Renewal of Mind

At RKD, guests can renew their minds in two different, but important ways: through stimulation or relaxation. For some, mental stimulation is what they need, and Camp Arcadia provides that through activities like the dean’s program, skill-building classes, and interaction with new people. The dean’s program is the oldest and most fundamental activity at Camp; the entire point of establishing a Walther League resort was to provide Christian education in a beautiful, restorative environment. But campers also enjoy mental stimulation every time they try something new, whether it’s archery, making crafts, or learning a line dance. 

Not everyone needs stimulation: folks who are mentally taxed may seek out opportunities to “tune out” and relax. Camp initially included a “Quiet Hour” where guests could write, nap, or “untangle [their] reel”—which was meant literally but works metaphorically, too. This tradition continues during Teen Weeks with daily reflection time, and while no longer scheduled during Family Weeks, there are many spaces where guests can unwind throughout the day. Some go to the beach, some find a rocker on the Inn porch, and others choose an Adirondack chair on the boardwalk to sit and read, meditate, or nap. Others may go for a quiet walk in the woods or meander along the lake looking for Petoskey stones. Sometimes, the best afternoons are the ones where the only program is allowing the mind to rest and recharge. At RKD, guests can decide every day which activities are best for their particular needs, even if those needs might change from day to day or year to year.

RKD is also a balm for those who need healing. The community is such that campers often find themselves very quickly unburdening themselves or listening as others share their troubles. As years pass and relationships deepen, those moments become part of a shared history that doesn’t even have to be spoken—a look, a hug, or smile reminds both that they know each other’s struggles and still care.


This is an excerpt from Days Filled With Sunshine: 100 Years of Camp Arcadia written by Dr. Stephanie Jass. This book will be a must-have for members of the Camp Arcadia family, including never-before-written stories from Camp’s history, anecdotal tales from community members and full-color photos all the way through. You can order the book by contacting the office (231-889-4361) or visiting Camp!


2 Responses

  1. Very well-written, Stephanie. I look forward to reading the rest of your book!

    Thanks for “highlighting” the original purpose of Camp this way. It is the glue that holds it all together – families with each other and with other families, cottagers with campers, Staff bonding as a “family” for the summer, and the beginnings of some life-long relationships! For much of RKD’s history it was how every day began and ended, too – with prayer and God’s Word; even how every meal began and ended when all meals were served family style!

    Times change and people’s preferences do, too. I hope and pray that RKD never lets its original purpose become simply one activity option; but that Camp Arcadia is always and ever God’s RKD!

    With much love and many fond memories,


  2. Hi Barb
    My name is Jim Uhlig and our family once owned a cottage in the colony. My first year at RKD was 1940 and through the years watched how God blessed its growth under the leadership of Chief Weiherman. We ceased being cottagers in 1962 due to changing family priorities. You mention that every meal was opened with prayer. The few times our family ate dinner in the Inn I remember an opening meal prayer spoken by the then current Dean Richard Caemerer. It was memorable for me and to this day I use at at meal times. I would like to share it with you. “For food and drink and happy days we give you gratitude and praise, in serving others Lord may we, repay in part our debt to Thee.”
    It repeatedly reminds us our our mission in life. Hope you find this inspirational too. As my Messianic Rabbi friends says in Hebrew; Baruch Ha Shem. (Praise God)


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