RKD Stories Episode 2 – On the run, games, and fun!


Since 1922, Camp Arcadia has been a place of gathering and fellowship, filled with countless memories and moments. Those stories can be heard in the echo of waves lapping on the sandy shores, the chatter from the patio, laughter in the Trading Post, or the gentle creak of a swing that accompanies silent reflection. But those stories should have the opportunity to be heard by the entire Camp Arcadia community, so this summer, we are inviting YOU to share your special Arcadia moments, podcast-style, at the RKD Story Booth! If you are interested in sharing a short memory, moment, or realization made at Camp, visit us this summer and be sure to check out the booth!




Camp Arcadia has a way of refreshing the spirit and body through timeless and intergenerational fun. Tournaments, sports, outdoor adventures, and pranks are just a few of the ways that campers connect with each other. Listen and read below to hear some campers’ most fun memories from Camp!



“I’ve been a camper up here my entire life, all twenty years! One thing I remember from growing up is that I would lose just about every single tournament: archery, ping pong, shuffleboard, even box hockey. I was never the biggest or the fastest guy. I think there was one tournament I lost out of only four people, and I still got a participant ribbon! But I’ll tell you this: I knew I couldn’t get many ribbons, so I put in a ton of work up here. I worked on my faith and how I dealt with not winning prizes. A lot of this was staffers and my grandparents teaching me what was important and what was not important. I realized that I don’t need ribbons to be happy, I don’t need money to be happy. I don’t need any of that stuff to be happy. If you have God and you have faith and you have friends, even one good friend – even if that’s God – you can be happy. It taught me a lot about myself and about life, coming up here and learning from the staffers, campers, cottagers, and my grandparents especially.”


Listen to Hannah Scott & Kate May here!

[su_audio url=”https://camp-arcadia.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/ZOOM0017.mp3″] HANNAH SCOTT & KATE MAY:

“When we were about ten, we used to make

 tea and coffee in the Assembly 

and we would go out on the porch and hold it   in our mouths and try to make each other laugh and spit it everywhere.”



Listen to Pam Dourson here!

[su_audio url=”https://camp-arcadia.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/PAM-DOURSON-EDITED.mp3″]


“Every year for I don’t know how many years, we come here with a lot of family and friends from Cincinnati. We all used to prank each other, just pull little pranks like toilet papering the room. The pranks just got bigger and bigger. So one year, someone put a canoe in my room. And the canoe stretched from the door and the tip of it was out the window. I was in the L, so the room was not that big. So that was funny but the worst part of it was that they did not tell anyone that they put the canoe in my room . . . At dinner time, all the counselors were in a panic because there was a canoe missing and they were worried that someone was lost at sea in Lake Michigan. They were all looking for them during dinner and finally somebody from our group caught wind that they were scurrying around camp looking for the canoe in a full, level-red panic. Once they found out what was going on, the men from our group finally said ‘Hey we did that, we put a canoe in Pam’s room. . .’ The following year, I came back from day out of camp and there was a swimming pool in my room with water in it, sand all around the pool, and they hung a bunch of parachute men from the ceiling fan . . . they also duct taped my door shut one time!”


“I’ve been coming to Camp for 40-ish years. I couldn’t have been older than five or six and our first tablemates in the dining room were Fred and Dolly Tesno. They kind of took my little brother and I under their wing. The boat regatta used to be Friday night after dress-up dinner, so we were sitting there trying to strategize winning techniques for the boat regatta when Fred blew out the candle at dinner and told us to run upstairs and get our boats. He poured wax on the bottom of our boats and helped us to smooth them out with the napkins and swore up and down that that was the winning technique. I just remember thinking how fun it was that someone took as much of a vested interest in us winning the boat regatta as we did.”


“I worked on staff here in the late 70’s . . . when I started working here, there was a dean’s program and an Ark program, but there was no youth program for middle children between Ark and dean’s program. So my mother, Mrs. Unger, the camp director, said, ‘Bob, how would you like to do a youth program for the kids during the dean’s program?’ I said sure. I started out with anywhere from 30 to 50 students, between the ages 6 and 13. We would start out with singing all the Christian camp songs – a lot of them still used today – and then we would have a devotion or a Bible lesson and then we’d go play a game. If it was a good day, we’d play soccer or bombardment, any kind of outside game we could do with a lot of people. And if it was a rainy day, we’d play games in the Round Up. So that’s the start of what now is the Youth Program, where they usually have about two grades per person. I had them all at once, by myself, but it was a lot of fun and a lot of lives got to be touched in a good way and some of those students went on to become future staff members.”

One Response

  1. Kienman family members have been attending Camp Arcadia since the 1930’s. Aunt Ruth was very active in Walther League as a teenager, and continued to go to RKD throughout her life. My dad, Henry, first went to Arcadia following WW-2, attending the Lutheran Laymen’s League Men’s Retreat. As a kid, I was introduced to “Camp” at the age of five, when we started to go to family weeks as our summer vacation. Dad was active with the start-up of the Lutheran Camp Association, and sat on the LCA Board back in the 1970s. My brother Karl, was on summer staff in 1972, and I have served on Fall Staff for several years. Kienman family members have volunteered at RKD on opening, & closing weekends, been in numerous staff positions, acted as a confirmand counselor, and sat on a number of different committees and boards. I have some wonderful memories of being at Camp as a child, but one of my favorite memories was later in my 20’s when the “Kienman men,” my grandfather, dad, brother, and I, all attended the LLL retreat together. My daughter, nephew, cousins, and other extended family members have been to RKD, so four generations of Kienman’s have been blessed with attending RKD, so far. I’m looking forward to many more years of being part of the RKD family.

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