I vividly remember my first encounter with Camp Arcadia. I was sitting with my cousins at our Grandma’s, we were just 10 years old. I remember asking about the beaded necklaces they were wearing, ones they had made in the craft shop at Camp. They answered by describing the different activities, buildings, people, and programs. As soon as I heard them describe it, I knew I had to go.
Two weeks later I found myself getting out of a minivan in Camp’s turnaround and being greeted by weirdly dressed staff members. My friends and I spent a week on Lake Michigan, exploring the grounds, learning of God’s love , enjoying his creation and taking part in games and tournaments. After just a couple days at Camp Arcadia, I knew that I would return often.
Fast forward 11 years and I was now approaching my senior year of college. I decided to take the plunge, to join the summer staff. I wanted to try something new and to experience the Camp I had loved as a camper in a new way. As I approached my first year on staff, I was unsure of how I would fit in. That first year I had the privilege of meeting Pastor Yonker who served as our summer staff Chaplain. Our first conversation focused around my Christian upbringing or lack thereof. Pastor Yonker made it very clear that he and this experience as part of Camp’s staff would give me the opportunity to be part of the family of God and would allow me to feel comfortable exploring my relationship with God. This was the moment I knew Camp would play a significant part in the rest of my life.
During that first summer on staff, I experienced many amazing memories, one of which was meeting my future wife. We were married at Camp Arcadia because of the amazing memories, opportunities and relationships we made at Camp. We also wanted others to experience this place we loved.
When a friend explained what Legacy Builders were and how they contributed to Camp’s future and ministry, I couldn’t think of a better way to give back to the place that had blessed my wife and me in so many ways.
As a recently married couple, my wife and I didn’t have a lot of disposable income to put forth as our contribution. We decided the best way for us to give back to Camp was to include them in our life insurance plans. It insures that our memories will continue to live at Camp and provides for others to experience the thrills, love, and faith that Camp Arcadia gave to me.