Travel Camp Log from Atop Mt. Diablo

Today, Session 2 Travel Campers are hanging out on Mt. Diablo enjoying spectacular weather. Tomorrow we head back to Main Camp as the session starts winding down. Here’s the latest update on our activities out on the road…

Holiday songs campfire
After a relaxing day hanging out by a redwood-shaded creek at Samuel P. Taylor, we had a loud and fun campfire! We sang some classic campfire songs and holiday tunes like “Rudolph” and “Jingle Bells.” After dancing and telling stories, we made delicious s’mores!

Golden Gate Bridge
It was a foggy but warm day – perfect weather to walk the Golden Gate! After having a picnic lunch and checking out the new visitor center and revamped Round House, Travel Campers began crossing the famous span on foot. We admired the view of San Francisco and spotted landmarks like Alcatraz and Angel Island. We also posed for photos, and we will post these soon to the Camping Unlimited-Camp Krem Facebook page!

Muir Woods
After leaving the Golden Gate Bridge, we made a stop at the stunning Muir Woods National Monument to admire the redwoods and wildlife. On our hike, campers were especially pleased to spot a baby deer. We also learned the difference between redwoods and sequoias at the visitor center.

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park
On our way from Samuel P. Taylor to Mt. Diablo, we stopped off at the Rosie the Riveter park in Richmond. Campers learned about the role of women in World War II and got to see interesting artifacts from the era. Outside of the museum, we were treated to a beautiful view of San Francisco Bay. After a movie presentation on the Bay Area’s role in the war effort, we rolled on to Mt. Diablo.

Mt. Diablo campfire with popcorn
At the end of our first night at Mt. Diablo, we all gathered around the campfire pit at our spacious group campsite to tell stories and have fun. We even had a very special treat – popcorn, popped over the campfire! Matt and camper Erin handled popping duties, and in no time, we had a delicious bowl of yummy popcorn to enjoy together!

Mt. Diablo Summit and Mitchell Canyon
After waking up to a very foggy day on the mountain, we weren’t sure how the weather would be at the summit. We drove up anyway, and we quickly rose above the clouds to see a clear blue sky. Erin, Robert, and Sarah took a different route – they hiked to the top! We met up with them and explored the museum and viewing platforms. After leaving the summit, we also scoped out the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center and learned about the native wildlife of the mountain.

Tomorrow, Travel Camp heads home
Another amazing session is almost done. Don’t miss any of our travel logs – sign up for email updates in the sidebar and follow Camping Unlimited-Camp Krem on Facebook!


July 1, 2012. Tags: , , . Travel Logs. 1 comment.

Session 2 Travel Camp Underway Now!


Another exciting Travel Camp is underway! We are sleeping beneath the redwoods at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin. Yesterday we traveled here from Sonoma Coast State Beach. Here’s what the Travel Campers have been doing this session…

First day on the road
On Monday night, after a long day of driving from Camp Krem to Bodega Bay, we did some beachcombing. Ferkel, Sarah, and Mariah walked along the water while Kristi, Matt, Thea, Bryan, and Brian chilled out in the rocky sand. After having delicious mashed potato bowls for dinner, we caught the first of many spectacular sunsets. We could see and hear the ocean from our sleeping tarp, which was just a few hundred yards away from the crashing waves.

Beach day!!
After making delicious breakfast burritos on Tuesday, we piled in the bus and drove to nearby Doran Park. Here in this protected cove the waves were much calmer, so we were able to play in the water. Mariah and Erin really enjoyed getting their feet wet. Raul, Andrew, David, and Annika really enjoyed soaking in the sun and listening to music on the Travel Camp iPod dock. When we got back to our campsite, we had cheeseburgers and hand-cut pan fries for dinner!

Sunset hike
After dinner, all of Travel Camp – 8 campers and 5 staff – went on a lovely sunset hike. After walking alongside the coast, we climbed a set of stairs up to the steep cliff side and hiked back to our campsite. Photos of the hike will be posted soon to Facebook!

