Stephanie and Joshua Bante had never taken their kids on a summer vacation as a family of five. The Bantes first heard about Camp Arcadia from close friends Seth & Rachel Hinz. Seeing the Hinzes come home from Camp each year feeling refreshed, Stephanie decided that this was the year to take their three sons on the inaugural family trip to Camp Arcadia.
Concerned that her husband Josh, who didn’t grow up attending church retreats, might not be on board for a week at a “church camp,” Stephanie created a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation to convince him that Camp was a feasible and fun option for their family. “I included pictures and quotes from the Hinz family, I did a cost analysis, I even made a ‘possible arguments against’ slide with a rebuttal for each possible point. My last slide said, ‘In Conclusion…. let’s do this, baby!’”
Despite her persuasive presentation, Stephanie had some concerns of her own leading up her family’s week at Camp Arcadia. She feared a week at Camp might mean a vacation with a strict itinerary, multiple long speaker sessions each day, and limited options for her husband to have fun beyond going fishing by himself.
When the Bantes arrived at Camp in August, Stephanie discovered her family had the freedom to choose which activities they wanted to take part in. “Everything I was worried about, thankfully, was inaccurate.”
Time at Arcadia was nothing but good for the Bantes, says Stephanie, “good for our family, good for our faith, and good for our soul.”
The couple found the Dean’s Program engaging and informative, and Josh looked forward to Dean Matt Popovits’ presentations each morning. Stephanie found much-needed rest spending afternoons near the water reading, knowing that her kids were safe and happy playing with new friends while her husband was enjoying all that Camp had to offer.
The Bantes came to Camp as a family of five, but soon found themselves creating meaningful relationships as they were welcomed into the Camp Arcadia community. They spent evenings talking with new friends and reconnecting with a couple Stephanie knew from college.
When reflecting on the most meaningful part of her week at Arcadia, Stephanie recalls the impact of sitting on the Inn front porch, listening to the waves lap on the shore of Lake Michigan: “There wasn’t one moment where I was anything close to unhappy. I felt God’s absolute peace and joy for six straight days. I don’t know when that has ever happened.”
Stephanie’s PowerPoint paid off. Two days into their weeklong vacation, Josh was not only thoroughly convinced that Arcadia was a great place to return each year, but even suggested that the family join the LCA. Time at Arcadia was nothing but good for the Bantes, says Stephanie, “good for our family, good for our faith, and good for our soul.”
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