The Arcadia experience is unique to all and yet as we connect to our Lord and Savior, a common thread emerges with which others identify. This unique, yet common thread is surprising to new guests to Arcadia, but one we are glad that so many experience. We recently reached out to the Thies family from Indianapolis, IN and asked about their experience at Camp. This summer was Anne, Adam, and their four children’s first time at Arcadia.
Arcadia holds a special place in the hearts of many and that was also true for the Thies family. Adam tells us, “We really did not know what to expect. We had heard great things about Camp, but did not know much. From the moment our family walked on the sidewalk in front of the Inn, we knew this was a special place. Needless to say, it has been the highlight of our year.”
At Camp, families are fed and find peace. Adam tells us, “Like most families with young children, Anne and I are doing our best to be good parents and give our kids our best. We want them to know and love the Lord and find His peace as we have. So, when we spent the week at Camp, we found this place gave us a special opportunity to be great parents, give our kids the best experiences and get quiet so that God could have room.”
In our daily lives we find ourselves wearing masks, fulfilling roles that we didn’t even know we filled. At Camp, those masks are set aside where the beauty of this place speaks to us. Adam shared, “The setting is beautiful, but I imagine what really makes it special is we immediately felt that we did not need ‘to be’ anything to anyone at Camp. That takes away a lot of mental energy and gives relationships a chance.”
God is present at Camp and when we put everything aside we find him close. “It took Anne and I several days to relax. Like most families, we are busy and stressed. But at Camp, it felt like God was quietly waiting for us to give that all up so that he could talk with us.”
When kids are young, every day is a constant to do list where spiritual connection can be lost. Anne says, “We truly had a special week, and our kids are already talking about returning to Camp. When I reflect on our week, what jumps out is the ability to be truly present with my family and with God. As a mom of four young children, I spend my day trying to meet needs, and not always getting past physical needs to emotional and spiritual needs. At Camp, all of my family’s physical needs were provided for, with delicious food, a clean place to stay in a beautiful location, and all sorts of age appropriate endeavors to choose from and enjoy. That freed us to concentrate on simply enjoying the moment.”
We all have Arcadia moments that are special to us. Anne shared her’s, “They included seeing our daughter’s pride after hitting a target with an arrow for the first time, playing on the playground while watching the waves come in, sitting by ourselves (very rare!) on a swing by the lake contemplating big life questions, kayaking with each of our bigger kids for the first time, and laughing hard at the comedy night.”
One of the hidden gems of Arcadia is meeting others like-minded in Christ and allowing space and time for God to meet us through others in the quiet beauty of Camp. Anne tells us, “[We met] … other families like us in some ways, and very different from us in other ways. We were encouraged by seeing God at work through others, and inspired to listen more closely to what God was telling us. The week we went to Camp was in the midst of a life transition for us, with an impending move and a new job offer. God met us at Camp, gave us space to lay down our worries, and enabled us to focus on what matters most: Him.”
Taking kids on vacation is challenging, but at Camp, troubles melt away and the everyday grind transforms into wonderful memories. Adam tells us that one of his favorite memories was “Walking around the grounds with my one year old son Andrew, at 5:45am every morning before anyone considering getting up, utilizing the coffee machine extensively. And for some reason at Arcadia — it just wasn’t that bad [being up so early]. It is that kind of place.”
Because of the spiritual connections formed, Camp is truly a special place we hold in our hearts. Thank you to Adam and Anne for sharing their Arcadia story.