TUOLUMNE COUNTY – A counselor at Camp Tawonga, located just outside Yosemite National Park near Hetch Hetchy, was killed on Wednesday, July 3, when a tree fell at the campfire circle outside the dining hall.
The Executive Director of Camp Tawonga, Ken Kramarz, confirms that Annais Rittenberg, was killed and four other adult staff were injured and taken to local hospitals. The four injured, Lizzie Moore, Cara Sheedy, Juliet Ulibarri, and Anya Schultz, and all reported to be doing well. All of their families have been contacted.
The campers were inside the Dining Hall having breakfast when the incident occurred and no child was injured. Emergency responders arrived within minutes, coming from Yosemite, Cal Fire, U.S. Forest Service, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of Emergency Services.
“Camp Director Jamie Simon immediately engaged our own Incident Command System to ensure that our children and staff remain safe, both physically and emotionally,” said Kramarz in a statement. “The campers are doing well and are participating in camp activities away from the scene. Our on-site staff therapists are working closely with First Responder grief experts to help care for our community in this difficult time.”
Part of the falling tree struck a PG&E power line, temporarily interrupting some of the camp’s electrical service. Repairs are currently underway and generators are providing all necessary power.
Camp Tawonga is a Jewish faith-based camp located on Mather Road near Groveland, Ca.