Building Skills for Life

At Tawonga we teach our campers with the hope of inspiring them to learn more about themselves and their interests.

Our diverse and passionate staff members have a broad range of skills that they love to share with the kids. During Sessions III and IV, older units participate in what we call Livnot — Hebrew for “to build” — where counselors as well as specialists from various departments (e.g. Arts & Crafts, Kitchen, Wilderness, Programming) will plan an activity where campers are empowered to learn an entirely new skill-set. They can choose from a variety of options such as dance choreography, music lessons, ultimate frisbee, gardening, basketball, and so much more.

“The coolest part is that campers follow a set structure in their schedule. It’s really great for them to choose what they want to do and participate in,” said Gabe Quintana, Programming Director.

Livnot Groups meet between four and five times each session with about five to twelve campers per group. Today marked the last day of Session IV Livnots. Below we will give a brief profile of just a few of the Livnots we offered this summer.

One of our Song Leaders, Myles Cohen, led a Livnot group titled School of Rock. During each meeting, campers gathered in the Dining Hall and played their choice of drums, guitar, or even violin. Tomorrow, the group will be performing a song they all learned together at the closing campfire.

Camp blogger and photographer, Gabi Hamlett, led a Journalism Livnot titled “The Tawonga Times” during Sessions III and IV. In this livnot, campers had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of journalism learning journalistic ethics, Associate Press (AP) Style, how to conduct interviews, and how to write articles. Campers participated in a storyboard where they brainstormed potential story ideas which were then assigned to each news team. Additionally, they conducted a press conference in which they interviewed sources including Camp Directors, Kitchen Managers, Maintenance Staff members, and more. They then outlined and wrote their stories.

Counselors Isaac Kreger and Jack Hochberg led a Ultimate Frisbee Livnot during Session III. They taught campers various throwing techniques, defense and marking techniques, how to hold a force as a team, and supporting one another.

“I love the community Ultimate Frisbee builds — the fact that you can play competitively and still be friendly is awesome. Frisbee is something I really care about — I actually fell in love with it at camp and it felt great to get to share it with kids,” Hochberg, who attended College Nationals for frisbee this year, said.

Counselor Evan Gunsberg led a Comedy Livnot during Session III where he simulated the inside of a TV show writer’s room for the campers. Campers brainstormed jokes and wrote a script.

Other Livnots Session IV included a dance livnot, led by Dance Programmer, Keren Hovav, a Garden Cooking Livnot with our Garden department, and a Self-Love Livnot

“Livnot really helps campers build community with other kids their age in other bunks and build lifelong friendships,” Quintana said. “I still remember Livnots I participated in as a camper and I still have very close friends that I made through Livnot.”

Below, enjoy photos of the day as well as some photos from the Journalism Livnot from both Session III and IV.