I came to know and love Camp Arcadia almost nine years ago and back then, I had no idea a place could hold so much significance for me. I remember that first year, the last day, standing in front of the patio gazing north towards the bluffs, crisp yellow sun on my back, lake wind blowing my face, tears welling up in my eyes. How could a place I just began to know root itself so deeply in my heart? And yet it had, and I knew that whatever happened, I would do whatever possible to return as much as possible.
Spring came around and we heard about a volunteer weekend over Memorial Day to help open Camp: work the weekend, free meals and lodging. Helping to start the season with loving service? I could not imagine anything better!
Arriving at Camp that weekend, walking towards the front of the Inn, remnants of Camp’s long sleep for the winter were apparent – pine needles, rocks, sand everywhere – sculpted by the art of the wind. Boarded up windows and closed doors and yet, the excitement of spring – a new year – electric in the air.
We worked – outside – planting flowers, moving furniture, sweeping, shoveling; inside – cleaning, making beds, prepping crafts, stuffing envelopes, dusting. Our kids were fully involved – our youngest only five years old at the time; they worked with friends and staff and contributed beyond our expectations. We all could feel it – our efforts waking up the place we love so much. At the end of that first day – flowers burst into color on the patio, swings coasted in the wind, chattering voices heard from the porch chairs. We had brought Camp to life for the season. We rested in the beauty of Lake Michigan and our efforts.
We all could feel it – our efforts waking up the place we love so much. At the end of that first day – flowers burst into color on the patio, swings coasted in the wind, chattering voices heard from the porch chairs. We had brought Camp to life for the season.
As we look towards this 100th season – we should all be proud of the gift that Camp Arcadia continues to be for all of us and consider how we can volunteer to pay forward that gift to everyone who attends this special season.
There are two opportunities to open Camp this year – May 20-22, 2022 and May 27-30, 2022 (Memorial Day weekend) culminating with Camp’s 100th Celebration on May 29th. Your help is welcomed and needed. There is work for all and opportunity to volunteer with love. Register online at www.camp-arcadia.com/register or call the office for more information.