning! – to take part in the Leadership team reveal. Classic Camp Program Directors Spiffy and Tails, along with eight Head Counselors, planned out an elaborate course of challenges centered around Pokémon, complete with Pokéballs and different stations, or ‘Gyms.’ The HCs and PDs started the morning off with a rendition of the theme song “Co-kémon” before the HCAs divided into groups to take part in trials involving balloons, spicy food, and getting bashed on the head.

After the challenges led all the HCAs to Bruin Plaza, their teams were finally revealed through a series of clues, leading to laughter and surprises and a ridiculous amount of hugging. Just as the sun began to rise in the sky, the newly formed teams went in search of their respective Head Counselors at the top of Janss Steps, where the Leadership teams were finally completed and session numbers were discovered. Seeing firsthand the suspense and excitement of Leadership Co-Revelations really showed me how incredible Unicamp volunteers are. Dedicated enough to get up at the crack of dawn in the rainy cold (and singing and laughing the entire time), our 2012 Leadership teams have started off the camp season off on the right note.

– Nutmeg

Introducing: Session Leadership Teams 2012

Session 1 Leadership

Session 2 Leadership

Session 3 Leadership

Session 4 Leadership

Session 5 Leadership

Session 6 Leadership

Session 7 Leadership























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Session 3'11 LSHIP

My name is Buttercup. And that is why I do camp. The camp name, I mean.

UniCamp is one of the rare college groups that literally allows you to define yourself and not be defined by the group. When you pick your camp name you are asked to think about who you are; and during the camp journey (from training to your week on the mountain) you are asked to think about who you want to be.


Profile, Why do I do UniCamp?

Chipmunk- “Why Do I Do Camp?”

When I graduated from elementary school, I couldn’t wait to get to middle school…
When I graduated from middle school, I couldn’t wait to get to high school…
When I graduated high school, I just wished that I could go back to elementary school and do it all over again…
So when I found out about Unicamp – about the songs, the games, the activities – I thought that, as a college senior, it might be the closest I could get to being a kid all over again.  That is what drew me to UniCamp initially.  Once I educated myself on UniCamp and found out what it was all about, my focus immediately shifted from “How can being a part of UniCamp impact my life?” to “How can I impact others’ lives by being a part of UniCamp?”
As a high school sophomore I got involved with a youth organization called Young Life that, over the next three years, changed the course of my life.  I spent one of the most memorable weeks of my life at a Young Life summer camp.  And the organization remained constant as a positive guiding force in my life, as did the mentors I met and grew to model myself after.  I know first hand how a youth organization and/or camp experience can impact an adolescent in his/her formative years.  Young teenagers and pre-teens are at a stage in their lives where their minds and conceptions about the world are most malleable and susceptible to outside influence.  Thus, I know my interaction with them and belief in them could potentially leave a lasting impression on them, much like the impression Young Life left on me.  Frankly, I want to leave this world a better place than I found it; and I firmly believe that youth outreach is one of the most direct and effective means of doing so.  I volunteer with Unicamp because my personal goals blend seamlessly with its mission to provide a positive experience and inspire young children in a way that could change the course of their lives.  I do UniCamp because I want to make a difference; and because I know I can.
As camp season began and I saturated myself in the UniCamp experience/culture, I found myself getting more out of UniCamp than I could have ever imagined.  UniCamp was the light of my life throughout my final quarter at UCLA. Never in my life had I grown so close to so many amazing people in so little time.  I relished every minute of the trainings, socials, and retreat that had been planned for us.  I hadn’t even experienced a week at camp yet, and UniCamp had already become the glowing hallmark of the time I spent at UCLA.
And then came camp…  50+ volunteers, 150+ campers, and countless hours spent in preparation for a week that would change everyone who was a part of it.  And as I sit now, reflecting on the week that was, I can’t help but smile.  It stands today as one of the best weeks of my life, and the cherry on top of the banana split sundae otherwise known as my UCLA experience.  I got to know the stories of 17+ kids.  I was able to interact with so many others.  I learned from them, and all of the individual experiences/perspectives they had to offer.  I soaked in the joy and exuberance that so many of them projected.  I witnessed their bravado.  Then, I watched them throw it out the window in exchange for unadulterated silliness.  I was allowed to free my gloriously unrestrained inner child for substantial chunks of time.  And most importantly, I got to help show campers that, despite what they may believe in the present, life isn’t always about being too cool for school…   Sometimes it’s about playing games and singing songs.  Sometimes it’s about being as silly as possible, regardless of what anyone else thinks or says.  Sometimes it’s about stepping up and being a leader, even if you’re uncomfortable with it.  Other times it’s about listening to what other people have to say, even if you feel like there is something you need to share.  Sometimes it’s about family.  Sometimes it’s about friends.  But it’s alwaysabout treating the people around you the way you want to be treated.  It’s about grace and compassion.  Benevolence.  That’s what life is about… Always.
As counselors our primary agent of change is our behavior.  Lead by example first.  All week, we wanted our unit to be a brotherhood based on trust and respect for one another.  We wanted campers to understand/trust that we had their backs.  My co and I did everything we could to communicate that.  And while they all took different paths in warming up to these notions, what was important to usI was that by that final night in the cabin, they were all down to bunk and/or sleep on the floor together; by the end of the week, they had each other’s backs.  Lead by example first…
While we were focused on opening kids’ hearts and minds to us and to one another, they were returning the favor without even knowing it.  Everyone wins… That’s UniCamp for you.

I do camp because it is filled with Woodsey Magic. I do camp because no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you have been through in the past, you have the chance to let it go and choose to be whoever you want to be. I do camp because it gives the opportunity to be silly, goofy, sing camp songs, have weird names, and at the same time achieve major strides in personal growth and leadership development. I do camp because it creates memories that will last a lifetime. I do camp because I recognize the awesomeness in every camper and the potential that is unleashed when they learn to believe in themselves. I do camp because it is awesome.




Why do I do UniCamp?

Otter- “Why Do I Do Camp?”

I do camp for one because I love being up in the mountains. I love the wind in the trees and the stars at night and just being away from the city for a week.

More importantly, I love sharing that experience with campers, many of whom have never been in nature before.  I remember walking my campers to the cabin the first night. When I did a head count, one was missing. I found him behind me, motionless, staring at the stars.  I said that the stars were really beautiful in the mountains and asked if he had ever seen the Milky Way before.  He said he had never seen stars. We stood there a few minutes and then went to the cabin to sleep. Each night after that before we went into the cabin we would look up for a few moments at the sky that we never have a chance to see in Los Angeles.

In short, I do camp because it’s a place to see the stars.



Why do I do UniCamp?

Fiji – “Why Do I Do Camp?”

Camp was something I was approached about as a freshman. My roommate was doing camp and told me to apply. I, like many other UCLA students, was hesitant and did not apply that year because I did not know if I would have the time. I also laughed at him while he was doing a phone interview and had to sing a song. His new name also was interesting to me. The following year when I was approached about Camp, I gave in. I saw how close and how much of a bond the people who were fliering had amongst one another. So, I decided to turn in an application.

After an amazing year as a counselor with boys who I stay in touch with until today, I decided to apply for a larger role in camp and decided to apply for LSHIP. I knew I wanted to be LSHIP the day of my first meeting as a volunteer. I thought that being able to make an impact on 60 volunteers and 200 campers would be amazing. I saw how much fun they had and the magic they created through fun training topics. All for the greater cause of inspiring LA’s underserved youth to be the leaders of tomorrow. More