Family Retreats

What to Expect

Camp Arcadia has something for everyone! The wide array of activities offered each day will keep even the most active member of the family busy all day. The opportunity to choose what to participate in each day makes each day a perfect fit for every member of the family. Each week features a pair of “deans” who act as spiritual leaders for the week, offering daily Bible Study and table prayers. This unique facet has been a tradition since Camp opened its doors in the summer of 1923.

Fun For the Whole Family

Camp Arcadia’s Family Retreat programming is designed for inter-generational vacationing. During a Family Week, you and your family might enjoy a square dance; play basketball, shuffleboard, softball, tennis or soccer; create a craft; participate in a talent show; compete in family relays; or shoot archery. You will be engaged spiritually through the daily adult morning Bible study (Dean’s Program), presentations and worship.

“The community of believers that gather at Arcadia year after year makes it special. It is amazing to have the common thread of a love for God and a love for our families – something you wouldn’t find on any other vacation!” – Family Week Guest

At Arcadia, you are invited to play tennis, kayak, swim in Lake Michigan, hike along the beach and through the forest, learn about God’s creation, watch the sun set over Lake Michigan, see area sights like the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, shop in local resort towns, play golf at area championship courses, enjoy ice cream at Camp Arcadia’s Trading Post, and relax as you read a book or take a nap in one of our Adirondack chairs.

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Family Speaker Schedule

The Nearness of our Lord

A cruel world can convince us that God is distant and we are very much on our own. That can leave us anxious and hopeless. But the Truth of this life is very different. From the Virgin Mary to the Lord’s Prayer, the Scripture and Sacraments assure us that our Lord is near, and more, that He is always for us and never against us. Come embrace the nearness of our Lord and enjoy the calm and encouragement delivered by the word and touch of his Holy Things.

Rev. Dr. Scott Bruzek has been a pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Illinois for 27 years. 

Arthur Just has been on the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, since 1984 as a Professor of Exegetical Theology. 

Kevin Hildebrand is Cantor at Concordia Theological Seminary and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN.

By Paths As Yet Untrodden

John will explore how our growth in faith is like a pilgrimage; namely, that the entire life of a Christian is a journey through waves of repentance and new obedience, prayer and work, giving and receiving, study and play, life and death.  

John Arthur Nunes is a pastor in Santa Monica, California and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy.

Blest be the Tie that Binds: Faithfulness Amid Runaway Polarization

More and more, Americans look with suspicion and even outright hostility upon those with whom they disagree. Christians are no exception. The lines that divide run through the heart of American Christianity and so even believing neighbors appear to many on the other side as enemies. Together we’ll reflect on how to be salt and light in this polarized age, finding ways to hang together amid deep difference without comprising our most cherished values.

Dr. Heath W. Carter is an associate professor of American Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary. 

Barry Bobb, recently retired from fulltime parish work, serves as the volunteer director for the Center for Church Music.

Laughing Matters

Humor is all around us in our real everyday lives, so of course we should expect to find things that make us laugh in Scripture!  Explore some of the funny parts of the Bible and see what these moments of comedy have to teach us about who we are, who God is, and what it means to live our faith in Christ in everyday life.  Laughing really does matter, even to God!

Rev. Matt Hoffmann is the Lead Pastor and Spiritual Leader of St. Andrews Lutheran Church and School in Park Ridge, IL. 

Live on Purpose

Discover how we can live on purpose, alongside the Global and Historical Church. Explore how God works in and through your own life, while feeling refreshed in your callings. Gain a perspective on life worth sharing! A gateway for the Gospel, vocation gives meaning to a world searching for answers. 

Blythe Barreto serves as an adjunct professor of theology & ministry for Concordia University St. Paul and teaches high school theology at Orange Lutheran Online.

Four Leadership Approaches Every Leader Should Know and Use

No matter your station in life, every Christian is called to live out servant leadership as part of the body of Christ. We’ll explore a brief history and theology of leadership and then take you through a leadership assessment to determine your leadership comfort zones. Then we’ll walk through four frames of leadership to help broaden your horizons and give you new ways to lead and serve people in your church, family, community and beyond.

Dr. Benjamin Haupt is associate provost and associate professor of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s Church

What do you think about when you hear the term “Charismatic Gifts”? Maybe you’re comfortable with this term, or maybe you have a negative reaction to the term? Maybe the topic confuses you. If someone asked you to define a charismatic gift and share any gifts that you’ve been given, what would you say? During our time together we will study what scripture says about Charismatic Gifts and what they mean to us.

Rev. Micah Glenn is the Director of Recruitment and Enrollment at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. 

Bob Unger is the Director of Worship and Music Ministry at Resurrection Lutheran Church and School in Cary, North Carolina and the Music Director of the North Carolina Boys and Girls Choirs.

Divine Whispers, Profound Revelations: Embracing Curiosity for Deeper Connections

In a world where genuine connections are scarce and conversations often shallow, there exists a timeless truth that can revolutionize the way we engage with one another.  In an era dominated by fleeting interactions, we will draw inspiration from the profound communicator Jesus Christ, whose mastery of questions forged lasting connections and transformative growth.  We’ll explore how the art of listening and learning through questions can bridge divides, reshape relationships, and ignite profound insights.

Rev. Brian Davies is Pastor at Lord of Glory Lutheran Church in Grayslake, IL, where he has served since 2009. 

Seeing the Word Through the Eyes of Women

At first glance, it may seem as though the stories in Scripture primarily revolve around men. But when we look closely, we see how Yahweh intricately places women in moments of powerful influence and covenantal faithfulness in order to display the fullness of His image. As we allow the Word to speak, we hear the resounding voices of women proclaiming the truth of who our God is and how He works. Come see and hear Him and His story like you never have before.

