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Katelyn Simons

I love, admire and respect Camp Tawonga more than words can illustrate, but I will try my best. Tawonga is where I grew up, and where I learned the meaning of friendship, values, and community. Camp Tawonga has shaped my approach towards the world around me, my identity as a Jewish woman, and my relationship with myself and with others. I spent many years at Tawonga, beginning as a nervous camper eager to make new friends; progressing to a counselor, striving to embody the role models and inspirational women that my counselors had been to me in the past; to a supervisor, learning a new sense of independence, responsibility, self-awareness, accountability and responsibility to others. I feel that each of those experiences throughout the years, and the role models and mentors that I was so lucky to have growing up were especially significant in shaping who I wanted to become in the world.

Today, Tawonga means community to me. It is the genuine warmth that I experience among Tawongan’s, weather at camp itself or outside of camp in the Bay Area. Camp Tawonga goes beyond community to family, and family in the most literal sense, as I am overjoyed to be marrying the love of my life, my Camp Tawonga sweetheart this coming summer. I feel privileged to be a part of the Tawonga community, Tawonga has taught me so much, and I will always consider Tawonga my home.