Read below to see what parents have to say about their children's experiences at Tawonga.
"I just wanted to say thanks again to you and all the staff who worked so hard to make family camp at Tawonga such a wonderful experience for our whole family! We all really feel like it is a magical weekend, and we love feeling part of the wacky, fun-filled, energetic Tawonga family for a couple of days. My six year old daughter leaves feeling like being part of a Jewish community is just about the coolest, most fun thing in the world. What could be better than that?"
-Summertime Family Camp participant
"I just wanted to let you know that my son had a ball at Camp Tawonga. He came back so grown up. He loved the experience of all the new activities he tried and he was so proud of himself. I could not have asked for a better experience. The counselors sound amazing and I just wanted to pass my deep gratitude to them for caring so wonderfully for my son."
-Parent of first time camper
"I just wanted to say how happy I am about the Tawonga experience both my children had. Both of them had a fabulous time and came home unbelievably dirty and quite happy with themselves; full of all manner of stories. Thank you so much for all the hard work of building such a great camp. And thank you for all the parent hand-holding too! From what I gather the only tears that were shed by my nine-year-old were when she had to leave Tawonga at the end of the session! Thank you for giving both my kids six terrific days complete with frogs, snakes, new songs, raps, blessings, questions, one bear and lots of new friends. There is no doubt they will remember their Tawonga experience their whole lives."
-Parent of A Taste of Camp campers
"I just wanted to say thank you for putting together a great experience. My daughter returned more mature and more aware of the world and her place in it. She really benefited from the service portion of the trip. She also made lasting friendships. You and your team did a terrific job."
-Parent of a TSL camper
"'My favorite place: Camp Tawonga. What I'm looking forward to most: Camp Tawonga. Best friend: My friends from Camp Tawonga.' These were my daughter's answers to a favorite things party. As alumni, our family knew our tradition of hopping on that bus to Camp Tawonga would provide our next generation a place to grow, a place to dream, a place to treasure. My camper's words say it best!"
-Longtime Tawonga parent
"Each summer, my daughter returns home more mature, more connected, more empathetic, more independent, and happier. It's not just that she's a few weeks older! Tawonga offers the kids an amazing opportunity to be in nature and community, and to grow in ways that only an excellent camp can foster!"
-Longtime Tawonga parent
"We live in a very assimilated world and don't attend synagogue much. We are a spiritually aware family and appreciate that our kids are totally turned on and fulfilled socially, spiritually, Jewishly and by nature at Tawonga."
-Parent of two Tawonga teens
"I am so grateful that my son has been able to attend Tawonga the past two summers. It has meant the world to him and he is very nostalgic about his time spent at Tawonga. I think the music on Shabbat and the feeling of community has touched him deeply. I hope he chooses to become a counselor at Tawonga."
-Session 4 parent
"My son goes to a Jewish Day School and we love it dearly, but there is something about a Jewish camp that just makes being Jewish fun and I love being able to give that to my son in a safe, nurturing environment...keep up the good work!"
-A Taste of Camp parent
"I can't say enough how delighted I am with my daughter's experience at camp. As a parent, the professionalism of the staff was reassuring to me as a parent that my daughter would be well cared for. She returned home from camp so happy and self confident – she loved the experience."
-Parent of a first-time camper
"My daughter made a cabinful of friends who have been emailing since they stepped off the bus. The friendships were the highlight for her, not the swimming or arts and crafts, etc. Plus the independence that comes from 3 weeks away from family, on her own, in a safe environment. Tawonga is the centerpoint of her entire summer."
-Session 3 parent
"My daughter loved the connection established with her group and the whole 10th grade unit. She has so much confidence and can't wait to give the same confidence to campers when she is in the role of CIT. It was a wonderful experience. Her emotional growth and maturity was noticeable upon her return. I was very proud of her and grateful to the camp for re-establishing a connection to the Jewish community which had lessened over the year away from camp. She is now planning on attending the Birthright Program when she reaches age 18. It is wonderful to see her so connected to the Jewish community again."
-Parent of Tawonga teen
"Our oldest daughter, who has pretty severe social anxiety, was able to make friends and have fun with her bunkmates. That is a huge deal for her in such a short time. Her postcard to us started with 'I love it here.' Needless to say, we were thrilled!"
-A Taste of Camp parent
"He loved all of the music and the sports activities. He would like to become a songwriter in training when he is old enough. He enjoyed the camp traditions and getting to know the other campers and told us how much fun he had sleeping out on the porch every night. We are not a Jewish family, but our son returned very thoughtful about the Jewish beliefs and culture. He was in awe of the Israeli counselors."
-Session 2 Parent
"What was most memorable for me as a parent was my child's comment about his camp experience, 'I feel more connected with my soul!' He came back from camp more confident and full of enthusiasm about his camp experiences. From my point of view it was a confidence booster, a growth experience, and lots of fun. Thank you so much!"
-Session 2 parent
"Both my sons really loved being CITs. They loved the whole three weeks -- so it's hard to identify a 'most memorable experience.' But, I think that what they each liked best was genuinely caring and feeling responsible for the campers (and feeling the respect and admiration that came back to them with that responsibility) and a sense that they were getting a peak into the behind-the-scenes of Tawonga."
-Long time Tawonga parent
"Thank you for giving my daughter a wonderful summer. She came back revived and happy just like last year. Even more so. At this tender age (12) it's so important for her to feel good about herself and I believe Tawonga is tremendously helpful at building self esteem and I will always be grateful to Tawonga for that."
-Session 4 Parent
"I want to thank everyone for being so supportive of my son. We had concerns about whether or not he'd be able to handle sleeping away and not only did he do great, but he felt really safe and happy the whole time. Thanks! In addition, one of the best parts of camp was that he and his big brother were able to hang out and do stuff together. They had a tremendous bonding experience at camp and that was a plus for everyone!"
-Session 3 parent
"This was our son's first camp experience and he returned home so confident and enthusiastic about Tawonga - we thank all of you for making this such a wonderful experience for our son and for inspiring confidence in us, as parents, as we let our child go off for the first time. He will be back next year, for a 3 week session."
-Parent of first-time camper
"Thanks for all your care in selecting amazing counselors, and all the attention to the details of the quest experience. He has almost no Jewish friends, because we live in an area with very few Jews. This was a great way for him to connect with other Jewish kids. Best of all, the counselors were really great role models, showing him that Jews can be cool. The spiritual aspects of the trip were just right for him -- just on a level that he could really relate to."
-Parent of a Quest camper
"We love Tawonga. As an alum, I am so happy for my children to share the experience of Tawonga. My daughter and I have bonded on another level. I think I cried when the buses left because I wasn't on one of them. Thank you so much for continuing to enrich our children in ways of Judaism."
-Tawonga Alum parent