Point Reyes hike
On Wednesday, we traveled down scenic Highway 1 en route to our next campsite. We stopped off at Point Reyes National Seashore for a picnic and hiked out to the lighthouse. It was a beautiful but windy day. We all posed for a group photo before continuing onward to Samuel P. Taylor.

Fairfax Farmers Market
After setting up our new campsite at Samuel P. Taylor, we piled back on the bus to stock up on fresh fruit at the local farmers market. Campers and staff enjoyed sampling fresh food and interacting with the farmers. Each camper was able to pick out fruit for us to have with our meals: we got some delicious blueberries, peaches, and pluots. For breakfast this morning, we had oatmeal topped with all the goodies we picked up last night!

Photos coming soon to Facebook
That’s all for now, but the fun has only just begun. Like Camping Unlimited-Camp Krem on Facebook to keep up with Travel Camp’s adventures. We will be posting photos there as soon as Internet connectivity allows.

June 28, 2012. Tags: , , , . Travel Logs. Leave a comment.

Session 1 of Travel Camp Comes to a Close

We’re back at Main Camp after an exciting 12 day session out on the open road. Here’s some of the other adventures that Travel Campers participated in when we were out in the wilderness… if you missed any previous entries, click here to catch up.

Van Damme State Park campfire program

Gretchen telling a ghost story at the Van Damme campfire pit.

Friday evening at Van Damme State Park on the gorgeous Mendocino coast, our campers gathered in the park’s campfire arena and put on a campfire program of our own. Djelani did emcee duties as campers and counselors sang, danced, and told stories. Jon told us about his favorite Star Wars movies, Nancy busted some moves and taught us all how to dance, and Robin told us a nice story about his family. To close out the fun, Claudia performed the song “This is Me” from Camp Rock and Anna performed a rousing rendition of “I Gotta Feelin'”.

Lake Mendocino movie night

Jeremy enjoying the movie at the Lake Mendocino campfire arena.

At our campsite on the shore of Lake Mendocino, the park rangers had a special movie showing at the campfire pit. After getting Jr. Ranger hats and badges and hearing from the park rangers about the importance of “packing in and packing out” trash, campers and staff were treated to a showing of the Disney classic “The Ranger of Brownstone.” Michael particularly liked the movie and appreciated the message of the presentation – before and since, he patrolled our campgrounds looking for trash before we moved out.

Campfire and s’mores

Kristi making delicious s’mores.

On our last night at Lake Mendocino, we had a relaxing campfire and told more stories. Campers told ghost stories and sang songs around the fire, and, after, we made s’mores! Each camper toasted their own marshmallow over the fire and combined it with Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers for some Travel Camp deliciousness.

Travel Camp’s Got Talent

The audience and emcee Djelani at Travel Camp’s Got Talent!

We took advantage of our huge secluded group campsite at Mendocino National Forest and got a little loud for our closing talent show, Travel Camp’s Got Talent! A panel of campers and counselors served as judges for the three-round competition. After the semi-finals, it all came down to a three-way final performance by Jeremy, Nancy, and Claudia. In the end, the judges declared it a 15-way tie, since we are all winners at Camp Krem!

Dance party!!

On our last night on the road, we needed to pack up the van and bus so that we could head out early the next morning. We gave the campers a two-hour deadline to get everything cleaned and packed, and if they met this deadline, they’d get a special surprise the next day. Not only did the campers load up everything but the sleeping bags in under two hours, but they did it so fast and efficiently that we had time for an epic TC dance party! The next day, the campers were rewarded with popsicles for their hard work. For the dance party video, click here to go to Facebook.

Consumes River Preserve picnic

Michael and Djelani at the Consumes River Preserve.

Even though we were driving back to Main Camp on Wednesday, the fun wasn’t over just yet! We stopped off of Interstate 5 to check out the Consumes River Preserve. At the beautiful nature preserve, we saw birds and wildlife and got to check out the interactive visitor center. We stretched our legs and had a picnic lunch before finishing the drive back to Camp Krem. The next day we said farewell to Session 1’s Travel Campers and sent them home. We will miss all our new friends, but we’ll see you next year!

Never miss a beat

We have way more photos of Session 1 on Facebook – to stay in the loop, like Camping Unlimited-Camp Krem or get emails of blog updates in the sidebar. See you next session!

