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Historical Articles, Human Interest

W.A.L.L.: 25 Years of 26-Mile Hikes

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buttercup, Sodapop, Fiji ” src=”https://biffebreeze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/222444_145064178895605_100001760720070_260644_7875570_n-300×224.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”224″ />

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.

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Why Do I Do UniCamp?- Touchdown

When I graduated from elementary school, I 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.
Profile

Running for Camp- John “Sleepy” Reilly

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.

I continued to do camp and applied to be an HC after my year as an HCA because I wanted to give back to camp what it had given me. A shy freshman turned into a Woodsey who finally was able to be himself after training meetings, camp events, and session. Finally I found a place where I could be surrounded by people who were not afraid to be themselves either. I want to keep doing camp because without it, I will feel like a part of my life is missing.

It is hard to explain how camp becomes a part of your life. Some jokingly say that Camp is like a cult and that camp people hang out with camp people only. I would never put a bad connotation on it though. I would say that like-minded people who are willing to try and make a difference in a young person’s life together, in a fun atmosphere, where they can learn about and be themselves, is bound to create passion and a universal bond amongst all involved. I wish I started camp earlier and submitted an application as a Freshman. It is hard to explain and convey the wonder of camp to someone who has not yet done it and who is shy; it is something that just needs to be experienced first hand. The hardest job of today’s world is educating others.

Unicamp is a way to inspire, play games, sing songs, impact lives, and do fun activities. Often overlooked, all of these actions and activities have a huge educational component. As Woodsey’s we are not only educating for social justice and greater opportunity, but also for empowering today’s youth.

MWL,
Fiji
-interviewed by Cookie Monster

750 miles. $10,000. All for UniCamp.

John “Sleepy” Reilly has taken on the challenge of running 750 miles (the length of California) to raise $10,000 for UniCamp.  Yes, $10,000 or enough money to send 20 kids to camp, filling 2 cabins.

Cookie Monster: When did you start volunteering for UniCamp?

John: I got involved with UniCamp when I was an undergrad student, back in 1987-1992.  Now I’m serving as the Vice President of the Board of Directors.

 

Cookie Monster: Wow, that’s dedication! What experiences have you had in camp? More

Profile

“Tails” Classic Camp Program Director Interview

Session 6'11 Leadership Team

by Jaya “Flit” Reddy

Eugene “Tails” Hahn, a regular veteran of the UniCamp program is now one of two
privileged and hard working Classic Camp Program Directors for the 2011-2012 camp season. After spending 3 years quickly advancing from a New Woodsey volunteer to filling larger shoes of Head Counselor Assistant and subsequently Head Counselor, Tails has more than enough experience at camp to supplement his leadership abilities and dynamic personality in his new role as Program Director.

Though Tails says nothing will beat his first time at camp, he is looking forward to being a Program Director in order to give back to the program. Initially, the seasoned Woodsey planned to volunteer for UniCamp one last time in 2011 as a Head Counselor. However, after greatly enjoying his week as an HC during Session 6, Tails felt more than willing to “contribute to the organization in a big way.” As a Program Director, he anticipates “bigger and better things for the future.” Namely, this means attracting more UCLA students to volunteer for UniCamp to return the organization to its 1980s and 90s status as “THE thing to do on campus” for incoming freshmen. However, because many changes within the program are in the hands of the current Head Counselors and their assistants, also known as LSHIP, Tails looks forward to the direction in which LSHIP takes UniCamp. Many innovative improvements are in store for training meetings, the annual All-Camp meeting and 10th Annual Camp-A-Thon, promising “New Woodseys should expect something different!” More

News & Info

Leadership Co-Revelations

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: More

News & Info

Invitation to a Woodsey Run Way Show!!!

Camp and fashion are normally two words that don’t go in the same sentence however Old Woodsey Sarah “Shortcake” Ahn has invited the Woodsey Alumni Association to attend her upcoming runway show. It is coming up soon so if you have ever wanted to attend a runway show don’t let this opportunity pass you by! See the invitation below for all the information:

Profile

“Bill Lovallo” Creator of the Biffy Breeze

I first met Sherlock “Squirrelly” Ho when he was a floater for my first session, Summit Gold 2009. I remember my unit (and myself) struggling up the hills during his bike rotation while he effortlessly rode by. And of course, there was the incident in which my co scraped her knee after she fell off her bike… while stationary. Squirrelly never did live that one down. Now four years down the road, I have seen him in many of the positions that camp has to offer.  More

News & Info

SAIL Retreat

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.

MWL,

Otter

In the beautiful city of Malibu, the SAILors of 2012 were brought together for an unforgettable weekend.  It was a small and cozy retreat, allowing us plenty of time to get to know one another and truly bond.  We kicked off retreat with good old-fashioned skits introducing everyone.  Random adjectives were creatively incorporated, leading to Sailors breaking out of jail, re-mixing HIMYM’s “Let’s All Go to the Mall Retreat!”, Bear horses, and rap video.  Funny would be a serious understatement.  The night was concluded with a night hike to Malibu’s beach shores.

Waking up bright and early, we set off for a full day of leadership training, camp topics review, and fundraising plans.  It was a beautiful, sunny day set in a private park.  The afternoon was reserved for adventure.  We set off for a hike to the Escondido Falls.  Actually, it was more of a trickle… that smelled like sulfur (aka rotten eggs), yum.  Nonetheless, it was a sight to see, with a fun trail bringing us back to nature-filled camp days.  And of course, it wouldn’t be a complete day without a visit to the beach.  Spending time relaxing, taking an endless amount jumping pictures, playing in the cold water, and playing Bocce Ball, it’s safe to say the Sailors are already one with the water.  This was especially true for Grizzly Bear, after being engulfed by a wave! More

News & Info

UniCamp Updates! Rush 49, Weingart Foundation & Volunteer Recruitment

Hello Woodseys!

It has been a couple of very exciting weeks for UniCamp as volunteer recruitment officially ended  last Friday. However, the UCLA campus has not been the only place to see action, as cabins undergo construction at River Glen with the help of the Weingart Foundation Grant, and Rush 49, a website, hosts a contest to find the “Best Charity in LA”, UniCamp is active throughout the Southland. Read on for more information about volunteer recruitment, more cabins for River Glen, and UniCamp’s victory as the best charity in LA! More

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