Tawonga’s Group Centered Approach
Camp Tawonga utilizes a very intentional “group centered approach,” which is is inspired by the second part of our Mission. Campers learn how to live communally by making compromises, being empathetic to each other’s needs and working together to have the best Camp Tawonga experience possible. Campers spend most of their day together with their bunkmates – from enjoying fresh cooked meals to partaking in classic Camp activities, from conquering the challenge course to completing a backpacking trip, the primary focus of our program is on spending time and bonding together as a bunk. Year after year, the bonds that form within the cabin groups stay strong beyond the session. For many life-long Tawongans, our bunkmates are our best friends, even decades laters.
The expectation of creating a cooperative community within the bunk setting starts on the very first day of camp by employing group building exercises and practicing consensus decision-making. Through working together and encouraging thoughtful communication, cabins make decisions as a group that benefit everyone. On the first night of every session, the cabin creates a “Bunk 10 Commandments,” which are a set of expectations and rules to live by for the duration of the session. Counselors help guide the conversation, but the commandments truly are meant to come from the kids. It’s our philosophy that campers care about the things they create themselves, so when campers guide the discussion on how to act and treat each other, there is more buy in and commitment to the process. Cabins also use chore wheels, ensuring that everyone in the cabin has a duty to fulfill to maintain their shared space. Through the group-centered approach we aim to foster strong bonds within cabins that are based on trust, understanding and compromise so campers can learn how to support one another and live together, giving them strong skills to succeed in the future and helping them build lasting friendships.
Enjoy photos from the day and check back in tomorrow!