June 22, 2012. Tags: , , . Travel Logs. Leave a comment.

Travel Camp Update from the Mendocino Coast

We’re enjoying a warm sunny day on the coast of Mendocino County today. Tomorrow we will be heading inland to Lake Mendocino. Here’s a brief update on some of our activities…

Football and Frisbee games

When Travel Campers roll into a campsite, we typically attract some attention from the other campers and park staff. They are very interested in our group and are typically very helpful. Over the past few days, we’ve been fortunate to have some great neighbors at the campsites we’ve visited.

At MacKerricher State Park, two of our neighbors joined in on a Travel Camp game going on in the road. James D., Djelani, Ryan, Dylan, and Damion, among others, had fun tossing around the football and Frisbee – simultaneously! The game went on way past dark, and the final score between the Camp Krem Giants and the Camp Krem 49ers didn’t matter, as everyone had a ton of fun.

At Van Damme State Park, we also had friendly neighbors who joined in and had fun with us. What resulted was an exciting pick-up football game – the first annual Travel Camp Bowl. In addition to handling quarterback duties for the Camp Krem 49ers, Djelani put on the half-time show and conducted interviews with the other players. Later that evening, all the campers had a special treat – popcorn, popped over the fire!

Djelani interviewing our new friend Cory from the neighboring campsite for the Travel Camp Bowl half-time show.

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

We took a day trip to the beautiful lighthouse at Point Cabrillo, near the village of Mendocino. The campers got a look inside the working lighthouse, got to tour where the lightkeeper once lived, and, of course, had the opportunity to check out the gift shop. We also had a picnic lunch right outside the lighthouse and soaked in the beautiful coastal scenery. A park ranger even spoke to our group about how the lighthouse belongs to all Californians as it is part of a state park.

Campers enjoy a picnic lunch in the shadow of the Point Cabrillo lighthouse.

More photos on Facebook

That’s all for now, but be sure to check out the Camping Unlimited-Camp Krem Facebook page for more photos from Travel Camp! More blog updates and photos will be added when we have internet access out on the road.

June 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Travel Logs. Leave a comment.

Travel Camp Session 1 – On the Road Again!


We’re on the road again! Yesterday, the first Travel Camp of 2012 started with a bang as we drove from Camp Krem to the beautiful Mendocino coast near Fort Bragg. Despite overcast skies, the weather is quite nice and we are very comfortable sleeping out underneath the stars.

After eating lunch and getting some supplies at Costco, we got in late in the evening and set up our campsite. In the morning, Travel Campers pitched in to make delicious breakfast burritos – James M. and Damion cut up peppers, apples, and oranges, and Djelani and Kristi scrambled eggs. After eating, Gretchen, James M., and Matt went to the visitor center to check out the huge whale skeleton and buy some postcards, while Leo and Joel led a hike with some of the campers down to the beach.

Later this week, we’ll visit Point Cabrillo lighthouse, and we’ll buy some fresh produce for our meals at the Mendocino farmers’ market. We’ve been taking lots of photos and will post them soon to this blog and to the Camping Unlimited-Camp Krem Facebook page!

June 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Travel Logs. Leave a comment.

The Counselors are Here! Camp Krem Season Starts Sunday

Kristi hard at work at the Travel Camp desk. Our new map board is visible in the background.

The 2012 Camp Krem staff has arrived on the Hill and is hard at work getting ready for the arrival of campers this Sunday. We’ve been learning about the history of Camping Unlimited, getting to know the people we will be spending the next 12 weeks with, and going over important policies and procedures. At the Travel Camp desk, Kristi and I have been hard at work planning itineraries and ironing out the final details for our six unique summer sessions.

Also new this year, we will have a Travel Camp pinboard on display in Camp Krem’s Lucchese Activity Center so that campers from Main Camp and Outdoor Camp as well as visitors to camp can learn a little about our program. Currently, it has a map of California with pushpins indicating all the places we will go – throughout the summer, we plan to update it with pictures and other info on our activities (to check out our “virtual” pinboard made using Google Maps, click here).

