Here is what current and former staff have to say about what it's like to spend a summer working at Tawonga:
"After years of activism and volunteerism, I have never felt like I have had a greater impact on the world than working at Tawonga and helping create more conscious and confident youth.
"Working at Camp Tawonga for a summer is a great opportunity to live in a supportive community and to facilitate the education and inspiration of youth. Plus, in the process, some of that inspiration and education always rubs off on the staff."
-Rio: Camper, Counselor
"Working on wilderness at Tawonga is an awesome opportunity to work with kids and improve your outdoor guiding skills in one of the most beautiful parts of the country - Yosemite!"
-Rebecca: Wilderness Leader
"I've rarely felt better than the moment I saw the ways in which I had helped a camper recognize her self worth and start to build a positive self esteem. How lucky to be able to spend the summer in the most beautiful place in the world, learning with children, and building an intentional community based on mutual respect and care. I can think of nothing better."
-Kate: Camper, Counselor
"I was pretty nervous coming into my first summer as a prep cook, but I was met with so much inspiration and encouragement that I decided to come back a second summer... as a supervisor! Working in the Tawonga kitchen has taught me about so much more than just food and cooking (although, I gained a great deal of experience and inspiration in that arena as well). After two summers in the kitchen, I have also learned invaluable life lessons about interacting with people, developing professional working relationships, the importance of building a safe and stable community, leadership development, and so much more."
-Molly: Camper, Prep Cook, Alternative Foods Cook
"I honestly feel that working on staff was one of the best decisions of my life. Although I loved Tawonga as a camper, I never really realized how incredible it was until on staff. Camp Tawonga is such a unique place because it encourages every person who comes into contact with it to fully embrace who they are and to let go of the constant social pressures that permeate our society.
"By being a staff member I was able to reconnect with a part of myself that I hadn't even realized was missing. Not only did I have incredible experiences with my co-workers but I was also able to powerfully impact the lives of campers. Being on staff at Tawonga was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life and it will forever impact the person that I am and will become."
-Lily: Camper, Counselor
"Not only are my best friends people who I have met at camp, but I love coming back to camp year after year to watch my campers grow up and eventually return as staff members themselves."
-Nora: Camper, Counselor, Assistant Unit Head, Unit Head
"I cannot imagine anything I'd rather be doing with my time here on Earth than being a counselor at Camp Tawonga."
-Elan: Camper, Counselor
"Being on summer staff at Tawonga is like being a part of a huge, loud, and crazy family. You feel so full and so big knowing that you're giving your all to one another and to the rest of the Tawonga family. You support and lose yourself in each other in order to work together to create a community in which you guide campers as they learn, explore and thrive."
-Sarah: Camper, Office Staff
"Being a counselor at Tawonga was incredible. I got to spend my summer with an amazing staff in a beautiful area as I supported my campers to create their own Tawonga experience. I will never forget the connections I made with my campers as we got gnarly, danced in the dining hall, submerged ourselves into the refreshing Tuolumne river, told hilarious stories, and sang camp songs under the stars."
-Anna: Camper, Counselor
"I grew up completely unaffiliated and the few times I went to temple, I felt no connection. When I was eleven, my parents sent me to Camp Tawonga for the first time. Tawonga was the first place where I ever felt a sense of connection to both the current Jewish community and to my ancestors - when I was able to see my place in the chain that began with the stories my family spoke and sang about at holiday dinners and will someday continue through my children and my children's children. Tawonga taught me the concepts of Tikkun Olam and gemilut hasidim, and inextricably linked my Judaism to nature, community, fun, and love.
"The positive Jewish experiences I had at Camp Tawonga for five summers as a camper, and then for nine summers on staff, encouraged me to seek out similar experiences in other aspects of my life. For the past three years I have been working in the professional Jewish world, most recently at the Hebrew Free Loan in San Francisco, a path that I could not have followed had it not been for the years I spent at Camp Tawonga."
-Jordan: Camper, Counselor, Assistant Unit Head, Unit Head, Year Round Staff, Summer Assistant Director
"The opportunity to shape and mold a child's life is one not to be missed. With both its challenges and joys, working at Tawonga is incredibly fulfilling."
-Maggie: Camper, Counselor
"The most rewarding aspect of the wilderness department is witnessing first time backpackers begin to appreciate the beauty of nature and the thrill of getting dirty."
-Kate: Camper, Counselor, Wilderness Leader
"Working at Camp Tawonga is the most rewarding experience a person can have. Every day I felt blessed to be in such a beautiful place, surrounded by the most inspiring people, changing the lives of children for whom I genuinely care. It's hard not to be in love with Tawonga. I believe it brings everyone's strengths together to form a strong community of staff members who love and support each other in the spirit of creating the best camp experience possible. Back at school, I still share what Camp Tawonga has given me with those around me. I know my experiences have shaped me for the best."
-Melanie: Camper, Counselor
If you are interested in working for us, please visit our application page
to learn about the process.