Session 3a

Meet the Directors! Summer 2023

By: Ash Glosz

Tawonga’s 2023 summer season is just around the corner, and we can’t wait for the first session to begin! Our highly skilled team of directors and supervisors have moved up to Camp, and the full summer staff team arrives Sunday for training. The dining hall is squeaky clean, the canoes are dusted off, firewood is chopped, bunk beds are in place – we’re ready for the campers!

Holding it all together is our amazing team of at-Camp Directors. Earlier this year, Becca Meyer passed the torch of Camp Director on to Tawonga lifer Aaron Mandel after she stepped into the role of CEO. Becca will be living at Camp all summer to help ease the transition, share her wisdom and ensure campers and staff alike have the very best experience.

Read below to find out more about our team of directors who together hold an enormous amount of experience (and personality!). Find out the ways they personally connect to Camp and its mission and some of their favorite activities that this summer’s campers can look forward to.

Eliza Cohen (she/her)

Role
Summertime Assistant Director

Number of Tawonga Summers
14 (8 staff, 6 camper) 

Favorite Camp Dessert
Blondies!

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
I’m most excited to see the campers experience shooting stars for the first time or the 50th time. It doesn’t stop being magical!

Ashley Costello (she/her)

Role
Senior Director, Camper Care   

Number of Tawonga Summers
25 (19 staff, 6 camper)

Favorite Tawonga Tradition
Shabbat stroll – it’s so beautiful to see the Camp community come together in this special way

Favorite way to cool off on hot days
Dip in the pool!

Tip for new or nervous campers
It’s okay if you don’t know anyone in your bunk. You’re going to meet your cabin-mates and counselors as soon as you get off the bus, and you’ll have 11 new friends by dinner!

Brady Gill (he/they)

Role
Assistant Director of Teen Programs & Specialty Areas

Number of Tawonga Summers
20 (13 staff, 7 camper)

Favorite Tawonga Tradition
Rattlin’ Bog

Tip for new or nervous campers
It makes sense to be nervous because something really big and exciting is about to happen! Camp is so much fun AND it’s ok if it takes you a little while to get used to it. There will be lots of people there to make sure you’re ok, so just let them know what you need and we’ll take care of you until you get the hang of it!

One way you “take Tawonga home”
A lot of my closest friends are people I met at Camp Tawonga 20 years ago.

Josh “Frisco” Goldstein (he/him)

Role
Kitchen & Operations Manager

Number of Tawonga Summers
23 (15 staff, 8 camper)

Favorite Camp Dessert
Blondies!

Favorite way to cool off on a hot day
Taking meetings in the walk-in freezer

Mackie Lobet (he/him)

Role
Summertime Assistant Director

Number of Tawonga Summers
11 (6 staff, 5 camper)

A tip for new or nervous campers
Write down some activities you are looking forward to and some activities you are excited to try for the first time! Introduce yourself to a bunkmate and play “Would You Rather” or 20 questions.

Favorite Camp Tradition
Dancing at Freilach (song session on Shabbat)!

Favorite way to cool off on hot days
Playing gaga with the hose on, aka Water Gaga!

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
The gorgeous wilderness at and around Camp, especially after such a big rainy season

Aaron Mandel (he/him)

Role
Camp Director

Number of Tawonga Summers
28 (21 staff, 7 camper) 

Favorite Tawonga Tradition
The Serenade 

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
Tawonga’s “special sauce” of joyous Judaism in nature

Tip for new or nervous campers
Remember everyone was new to Tawonga at some point. It’s normal if you feel nervous or unsure about something, and your counselors are always there to talk to you about how you’re feeling and help you through it.

Myla Marks (she/her)

Role
Senior Director

Number of Tawonga Summers
18 (15 staff, 3 camper)

Favorite Camp Dessert
Peaches! From local farmers, Tyson Hill Farms

Favorite way to cool off on hot days
Jumping in the Middle Fork of the Tuolumne River

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
Surprising themselves with their own strength and resilience

Aviva Maslow (she/her)

Role
Assistant Camp Director

Number of Tawonga Summers
7 (5 staff, 2 camper) 

Favorite Camp Dessert
Birthday bowl 🙂

Favorite way to cool off on hot days
Hanging out in a shady spot in the garden

Favorite Tawonga tradition
Song session, especially on Shabbat!

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
I can’t wait to see campers connect with each other and with nature!

Becca Meyer (she/her) 

Role
CEO

Number of Tawonga Summers
18 on staff

Favorite Camp Dessert
Berry cobbler

Favorite way to cool off on hot days
Mr. Mister and running through the sprinklers

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
I love the talent shows!

One way you “take Tawonga home”
My daughter Lucy participated in the Tawonga b’nai mitzvah program and had her bat mitzvah this fall with Isaac Zones as the songleader. Miriam Kanani, another Tawongan, helped her write her drash and learn her torah portion!

Quan Phung (he/him)  

Role
Staffing Coordinator & Summertime Assistant Director

Number of Tawonga Summers
1st summer on staff

A tip for new or nervous campers
Remember that everyone else is nervous too. Just be yourself and you will make so many amazing friendships!

Favorite way to cool off on hot days
Cold showers

Favorite Camp Dessert
Ice cream! But in general, ice cream sandwiches

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
I am so excited for campers to find new friends that will last their entire lifetimes!

Allie Simon (she/her)  

Role
Summertime Assistant Director and TLI Supervisor

Number of Tawonga Summers
12 (6 staff, 6 camper)

Favorite Camp Dessert
Choco tacos with skittles on a backpacking trip

One way you “take Tawonga home”
I recently finished my MSW and during my classes I would constantly talk about Tawonga and all the ways camp inspired me to enter the field of social work. I talked about it so much that all my professors knew me as “the camp person” in our program.

What you’re most excited to see the campers experience this summer
Seeing campers dance their hearts out during song session!


Get to know our At-Camp Director team (and other members of our San Francisco based year-round team – pictured below) here. You can also check out other staff spotlights here

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