A chunk of my heart has been at Camp Unalayee in Northern California’s Trinity Alps these past two weeks with grandson Judah. I’ve only seen it on the website, but I’m glad Judah is there. I hope the base camp at Mosquito Lake isn’t living up to its name (or that they have this lemon eucalyptus spray I got at MOMs).

Judah was as much at home outdoors as in for the first 6 years of his life–with his Mom Jean at summer Rainbow Family gatherings, camping in a Kauai jungle or on a Hawaiian beach, hiking and swimming with friends and family in many states. He now lives in a large house on a wooded hill in Ashland OR. He’s crazy about skate and snowboarding and does enjoy school field trips & occasional family outings. In May he even went camping for a weekend with some guys, but the main purpose was wild 4-wheeler dune rides.

Jean was able to coax her 12 & 3/4 year-old on this adventure, since he could be in the same “tribe” as his twin friends, David & Gabe, whose Bar Mitzvah he attended in June. I trust that Creator God/Holy Friend/Great Spirit has drawn Judah to this Unalayee (Place of Friends). I pray that looking back, maybe while Judah & his friend Alex are with us later this month, maybe next summer or many years later, Judah will recognize the call of the One who is Love in his life and will respond with joy.

On the first day after Judah spent an hour with his counselors and other tribe members before Jean & Mikael left, he said he liked them a lot. It’s the people who make this wilderness camp a place of friends–of each other and of the earth.

It’s also people who can renew churches as Unalayee communities. May DC CRC and all churches be places of friends –not merely friendly, indoor, air-conditioned spaces. May we be friends of every child, every family and tribe, friends of creation, friends of God.

2 thoughts on “Unalayee

    1. Clarice Ribbens

      This old grandma would love to hear an experience which took place in the wilderness! Perhaps the closest I came to “rature” was camping in an umbrella tent with my parents and sister when I was ten years old, on the sandy beach of the Atlantic Ocean. (Jeannie has it in her genes!)


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