What People Are Saying About Camp Krem

Over our 50+ years of serving the developmentally disabled community, we’ve met a lot of amazing people. From campers, to parents, to educators and more, it’s this community that makes Camp Krem so special! Here are some testimonials that shine a light on the positive impact that Camp Krem makes on the lives of so many – each and every one of us! Submit your own testimonial here.

Cory has been going to camp now for over 15 years, and he is the happiest person on earth when he goes to Travel Camp or to day trips on the Year-Round Program.  He has found his “tribe”!  Many of our kids are socially inept or are very shy.  Cory came out of his shell several years ago after attending camp and I wouldn’t change him for anything in this world.  I thank all the counselors that have shown him patience, love and respect.

Helen Patek-Deringer

We just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all of your and your colleagues support, care and engagement with AJ during his stay. This was one BIG win for us – never before has AJ been away for 1 night – let alone 4. We are all encouraged and rejuvenated as a result of the wonderful Camp Krem.

Steve Prutsman

This was the first time ever that Tommy has gone to sleep-away camp. When we arrived at Camp, he looked around and then his face lit up and he was ecstatic! Just glowing with happiness and joy. His twin sister kept saying that she had never seen him so happy in his life (and she’s known him the entire time!). It just gives me goose bumps to think about it. What an amazing gift your camp gives to both the camper and his parents. Getting to have a few days off from the usual routine is wonderful for us, but knowing that he is so happy just makes it all so incredible and truly exceptional in our world. It was amazing for all of us! Tommy had what appeared to be the time of his life.

I ran into an acquaintance a few days after my son returned from Camp Krem and she asked what was up. She knows Tom well. I showed her pictures I got off Facebook of Tom at camp and it literally brought tears to her eyes.

Susan Riggle

I just wanted to express our utmost appreciation for the amazing camp experience Brett had last week! He thoroughly enjoyed being so adventurous! How lucky we were to have Jessica, Alli and Evan as his counselors. What a terrific, upbeat and positive group of kids! I think it’s so great that these “typical” kids want to and seem to enjoy spending time with our “special” kids!

You have a terrific operation and we feel so, so fortunate that Brett was able to have a very positive experience at Camp Krem. He is looking forward to coming back and spending an even longer amount of time up there!
Thanks to all of you who worked to make this possible for us.

Joanne W

I can’t tell you what it meant for me to be able to bring my daughter Sam to Camp Krem. She had so much fun! Everyone was fantastic and helpful when we arrived, and Sam was positively giddy when I picked her up. This was a real milestone for us, and it has given me huge relief.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you, for taking such good care of Sam, and showing her such a good time. We will definitely be back next year!

Lisa W.

Erik loves Camp Krem/Camping Unlimited – his friends and teachers there, his field trips and summer camps; for that we are eternally grateful to you and your vision and your teachers, who give so much to our kids.

Bozena and Craig M. (parents of a 15 year old boy)

My son speaks so highly of Camp Krem and of your staff.  Thanks for providing a wonderful experience for my son and others who would not otherwise have the opportunity to socialize and experience new adventures!

Pam K. (mother of a 22 year old young man)

My son Zane is profoundly disabled and deaf. Zane cannot walk, is not toilet trained, and must be fedusing a gastroenteral feeding tube. Because of all of his needs, we never imagined that we would find a place we would be comfortable leaving him for the night – let alone for 5 or 6 nights!

Thus, until we learned about Camp Krem when Zane was 11, he had never slept over at another child’s house or even spent the night away from his parents. But Camp Krem gives Zane – and us — what we never thought we would find: a chance for him to socialize and enjoy life with a community of loving and friendly campers and counselors on his own without his parents. We were shocked when we first visited the camp to find counselors who were comfortable and skilled with all the areas of care that Zane requires, in addition to on-site nurses to take care of any surprise issues.

Since that day, Zane has spent a week at camp every summer for 3 summers, and has attended numerous day trips and overnight weekend trips during the year. He loves going to camp. And for us, the idea that our child can gain some independence and find a community of friends outside his family and caregivers – just like a typical 14-year- old boy – is absolutely priceless.

Dan R.

Hi Camp Krem Team,

I am Dorothy Andrews the mother of Michael Andrews. He is 17 years old. He attended Main Camp this past June. One of his camp counselors Enrique. He is great. He sent me pictures on my birthday of Michael and that made my day to see him so happy, enjoying music. This was Michael’s very first time EVER being away from us outside of school. He had a wonderful time. The staff could not believe this was his very first away from us. His 1st camp experience. Thank you.

