Summer Staff Are Ready for the Campers!
This past Sunday, Tawonga opened its gates to 200 staff members old and new for a week of In-Service training to get ready for the nearly 1,300 campers who will come to Camp this summer. Our loving, dedicated and talented staff spent the week learning how to foster the Mission, understand their roles and provide life-changing experiences for each and every camper. Some staff have traveled from as far as Israel, England and even Fiji to be at Tawonga this summer!
Much like the campers when they arrive, staff split into Havurah (“friend” in Hebrew) hike groups of 10 people from various departments. Groups went on tours of Camp, getting familiar with our beautiful property and stopping at spots like the Office, Health Center and Dining Hall to get oriented to their home for the next three months.
Over the course of the week, directors and supervisors led dozens of Camp-wide and department specific trainings (get to know our directors here). Facilitators led discussions on topics such as gender and racial justice, anti-bullying and mental health. Song leaders practiced Camp classics as well as new additions, kitchen staff honed their culinary skills, and the wilderness team practiced leading camper backpacking trips at The Ridge trail and popular river spot, Ladybug Cove.
Staff spent evenings at inspiring campfires, helping to bond together as a community, and participated in improvisation skits, as well as game and art nights. They closed out the week with a beautiful Shabbat stroll and an engaging, collaborative Kabbalat Shabbat service.
The festivities continued with a meaningful Saturday morning Torah Service led by Camp Director Becca Meyer and Associate Director Aaron Mandel in Tawonga’s tranquil outdoor sanctuary, Makom Shalom, which means place of peace. The towering pines grounded the staff as a community, allowing the group to reflect on the week of immersive training – now bonded and prepared to dive into the summer season.
This entire week was a transformational experience for the staff. They grew as individuals, bonded with each other and experienced meaningful moments in nature. Tawonga’s goal each and every year is to ensure our campers do the same.
Bring on the campers – we’re ready!
Enjoy photos taken throughout the week of In-Service below. And in case you missed it, check out this post on what to expect from Tawonga’s blog this summer.