Kristi working on our new Travel Camp pinboard that will be displayed inside camp’s Lucchese Activity Center throughout the summer.

Camp Krem 2012 blog

A quick plug: while this blog is your go-to spot for all the happenings on Travel Camp, Camp Krem also has a social media guru who will be writing about all the fun going on back at Main Camp. Longtime volunteer Ashley will be writing and sharing pictures over at the Camp Krem 2012 blog, so be sure to follow her posts there! This week she has some photos of construction projects going on at camp that will improve the look and feel of our facilities.

If you haven’t signed your camper up for this summer yet, it’s not too late! Visit or call our Registrar at 510-222-6662 to learn how you can sign your camper up.

Matt Nelson, Travel Camp Director

June 4, 2012. Tags: , , , . Staff Reports. Leave a comment.

Getting Ready For Summer: Work Day & Open House

While the first campers won’t arrive at Camp Krem for a few more weeks, that doesn’t mean camp is just sitting idle. Last Saturday, a number of volunteers including myself and Kristi headed down to Boulder Creek to begin the process of getting ready for this summer’s exciting camp season. (more…)

May 17, 2012. Staff Reports. 1 comment.

Putting the “Travel” in Travel Camp – 17 Parks, 3,100 Miles in 56 Days

We do call it “Travel Camp” for a reason. Over six sessions and 56 days this summer, Travel Campers and staff will travel more than 3,100 miles around California! We will camp at 17 different state or national parks spread across a huge swath of the state spanning roughly from Mount Shasta in the north to San Luis Obispo in the south, and from the beautiful beaches of Mendocino County in the west to Sequoia National Park and Lake Tahoe in the east.

I’ve put together this Google map that illustrates all the places we’ll be traveling this summer. We’re all going to have a ton of fun seeing the natural beauty that California has to offer, making new friends, and learning essential life skills through primitive camping.

Posted by Matt Nelson, Travel Camp Director

March 30, 2012. Tags: , , , . Staff Reports. 3 comments.

Meet the Travel Camp Assistant Director: Kristi-Lynn

My name is Kristi-Lynn Erwin and I will be the Assistant Director for Travel Camp 2012!

This will be my second summer with Camp Krem – my first summer was such a wonderful experience that I never imagined not coming back! The friends you make and the bonds you build are unforgettable. While not at camp, I work as a nanny splitting my time between several families in San Francisco, but I soon hope to start working toward becoming a special education teacher. I enjoy being able to teach and assist the developmentally disabled in their daily living skills.

I’m looking forward to another great summer on Travel Camp!

March 22, 2012. Tags: , , , . Staff Reports. 2 comments.

Welcome to the 2012 Travel Camp Blog!

Thank you for visiting the 2012 Travel Camp Blog! I’m Matt Nelson, and I will be serving as the Director of Camping Unlimited‘s Travel Camp program this summer!

(For the uninitiated, this means I get to round up a busload of my best friends who happen to have special needs and take them on amazing camping adventures around California.)

This will be my third summer spent with Camping Unlimited, and my second as a Travel Camp administrator. I consider our home base in the Santa Cruz Mountains (Camp Krem – or as we affectionately call it, “The Hill”) to be more of a home than any I’ve ever known – the friendships I’ve made there with both campers and counselors are real and lasting. While not at camp, I spend my time pursuing a degree in Urban Planning and writing about transportation at

My Assistant Director and I are looking forward to implementing our vision for Travel Camp. We take a lot of pride in the communal atmosphere of TC where everyone pitches in, whether it be by helping to set up tents or by helping to prepare lunch. I believe this approach gives campers an opportunity to learn new skills, develop new friendships, and enhance their sense of freedom and self-worth.

We plan on updating this blog as summer approaches and our plans for the six unique sessions become finalized. We will also update it over the course of the summer with pictures and stories about our trips when internet or cell phone connectivity allows us to do so. If you are a parent of a camper or just want to stay informed of our adventures, I encourage you to bookmark this page or find us on Facebook. To learn more about Camping Unlimited and how you can contribute to the organization, visit

See you this summer at camp!

March 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Staff Reports. 3 comments.