Q. How do you select your counselors?
A. We have two types of counselors: paid and volunteer. Paid counselors are generally college age young adults who are hired for the summer. They complete an extensive application, and are chosen for their skills, faith in Christ, and leadership qualities. Volunteer counselors come up for a week at a time, and generally come from our local churches. They may be parents, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, or students who desire to help campers have a great week and build connections with the church. At younger camps, high school students who have been through an intensive 2-week leadership-training course (YILT 2) may assist with counseling. Many volunteers return year after year. New counselors who are unknown to us are usually paired with an experienced counselor for support and supervision. All counselors submit an online application and references that we follow up on.
Q. Do your staff have background checks performed before hiring?
All staff are subject to a MinistrySafe background check that meets and exceeds the new federal standard under the Safe Sports Act. All staff receive extensive training prior to arrival as well as during staff training on abuse awareness and prevention.
Q. How are staff and counselors trained and supervised?
A. Summer long staff receive 10 days of training on job tasks, counseling skills, health and safety procedures, teamwork, and spiritual growth. The year-round staff supervises them. Volunteer counselors receive written material before camp, and participate in a 1-day intensive training event. They are trained and supervised by the Program Director. The Program Director also supports counselors with discipline issues and emotional needs.
Q. How do you guard against abuse of children at camp?
A. Counselors are screened via the application process, must sign a disclosure form, and a state patrol background check is run. Abuse issues are covered thoroughly in the training sessions, and very concrete guidelines are set, i.e. “private conversations with campers must take place in a public setting, such as on a bench at the playground vs. alone in the cabin.” Counselors who are new to us are usually paired with a returning counselor, and all are instructed to look for and report questionable conduct. We make it clear that we are aware and watching.
Q. What if my child has food allergies?
A. When you register there are places for you to share these details. If you would like to email for more information on this, please email email@example.com
Q. Who handles health concerns at camp, and how do you deal with emergencies?
A. A hired Health Specialist is on site for all youth camps. They provide first aid, monitor sick campers and special health concerns, and manage all medications. All regular meds must be given to the Health Specialist for safekeeping and to ensure correct dosage. In the event that an injury or illness requires more than basic first aid, parents will be contacted immediately if possible, and campers will be transported to the Leavenworth clinic, about 35 miles away for treatment by a physician. There is a local ambulance unit at Lake Wenatchee that can reach camp quickly. The parent or guardian’s insurance plan is the primary source of medical coverage.
Q. Who supervises the horse-back riding for Junior High Adventure?
A. Icicle Outfitters will be providing our trail rides off-site for Tall Timber. They are the horse concession for the Lake Wenatchee State Park, and are located up the Icicle River in Leavenworth. They are a very reputable and well-established outfitter. You will need to fill out a separate form from Icicle Outfitters.
Q. How does mail work? Can campers call home from camp? Can I send e-mails?
A. REAL MAIL IS THE BEST!!!! Regular mail is delivered daily to and from campers. Address it with the camper’s name, followed by the session (i.e. Attn: Mary Smith, Junior Camp) then the address: Tall Timber; 27875 White River Rd.; Leavenworth, WA. 98826. Packages arrive most promptly with UPS. Tall Timber does have a regular phone line on site, which is available for emergency needs. If a call needs to be placed from Tall Timber, a staff person may place a call for the camper using this phone, but it is not to be used at any times by campers. Parents may send emails to campers (firstname.lastname@example.org), NOTE: we update our blog posts daily.
Q. How are discipline issues handled?
A. On the first day of camp, the cabin counselors will present clear expectations for conduct, and campers will commit to abide by these guidelines. Counselors will attempt to resolve behavior issues within the cabin group before referring a child to the Program Director, Camp Health Specialist, or another authority. Parents may be called, or a camper sent home if serious or repeated problems occur.
Q. When is a camper sent home for bad behavior?
A. Sending campers home is a last resort. We want every camper to have a successful experience. However, one camper’s conduct will not be allowed to ruin the experience for others. Certain serous offenses, or endangering other’s safety will result in immediately being sent home.
