Philosophy Tipi Concept

Beginning in 1989 and for twelve years following, campers who attended Camp Appanoose were housed in authentic Native American tipis. While a book could be written about the humorous and sometimes not so humorous experiences of both campers and staff in tipis, two lasting marks were left on camp programs. One would be the ‘Old West’ motif of the camp. Horses, canoes, tipis, covered wagons, archery and rugged outdoor activities have always been woven in to the programs of the camp. A second lasting mark is a philosophy of Christian Education which is sometimes called the ‘tipi concept’. Just as every tipi rests on a tripod, so does the philosophy of Camp Appanoose. Following are three poles in the camp program.



Every life rests on presuppositions from either a correct or a faulty world view. The Camp Appanoose staff has committed itself to the supreme importance of truth, as it is revealed in the scriptures, in order to understand both the nature and the purpose of human life. A foundation of truth is necessary if young persons are to choose values and formulate objectives leading to success. For truth to be comprehendible, a relationship with the Creator is vital. The integration of truth into life produces integrity.



Growth is a life long process. Through varied experiences a young person gains new perceptions which will broaden and deepen his/her understanding of life. Each of the five senses is stimulated at camp to create fascination and curiosity which may extend far beyond the actual camp program. Participants are drawn from media dominated routines of life and caused to think independently, to see opportunity, and to approach the future with intensity. They are free to discover the joy of being a life long inquirer.



Life is full of challenges. Problem solving skills are important to success. Many examples from history illustrate industrious persons who used personal skill or ingenuity and limited resources to accomplish unbelievable tasks. In the Bible specifically, we hear of Joseph whose skills as a household slave and later a prisoner prepared him to administer a massive conservation initiative and later a world wide welfare program; we read of the fugitive, Moses, whose shepherding skills and simple rod were used by God to launch the immigration of an entire nation; and then there was the boy David who defeated a giant and in turn an entire army through the skillful use of a sling and a few small stones. Proverbs 22:6 instructs parents to train their children in the way they should go… This verse is a specific reference to the uniqueness of each individual’s inclinations, habits, and interests which a parent observes.

At Camp Appanoose our educational philosophy is built on a foundation of truth which should lead to personal integrity. It is energized as we encourage young persons to discover the joy of inquiry. Our goal is the individual young persons might take the skills, talents, and inclinations which are uniquely theirs, and use them for the good of others and the glory of God.