How Campers Experience Tawonga’s Mission
There are many places parents can choose to send their child to summer camp. What makes Camp Tawonga so unique and transformative for our campers is the core philosophy and values by which we live. Our Mission, strengthened by our dedicated staff who embody and model it, is truly what sets us apart and makes this community the magical place that it is.
Tawonga’s Mission can be broken down into four main components:
(1) Fostering Positive Self-Image and Self-Esteem
Particularly for Taste of Camp campers, who are just starting to explore who they are and what their identity is, this part of our Mission is so crucial in providing an environment and supportive staff who guide kids to build confidence and find their true voice. Through every activity, camp fire, meal and night time bunk ritual, Taste of Campers are immersed in a supportive, open, and loving community where children have the space to continuously build confidence and positive self-image.
(2) Creating a Cooperative Community
Camp Tawonga is a shared space for campers and staff alike that allows campers to live, share meals, play and bond together among a cooperative community. Our trained and experienced counselors prioritize teaching shared responsibility by incorporating positive team-building exercises into each activity throughout the day. Our group-centered philosophy, in which cabins experience Tawonga together as a unit, is central to this aspect of our Mission.
(3) Tikkun Olam – A Partnership with Nature
Today, when we are all increasingly dependent on technology, it’s especially important for kids to have a time – even if only for a week – to unplug from digital devices and genuinely connect with nature and friends. Camp Tawonga is situated in beautiful Stanislaus National Forest and just a few miles from glorious Yosemite National Park. All Taste of Camp campers will go on a day hike in this epic wilderness during their session. They also get to enjoy swimming in the Tuolumne River which runs through Camp, spending time in our organic garden and farm, and generally living in the great outdoors. Our Screen-Free policy helps Tawonga to fully live this tenet of our Mission.
(4) Spiritual and Positive Jewish Identity
Camp Tawonga encourages children to explore their Jewish identity and spirituality through what we refer to as a “buffet” of Jewish offerings. Kids get to choose what parts of Judaism they connect to and can opt in or out depending on their comfort level. This session, campers will be able to chant the Ha’Motzi (prayer for bread), sing the Birkat (prayer after the meal) and learn about our summer’s Jewish theme, Hineini (which means “I am here”) during Ruach (spirit) Hour with our Jewish programming department, among many other spiritual and Jewish experiences offered at Camp.
It is heart-warming to know that many of our Taste of Camp campers are experiencing Tawonga’s Mission for the very first time this week!
Check out these photos below from across Camp, and tune back in for more later!