Teen Leadership Institute

3.5 weeks of leadership development, service and outdoor experiences at Camp for rising 11th graders


During Session B: July 11 – August 5, 2021


Rising 11th graders (current 10th graders)*

A Note About COVID-19 and Tawonga’s 2021 Season

In order to prioritize the health and safety of our campers, staff, and entire Tawonga community, we have made some changes to our 2021 programs and Camp practices, which will apply to the TLI program. You can read about these changes to our 2021 season here in our FAQs. Please read below to learn more about our TLI program.

Program Overview

This 3.5-week program takes place at Camp Tawonga during Session B for rising 11th graders. *Please reach out to us for grade exceptions for rising 12th graders who were unable to participate in the program in 2020.

Teens will go on a memorable three-night backpacking trip, participate in service projects both inside and outside of Camp, go rock climbing in Yosemite and more!

The Teen Leadership Institute is an opportunity for teens to experience Camp in a new way, emphasizing leadership as they transition into role models for the Camp community. Through thoughtful programs focusing on social justice and timely issues led by veteran staff, teens will walk away feeling confident that they can go out and make a difference in the world.

By giving back to Camp and the surrounding Stanislaus National Forest through service projects, teens will be able to see the positive impact of their labor and effort. And, through a variety of outdoor excursions as well as classic Camp activities, teens will form bonds within their cohort that will last a lifetime.

Three teens smiling at Teen Leadership program
Teens posing for a group photo at Teen Leadership program

How to Apply

Teen Leadership Institute applicants must complete all four steps in the below application process to be considered for the program.

  1. Make sure your parent or guardian registers you through their Camp-In-Touch account, just like they would for any other Tawonga program. You will be automatically put on the waitlist.
  2. Complete the online Teen Program Application and indicate TLI as your program choice.
  3. Request a reference to go along with your application. Copy and paste this link and send it to a supervisor, coach, teacher, youth group advisor or anyone else who has seen you in a professional or leadership context. They can submit the form electronically. Please note that your reference must come from outside of the Camp Tawonga community, i.e. not your most recent Tawonga counselor.
  4. Contact Sean Keelan, Assistant Director of Teen Programs, to schedule an interview. Email at sean@tawonga.org or call 415.543.2267. Interviews are conducted virtually over Zoom and generally last 45 minutes to an hour.

Application Period

All steps in the application process must be completed before January 15, 2021.

Teens posing for a group photo at Teen Leadership program

Teen Testimonials

I love Tawonga and loved being a camper, and this program was the perfect next step.Aliza Louis

TLI was an amazing, eye-opening experience that I’m so glad I applied for. It was so educational and super fun at the same time.Mariah Fisher

I loved being able to give back to the place I love so much.Puck Hartsough

I will recommend TLI to everyone who is a year younger than me. Literally everyone.Travis (Eli) Lane

This was a fantastic experience that made me realize how much I want to keep returning to Camp T.Jeremiah Haumeder

Check Out TLI 2019

Read this blog post all about TLI teens and their amazing experience.


Please contact Assistant Director of Teen Programs, Sean Keelan if you have questions about the program or application process: sean@tawonga.org or 415.543.2267.

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