We are looking forward to him attending year around programs. What really help me was the opportunity came up for a day program in April 2014. Michael went for the day. He came back happy, neat and clean. I was so impressed. The staff gave us wonderful feedback. Also, May 2014 New Families Orientation. I was sold. I was teary on the drive up to drop Michael off at camp but I was okay. I wish I didn’t wait so long. But I am glad we are here now.

One thing that stood out about Michael returning from camp was he became very patient waiting for food. HUGE! Thank you again.

Dorothy A.

My Son Oscar aged 13 attended Camp Krem this Summer. It was his first time away from home and the best decision we have ever made. He just thrived at Camp Krem, his self-esteem has increased enormously, his independence improved and his interactions with others is hugely improved. The first session went so well we immediately signed him up for another session. There is a very high Staff-Camper ratio and the staff are just wonderful with real insight and were on top of things immediately….I would highly recommend this camp to any parent of a special needs child….we will be back.

Oscar has been with us every summer since then and grown in independence, confidence, happiness and helpfulness.

Margaret K.

Dear Board of Directors,

Our daughter Sarah had another wonderful and exciting 10 days at Camp Krem(Session 3) this summer. Her counselors were very professional, friendly, courteous and helpful. They said Sarah enjoyed all the camp activities, especially swimming, arts and crafts, dances and campfires.

We look forward to sending Sarah to 2014 summer camp at Camp Krem. Again we want to thank you and your staff for a great session enjoyed by our daughter.

Gary and Carol B.

Hi Alex,

Everyone was soooooo impressed with your camp. I ran into an acquaintance a few days after Tommy returned and she asked what was up. I showed her pictures I got off Facebook of Tom at camp and it literally brought tears to her eyes. She knows Tom…. This was the first time ever that Tommy has gone to sleep-away camp. When we arrived at Camp, he looked around and then his face lit up and he was ecstatic! Just glowing with happiness and joy. His twin sister kept saying that she had never seen him so happy in his life (and she’s known him the entire time!). It just gives me goose bumps to think about it. What an amazing gift your camp gives to both the camper and his parents. Getting to have a few days off from the usual routine is wonderful for us, but knowing that he is so happy just makes it all so incredible and truly exceptional in our world. It was amazing for all of us! Tommy had what appeared to be the time of his life.

Susan R.

Alex,

Thank you so much! Adam’s Camp experience is the highlight of his year. He always asks, “When am I going back to Camp Krem”?  He can’t wait!! It’s great for both him and us.

Michael C.

Hi everyone,

I can’t tell you what it meant for me to be able to bring my daughter Sam to Camp Krem. She’s the most wonderful child in the world, and I’ve been privileged to be her parent. But it has also been a very difficult, exhausting road, and I hadn’t had a real break in over eight years. But most important, Sam had so much fun! Everyone was fantastic and helpful when we arrived, and Sam was positively giddy when I picked her up. This was a real milestone for us, and it has given me huge relief.

I was sort of delirious when I picked her up and dropped her off, and I’m so sorry I don’t remember the names of all her wonderful counselors and staff. But thank you so much to each and every one of you, for taking such good care of Sam, and showing her such a good time. (Melissa sent fantastic pictures to Sam’s dad, Steve, which we love.)

We will definitely be back next year!

Gratefully

Lisa W.

Dear Gail and Christina,

Thank you so much for all that you do for James and the rest of the Camp Krem campers. You will never know just how big a difference you have made in James, Sandra and my life. James came back from camp last weekend (as he always does) very very happy, full of energy and looking great! (And whoever has the onerous task of attempting to clean his teeth, they do an incredible job!)

Please pass on our warmest and sincerest regards and thank you, to everyone involved in your incredible organization. You and they, all Rock!

With our highest regards

Mel, Sandra and James D.

Dear Alex,

So sorry it has taken me so long to check back in again. I’ve been busy as usual, but I’ve also been reflecting on our whole summer experience. It being the first time ever that Tommy has gone to sleep away camp. It was amazing for all of us! Tommy had what appeared to be the time of his life. When Charlotte and I were dropping Tommy off for the Aug 7 – 16 session, we had the most incredible affirmation of this when he was his usual grumpy self on our drive to the drop off point, and even after we arrived, until he looked around and then his face lit up and he was ecstatic! Just glowing with happiness and joy. Charlotte just kept saying that she had never seen him so happy in his life (and she’s known him the entire time!). It just gives me goose bumps to think about it. I don’t know if you are told often enough of what an amazing gift your camp gives to both the camper and his parents. Getting to have a few days off from the usual routine is wonderful for us, but knowing that he is so happy just makes it all so incredible and truly exceptional in our world.

