This past Sunday, more than 200 summer staff members joyfully arrived at Camp, some for the first time and others returning, to take part in our “In-Service” staff training.
The staff are eagerly anticipating the arrival of over 1,300 campers who will take part in Tawonga programs this summer, and have been hard at work learning their roles, how to live in community together and how to embody our mission.
Over the past year, Tawonga’s year-round team has worked to update and improve our trainings, policies and programming to better support the community toward a more inclusive, welcoming space for all.
Specifically, our director and supervisor teams are leading the staff to cultivate the four rungs of our mission: how to nurture campers’ self-esteem, how to intentionally create an inclusive and loving community and how to foster their connection to a positive Jewish identity and to nature.
Staff were also busy learning the ins and outs of their specific roles across Camp; our wilderness team and counselors have been practicing backpacking trips for campers, our song leaders are fine-tuning their sets, waterfront staff are honing safety practices, farm and garden staff are preparing the space (and the goats) to welcome campers and more.
Meanwhile, Health Center staff are administering regular rounds of COVID testing and ensuring all staff are vaccinated and feeling their best.
To bond together as a community, staff joined several inspiring campfires throughout the past week, and also participated in educational improvisation skits and spirited game and art nights.
This evening, we will close out the week by celebrating Shabbat together and look forward to a lively freilach and collaborative Kabbalat Shabbat service following the Shabbat stroll and meal.
As we approach the start of A Taste of Camp next week, we feel more grateful than ever to have the chance to be part of such a loving, dedicated and supportive community, and we are all counting down the days until Monday. And we’re sure that we’re not the only ones!
P.S. In case you missed it, check out our Meet the Directors post here.
Enjoy photos from In-Service training