Families at Camp FAQs

In 2021, we will be offering “Families at Camp” – a new program that allows families to take a vacation at Camp and enjoy all that Tawonga has to offer while maintaining social distance from other households. Read below for our Families at Camp FAQs and watch Camp Director Becca Meyer explain some of the most common questions!

Video About Families at Camp: What to Expect

Which Family Camp programs are being offered in 2021?

We will be offering four-day, three-night Families at Camp programs in August, September, and early October of 2021. Click here to see dates and rates. As a pod, each family will have the opportunity to participate in classic Camp activities including swimming, boating, arts and crafts, hiking, yoga, s’mores and more, with members of their own household. Each family will have a private cabin and designated bathroom facility, and all meals will be served outside.

How will Family Camp be adapted in light of COVID-19?

Our innovative “Families at Camp” program design allows families to enjoy all that Tawonga has to offer while maintaining social distance from other households. Each family will have designated times to use each of our facilities, with safe separation from other families. Each family will have exclusive use of their own cabin and designated bathroom facilities. Meals will be served outside, and each family will have a designated picnic table for dining. We hope to be able to offer childcare for camp-aged children, if the county allows it (more information below). Activities will include yoga, hiking, boating, swimming, arts and crafts, campfires, river time, and more. Click here to learn more about our Families at Camp programs.

Can I sign up with another family?

You can try to register for the same weekend with friends. However, we can not guarantee you will get into the same weekend. We have limited spaces and want to make it fair for everyone.

Each family needs to register separately. The only exception to this rule is that additional adult family members that are in your pod, such as an uncle or grandparent, can be added to your registration. They will be housed in your cabin.

An au pair or nanny, that is in your pod, can be added to your registration. They will be housed in your cabin.

If you are attending the same weekend as friends, we ask all families to remain socially distant from other families while participating in our program (i.e. stay either six feet apart or masked, and outside at all times). These policies are in place to keep our community as safe as possible.

Will childcare be available?

In order to adhere to state and county guidelines, we are not able to offer childcare as of now. If regulations change, and we hope they do, we will adjust. We’d love to be able to provide nighttime coverage for all families, and daytime coverage for school-aged kids from 9:30am-12:15pm and floats, if we are permitted to do so. Safety will remain our highest priority.

Are you offering a Family Camp program in the Spring?

We are not planning to offer Family Camp this spring. We want to give our full attention to launching the summer season as safely as possible.

For new families interested in checking out Tawonga before sending your child to Camp, we recommend joining a Camp tour with one of our directors. Sign up here for a tour on Nov 14, Nov 15, May 15 or May 16.

Does my family need to get tested before coming to a Family Camp program?

It is likely that we will require families to get tested before coming to a Families at Camp program. We will make a final determination over the summer, and registered families will receive updated information in the months prior to the programs.

How will the Families at Camp lottery work?

For the 2021 Families at Camp season, we are piloting a lottery system for our 2020 canceled families. Here is how it works:

a. Families in the priority registration category (those who were canceled from a 2020 program) can submit a registration form from Nov. 18 at 9am to Nov. 20 at 9am.
b. Families will be able to rank the weekends in their order of preference.
c. Tawonga will run a lottery following the first 48 hours of the priority registration period.
d. We will register families based on a randomized lottery system. If your first choice weekend is full by the time your name comes up, we will register you for your second (or third, fourth or fifth) choice and wait list you for any of your choices that were full.
e. You will receive a confirmation email by Tuesday, November 24 with your Families at Camp status.
f. If there are still spaces available in our Families at Camp programs after the lottery, we will fill any remaining spots on a first-come, first-served basis.

Why are you implementing a Families at Camp lottery this year for families who were canceled from a 2020 program?

Our family camps have filled quickly in the past, and because we needed to reduce the number of spaces available in 2021 to ensure each family has their own cabin and to allow for social distancing in program areas, we wanted to create a more fair system for families to register.