Thanks again for everything.

John W.

I read about your origins on the website and for the first time last summer, my 15 year old daughter attended Camp Krem and loved it. She’ll be back this summer! Organizations that highlight the “abilities” of those with disabilities is where our family and daughter find the most joy.

Madeline F.

Our daughter, Elise, has really enjoyed her summer camp experiences at Camp Krem! We hope that our donation [$500] can help to make the camp experience enjoyable for other kids and adults with developmental disabilities.

Regards

Diane & Steve C.

Dear Camping Unlimited,

Enclosed is a donation for $1,000 for Camp Krem/etc. My daughter Allison was at Camp Krem many summers over the past years and we appreciate it! Hope you are having a good season.

Best Regards

Kenneth T.

Good Morning,

I just wanted to express our utmost appreciation for the amazing camp experience Brett had last week! He thoroughly enjoyed himself and was pleased as punch that because he ate so many different foods he earned $50.00 from me for being so adventurous!  I’d like to also say how lucky we were to have Jessica, Aly and Evan as his counselors. What a terrific, upbeat and positive group of kids! I think it’s so great that these “typical” kids want to and seem to enjoy spending time with our “special” kids!

You have a terrific operation and we feel so, so fortunate that Brett was able to have a very positive experience at Camp Krem and is looking forward to coming back and spending an even longer amount of time up there!

Thanks to all of you who worked to make this possible for us.

Joanne W.

Dear Camp Krem:

I just wanted to thank you for all the effort and time the staff invest in these challenging diagnosis.(sic) It has been a few years now at camp krem so it is improving over time as far as the difficult understanding of Prader Willi Syndrome.

Lance was only up two pounds and since returning home we have been walking each day and trying to shed off the vacation weight.  We all gain a few pounds while vacationing….but it is my goal to see nutrition being a high priority at all camps and day programs for this population. This is the first year that we did not receive a phone call due to behavior or a visit to the doctor.  I felt the most relaxed and truly did have a nice respite experience. Lance will be thrilled to read this letter to his dad today. Again thank you so much for the ‘holy’ work you do! We will return again next year.

Cherie S.

Julia has had wonderful experiences at Camp Krem and we see significant growth every time she returns.

Sincerely

Stephen and Barbara W.

Here’s What Our Amazing Past & Present Staff Have to Say About Camp

Over our 50+ years of serving the developmentally disabled community, we’ve had the pleasure of working with a variety of amazing counselors, volunteers, board members, local community members and more! It’s this community that makes Camp Krem so special! Many of our counselors go on to careers in special needs education and related fields. Here are some testimonials that shine a light on the positive impact that Camp Krem makes on the lives of so many. Submit your own testimonial here.

I always knew that I had a family, but little did I know I had this whole other family waiting for me at Camp Krem. Coming from the Midwest, I was hesitant about moving to a new state with people I had never met, but Camp Krem welcomed me in with open arms, love, and acceptance. This is a safe haven where you will flourish and experience endless amounts of laughter, growth, smiles, and so much more. I believe there is a reason we come across certain people and experiences in our lives, and Camp Krem came into my life at a time where I needed change and learn to love myself and grow with those around me.
Thank you Camp Krem for teaching me more than I could have ever asked for.

Emily Vrabel, Counselor

Camp Krem is my home away from home. Everyone that I have met here at camp all have said that they feel as though this is where they belong and will always be welcome. This place is none other than a miracle. A place where people gather for no reason other than to be present so that all of who you are can be given to those around you, which in my opinion, is difficult to find these days. What we all give is nothing compared to the gifts we receive when our camper’s arrive. The collective experience between the campers and the counselors gives each person a new set of perspectives along with the ability to be flexible enough to relate at the most humanistic level. I will forever and always thank the stars for the opportunity to witness and be a part of something so beautiful.

Jess Turner, Staff Member

In the summer of 2016 I had the absolute pleasure of being able to work as one of the health center staff at Camp Krem. I got to work with some of the most amazing coworkers and campers I ever could have hoped for. At camp, I grew not only as a clinician but even more so as a person; I learned to be more patient, gracious, and intentional. I learned to let go and be silly with people that made me laugh every single day. I was taught more by the truly unique campers I got to serve than I could hope to learn in a traditional clinic setting, and had so much fun doing it. I am forever indebted to this place and these individuals for giving me one of the best summers of my life doing the most rewarding, fun work I’ve ever been able to do.

