2021 Season Update

The snow is melting and spring is right around the corner. The Camp Arcadia team is working hard to prepare for the 2021 season and are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to serve you. Here is an update on Camp Arcadia’s season including the impact of COVID-19, registrations, staffing, the Arcadia experience, financial situation and lake levels. 


COVID-19 Impact

Here are a few questions about the vaccine and how COVID-19 will affect our summer.

Do you have to be vaccinated to attend Camp Arcadia? No. While we hope that everyone that can be vaccinated will be able to do so before they come to Camp, at this time we do not require the vaccine to attend Camp.

Will Camp change its plans for the season as things continue to open up? Yes and no. 

Yes – we will continue to stay up-to-date on the CDC and Michigan Department of Health COVID guidelines and adjust the Camp experience accordingly. We will follow their direction as to masking, social distancing, and indoor dining and activities. We realize that guests may be coming from other states with different restrictions. Please know that we will be following the restrictions for the State of Michigan. 

Maybe – Our capacity for our retreats are currently set at a reduced number – 80 guests for each of the Alpha and Omega Teen Retreats and the Fall Confirmation Retreats, 125 guests for the family retreats, and 100 for our men’s and women’s retreats. Our staffing and guest housing is based on this reduced number. If COVID restrictions continue to loosen and we are able to secure staff to serve more guests, we may be able to accommodate more guests for our summer and fall retreats.

Will your staff be vaccinated?

The State of Michigan recently declared that camp staff are essential workers and therefore eligible to receive the vaccine now. We will encourage all staff to be vaccinated, but will not require it. 



With our reduced capacity (65% of normal capacity) registrations are looking good. 

  • Camp is full (125 guests) for family weeks 1 – 8, with some space still available in Family Week 9 (August 21 – 27) and for our Labor Day Family weekend (Sept. 3 – 6). 
  • The Omega Teen Retreat and the Alpha Teen Retreat are full with a wait list. 
  • We still have room in our adult retreats – Summer Starter (June 5 – 11) and Lutherhostel (August 28 – Sept. 2).
  • Our fall men’s and women’s retreats still have availability except for Women’s Retreat 1 (Sept. 17 – 19). 
  • The Fall Confirmation Retreats are filling up; if you are interested in bringing a group from your church, please contact the Camp office.



  • Summer Staff: We are still looking for summer staff. We normally hire around 40 summer staff, but due to the pandemic and our reduced capacity we hired 14 last summer and will hire 27 this summer. We have had less applicants than normal, probably due to small staff last summer and pressure for college students to get internships in their field. If you know of anyone who is interested please have them contact us. 
  • Fall Staff: We are starting to hire our fall staff. We will be looking for staff to serve on when the college-aged summer staff return to school – August 14 – October 31. 
  • Full-time Staff: Our full-time staff has changed and grown recently with Jess McCallum moving from program director to assistant director and Sarah Olson joining our team as the donor relations and communications coordinator. Our full-time staff is now complete. 


The Arcadia Experience

  • 6 Day Retreat: In order to lessen the possibility of COVID-19 transmission, Family Weeks 1- 6 will be reduced one night, thereby giving us a 24 hour period between retreat guests. Family Weeks 1-6 will continue to have 5 days of the Dean and Morning Youth Program, with the retreat concluding on Friday with lunch.  The dates and rates for the retreats are adjusted to reflect this reduction. Family Weeks 7-9 will continue to end Friday with breakfast due to the transition of staff and guests.
  • Assigned Shared Bathrooms: Families will be sharing bathroom facilities with other families this season.  Families will be assigned a specific restroom (one for males, one for females). Guests with private bathrooms in their room will continue to be private. There will be no public restrooms in the Inn.  
  • Program: We plan to offer more programmatic activities in this summer’s version of the “Lite” model. This will include, but not limited to, the morning youth program for children ages (0 – College age), sporting activities like softball, and some tournaments. 
  • Outdoor Activities: Similar to last summer, we will strive to do as many activities outside as possible. We will continue to evaluate the ability to use our indoor game room (Wigwam’s Round Up) and the Trading Post. 
  • Meals: We plan to offer indoor meal service for breakfast and dinner, with lunch being served as a take-out meal.
  • Cottagers: We are excited to welcome ACCA and town cottagers to Camp this summer. We will be sending an email out to all cottagers outlining the process for signing up for the morning youth program and participation guidelines for using Camp this summer.


Financial Situation

Because of overwhelming support from the Camp Arcadia family, strong financial controls, and PPP loans/grants Camp is on strong financial footing. 

  • Reserves: Over the past two years we have had to use our reserves to pay for additional shoreline protection and flooding prevention measures. The record setting generosity from Camp’s supporters have allowed us to build back up these reserves. 
  • Expense Control: Last year Camp conserved expenses through staff reductions and a careful line by line analysis of Camp’s operational expenses. While this year we can take on a bit more in regards to expenses, we will continue to be judicious in our spending. 
  • PPP Loan/Grant: Last year we received a $137,000 PPP loan which has been forgiven completely. This year we have also received a $137,000 PPP loan which we hope will be forgiven as well.
  • Registration Revenue: Camp Arcadia plans to bring around 65% of our normal capacity registration revenue, compared to 30% in 2020. 
  • Fundraising: The Camp Arcadia family has been very generous and through their giving has sustained Camp Arcadia through three years of crisis. In 2021 the annual campaign goal is $400,000 which will bridge the gap between our registration revenue and the cost of running Camp. This is double what Camp normally strives to raise for the annual campaign to meet operational needs. 


Lake Levels

The lake levels are going down! This is great news! 

  • Lake Michigan is still 27 inches above average, but it is currently 10 inches below last year. The forecast is for the lake to be down 9 – 11 inches below last summer’s record water levels. 
  • Our dewatering system that was installed last year to prevent the Inn and Wigwam basements from flooding is currently not activated due to the lower lake levels. It is ready to go if lake levels increase and we need to use it. 
  • Check out this article from Mlive that talks about the Great Lake water levels going down.


5 Responses

  1. Please give me move information and restrictions on the elder program. Other than lunch being “carry out ” what is different than 2019 when we were there last.

  2. Hi
    Thanks for all the updates. I was wondering if you are doing a wait list for the First Women’s weekend retreat?

    1. It is not! It moved out late last fall. Then it was on the beach south of Camp’s property. Let’s hope it does not return! – Chip

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