MacKenzie’s Staff Story – Learning at RKD

staff2015web-078 (Large)Camp Arcadia was a very small blip on my radar a year ago. All I knew about camp was that it is a significant enough place that it inspired my freshman year suitemate to get the Camp Arcadia logo tattooed on her ankle. Never did I dream that one day I would have as big of a love for the very same place as she did.


In the fall of 2014, I enrolled in a Shakespeare class at Concordia University Ann Arbor. I sat next to a sweet, mild-mannered girl who grew to become a friend. As we became more acquainted, she casually mentioned that she worked at a camp that past summer. Having always wanted to work at a summer camp, I asked her more about it. Her face lit up when the words “Camp Arcadia” past her lips. She said that camp was her favorite place on earth! This was the most excited I had ever seen her. After our conversation I had to check this place out.

I spent hours online researching Camp Arcadia, looking through the photo albums, watching videos, reading through camp’s history, memorizing the mission statement… I was kind of obsessed. The more I learned about camp, the more I felt called to serve there.


I knew I was an underdog in the hiring process because I had not been to camp before, but God continued to put this ministry on my heart. I spent four solid days of my Christmas vacation working on my application. My heart was beating for a place I had never been and I could not quite explain why. Looking back on it, it all seems a bit obsessive and crazy but I can definitely see how God had his hand in the whole process.


After this idea of working at RKD became a consuming desire of mine, God placed multiple people in my life who were able to give me a taste of what Camp Arcadia is all about. Clare Robertson, who was a classmate of mine, and Kyle Dewees, who just took a job at my former Lutheran high school, were important people who helped me prepare for camp ministry. They were two great sources of encouragement and now have become two of my biggest role models. God has incredible timing.


After a staff interview and long couple months of waiting, I received an email from Chip May saying that they would like to have me on their summer staff. I was ecstatic! I could not wait to be part of a ministry that I had heard such amazing things about!


I will never forget the day I rolled up to camp in my Pontiac for the first time. From then on I knew Camp Arcadia would be a constant part of my life. This summer on staff I got to experience “the magic of camp” not in the traditional way as most do growing up as a camper. I was blessed by camp from the inside out.


MacKenzie with other first-time staff

The thing that blew me away most about Camp Arcadia was the depth and richness of the relationships made here. I met the kindest people, made the best friendships, and basked in the Christian fellowship that is woven through every activity, meal, and moment. I learned that to its core, RKD is a place where Christ is present.


I could tell story after story of how God showed His faithfulness throughout this summer. I could fill books; He has been that amazing! His faithfulness was first evident to me through the staff I got to work with, live with, and love. They saw me at my best and at my worst and loved me even more than I could have imagined. I learned to love at camp.


I am currently studying to become a Lutheran elementary school teacher. Just recently after having one of my college professors observe a lesson I taught, he commented that my strengths are in the intangibles of teaching, such as relating to the kids, listening to them, making them laugh, and caring for them. I attribute quite a bit of my skills to spending everyday with awesome 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at morning program. I learned to teach at camp.


Week after week I met people who modeled what it meant to live a Christian life. It was not that they came out and said it, they demonstrated it through their love. From Grandma and Grandpa Jaeger who constantly encouraged me, to little Chris Gottschalk who painted a picture of me on his regatta boat, I can say with all sincerity that I learned to live at camp.

MacKenzie Drinan served on program staff last summer and plans to return this summer.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share the Post:

Related Posts