Camp Tawonga’s Mission & Philosophy

At Camp Tawonga, everything we do — on the bunk, unit, staff and all-Camp level — is rooted in our Mission. Unchanged since 1925, our Mission has four parts: Positive Self-Image & Self-Esteem, Creating a Cooperative Community, Tikkun Olam- A Partnership with Nature, and Spirituality and Positive Jewish Identification.


The first principle of our Mission is to intentionally provide a space for our campers to improve and build on their self-image and their self-esteem. Our hope is that kids leave Camp more confident, self assured, and comfortable in their own skin. At Camp, it’s cool to be yourself and let your true colors shine. This kind of intentional inclusivity and acceptance shatters stereotypes and helps kids become the best version of themselves.  


The second part of our mission emphasizes building a cooperative community at Camp. Campers live in communal cabins that stay together during most activities throughout the day. Campers learn to take care of their shared spaces with their eleven other bunkmates, using consensus decision making, creating their own cabin “Ten Commandments” and eating meals together family-style. We hope kids leave Camp more equipped to live and be with others in positive ways.


The third principle of our Mission is Tikkun Olam– A Partnership with Nature. We emphasize the idea of caring for, respecting and loving the natural world through backpacking trips in Yosemite National Park, spending time in our Farm & Garden and Maintenance Tikkun blocks where kids help our Maintenance Crew clean the bathrooms. Through Tikkun Olam, campers come home with a better sense of responsibility and care for the world around them while having a blast unplugging from city life and having fun in nature.


The last part of our Mission is our emphasis on giving campers the ability to gain a greater sense of their own Jewish identity and spirituality. From singing prayers before and after each meal to Jewish programming and Shabbat services, campers have the opportunity to connect with their spirituality in ways that are meaningful to them on a personal level. No matter where you find spirituality, from more classic Jewish activities to just star gazing or story telling, there is a place for you to find a connection to something greater than yourself. 


The Mission of Camp has changed countless lives throughout the nearly 100 year history of Camp Tawonga, and we hope your kids leave feeling transformed as well. See here some photos of today’s activities –the Mission in action!