Thank You to Opening Weekend Volunteers
This past Memorial Day weekend, Camp opened its 92nd season with its annual volunteer work weekend. People of all ages arrived and there was a lot of work to be done. These jobs included, raking, moving furniture, weeding, working in the craft shop, etc., all in one weekend. Every year, people come because they’re excited to be up at camp to help and work in exchange for free food and housing. We are thankful to all of the volunteers and hard work that went into everything!
For many families, it was their first time being up for opening weekend, even if they were regular family week campers. Nancy Janke, who brings her kids to family weeks every year said, “It’s our very first opening weekend, and it was a surprise for my twins, Nathan and Nolan, for their birthday. All my kids adore Camp Arcadia. This is a very near and dear place for us. It’s good food, but it’s really more about the friendships created here. The energy of getting it ready is pretty exciting. I’ve met some new people, and even though we’ve just met, we have Camp in common, and then we start talking and it just goes from there – that’s been my favorite part of Opening Weekend. There’s something for everyone here to fit their gifts and talents. Now that we’ve started working, we feel invested in what we’ve done and can admire it all summer.”
Her son, Nolan, and his friend, Rachel Moorman were very excited to be here to work. “It’s our first time coming for Opening Weekend, and working in the craft shop and seeing all the new crafts has been our favorite part. I also really like getting to know the new staff as I get to work with them, and getting the first look at everything.”
Some other people had already been coming up for opening weekend several times and have come back for a variety of reasons.
Kristin Weber, the current Craft Shop Director for the summer, said, “I’ve been coming to opening weekend for the past three years, and I really like seeing the transformation from when the volunteers come to when they leave for the weekend after everything is finished. All the volunteers are here ready to go, which is great because so much work gets done in such a short amount of time, and camp comes alive.”
When asked what her favorite part of opening weekend was, Andrea Pickelman, a former assistant cook at camp said, “Well, it’s free. (laughs) This is my first opening weekend as a non-staff member. It’s a great way to give back to a camp that I feel like I grew up at and I hope to do it for years to come”
People come up to camp to work for a weekend for many reasons, including, the food, the fellowship, relationships, and the pure love for camp that gets everyone excited to work and see the transformation over the few days. They work towards a common goal, have fun doing it together, while also having fellowship with God.