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Teen Leadership Institute

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


During Session III: July 7 – 26, 2019


Rising 11th graders (current 10th graders)

How to Apply

The application process for the Teen Leadership Institute includes four steps:

  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 wait list.
  2. Complete the online Teen Program Application and indicate TLI as your program choice.
  3. Copy and paste this link and send it to your reference for them to submit electronically. Your reference can be a supervisor, coach, teacher, youth group advisor or anyone else who has seen you in a professional or leadership context. Please note that your reference must come from outside of the Camp Tawonga community i.e. NOT your most recent Tawonga counselor. 
  4. Call Sam Quintana at 415.543.2267 or email him at [email protected] to schedule an interview. Interviews are conducted in person or over Google hangouts and generally last 45 minutes to an hour.

Program Overview

This three-week program takes place at Camp Tawonga during Session III for rising 11th graders. 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 of the Camp community. Through thoughtful programs dealing with social justice and relevant world 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, they will be able to see the positive impact of their labor and effort. Additionally, through a variety of outdoor experiences including a three-night backpacking trip, rock climbing in Yosemite as well as classic Camp activities, teens will form bonds within their cohort that will last a lifetime. 

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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 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
  • “I loved being able to give back to the place I love so much.” – Puck Hartsough

Check Out TLI 2018

Read this blog post all about last summer’s TLI teens and their contribution to Earth Day in The Garden .


Please contact Program Manager Sam Quintana if you have questions about the program or application process: 415.543.2267/[email protected].