Crosses of Camp Arcadia

As Lent comes to a close, we reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection and are reminded of His sacrifice on the cross that grants us salvation and newness of life. This Holy Week, we highlight Camp Arcadia’s collection of crosses, which point us to Christ and encourage us to draw near to Him each summer at Camp.


Chapel on the Beach Cross
This memorable cross, constructed by former caretaker John Jass in 2012, stands lake-facing at Camp’s Chapel on the Beach. “The Chapel on the Beach Cross is intentionally built with both man-made material and material from God’s creation—metal and wood—to represent Christ incarnate,” says Chip May. The cross was also built to be see-through, which symbolizes the transcendent love of God.


Patio Cross
Located centrally on campus, the patio cross is an integral part of Camp’s design. When Camp repaved the patio in 2019 as a part of the Spirit of Arcadia campaign, an effort was made to include a vibrant new version of this symbol.  Stephanie Jass describes its meaning in Days Filled With Sunshine: 100 Years of Camp Arcadia. “Inside [Camp’s] circle of buildings is a cross, embedded into the patio concrete itself. That cross is a striking visual reminder that Jesus is the center of life at Camp Arcadia and the reason for gathering as a community each summer.”  


Chapel in the Woods Cross
Now located at the top of the backyard, this cross was built by Bud Colburn to serve as the wooden altarpiece for Camp’s Chapel in the Woods. It depicts a cross with rays of sunshine behind it, symbolizing Christ, the light of the world, which no darkness can overcome. 


Stained Glass Taizé Cross
This cross, used often in Arcadia Evening Prayer services, was dedicated in honor of Rev. Walt Schoedel’s ministry at Camp Arcadia. The cross was created by Brother Mel, a Marianist monk and artist in St. Louis, MO. The five circles represent the five wounds of Christ and the colors of the circles reflect God’s wonderful creation at Arcadia—sunsets, trees, and water.


Chapel on the Beach Processional Cross
Created in memory of camper Todd Anderson by Curtis Warnes from Metal Works in Empire, MI, this cross is used in procession at the Chapel on the Beach. The design was Todd’s own, inspired in part by Arcadia’s Chapel in the Woods cross. The bursting rays from Christ’s head is the uncontainable light He shines on the darkness of the world. This is also a symbol of the joy of one’s heart as they receive Christ’s love. Christ’s body is the ichthus, or Jesus fish, the symbol that early Christians used to indicate a secret meeting place. Not only do the tree-like trunk and roots match the Chapel’s surrounding forest, but they also are symbols of the Tree of Life that God has in store for us to taste in heaven and a reminder that we are rooted in Christ and He is our foundation.


“I Am The Resurrection And The Life” Cross 
Another work of Marianist monk Brother Mel, this metal resurrection cross hangs on the west wall of the Assembly building. It was dedicated in celebration of the life of Janice K. Bulmann on September 28, 2002. 

3 Responses

  1. What a wonderful idea to post all the crosses and their stories during passion week – thank you so much!

  2. So meaningful, especially in this holiest of weeks. I will seek these crosses out each fall at the Women’s Retreat.

  3. Thank you for sharing these stories! I am partial to the processional cross.

    Camp Arcadia was near and dear to Todd. After his death when our loving Arcadia family gave memorial money in Todd’s honor, it was wonderful to fill a camp need of a processional cross.

    Working with Dave Galik (son-in-law of Don and Sue Kruse), the designer of this cross and Curtis at Metal Works, we were thrilled with the final product.

    Donor families were blessed with a replica cross for their homes. I believe nearly 50 crosses are scattered across the country. These crosses first and foremost remind us of our Lord who died on the cross for our sins. Next we remember our beloved Camp Arcadia and the brothers and sisters we have in Christ Jesus.

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