Frequently asked questions
We have created this section for those of you who really want to know more. From how we train our staff to what our daily schedule looks like - you'll find it all here! We hope it helps!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: What do we need to pack?
A: Our weather is unpredictable and extreme at times. It can get very cold (it even snowed once in June!) and very warm. It can be very windy and rainy or very still and blistering hot. And all these things can happen in a matter of days! So we suggest you pack with this variety in mind. Here is a checklist that we have found helpful.
• Short-sleeved tops
• Long-sleeved tops
• Wool/fleece sweater
• Long underwear
• One dressier outfit (no
• Swimsuit (one piece)
• Wool or fleece socks
• Hiking boots
• Tennis shoes
• Sandals (must have a back)
• Camping equipment
• Musical instrument
• Money for her account
• Baby wipes
• Addresses to mail letters to
• Sleeping bag
• Pillow & case
• Nalgene (water-bottle)
• Bug spray
• Epi-pen if allergies
• Prescription medications (Must come in original container and be handed over to camp health director upon arrival at registration. Please do NOT pack in luggage but keep readily available during registration.)
• Shower Shoes
(flip-flops only allowed during shower time)
Q: Is there anything that we should NOT pack?
A: iPods, MP3 players, electronics, cell phones, smart watches, trading cards, weapons, ghost stories, witchcraft books or other books promoting cults, magazines, and internet access equipment are not allowed. If these items are brought, we will request they be kept in our lockbox for the duration of your camper's stay and returned to her upon her departure. We want to let you know that we desire for each Tapawingo staff member and camper to dress modestly. When packing, please keep this in mind. We ask that you do NOT bring spaghetti strap tank tops, shirts that show midriffs, or short shorts. Thank you!
Q: How much spending money should I send with my camper?
A: The following are suggestions for camper accounts. This amount can be charged to your account along with your balance or can be paid by a separate check. We operate on an account system - campers do not carry cash. We recommend between $50.00 - $75.00 for your daughter's camper account. She will need at least $20.00 if she wants to do arts and crafts. An additional $10 allows your camper to be able to get one candy bar ($1.00) and one soda ($1.00) each day. Any additional money will allow her to purchase things offered in our camp store (toothbrush, pens, postcards, stamps, books, and more). The following items may be subtracted from your camper's account during her stay: craft items, store items, missionary donations (by her request only), stay-over day purchases, charges for loss or damage of camp equipment, and laundry service charges (only as requested by camper). Money left in your camper's account at the end of the session will be refunded.
Q: What does camp do about allergies?
A: We need to receive your completed camper health form by May 1. Please note that among other items, the health form requires a doctor's signature. We cannot check-in your camper without a fully completed health form. Timely receipt of the health form makes it possible for Tapawingo staff to catch any mistakes/omissions on your health form PRIOR to your arrival. If your camper has a known allergic reaction, she MUST bring her prescribed Epi-pen. Please call your doctor for details. PRN inhalers are the only medication allowed in the cabin with the camper.
Q: How can I contact my camper while she is there?
A: Please keep in mind that the reason camp is special for campers is because it is a chance to experience life away from home. With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to encourage your camper in the adventure she has set out to enjoy...
You can write to your camper at:
Camper's Name and Cabin
P.O. Box 250
Speculator, NY 12164.
You may email your camper a letter at:
Please include your camper’s name and cabin in subject line!
Each email is $0.50 and will be delivered during rest hour each day, if sent in by 11am.
Outgoing mail leaves the island after breakfast each day. Mail and packages are delivered to campers each day after lunch and prior to rest period. Feel free to send a care package, but keep in mind that campers will not be allowed to store food in the cabins; they will have access to care packages, etc. during free time and right before rest period. PLEASE NOTE: The Tapawingo phone, fax, and e-mail are for business and emergency use only.
Q: How can she contact me?
A: Especially for younger campers, we encourage parents to stamp and address some envelopes for her to write home, to grandma, etc. If letters are not addressed correctly, it is difficult for us to get them to you! Encourage your daughter to write home if you wish to hear from her!
Q: What happens each day at camp?
A: Following is a schedule of a "typical" day at camp:
6:00 a.m. - Staff rise, devotions and/or exercise
6:40 a.m. - Staff showers
7:00 a.m. - Camper Personal Devotions (optional)
7:30 a.m. - Campers Up - Get Ready
7:45 a.m. - Cabin Clean up
8:00 a.m. - Waitress bell/Flag Raising/Exercises
8:15 a.m. - Breakfast
8:45 a.m. - Power Hour (all camp Bible study)
9:25 a.m. - Warning bell for activities
9:30 a.m. - Boat leaves for off island activities
9:40 a.m. - Activity Class #1 begins
10:30 a.m. - Bell rung for Activity Class #2
11:30 a.m. - Activity Class #2 ends/Free time begins
11:50 p.m. - Waitress bell/Wash up for lunch
12:15 p.m. - Lunch
1:00 p.m. – Rest hour
2:00 p.m. – Canteen/Store/Free Time
2:50 p.m. – Warning bell for activities
3:00 p.m. – Activity Class #3 begins
3:50 p.m. - Bell rung for Activity Class #4
4:00 p.m. - Activity Class #4 begins
4:50 p.m. – Bell rung for Capers
5:00 p.m. - Capers (all camp clean-up duties)
5:20 p.m. - Flag Lowering/Waitress Bell
5:30 p.m. - Supper
6:15 p.m. - Event Hour (fun theme-type activity)
7:00 p.m. - Cabin Prayer Time
7:15 p.m. - Evening Worship
8:30 p.m. - Cabin Devotions
9:30 p.m. - Lights Out/Taps
Q: What activities do you offer?
