On the blog today, we’re excited to share a special staff spotlight on one of our dedicated counselors this summer, Xavier Asprer. Enjoy!
Tell me about your time at Tawonga
I was a camper for three years, including a year in the TLI program, and this is my first year on staff. My brother and sister worked here in the past and encouraged me to come back to work this summer. It’s been great coming back as staff, it feels very much like a full circle moment.
What keeps you coming back?
The people I meet at Tawonga and the connections I form here are what keeps me coming back, it’s my favorite part of Camp. And having some strong encouragement from my family who loved being on staff also helps!
What do you love about being a counselor?
I love seeing the positive impact I can have on campers– especially with the older B bunks that I’ve worked with this summer. I try to meet them where they’re at in their personal journeys and collaborate to solve issues around bunk dynamics or insensitive language. It’s so rewarding to see positive change in a camper as a result of our discussions.
What is challenging about being a counselor?
One thing I’ve found challenging, but also an opportunity for growth, is fostering a practice of gratitude with campers. It can be easy as a kid to forget how awesome the privilege of being at Tawonga is, but as someone who attended Camp on scholarship it’s important to me that we make a conscious effort to show appreciation, and reflect on all the positive things we get to do here.
Favorite classic Tawonga activity
I love song sessions! I have so much fun dancing wildly around with friends and belting the songs. The energy of a good song session is simply unmatched. I also really appreciate the rituals we practice here– the inclusivity and mindfulness that’s built into these is truly special. Even just singing the Motzi before meals evokes such good memories!
Xavier first attended Camp Tawonga in 2009, along with his older siblings, who also returned to work on staff. He is currently studying Political Science and Latin American studies at the University of California Los Angeles.