The Story Behind Crunchies


Anyone who’s been to the Trading Post at Camp Arcadia knows that when they order a Chief Shake, they will be faced with an inevitable question from a summer staffer in an apron: “Would you like whipped cream, crunchies, and a cherry?”

 While whipped cream and a cherry are staple toppings as far as most ice cream treats go, Arcadia’s crunchies set the papoose apart from your standard sundae. These homemade crispy granola bits make a unique topping for TP treats. Made in-house in Camp’s kitchen, crunchies have topped ice cream at RKD for decades.

Gert Vasel

It all started with Gert Vasel, Camp’s cook in the 1970s-80s. Gert served vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce in Camp’s dining room. To add some texture in lieu of nuts and to complement her decadent homemade topping, she decided to elevate the dessert by including crunchies on top. Crunchies were such a big hit in the dining room that they migrated to the Trading Post.

These days, Camp serves most of its ice cream in the TP, and–unless you specify otherwise–all Shakes, Sundaes, and Sodaliciouses will be served to your table, booth, or counter seat with crunchies on top.

Share Your Story

Former staffer Sarah Boyle recalls a long-standing joke among summer staffers that started when her sister, Vicki, served as TP Manager in the early 1980s. A bug zapper hung between the Craft Shop and the Trading Post, attracting mosquitoes and other critters and leaving behind what staffers liked to call “Vicki’s Crunchies.” 

Do you have a fun anecdote about crunchies or another Camp Arcadia tradition? Celebrate the 100th with us by sharing your story!

3 Responses

  1. As senior that attend RKD in the 60′ with MDYA and then in the 70′ with my family, I was wondering if I could order a Chief Shake with crunchies and have it delivered to me in Goshen, IN. Appreciate it. LOL.

  2. NO, but I’m excited to try one when we come this summer!!! (And praying our family gets “IN”)
    What a joy to experience living in His Story together.

  3. I ask for my papoose with hot fudge and an “offensive” amount of extra crunchies. Sometimes they come in a cup on the side!

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