Dear Miss Joy,
I wanted to share with you two perspectives on Tap2020 – one from me and one from my daughter.
The day the Tapawingo cancellation email arrived I was out on a walk, so I didn’t see it for a few hours. As I sent a text to say I was on my way over to my daughter, I was informed that she had already read the email and had broken into tears. I want you to know that as I read the email, I too broke into tears (typing this now I’m tearing up).
That night, after hugging-it-out with my daughter, I sat quietly at home. I realized that my tears were for a few reasons.
One reason was that it was not just my daughter who would miss out on this summer, but that every Tapawingo camper would miss out too. First year campers had to be excited for their first-ever experience. I’m sure that campers who were coming for their last year wanted to soak in every last second of the life-changing event that Tap creates. I’m sure you and the entire staff broke down, as the young ladies coming to Tap aren’t just campers, they are family (I know this as I hear my daughter talking about Tap 24/7/365). Not having Tap2020 is simply heartbreaking. There is no denying the impact and loss.
But, that made me realize the other reason why I was tearful. It’s the LOVE and CARE. It’s the RELATIONSHIPS and GROWTH. Other summer camps were cancelled too, and none of them brought an emotional response from us. Sure, we weren’t happy about the cancellations, but given everything going on, we expected it and accepted it. But not with TAP! Why? It’s the impact it’s had on my daughter. She has new FRIENDS. Friends she stays in contact with outside of the summer. It can be the middle of November, and as we pray at night, she will mention Tapawingo. If I gave my daughter one choice to do anything – it would be to go to Tap. That’s the IMPACT the staff has had on my daughter’s life. She’s GROWN. Her relationship with Christ is CEMENTED. She LEARNS about herself and has become more INDEPENDENT. I’m thankful. I’m proud to be a Tap Parent. God has given us more than I could have ever imagined. And … He will give us more come 2021.
Please know we are over-the-top excited about next year. We are ALL IN. As emotional as getting the Tap2020 decision was, I suspect the feeling of JOY we will feel in 2021 as we arrive at registration will surpass the hurt we felt this year. Please thank everyone who is involved with Tapawingo.
- Camper Father
As much as I am sending this email out of sadness, it's also out of love. Tapawingo has been something I will never forget and wish everyone could have. I felt it the moment I stepped on the island - a feeling of home and of safety. I don't think that I had ever felt the same feeling since I was little and was still oblivious to the hardships that would cross my path.
But, I don't want to focus on the sadness, I wish to only remember the good and the crazy, much like the island is overflowing with joy and memories. As I write this, the song that every girl sings as the bell rings and we all run to meet new campers is playing in my head. When I first heard it, I didn't know the lyrics, but now I have them memorized by heart so that they never leave me. It reminds me of every first step on the island, from coming back from hikes or a mainland activity to walking onto the gravel path with my family. Each of those are important to me because they encapsulate everything one person needs to know about Tapawingo: that no matter who you are, how broken you are, or how far you run from God, you are always welcome and you will be drawn back to Him.
I'm trying not to cry right now, which is a hard thing, but the fact is that Tap means way more than I expected. I never thought that one week away from family, on a small island, on a lake, in an out-of-the-way town, in Upstate New York could change my life, but it did. And the next year did too. Two weeks that changed my life and have made everything so much better and have brought me much closer to Christ.
Don't worry, I won't be spending what should have been my time on the island in my room. This summer I have a project, and that is using what I've learned at Tap to help bring my family and friends closer to Christ. It's been a long journey, and I've been working for so long, but now I have a whole summer with them to teach my own Power Hours and try to have meals without having to run a lap around the house because I put my elbows on the table (hasn't happened yet). I am super excited to bring Tap home with me, and to be able to share it with family, especially ABC breakfast.
I hope everyone is well and I can’t wait for next summer and everything that will come.
Best wishes and blessings,
- Tapawingo Camper