Family Weeks: ‘This is being still. That’s what God tells us to do and I get to do so here’

Stephanie Bante, teacher and mother of three, first attended a Family Week in 2021 with her family. Amongst the busyness of everyday responsibilities, Camp brought her a sense of peace.

If I’m sitting down at home, I’m neglecting something I’m supposed to be doing,” Bante said. “So the first couple of days at Camp, it’s almost like I have to completely do a paradigm shift and switch my line of thinking. If I’m sitting, that’s not me being lazy, that’s me being filled.”

Listen to the rest of Stephanie’s story here.

Camp Arcadia is an oasis of opportunities for refreshment and rejuvenation. From shared mealtimes and morning Bible studies, or the Critter Race to the 3v3 basketball tournament, days are filled with activities for each and every guest. There is an abundance of opportunities for special moments of connection within families.

These opportunities allow families to be fully present. “The first year we came, I had a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a three-month-old, so my hands were very full,” said camper Valerie Mathias. “But I loved it because it fundamentally answered the question every day ‘What are we going to eat and what are we going to do?’”

Camp is not so much a retreat as it is an oasis. It is a place where guests of every age come to be washed over and filled with the Spirit before being sent out as renewed people beyond the shores of Lake Michigan.

Former staffer Bob Unger was the inaugural Morning Program leader for youth and teens in the late 1970s. “I started out with anywhere from 30 to 50 students, between the ages 6 and 13,” Unger said. “We would start out by singing all the Christian camp songs – a lot of them still used today – and then we would have a devotion or a Bible lesson and then we’d go play a game . . . it was a lot of fun and a lot of lives got to be touched in a good way and some of those students went on to become future staff members.”

The Morning Program is one of the many ways children of all ages find fun and fulfillment at Camp.

“It’s timeless here,” Camper and father of six Jason Naylor said. “The rest of the world pauses for the week that you’re here and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything else in the world.”

Listen to the rest of Jason’s story here.

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