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Why do I do UniCamp?

Memories from the 50’s- “Chatty”

In today’s “Why I Do UniCamp”, Don “Chatty” Chatelain, a Woodsey Alumni, recounts his experiences with camp in the 1950’s, and demonstrates how even decades later, UniCamp still holds a special place in our hearts.


My best personal memory is the aroma of the pine trees as UniCamp was opened for another summer during the 1950s. Irv, Charlie and Ken had to “turn on” the Camp which included our generator and volatile water system. I was in charge of administering SRBs. Luke presided as the staff and counselors prepared for the continuing rush of camper sessions throughout the summer and into the beginning of our busy fall school schedules.

Each fall we worked on camper event follow-up from the past summer and recruitment with the Los Angeles agencies to provide kids for the next summer – coupled with a successful Mardi Gras and UniCamp drive on campus, we counselors and staff were eager for each UniCamp summer of serving 1000+ deserving, low income kids, return once again. More

Why do I do UniCamp?

The Impact of Kindness- “Vision”

We continue with our “Why I Do UniCamp” series as the last week of volunteer recruitment begins. In this article, Vision focuses on her own personal journey with UniCamp, and how it impacted her in ways she never expected…

When I walked into my first ever Unicamp meeting, I was greeted by a pretty, Asian girl with a beautiful smile. She shook my hand and introduced herself to me as “Evi.” “Evi?” I thought, “That sure is a weird name.” Then, I met Twinkle Toes, Obey, Mumble, and Raydio.  The LSHIP members’ devotion to the UniCamp cause inspired me and being a part of UniCamp has taught me a lot about what it takes to inspire oneself.

I learned a lot about life through my experiences with UniCamp. What I had previously believed to be true about people had become greatly questionable. UniCamp is comprised of some of the most amazing, life-loving, and inspiring groups of people I have ever met. The bonding us Woodseys experienced during training never felt forced or uncomfortable.  Despite their personal struggles, the volunteers of UniCamp step outside of their own lives, inspire others, and give back to their communities. Woodseys see the bigger picture: the impact of kindness.   More

Why do I do UniCamp?

Community- “Ton Ton”

Today’s post by Harlequin shows the perspective of a graduate student in UniCamp and the third in our series of “Why do I do UniCamp?”

Last year I applied to UniCamp for the first time. It was my second year here at UCLA and I had heard about camp from a few friends, but hadn’t paid it much attention. When recruitment season rolled around, I started seeing posts on Facebook with a link to unicamp.org. There’s a wonderful short documentary on the website that was filmed recently and shows interviews with volunteers and campers talking about what camp means to them. As I watched it, I was struck by how profoundly the volunteers talked about their experiences and how happy the campers were to have this unique week away from home. It was clear that this camp was more than just fun and games; campers and volunteers alike seemed to feel a deep connection to each other and to Camp River Glen (where UniCamp is held). More

Why do I do UniCamp?

UniCamp Inspires- “Harlequin”

Today’s post by Harlequin shows the perspective of a graduate student in UniCamp and the third in our series of “Why do I do UniCamp?”

Last year I applied to UniCamp for the first time. It was my second year here at UCLA and I had heard about camp from a few friends, but hadn’t paid it much attention. When recruitment season rolled around, I started seeing posts on Facebook with a link to unicamp.org. There’s a wonderful short documentary on the website that was filmed recently and shows interviews with volunteers and campers talking about what camp means to them. As I watched it, I was struck by how profoundly the volunteers talked about their experiences and how happy the campers were to have this unique week away from home. It was clear that this camp was more than just fun and games; campers and volunteers alike seemed to feel a deep connection to each other and to Camp River Glen (where UniCamp is held). More

Why do I do UniCamp?

On Being a (Gentle)man

For the second day of our “Why I do UniCamp” series, and in accordance with Valentine’s Day, we take a look at Squirrelly’s narrative on what it takes to be a (Gentle)man. Even though a camp counselor is often perceived to be a traditional female role, UniCamp encourages our volunteers to challenge that notion, and show campers that we CAN be whoever we want to be, and bid “adieu” to societal norms.

On Being a (Gentle)man:

It is undeniable that within UniCamp and various service organizations focused on working with children, there is not a lot of male representation. Sometimes I wonder about the rationale behind this deficit. My guess is that the concept of working intimately with kids is perceived to be incongruent with a man’s role. Gender roles that dictate that caring for children is a distinctly feminine role may be preventing great MENtors from fulfilling their potential. Even as I write this, I am struggling to describe these ideas without coming off as “soft.”

