Screen-Free & Package-Free Policies

Screen-Free Policy

Camp Tawonga is Proud to Be Unplugged!

Camp is a wonderful opportunity for kids to literally and figuratively unplug. At Camp, kids develop deep relationships and communication skills without distractions. Tech gadgets compete with the immersive experience that sleep-away Camp creates for the campers. In addition, devices have a way of getting lost, broken and –unfortunately – sometimes even stolen at Camp. 

Technology interferes with our mission of promoting socialization between campers and instilling a love of the outdoors. In addition, it creates artificial divisions between the campers who come from families who can afford expensive technology gadgets and those who cannot. 

Technology is all around us, but we strive to give campers a break during the summer from staring, glassy-eyed, at screens both big and small. Their much-needed break from the world of technology is healthy and they can certainly detox from their cell phones, tablets, Kindles, game consoles and laptops while they are at Camp. 

Therefore, please do not allow your child to bring electronic items to Camp. This includes, but is not limited to the following: 

  • cell phones/smart phones
  • iPods
  • laptops
  • electronic games
  • DVD player
  • electronic readers
  • cameras with internet capability

Music – Music at Camp is important and is very much a part of our Camp culture. For this reason, campers can bring iPod shuffles (or similar connectivity-free/screen-free music devices), guitars, and headphones. In addition, staff will share appropriate music with campers. Tawonga does not tolerate music with themes of homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism or rape. Additionally, we ask that campers who bring music to Camp to bring the clean versions of all songs, without expletives.

B’nai Mitzvah Study and Materials – Campers should bring their own study materials to Camp. Click here for more information and email with any questions.

Books – We highly encourage campers to bring paperback books. Please do not bring e-readers.

Cameras – Campers may bring disposable cameras, Polaroid, and/or digital cameras without internet capability. Phones or other devices with connectivity are not permitted at Camp and cannot be used as cameras; there will be no exceptions. 

We take this policy seriously and expect our campers to follow these guidelines. If campers bring devices with them to Camp that are not allowed, we will take them away. They will be returned at the end of the bus ride home.

We look forward to welcoming campers and know this policy will allow you children to enjoy deeper friendships, more meaningful connections to nature, and increased time for self-reflection. Thank you in advance for your support. If you have questions, please give us a call at our San Francisco office, 415.543.2267.

Package-Free Policy

Camp is an opportunity for campers to take a break from their regular lives, including a focus on material possessions and consumerism. Similarly, Camp is an opportunity for parents to engage in a healthy separation from their children absent the need to purchase things for them – you have already given them the gift of Camp! Packages often contain items that create clutter in the cabin and litter around Camp, both of which take away from the natural beauty of our surroundings. Additionally, packages can create unnecessary competition among campers for who has the “best” package and contribute to feelings of inequity among campers.

For these reasons, Tawonga does not allow care packages. An old-fashioned letter is often the most treasured gift received by children in the Camp setting. We encourage you to write letters (or one-way emails) to your child frequently, taking into account that it can take 3 – 5 days for mail to arrive in a bunk’s mailbox.

Forgot to pack something essential?

Critical items like clothing, bedding, medication, or other personal items which will help your camper function at Camp may be sent; if you do need to send one of these items, please email to make arrangements. 

Please note that the pre-approved packages of essential items will be opened by the camper in the presence of their unit head. Any food items will be used in Camp programming or discarded.

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