Our Arcadia story goes back to when I was pregnant with my third daughter. A friend approached me at a church roller skating party and asked if we would think about going to Camp Arcadia for summer vacation. Actually, she asked if I had heard of it, which surprisingly, I had. My grandfather was a pastor in St. Louis for 44 years and had been a dean at Camp Arcadia in the ’20s. I think he usually came alone, but one summer my grandmother braved bringing her four little girls up for the week. My mother told me she was about seven or eight years old, which means it was about 1929.
So when my friend at the roller skating party mentioned the name “Arcadia” to me, it had been years since I had thought about the camp. Upon mentioning the idea of attending Arcadia to my parents, my Mom pulled from her old shirt collection a somewhat dated Arcadia sweatshirt. Anyway, it sounded like a good place to take kids and we needed a vacation spot. Upon calling the camp, we learned that there was one room left in July, so we took it.[box type=”box” width=”200″ template=”drop-shadow lifted” align=”right” color=”blue”]”“Arcadia is where God renews our spirit and refreshes us for the journey ahead.”“[/box]
Arriving in July, the camp was warm and welcoming. The food was great and so was our waitress who accommodated our baby and sat us with another young couple who also had a young baby. There was a staff family there who had a daughter just a month older than our youngest. Little did we expect that sixteen years later they would play volleyball together on the same club team.
Though we had an up and down week with a four month old baby, in the end it was a great vacation. As we drove away from camp, our older daughters leaned forward in the car and asked what week we were coming back next year! This is the only vacation place that my children asked to return — not even Disney World got that response.
As the kids grew, we continued to come annually with a few exceptions. One year we had other plans, but our daughter came with another family for the week. During the years that our kids were in college we skipped a few seasons, but then Fred and I ended back at Arcadia one year, then our kids came back as adults. We have come to realize that at Arcadia we have had our best family vacations, and know that now is the time to bring the new grandchildren into the Arcadia family. We have so many great memories…watching the sunsets (mandatory the first night—we have great pictures all over the house), eating ice cream at the Trading Post, me running up astronomical bills on our tab…I could go on forever.
One of the memorable lectures I’ve heard at Arcadia was about the many meanings of rest and I remember that the word vacation is derived from “to vacate”–escape or refresh. We have always said time at Camp Arcadia is a vacation with God, but it is also a refreshing or renewing of the spirit. Our whole group begins to note that we are ready for RKD in April and we really know it when we arrive at Camp. Arcadia is where God renews our spirit and refreshes us for the journey ahead.
– Sandi Norman