Ashley Sapieja, Healthcare Team

Working at Camp Krem is an experience that I will never forget. It allows someone to be of service to those who have special needs. The experience is humbling, inspiring, worthwhile, trying, and fulfilling. When I came to do this job, I figured that it would just be an interesting summer job. To my pleasant surprise, I gained a family, a network of campers and coworkers who support me as I support them.  Working at Camp Krem allowed me to set the course for my life, heal from my past, and grow into my future. This is a job that I will love for as long as I do it, simply because working at Camp Krem isn’t a job. Its taking care of your family and those who have made it a home to everyone who walks up the hill.

Sommer Jones, Counselor

Camp Krem changed my life in the most wonderful of ways. It’s a place where, no matter who you are, where you come from, you will learn to call it home. From the moment I arrived at Camp, I felt extraordinarily welcome, and that sentiment only grew as I spent the summer there. I’ve never laughed more, sang louder or, felt so much love as I did here. The entire way I viewed the world has changed, and I owe it all to this amazing place. Camp Krem is a place of true beauty and exceptional people, and I am so thankful I was able to be a part of this amazing experience.

Anya Bonner, Counselor

Camp Krem has been such a blessing to my life. Getting the chance to build different relationships and bonds with the counselors was amazing. Knowing that it was ok to go through different emotions, because at some point throughout the summer, we’ve all been there.  Working with so many amazing campers.  To see a camper get into their element and just live life as they knew it was great. It made me wanna do the same. The whole time I thought I would be making a difference in their life, but they were really the ones making a difference in mine. I’m so grateful for this experience and it’s something I will carry with me forever.

Brittany Davis, Counselor

Camp Krem has changed my life. The counselors and campers become so close because we live life together. We dance, we sing, we play, we love, and we grow together. We are a family. Camp offers such a safe place to be who you are and love yourself as well as those around you. It is a place filled with joy and love and it is impossible to walk away from camp not being able to feel that.

Jenny Cuadra, Counselor

For the summer of 2016, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to go somewhere new and experience new things. I have been teaching Special Education for a few years and coaching Special Olympics and when I found Camp Krem I felt that it would be perfect for my skill set. It would allow me to continue with what I’m passionate about as well as enjoy a new experience. My Camp Krem summer turned out to be the best experience of my life. From day one, I was welcomed in by the friendly staff. It didn’t take a lot of time before the staff at Camp Krem felt like family. I have worked at camps before but I never grew as close to people as I did at Camp Krem. We looked after each other and were there for one another at all times. During camp sessions it was great seeing everyone work super hard and seeing the smiles on the camper’s faces because of it. All staff members went above and beyond to give the campers the best experience of their life and it was an amazing sight to see. There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not thinking about the memories that were made this past summer. From the hiking, camping, dancing, singing to dressing up every day in fun costumes, it was an unforgettable experience and summer. Working at Camp Krem was and is the most rewarding and life changing job I have ever had. Through Camp Krem I have lifelong friends, and memories that will last forever. There are going to be many exciting events that happen in my life over the years but nothing will ever touch my summer at Camp Krem. Camp Krem will always have a special place in my heart.

Ben Alberry – Outdoor Adventure Camp Director

Working as the nurse assistant at Camp Krem was one of the paramount experiences of my life. Our campers and staff helped me to see light and love every single day. I was challenged to learn humility and selfless service, while being ceaselessly motivated by our incredible campers. This place, these people, are some of the most caring and friendly souls I’ve met. Camp Krem is truly unique and I look forward to remaining an active participant of this wonderful family.

Maggie Malone, Healthcare Team

Working with Camp Krem has forever changed my life in ways I never thought were possible. Going into this line of work with little experience I was nervous- but the overwhelming sense of care and compassion at camp took care of that in the blink of an eye. I’ve learned so much here. So much that I don’t even know how to put into words. So much about the lives of these amazing people who not only spend their summers with us- they spend the rest of the year just THINKING about spending their summer with us. So much about life in general- working with others, etc. Camp Krem has also helped me learn so much about myself that I don’t know how I would have figured out if it weren’t for this amazing opportunity. Camp Krem truly is one of a kind. It’s a place where all people- regardless of age, status, ability – whatever it may be- can feel welcome and encouraged so that they can prosper and thrive at whatever they so choose. I am so humbled by my experiences at Camp Krem and I really wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

BJ Toole, Counselor Coordinator

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