We recognize that with many children at home for distance-learning, parents are juggling competing demands for their attention, and we want to reduce the pressure to register right at 9am in order to secure a spot in our Families at Camp programs.

We are NOT implementing a lottery system for summer camp because we have not reduced summer camp capacity to the same extent that we have for Families at Camp.

To view all of the 2021 Program FAQs, click below.

Family Camp FAQs

The below FAQs relate to our traditional Family Camp programming, which we hope to run in future seasons. Some information is still relevant to 2021, such as what to pack!

What is Camp Tawonga Family Camp?

Our weekend family programs are designed to combine all the best parts of a summer session at Tawonga into an extended four day weekend for the whole family! We welcome infants through grandparents for a unique blend of classic Camp activities, campfires, song sessions, a festive Shabbat celebration, family bonding and fun!

What do we do at Family Camp? Can adults participate in activities?

Yes! Each Family Camp features a similar schedule where kids spend their mornings in groups with similar aged kids participating in traditional Tawonga activities while adults have the opportunity to choose from a variety of programmatic options such as hiking, river dipping, yoga classes, workshops, classic camp activities, or relaxing and reading under a tree! In the afternoons, families participate in activities all together and can choose to swim in our Olympic-sized pool, paddle boat on the lake, create at Arts and Crafts, climb between trees on our adventure Challenge Course or participate in family team activities like softball games and “Chopped” cooking competitions!

Evenings feature campfires with traditional staff-led shticks and a family talent show, s’mores and songs led by our talented songleaders. Once the kids go to sleep, our staff keep watch on the cabins while parents can enjoy a glass of wine and snack in the Dining Hall followed by crafting or a dance!

What do you serve for meals? We have picky eaters in our house!

Our state of the art kitchen produces scratch-made delicious meals for our 400 person Camp community, taking careful consideration of the dietary needs and restrictions among our participants. All meals at Family Camp are served family-style in our recently expanded Dining Hall.

We serve meals that are kosher-style, meaning we won’t serve meat and milk in the same meal and strive to create menus that are simultaneously delicious for adults and children, and also make additional “kid friendly” alternatives. We aim to source foods locally when possible – even as local as our own organic garden – and can accommodate most dietary needs, restrictions and allergies.

A note on nuts:

We recognize that the needs of our Family Camp community is continually evolving, particularly in the area of allergies and dietary needs. At the forefront of this is the increase in campers with severe nut allergies. We make every effort to be “nut aware” by not introducing nut products into our kitchen, not cooking with nuts and reading food labels carefully.

Additionally, we ask that campers and program participants refrain from bringing nut products into Camp. However, we cannot guarantee that items have not been exposed to cross-contamination prior to arriving on our site and are therefore not a 100% nut-free environment.

Where do we sleep? What are your accommodations like?

Our Family Camp weekends are designed to simulate summer camp, from the ways we welcome you, to the activities we feature, to the accommodations. Typically two families will share one of our summer camp cabins, which house fourteen people during the summer and have single twin beds and bunk beds, and are located near one of our large bathhouses. If you are coming to Camp with friends or family, you can request a cabin together, and we’ll do our best to accommodate that request! If you don’t know others coming, don’t worry – we’ll assign you to a cabin with another family with similarly aged children.

We do have a small number of private cabins available for our youngest and oldest campers, and those needing heightened accommodations for medical reasons.

We know that for some, the adventure of sleeping in a camp cabin with another family is exciting, while for others it causes some anxiety or trepidation. We are happy to talk you through it and see how we can best accommodate your family to ensure your stay at Tawonga is comfortable.

What do we bring to Family Camp?

A few weeks before the start of your program, we’ll email you a welcome packet including a packing list, driving directions and tips and tricks for a fun weekend! We provide the housing, the food and the fun – you bring everything else!

Have more questions? Please reach us at 415.543.2267 or at info@tawonga.org – we’re happy to help!




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