Exploring Nature at Tawonga

As part of Camp Tawonga’s Mission, we emphasize the value of Tikkun Olam, meaning to build a relationship with nature toward repairing the world. One of our most popular and directly related activities is our backpacking program.


During our lengthier sessions (like Session III), each bunk partakes in a group backpacking trip to explore either the Stanislaus Forest, Hetch Hetchy reservoir or Yosemite National Park. (Did you know that Tawonga is Yosemite’s largest commercial user?). These outings are led by our highly trained wilderness leaders who are passionate about maximizing the campers’ experience with nature.


Everyone takes part in carrying the group gear and food; in a literal and metaphorical sense, each bunkmate must carry their weight to support the whole cabin. Campers also learn to implement the phrase “LNT” (leave no trace), a practice in leaving the space like it was found. They sleep under the stars and often report the backpacking trip as a highlight of their Camp experience. These trips help campers to create strong bonds with their cabinmates, push themselves both physically and mentally by getting out of their comfort zones and, of course, connect with nature and enjoy the beauty around us!


The unit of Chalutzim (the 9s and the 10s) returned from their trips today, triumphant! Each bunk hiked in a different destination, venturing to majestic locations like Glen Aulin, Ten Lakes, Emigrant Wilderness, Chilnualna Falls and Ostrander Lake. 

Devin L. from B-9, reflected upon his return:

“Backpacking is long and hard but the falls at the end, the swimming and the bonding make it all worth it…even if you have to scrub out some pots and pans.”

Backpacking trip leader, Levi, shared:
“In 6.2 miles, I never thought I could see so much beauty. The 12 boys made this trip a blast!”
No matter the distance traveled (hikes range from two to eight miles), campers leave the trip feeling proud and empowered.

Enjoy photos below taken by the counselors of G-10A on their backpacking trip! Below you will find more photos from today at Camp. And look forward to photos tonight from our first Shabbat of Session III!


Backpacking with G-10A

Session III Daily Gallery