A “Typical” Day at Camp Tawonga
By: Becca Meyer, Camp Director
The truth is, no two days at Camp are ever the same, and this structure is intentional so that campers continually experience new activities and adventures – continually supported and guided by our loving and dedicated staff.
That said, the below schedule outlines what a “typical” day at Tawonga looks like.
Boker Tov! (Good Morning!)
- Counselors sleep in the bunks with campers and in the morning make sure the kids change their clothes, brush their teeth, apply sunscreen and fill water bottles before breakfast.
- During the day, our counselors’ sole job is to keep the campers happy and safe (both emotionally and physically) and join them for all activities.
- After saying the HaMotzi, the Hebrew prayer for bread, bunks eat family-style together in our beautiful Dining Hall. Tawonga bunks experience Camp together as a unit, which is an integral part of our mission-based and group-focused philosophy to build community.
- Our kitchen staff serves delicious, wholesome, kid-friendly, kosher-style food.
- Counselors will often help the campers sit next to new bunkmates during meals so that campers are eating with new people and making new friends.
- A main course is served at every meal, which for breakfast might be eggs and toast or pancakes. See a sample daily menu from our blog here.
- At every meal, campers can always choose an alternative and tasty option at the “middle table” of the Dining Hall. Additional options are also available at every meal for campers who are gluten-free, dairy-free or who have other allergies.
- Following breakfast, campers sing the prayer after the meal, the Birkat Hamazon.
- Then our talented song leaders lead the entire Camp in a rousing song session. Kids are free to get up a dance or read along in our song books at their bunk tables. Listen to some Tawonga tunes here to get in the spirit!
- Bunks participate in fun activities together based on their cabin schedules. Activities might include:
- Tie-Dye or throwing pottery on the wheel at Arts & Crafts
- Ga-ga (Israeli hand-ball)
- Challenge Course (Sessions II, III and IV)
- Swimming in the Tuolumne River, which runs through Camp
- Braiding challah or making cookies
11 am – 12:15 pm
More Cabin Activities
- More activities might include:
- Organic gardening and cooking
- Games at the pool
Canoeing and paddle boating on the lake
12:30 pm – 1:15 pm
- Similar to breakfast, campers eat family-style with their cabin. A typical lunch main course might be sandwiches or chili. Explore all of last summer’s daily menus through our “Tawonga” Tidbit blog series.
- During the hottest time of the day, campers relax in the shade of their cabins or on their cabin porches.
- Activities during Rest Hour include: writing letters, reading, playing quiet games and playing games outside in the shade near the cabin.
- Campers can order items like Tawonga clothing, toiletries and sweet treats from our at-Camp store, the Canteen, twice a week, and receive deliveries during Rest Hour.
- Mail is also handed out by counselors to campers during Rest Hour every day except for Saturday. We encourage friends and family members to write to campers often.
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm
Afternoon Cabin Activities
- During afternoon activities, campers participate in more mellow activities while it’s still hot out.
3:45 pm – 4 pm
Break and Snack
- A typical snack might be Gogurt, string cheese or pretzels. In addition, a bowl of fruit is always available in the Dining Hall for campers to access.
4 pm – 5:30 pm
- All cabins head to our olympic-sized pool to cool off, lap swim, play with pool toys like noodles and inner tubes or hang out on the deck.
- Other activities campers can participate in during Free Swim include basketball, ping-pong, Ga-ga, making friendship bracelets or playing cards by the pool.
5:30 – 6 pm
- For more on the delicious food coming out of Tawonga’s kitchen, read this post.
- A typical main course at dinner might be lasagna, roast chicken, or tofu stir-fry.
- Like breakfast, campers start dinner with the HaMotzi and end with the Birkat Hamazon.
Time varies day to day
During floats, campers can explore Camp individually or in pairs, depending on their age. Specialists lead activities, and all areas of Camp are open except for the river.
- Counselors help to to run different stations as well as accompany and younger campers to activities and help them to decide where to go.
- Taste of Camp campers participate in floats earlier in the day.
7:30 pm – 9:15 pm
Night Time Activities for Sessions II, III and IV
(until 8:15 pm for Taste of Camp)
Night time activities include campfires, storytelling, s’mores, star gazing at Camp’s Stone Couch location, night hiking or even an off-Camp visit to Yosemite’s Inspiration Point.
Good Night Message for Taste of Camp
- Taste of Camp campers gather on the Boys Side Field for the Hashkiveinu, a prayer for a restful sleep. A director also shares a story or good night message before campers head to their cabins to get ready for bed.
Laila Tov! (Good Night!)
- Counselors help kids (depending on their age) to change into PJs, brush their teeth and get ready for bed.
- Every night, counselors will check in with campers through a bedtime ritual.
- Lights out for older campers at 10pm, and earlier for Taste of Camp Campers – there’s a full day of fun to rest up for tomorrow!!
P.S. In case you missed it, check out our recent pre-summer blog post:
Six Tips for Parents of First-Time or Nervous Campers.