When campers have a birthday at Tawonga, they feel super special. In fact, we often hear the non-summer birthday kids say how much they wish they could have a birthday up at camp.
Through the years, Tawonga has developed certain birthday rituals, but far and away the most exciting one takes place in the Dining Hall during dinner. After everyone has eaten, one of the camp directors dramatically calls the birthday camper (or staff member) to the front for a call and response birthday schtick in front of the whole camp. And as every Tawongan knows by heart, the birthday schtick begins with: “What’s so special about today?”
Soon after, this lucky Tawongan is presented by a member of the kitchen staff with what we call a “birthday bowl”, topped with candles and filled with enough delicious ice cream and other treats to share with one’s entire bunk. Next are the wishes to be made before blowing out the candles: “One for yourself, and one for the WHOLE world.” The entire Dining Hall then sings a rendition of “Happy Birthday” while staff members safely lift the birthday camper in a chair, like one would at a Bar Mitzvah or wedding – one lift for each year of life – while campers cheer.
We have so many birthdays throughout the summer, and though this post represents just two that took place today, nearly every day we post a photo of the birthday camper on the blog in addition to mentioning these special people in the Tawonga Tidbit. Below are photos of tonight’s birthdays: twins (!) Zayde S. and Adi S. from G-4A as well as photos of other activities in the evening.
P.S. As you might have heard, we have another very special birthday this year: Camp Tawonga’s 90th Anniversary! We hope you will consider joining us for this huge camp milestone at our 90th Anniversary Gala on November 7th!