A: Click here to see all of our activities! Please note that overnight (off-site) camping trips, Ropes Course and Zipline are for 12 year olds and older.
Q: What is the swim test like?
A: All first-time campers and returners wanting to improve their swim level will be required to take a swim test after their arrival (weather permitting). The swim test will include swimming using various strokes, treading water, floating, bobbing, and climbing into a rowboat from the water. The test is 15-20 minutes in length and is intended to determine what water activities your camper can safely participate in. These activities include sailing, swimming, water-skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing, banana boating, and any other activities that include the water. Campers will be given a bracelet that corresponds to their swim level. Some campers will be "non-swimmers" which will mean they will not be able to participate in our water sports except swimming. Non-swimmers are those swimmers who do not take the test, or who do not pass the test on the basic level. Other levels include "swimmer" and "advanced swimmer."
Q: What if our camper has to fly in?
A: Campers arriving by air fly into Albany airport and must schedule their flight to arrive no earlier than 9:00 a.m. and no later than noon (if possible) on Sunday. End of session departure flights should be no earlier than 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays. Albany airport is 2 hours from Tapawingo. The fee for transportation to and from the airport is $130 each way, per camper. If you desire to schedule an airport pick-up or drop-off, you must discuss this with the Tapawingo Director, Joy Huseland, AND call us 24 hours prior to the scheduled pick-up and/or drop-off to confirm times. Call direct at (518) 548-5091. Do not assume your airport pick-up/drop-off is confirmed unless you have received confirmation from us.
Q: How do you make cabin assignments?
A: We do our best to honor one cabin request per camper, but sometimes there are reasons that we are unable to honor requests. Those reasons are...
Our cabins are arranged by age, and we do not recommend campers be a part of a cabin where the majority of the campers are two or more years older or younger than she is.
Camper #1 requests that Camper #2 be in her cabin. Camper #2 requests that she not be in a cabin with Camper #1. Although this is rare, it does occasionally happen. We appreciate it when our parents and campers handle situations like this in a straightforward way prior to registration. But when this is impossible, we will most likely honor the request to not have a certain camper in with another camper. During camp, it is our desire that all campers learn to love and care for other campers in a healthy, non-dysfunctional and unconditionally caring way. We also recognize the need at times for boundaries between certain relationships in order to come to a healthy, God-honoring way of relating to each other.
Q: What is check-in time?
A: Registration for incoming campers is between 1:15 and 3:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. After you drive through the CAMP-of-the-WOODS entrance, the Welcome Center personnel will stop you and direct you to the CAMP-of-the-WOODS pavilion for Tapawingo registration. We would like to invite our camper parents to come early to participate in our CAMP-of-the-WOODS worship service on Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. in Tibbitts Auditorium. Parents driving long distances are welcome to make reservations to stay at CAMP-of-the-WOODS. Please call the CAMP-of-the-WOODS registrar at (518) 548-4311 ext. 0 to make these arrangements. Reservations for less than one week cannot be processed until 2 weeks prior to your camper's stay and are subject to availability. If you are staying at CAMP-of-the-WOODS the week that your camper is at Tapawingo, she will be included in your CAMP-of-the-WOODS registration for Saturday night at no additional charge.
Q: What if my camper is staying for more than one week and she runs out of clean clothing?
A: Any camper staying for more than one session may choose to have her laundry done. Please make sure your camper comes with a laundry bag and clothing (clearly labeled) if you wish to utilize our laundry service. Laundry service takes place at the end of the week and costs $10, a sum that is deducted from her camper account.
Q: Who owns Tapawingo?
A: Our parent organization is CAMP-of-the-WOODS, which has been in operation since 1900. The CAMP-of-the-WOODS campus is just one mile away from us (by boat). We utilize their grounds for tennis, the challenge course, and the climbing wall. The history of CAMP-of-the-WOODS is extensive and amazing, and well worth looking into! There are books written about it, as well as an onsite museum. CAMP-of-the-WOODS is owned and operated by Gospel Volunteers, Inc.
Q: Can we visit Tapawingo?
A: Yes! Even if you don't have a daughter eligible for camper or staff status at Tapawingo, we hope you'll visit us anyway and be encouraged by the ways in which the Lord has been glorified by this ministry in the Adirondacks! Tours of the island are open to the public on Sundays. Signups start at 3:15 p.m. at the CAMP-of-the-WOODS point and tours start as soon as all the campers are on the island. Photo ID will be required in order to sign up for a tour. However, there are no appropriate times to visit Tapawingo campers during a session.
Q: Can you tell me any other fun facts about Tapawingo?
A: Yes! Here are some Tapawingo facts for you...
Elevation: 1,724 feet above sea level
Lake Pleasant (the lake we are located on) is an all-natural sand lake. It is 4 miles long and 65 feet deep at its deepest point.
The type of fish we enjoy from Lake Pleasant are black bass, pickerel, great northern trout and rainbow trout.
There are three other camps in the United States that go by the name of “Tapawingo.” They are located in Oregon, Illinois, and Virginia.
Every winter, deer find their way across the frozen lake to Tapawingo - sometimes they even get "trapped" on the island when the ice melts in the spring.
The staff run each morning on the island - it takes 5 laps on the perimeter of the island to make a mile.
The dining hall is the original home of the man who lived there before us (Richard Woike).