Q. My child has special needs. Can you accommodate that in your program?
A. We want every child to be able to experience a great week at camp! If you know that your child’s physical or emotional needs may require more attention than one counselor with 6-7 other campers could provide, you may send a special helper up with them for 25% of the cost of that week of camp. Please reach out to email@example.com if you would like to come to camp in this capacity.
Q. What kinds of wildlife are at Tall Timber? Are any dangerous?
A. The greatest asset at Tall Timber is its setting, bordering Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, and is home to many forms of wildlife. Commonly seen are deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, mice, birds, and toads. We do not have rattlesnakes. Less frequent sightings are weasels, otters, beavers, raccoons, bears, and coyotes. Cougars and bobcats inhabit the area, but are not seen in summer. Bears are truly wild, not acclimated to humans, and thus stay away from a noisy, busy camp. The greatest nuisances we have from wildlife are crows getting into garbage cans, and mice getting into cabins after food. For this reason, the rule for kids not to bring up their own snacks is strictly enforced.
Q. Are mosquitoes a problem at Tall Timber?
A. Depending on the year, we can have intense mosquitoes, especially early in the season. While we do spray the grounds for mosquitoes when they are bad, they can travel several miles to reach their prey. Fortunately, the species common here favors the cool hours of the early morning and evening, and do not bite during the heat of the day (except in the shade). The best protection is to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts during these times, and protect exposed areas with a good repellent. We recommend that you avoid spray cans with younger children because of the danger of getting spray in eyes, breathing vapors, and the temptation to spray each other (a rub-on lotion type is better).
Q. What is for sale in the camp store, and how much spending money should my child bring?
A. The camp store is usually open for a few hours in the afternoon. We sell a variety of things at the store such as: shirts, sweatshirts, hats, candy, soda pop, juices, snacks, toiletries, mosquito spray/lotion, sunscreen, and other personal items that are easy to forget at home. Younger campers are limited in the candy and drinks they can buy. T-shirts, water bottles, hats etc may range from $10-$40.
Q. Do the children keep their own money, or is there a “camp bank?”
A. Junior, Primary, and Mini campers place their spending money into a camp bank. Junior High campers have the option to hold onto their own money. Senior High campers hang on to their own money.
Q. What should my child bring to camp.
A. See Camper Packing List. Upon registration you will be emailed a camper letter that includes a packing list specific to your camp.
Q. Why do you request that campers not bring snacks or portable electronics such as cell phones?
A. There is no cell reception at camp due to the high mountains. Small electronic devices are easily lost or broken at camp, and are tempting items for theft. They are also distracting to our goals of enjoying God’s creation, disconnecting to reconnect, and building cabin group unity. Camp is a rare opportunity for kids to leave these behind and go "unplugged" for a week.
Snacks left in luggage attract wildlife into the cabins. A snack shop is open in the afternoons where we can monitor the timing and quantity of snacks. Snacks needed for special medical concerns can be left with the Health Specialist for safe-keeping.
Q. Can my child be in a cabin with their friends? Can they be with a counselor from our church?
A. Yes. There is a line on the registration form for kids to list friends they want to be in a cabin with. It is best if the kids agree ahead of time to request one another, as it can be very awkward if one child requests another who does not want to be with them and requested someone else. It is great to come to camp with friends, but one of the best aspects of camp is making new friends, so encourage your child to get to know new people! We love to have counselors come up with kids from their own church, and will always try to place them together. You may want to do this yourself, or talk to your pastor about who might be available. You may also request the counselor in the roommate request field or a general comments line.
Q. How do you handle Lost and Found?
A. Lost and found items are collected at the end of each week and placed on display in the Main Lodge on the last day of camp for parents to look through. After all families have left, items are then stored in a bag labeled from that week. They will be held until the end of the season before being sorted and disposed of. Valuable items may be taken to the camp office for safekeeping. If you want an item mailed to you, it will be taken to the local USPS and mailed to you at your expense. You may also request us to hold an item for you or a friend to pick up at a later date. Obviously, if valuable items are labeled with your child’s name, it greatly facilitates getting them back to you!