Sarah Salzberg teaches Old Testament at Orange Lutheran High School in Orange County, CA. 

Bob Unger is the Director of Worship and Music Ministry at Resurrection Lutheran Church and School in Cary, North Carolina and the Music Director of the North Carolina Boys and Girls Choirs.

What Lies Beneath: God’s Grace and Our Deepest Fears

Beneath the surface of what we show others lie motivations, expectations, and fears that shape our experience of life in profound but often unhelpful ways. Unless exposed to the light of God’s Love these influences can drive us to dysfunction and rob us of peace. Together we’ll unearth five common, unspoken motivations and fears, examine their parallels in the Biblical narrative and apply the implications of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection to each one.

Rev. Matt Popovits is the Senior Pastor at St. Mark Houston in Houston, Texas.

Philippians: Four Chapters for Hope

To a struggling church living in a world hostile to its way of life, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter of hope and encouragement. It is addressed to real people—some of whom are even named—to help them be confident in God’s plan for the Gospel, the church, and their lives. We will see how the Gospel message transformed people in the Roman Empire and how that message is still at work among us.

Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, Chief Curatorial Officer at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. is a renowned scholar with a rich history in New Testament studies. With a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds, he served as a professor and provost at Concordia Seminary for 18 years, and pastor in Lakewood, OH for six years. 

Bob Unger is the Director of Worship and Music Ministry at Resurrection Lutheran Church and School in Cary, North Carolina and the Music Director of the North Carolina Boys and Girls Choirs.

Rev. Dr. Paul Maier is a best-selling author of fiction and nonfiction and a retired Professor of History at Western Michigan University.

A Year of Discipline: Misadventures and Meditations

Over a year, Chitwood took up one of the twelve classical spiritual practices for thirty-days at a time. Could he meditate throughout March? Fast from food in February? Practice simplicity all of September? At Camp, he not only shares the ups and downs, breakthroughs and setbacks of everyday spiritual practice over an entire year, but dives deep into the disciplines’ backgrounds, offering practical guidance for living the disciplined life in your own day-to-day. 

Rev. Dr. Ken Chitwood is a religion scholar, journalist, and pastor based in Germany.

Redeeming Technology

Amid the increasingly complicated world of new technologies—artificial intelligence, machine learning, supercomputers—it is vital to remember that God has called human beings to the essential work of loving our neighbors. Drawing on his background as a pastor, writer, and professor, Sutton shares how the biblical teaching of vocation can help keep technology in its rightful place within our lives, workplaces, homes, churches, and society. 

Rev. Dr. Trevor Sutton is a pastor in Lansing, MI, and author of multiple books and articles.

Finding Home

Home is a powerful idea. When we feel at home, we feel seen, understood, and at peace with the world and ourselves. Yet we’ve all had and have experiences of feeling homeless in the world. In the midst of those experiences, Jesus invites us to make our home in him, even as he makes his home in us. Join us as we explore what this looks like.

Rev. Gabe Kasper is Lead Pastor of University Lutheran Chapel in Ann Arbor, MI. 

Things You Won’t Hear Anywhere (But Church)

So many voices compete for our attention these days. It can be difficult to tell what’s worth tuning in and tuning out. During our week together, we’ll survey five facets of the Christian faith that make its message unique, refreshing, and counter-cultural. We’ll do so with an emphasis on translating the Gospel into contemporary language, such that God’s grace might penetrate our own hearts anew, as well as those of our neighbors.

David Zahl is the director of Mockingbird Ministries, co-host of the Mockingcast, and author of Seculosity and Low Anthropology.

Better Off: Disconnecting to Reconnect

We live in an “always-on” world. This surely has its benefits, but as we all experience it also has myriad consequences—not least in how it impacts our relationship to God. Taking inspiration from one of Camp Arcadia’s mottoes, we’ll look at how we as people of faith who are living amid ubiquitous devices, social media, and even A.I. can “disconnect to reconnect”—and find ourselves better off.

Rev. Dr. Ryan Tinetti is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Arcadia, MI. 

Finding Rest Through Art and Faith

Slowing down is hard to do in a fast-paced world. It often feels impossible. We are tempted to run from rest as we continue to work and keep ourselves busy. Through story, poetry, and song, Tanner Olson and Blake Flattley will invite you to slow down and see that you have nowhere else to be but right where you are. Throughout the week you’ll laugh, think, create, maybe even cry, but you’ll most certainly find rest through art.

Tanner Olson is an author, poet, and speaker living in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Blake Flattley is an accomplished singer-songwriter and the head of 1517 Music.

Rabbi Jesus: His Language, Land, and Culture

Jesus lived his earthly life as a Jew in the land of Israel and within the background of first-century Galilean messianic fervor.  We’ll explore how Jesus’ language, geography, and even the Dead Sea Scrolls influenced his message and first followers.  Come learn the first-century Hebraic context of Jesus.

Rev. Dr. Chad Yeshayahu Foster is both an ordained LCMS pastor and an ordained rabbi. He has studied at Christian seminaries and Jewish yeshivas in England, France, and Israel. Currently, he serves as the Senior Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Macomb, MI.

Respite Care

Camp Arcadia is also thrilled to offer a Respite Program. The Kingdom of God affirms the dignity and value of all people regardless of their capabilities, and so does Camp! We honor guests with special needs and their families by creating opportunities tailored for them to be renewed in “spirit, mind and body” during their stay. Camp Arcadia’s Respite Program assigns caring staff that will work to develop and carry out a plan, designed through conversation with each individual family. If you are interested or would like more information about this program, please note this on your registration form.

Registration is open!

We started accepting registrations starting December 1st.