“So I’ve been thinking, and I don’t want it to be any pressure . . . but would you ever consider thinking about coming to Arcadia?” Longtime camper Holly Dunkel had asked her friend Jessica Nienhueser while on a walk three years ago.
Jessica said yes. She and her family have now attended their second family week since then.
“We would hear the stories of Arcadia and it just felt like it was their thing,” Nienhueser said. “We always wondered how we could find something like it. We knew how special it was and we were so honored to be invited and to be able to experience the magic that they’ve talked about for years.”
Nienhueser said she was immediately drawn in by the warmth of both staff and campers.
“My husband gets weepy all the time,” she said. “And every time someone was nice to him, he would turn to me with tears in his eyes. The campers and the staff, who are teenagers, are so nice and kind and loving and responsible. I just hope that our kids can look up to these people and want to be all of that and more.”
Between family meals, programming and recreational opportunities, Arcadia quickly fulfilled Nienhueser’s need for rest and rejuvenation, she said.
“I just keep saying it’s magical,” Nienhueser said. “It’s peaceful and it’s a reboot for my spirit. It was everything we needed at the time and I couldn’t believe how much it just felt like we had entered a magical place that only happens here.”
Holly Dunkel has been attending Camp since she was a child and said she is proud to get to share the Arcadia magic with friends, new and old.
“Arcadia connects me, it fulfills me, it reminds me of how grateful I am that my parents brought us here and that I’m able to share it with other families and see other families growing here,” she said.
“We just feel like it’s the North Star,” Nienhueser said. “You can just keep following over and over and over again each year. It gives us the time to renew and grow and get our footing again.”