One staffer was killed and four injured — all adults — this morning at Camp Tawonga, a popular overnight camp for kids near Yosemite National Park, when a tree fell over a campfire area near the main dining hall, according to an email sent to families by the camp's executive director, Ken Kramarz. No children were injured in the incident, Kramarz added. Camp Tawonga is a Jewish camp that is based in San Francisco and is very popular with East Bay families.
The tree toppled over the campfire and stage area at Camp Tawonga at about 8:30 this morning while the kids, whose ages range from seven to seventeen, were eating breakfast in the nearby dining hall. Emergency personnel responded to the scene from Yosemite, Cal Fire, US Forest Service, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of Emergency Services, Kramarz stated.
The four injured adult staffers were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment and are "doing well," Kramarz stated. The person who died was identified as Annais Rittenberg. The injured staffers were identified as Lizzie Moore, Cara Sheedy, Juliet Ulibarri, and Anya Schultz.
There are currently about 250 children at the camp; and they are scheduled to return home on Friday. Kramarz stated that staffers, who are trained to help children deal with emergencies, have taken the kids away from the main camp today for activities. Grief counselors will also be onsite to help kids and staffers cope with the tragedy. Camp Tawonga is asking families not to come to the camp and to instead to pick up their children at the scheduled times on July 5 in Oakland and San Francisco.