Located near Groveland, CA
Camp Tawonga runs summer programs for children entering grades 2 through 12. Our weekend programs are open to singles, couples, and families.
Hello! I've heard wonderful things about Camp Tawonga from former counselors and campers. The camp is very welcoming, not super religious, and offers financial aid. Because the camp is right outside Yosemite, there's a big emphasis on the outdoors, with opportunities for backpacking and daily hikes. It sounds like a great place to spend a summer!
My girls attended Camp Tawonga and really loved it. The cost is pretty comparable to the others and there are a number of financial aid options (as there are for all the Jewish camps, I think.) They have 1, 2, and 3 week sessions. A Taste of Camp (Session I) is a good way to start. It is only 5 days (Sun - Fri). If she's been away from home for a week or more already, you might want to do the 2 week session (Session II).
You can also get more info on ALL the Jewish camps at https://www.jewishcamp.org/one-happy-camper/
Camp Tawonga runs a Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. According to their web page, "By incorporating nature, community building, social justice, and experiential Jewish learning into our program, we ensure this important milestone is individualized and accessible for each and every child." We recently attended a Bat Mitzvah of a girl who did the program, and the family "story" seems similar to what you describe. It was a lovely and positive Bat Mitzvah, both for the guests and (as far as we could tell) the participants. Their web page is: https://tawonga.org/programs/bnai-mitzvah-program/
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Re: Berkeley Family Camp v. Camp It Up?
I haven't heard anything about Berkeley Family Camp or Camp It Up, but I do know of a great LGBT Family Camp program. Camp Tawonga, a Jewish Summer Camp, offers a few different Family Camp Weekend and last year their LGBT one was great! Even if you are not Jewish it is a very welcoming environment, plus it's just outside Yosemite so there is the great location too. The weekend is called Keshet and this year it's over Labor Day Weekend, check it out at http://www.tawonga.org/weekend-programs/keshet.php. Hope this helps.... Kenna
Re: Sleepaway camp for 10-year-old
Camp Tawonga is a great sleepaway camp in the Sierra's, a few miles north of Groveland. It's a Jewish camp, but not terribly religious. My almost 12 year old son went for 2 weeks last year and will go for 3 weeks this year. The first thing he said to me when he got off the bus last year to come home was ''Next year I want to go for 3 weeks''. They have an office in SF.Good luck, June