Time flew by this week — it’s hard to believe today is the last full day of A Taste of Camp! Campers and SCITs have spent the past five days forging new friendships, exploring their independence, trying their hand at new things and each playing their own unique part in our loving, cooperative Jewish community.
The verdict on the best part of Tawonga? Campers report: The activities! Our programming department pulled off a fantastic week of excitement and fun. From the garden, A&C and music-themed blocks to sports rotations, swimming and paddle boating, campers got a little “taste” of everything!
“My favorite part was the archery or the dance party — probably both,” B-1 camper Holden said. At Tawonga, picking between activities can be hard when there are so many exciting options. Partner and cabin floats this week gave campers the chance to return to their favorites, and try out new ones.
Beyond classic camp activities, specialty programming such as Ruach Hour, where campers engage with dynamic Jewish learning, and a day hike into the neighboring epic wilderness allowed campers to tap into tenets of Tawonga’s mission – having spiritual moments, connecting to their Jewish identities and fostering a partnership with nature.
This week, we’ve also loved having our Specialists and Counselors In-Training with us, who are taking up residence in our brand-new, capital campaign-funded Tawonga Village (next to the Manzanitas for inquiring minds). The SCITs will be staying on for three more weeks to work with and support Session 2 campers. These rising high school seniors are an enthusiastic, talented group, almost all of whom attended Tawonga as younger campers.
Meals have also been a special time this session when our SCITs camper bunks come together in between all of the fun. G-2 camper Emily shared, “The part I was most worried about coming to Camp was that I wouldn’t like the food – but I’m loving it – especially the BBQ.” Tonight, the Kitchen Staff is cooking up some delectable dishes for a traditional last-night-of-Camp feast. This Thanksgiving-esque meal is a culinary highlight of the session!
The “Jet Bus” leaves tomorrow to take these happy campers back home, and when we say that we “will sing you in” and “sing you out,” we mean it. A recapping of Unit memories and a walk through the staff “tunnel of love” will offer a sweet end to the week. In Tawonga tradition, the spruced-up rendition of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” will hit home as they journey back down those country roads.
We are going to miss these Taste of Camp campers dearly, and we hope they return in future summers (when ready) for a more in-depth Tawonga experience. Longer sessions include Shabbat celebrations and backpacking trips — even more to look forward to! As we say at every closing campfire, “We’ll see you again…Shalom.”