Tawonga News

Notes from the Road: Women of the Wild Quest 2023

Today’s blog post takes you behind the scenes of Tawonga’s recent Women of the Wild Quest.

In July 2023, a small but mighty group of six girls and two leaders went on a two week adventure through Northern California’s wilderness! Enjoy highlights and photos below. We generally offer this Quest every other year.

Quest Leaders

Maddie Tomasello and Val Hammer


6 Questers entering 7th or 8th grade

Quest Itinerary

  • Day hike in Point Reyes
  • Touring the caverns at Lake Shasta
  • Three-day backpacking trip in Trinity Alps Wilderness
  • Farm day with veggie picking and helping with farm animals
  • Two-day overnight rafting trip on the Trinity River

Quest Highlights

  • Questers taking turns jumping off a rock into the Trinity River during the rafting trip
  • The girls supporting each other and facing their fears together, then feeling proud of themselves afterwards
  • Bonding on the backpacking trip with Shabbat skits about love, togetherness, and oneness
  • Laughing and being silly with each other

Quest Leader Inspiration

Quest leaders Maddie and Val reflect on their shared experience:

Women of the Wild is such a special Quest where girls get to feel empowered in their womanhood and gain friendships from their common experiences. I think that this quest is very memorable as a place where young women find community and support in themselves and each other. It is a once in a lifetime experience to lead and to participate in!”


“My favorite part of this job is getting to watch campers come out of their shells and get to be silly and get to know each other really well. The first couple of days on Quest, the kids feel shy and like they don’t know each other. Watching and facilitating kids getting comfortable with each other and showing their true selves by overcoming challenges and doing epic activities is always such a blast.”

Learn more about Tawonga’s Quest program here