Family Life at Tall Timber... a Snapshot
Statement of Faith
We believe in the sovereignty of God, centrality of Christ, the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit, justification by grace through faith, the authority of scripture, and the priesthood of all believers.
We understand this to mean:
God is the supreme authority throughout the universe and in our lives.
Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible,
particularly what is revealed through the life, death and resurrection on of Jesus Christ.
Our salvation on is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments.
We are all ministers of the gospel and it is everyone's call - clergy and lay people alike - to share this Good News with the whole world.
Overview of Staff Philosophy
Tall Timber is a Christian ministry, founded in 1957 by the Presbyterian Church. As such, it's primary goal is and has always been to present the Christian gospel in a winsome way, be a positive witness to the impact of the Christian faith on both personal lives and society, and show gracious hospitality to both church and non-church guests in a beautiful place of respite and peace. The staff are the most important element in maintaining and communicating this goal. The qualifications to serve on staff, therefore go beyond the obvious ones of having the requisite skills to do the job. It is not a standard 8 hour/day job where you put in your hours and go home. Staff live and work on site in close proximity to both each other and the guests who visit. Their personal lifestyle choices - everything from habits of cleanliness, language, music choices, and conduct in personal relationships - are more visible than in a normal job situation, and can impact other staff and guests for good or ill. Because of this unique reality, as in many ministry jobs, there are personal standards that are expected and discussed in the hiring process that would not be expected in a secular job setting. It is paramount that prospective staff understand this dynamic and agree to a level of scrutiny on their personal lives during the hiring process. Several areas this could include are as follows:
Personal Christian Faith
Tall Timber staff should express a commitment to the Christian faith, and agree to participate in group expressions of that faith for team building and personal growth. This could include a staff Bible Study, departmental devotions, a staff retreat for growth and renewal, or prayer and worship. Staff are encouraged but not required to find a body of fellowship (church or small group) outside of the camp setting. This would necessarily exclude persons who adhere to a different faith, are atheist, or express an open antagonism toward Christianity. Personal denominational affiliation is flexible, but this would also exclude open expressions of hostility against the Presbyterian church. While friendships, and participation in clubs and groups of various kinds exist and are encouraged that have no religious affiliation, finding a place of Christian fellowship outside of camp is important for staff.
Tall Timber staff should demonstrate a personal moral lifestyle which would be most commonly recognized as representing Christian values. This would exclude such things as drunkenness, drug use, gambling, pornography etc. Moderate use of alcohol in private residences is allowed. Cigarette smoking is strongly discouraged and is not allowed in any camp building, including private residences (as smell and smoke residue linger). Tall Timber has historically believed (rooted in our understanding of Scripture and 2 millennia of Christian tradition) that the ideal expression of human sexual behavior is between one man and one woman in a marriage relationship. Sexual relationships which fall outside this realm would be considered disqualifying for a staff position if they are currently active. While all humans have feelings, which fall outside this norm at one time or another, the current and open expression is the determining factor. This would include a couple living together outside of marriage, a homosexual relationship etc. It would also exclude any criminal history involving domestic violence or sexual abuse.
While not all of these things are illegal, they do represent areas of potential conflict and discord amongst staff and guests, in this public context. Many years of experience have shown that a high degree of congruity in lifestyle and values amongst the staff has the best chance in keeping people satisfied and productive in a challenging work environment, and presenting a peaceful and unified spirit to our guests. We acknowledge that there is a wide range of opinion within Christian circles as to what constitutes moral behavior on a personal level. But the least controversial position is usually the safest. For example, Christians may disagree whether legal recreational marijuana use in our state is moral for a Christian or not. There would only be conflict however, if someone were choosing to use marijuana. There would not be objections to non-use. This is not to pass judgment of a person's personal moral choices which may be controversial, but to find the common ground which is the least likely to cause conflict in the ministry.
Tall Timber Staff consists of the following full time positions: Executive Director, Assistant Director, Food Service Director, Facilities Director, Program Director and 3 Interns all assigned to the Food Services, Facilities and Program departments. Part time staff positions are variable but include the following: Office Manager, Assistant Property Manager, Kitchen Assistant(s), Program Assistant(s). During the summer as many as 25 summer staff are hired for 10-14 weeks of summer camp and outdoor education. This temporary community is a Christian, Kingdom minded, multi-denominational experience. It is a great place to live out your faith, to disciple others and to grow deeper in Christ as a team who serves our guests and campers as if each person were Christ Himself. While living in community can be rewarding, it also requires diversity. To sustain yourself you will need to make time to connect with people outside of Camp to make it sustainable to live where you work. Most of all staff are committed to a life of Work and Prayer. It is through prayer we are sustained and through work we live out our calling where we serve with the gifts God gives us as a community.
Campers and Guest Groups
Our campers come from all kinds of backgrounds, historically from the Presbyterian Church but increasingly they are coming with a non-denominational Church affiliation or no church background at all. We are therefore a place that points youth to Christ for the first time and disciples those who are at various points along their journey. Additionally, we serve adult groups from secular to those from very diverse theological backgrounds.
The nearest church is the Plain Community Church, about 35 minutes from camp. It is a non-denominational congregation with a very active and multi-generational worshipping community. Children and Youth programs are available.
There are a number of churches in Leavenworth.
The nearest Presbyterian Church is in the town of Cashmere, about an hour from camp.
We provide the following as a benefits package: housing, water, heat, electricity, partial internet subsidy, trash, septic, storage unit, health stipend of $300 for the primary employee, $100 for spouse and $50 per child as well as food for all family members when groups are being served, one week of camp per year per child, travel allowance for your job and a conference allowance for continuing education. This compensation package includes an annual salary that starts at or above $24,000 per year. The above benefits are valued at approximately $30,000 per year. Additionally, after three years with Tall Timber we will start contributing to a pension fund at 3% of your monthly income.
On site housing is provided for the full-time year round positions at Camp (including interns). Our housing ranges in age and scope for different family needs. We match family needs and housing based on what we have available.
Distances from Tall Timber Ranch
Tall Timber has the rather unique feature of being in a remote feeling wilderness setting, while being a reasonable distance to small and large towns, as well as the Seattle metropolitan area:
To Lake Wenatchee - 7 miles.
To Plain - 19 miles
To Leavenworth - 33 miles
To Wenatchee - 53 miles
To Downtown Seattle - 132 miles
Children attend the Cascade School District. K-4/5 may attend the Beaver Valley School, a 2-room school located in the rural community of Plain, about 35 minutes away from camp. Grades 5-12 are bused down to Leavenworth from the end of White River Road. Icicle River Middle School and Cascade High School each have about 100 students per grade.
Washington weather is coastal, so fairly moderate temperatures with changing conditions likely at any time. Tall Timber is on the East slopes of the Washington Cascades; precipitation is moderated by the rain shadow the mountains create, with nearly 200 days of sun. Annual precipitation for the Lake Wenatchee area is around 37 inches. — TOTAL SNOWFALL CAN BE SUBSTANTIAL — Snow has stuck as early as November 1 and stays as late as June but usually is gone by April. Tall Timber can get 4-8 feet of snow during these winter months. Ability to handle winter driving conditions is crucial to living in this area.
The Leavenworth Area is Washington's #1 tourist location. Just 2 hours from Seattle, it is a big draw for outdoor enthusiasts, with hiking, rock climbing, rafting, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking, skiing, etc. There is also an active arts culture that includes Leavenworth Summer Theater, Icicle Creek Music Center, and many seasonal festivals that feature special events around the town's Bavarian theme.