Can Camp Make a Difference?


It’s weird, it’s scary and everything is uncertain. Oh the joys of junior high school. In addition to being a time of tremendous change and anxiety, these early teen years are a critical time in one’s faith development.

Research backs this up. Barna Research Group found in one study that, “a majority of Americans make a lasting determination about the personal significance of Christ’s death and resurrection by age 12.” Read the full study here.

This is why Camp Arcadia has made the intentional decision to offer quality, Christ-centered, programmed retreats for teens.[box] “This Fall we will be bringing our 7th and 8th graders to Camp Arcadia for the 3rd year! The kids start asking on the way back from camp when next year’s retreat will be! They come from seven different schools. Because of church, they are together, AND because of CAMP ARCADIA, they are now friends!” -Kathy Sowers, youth leader at Our Redeemer, Washington MI[/box]

One of the most powerful aspects of a Camp Arcadia Teen Retreat is the relational growth that occurs. The book Sticky Faith by Kara Powell, based on in-depth research on faith formation, highlights the importance of relational growth that happens at retreats. “..a student who attends a weekend retreat experiences the relational equivalent of attending Sunday school for six months. In more than twenty-five years of student ministry, I’ve found nothing that bonds adults and kids more than time away.” These retreats help lay the foundation for relationships that can last a lifetime and beyond.

Teen retreats help confirm the hope that is the goal of student ministry. Here is how Scott Giger
, pastor at Carmel Lutheran Church in Indiana puts it:

“Spending a long weekend at Camp Arcadia for the Confirmation Retreat gives me a chance to get to know my students on a deeper level and have a more intensive time of catechesis as our regular class time is only about 45 minutes per day in our Lutheran school. It is such a blessing to see God reach the kids with the same Word, just in a different setting.”

Consider connecting your young people to a Camp Arcadia Teen Retreat where all are renewed in, “spirit, mind, and body — amid the beauty of God’s creation and in fellowship with other Christians,” as guided by Camp’s mission statement.

Space is still available.  Camp Arcadia’s Alpha Retreat is June 7-13 for teens who will be entering 9th or 10th grade. The Fall Confirmation Retreats take place the first three weekends in October — learn more about this retreat here.  Please contact Program Director Jason Bauer at (231) 889-4361 or with questions about Teen Retreats at Arcadia.

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