At long last, yesterday, our first session of campers arrived for A Taste of Camp, our five-day program that kicks off Tawonga’s summer season! Seven buses filled with excited, eager campers, along with specialists and counselors in-training, traveled down those country roads to be greeted by cheering staff. Lining the dirt road to welcome campers, our staff sang the time-honored tune that begins:
“We welcome you to Camp Tawonga, we’re mighty glad you’re here…” (You might know it.)
The energy was palpable as campers received their bunk assignments and met their counselors. Campers soon ventured on their “Havurah hikes” where they took a tour around Camp to get familiar with their surroundings and to learn about all the different programs and activities they will take part in this session. They visited spots like the Dining Hall, health center, farm and garden, pool, lake, arts and crafts and more. During A Taste of Camp, campers really will get a taste of all that Tawonga has to offer.
After a delicious dinner and some birthday shtick for several lucky campers (See “Tawonga Tidbit” below), our talented songleaders LJ, Jonah and Elan led everyone in a rousing song session. Of course, tradition is everything at summer camp, and they kicked it off with the iconic Tawonga take on the John Denver song “Country Roads” as kids joyfully danced and sang, many knowing every word.
Next it was time for our opening campfire and bunk cheers. Every single bunk got up on stage to perform a short skit to introduce themselves to the Camp community – this is a talented, funny group of campers! The bunk introductions are intentional, like so many things at Tawonga; we are a group-centered Camp, where bunks live, eat and play together, and the bonds of friendship that form in these bunks is remarkable. We’re already noticing them strengthen. We closed out the night singing Hashkiveinu and Friends, Friends, Friends.
Today, we can already tell that the campers’ confidence has grown as they begin to connect more with their bunks, learn the ropes around Camp and dive into some fun scheduled activities led by our talented staff specialists.
We are thrilled for these campers to have the opportunity to immerse in Tawonga’s beautiful wilderness and unplug for the next five days. Tawonga is screen-free for campers and sits on 160 glorious acres in the Stanislaus National Forest. It’s an ideal environment to experience our four-part mission, where campers build self-esteem and foster connections to community, Judaism and the natural world.
We’re in for an amazing week with this group of awesome campers and SCITs. Check out some more fun facts from the day below, and thanks for tuning in!
🍳 Today’s Kitchen Menu
🥚 Scrambled eggs, biscuits with jam, and bananas
🥔 Baked potato bar with all the fixins plus salad
🍊 Fruit: Oranges
🥖 Baked penne with ricotta cheese, roasted veggies, salad and dinner rolls
🍪 Dessert: Brownies
A Note on Alternative Foods
🥑 Tasty vegetarian and vegan options are available for every meal, in addition to a “middle table” with alternative meal options to meet every camper’s needs.
🥾 Day Trips
Bunks in the units of Carmel and Chalutzim went on their day trips today.
Chalutzim bunks include: B-1, B-2, G-1 & G-2
Chalutzim bunks include: B-9, B-10, G-10, G-10A & G-10B
What’s so special about today? Tonight, we’ll be celebrating the birthdays of campers Ari F., Ilan M. and Isabel M. Parents, look out for bday photos tomorrow!
Celebrating a birthday at Tawonga is a blast, check it out here.