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Why do I do UniCamp?

Why Do I Do UniCamp? – “Tik Tok”

As Volunteer Recruitment reaches its halfway point today (apps due next Friday!), students walking down Bruin Walk, in their dorms, and in their fraternity/sorority houses are bombarded with fliers to “APPLY FOR UNICAMP TODAY!!”. And while the continuous streams of Facebook statuses, #uclaunicamp #woodsey, and the very passionate group of volunteers flyering on B-Walk are slightly overwhelming, it works, because a lot of potential new Woodseys out there are now wondering, “oh, UniCamp, maybe I should apply….”, and ultimately ends at the question, “Why should I do UniCamp”?

That, in itself, is a loaded question. “It’s for the kids”, “Woodsey magic”, “life changing” are some of the few, but honestly, there is a myriad of answers out there for this question, and each reflecting the different background and experiences of the responder. Here at the Breeze, we hope to answer that question with our “Why I Do UniCamp” series. From now until the end of Recruitment, this series draws answers from our very diverse group of volunteers. From South Campus to North Campus, counselors to specialists, current Woodseys to Woodsey Alumni, past campers to staff, we hope this series helps explain why we do what we do, and why YOU should apply to UCLA UniCamp. 

Despite all of the responsibilities that came with being an undergraduate at UCLA, UniCamp is the one place where I can feel like a kid again…

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News & Info

Leadership Retreat 2013

By Evi

Two weekends ago, Leadership 2013 hosted the first retreat of the camp season. As the several PDs and staff chopped, stirred, and cooked away in the kitchen, this year’s Leadership (Lship) team worked together in various team-building activities, presented their rather creative and innovative co-ads, and sang through the night to encourage each other in their most difficult program. And though I was in the kitchen most of the time, I couldn’t help but feel the excitement and energy of the group as they laughed and bonded throughout the weekend. More

News & Info

Volunteer Recruitment Starts Now!!!

Attention, attention! Volunteer Recruitment for the 2013 Camp Season has officially begun! Every year, UniCamp is operated by over 500 UCLA student volunteers, and we need your help to make sure we fill our ranks this year. Whether it’s by wearing Woodsey Wear on Woodsey Wednesday, presenting about UniCamp at dorm association meetings, or even going to freshmen lectures to present, we need all Woodseys out there to spread the word!!! You have experienced Woodsey Magic yourself, so now it’s time to share the magic with all the potential new volunteers out there! Apps will be online at end of this week and are due on February 22nd at 5 PM!! This year’s Lship Recruitment Committee has been working very hard to beat the record number of apps set last year (over 600!) and here is their comprehensive list of all the ways you can recruit:

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News & Info

SAIL’s Back!!

An Early W.A.L.L. Logo

If you were to tell someone that you were packing up only essential supplies to survival, throwing all 50 pounds of it on your back, and wandering into the woods, most people would tell you that you were crazy. Add on the fact that you would be hiking 26 miles, fundraising $2012, and bringing along teenagers to heights of over 11,500 feet over the course of 4 days you would get one of two responses: “You’re insane!” or “COOL!” That, simply put, is the WALL program.

There is something wonderful and liberating about being in the woods. Having grown up in suburbia, I did not have too many experiences in nature; oddly enough, I was the kid whose parents DID NOT allow him to be a Boy Scout. Most of the time, it seems like parents force their children to join these programs. As a result, I had to explore the woods from the safety of my own room, reading books like The Call of the Wild and Hatchet. Even though I consider myself to have had a privileged life, it wasn’t until college that I had the opportunity to experience the outdoors. Jumping in and out of a car to take pictures was not my idea of experiencing the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. More

Snapshots

Snapshot Time! A Snake Encounter

Snapshots! They are special moments in time we capture with our phones, cameras, and even tablets today. Yet, they also describe a longtime tradition of UniCamp, where volunteers and campers share their favorite “snapshots” with each other at the end of the day. But instead of cameras, these snapshots are “captured” by the person’s words and memories. Throughout the year, we will be providing some of our favorite snapshots. Here is one by last year’s volunteer, Nacho!

A seemingly relaxing task and an unexpected visitor….

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