Tawonga News

Notes from the Road: Rock and River Quest 2023

Today’s blog post takes you behind the scenes of Tawonga’s two-week long Rock and River Quest. Enjoy highlights and photos below!

Quest Leaders

Katie Hampton and Mel Leider


11 Questers entering 9th and 10th grades

Quest Itinerary

  • Camping in Hodgdon Meadows in Yosemite National Park
  • Two days of rock climbing near Mammoth Lakes
  • Day hike in the Eastern Sierras
  • Backpacking out of Tuolumne Meadows to Lyell Canyon
  • Camping in Calaveras Big Trees State Park
  • Whitewater rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River

Quest Highlights

  • During our second Havdalah, we went around and shared our gratitudes for the group. Many expressed gratitude for staying present, the beauty of the place we were in, and the ability to go on this trip.
  • Everyone told their life stories, which expressed vulnerability and helped forge trust.
  • On the middle day of backpacking we swam in a meadow river and everyone jumped in the water – smiles all around.
  • On the backpacking trip we saw a bear just across the water!

Quest Leader Inspiration

Quest leaders reflect on their favorite aspects of the trip:

Quest teaches independence and selflessness. It is a radically new experience for kids who have never felt community living in a big group.