Why Arcadia

Our Camp

The summer days fly by as our campers participate in adventuresome activities in the arts, the sports and both hiking and canoe trips.  Our program is rich and full and our girls experience the thrill of learning and doing for themselves.  Every year we are asked, “Why should I send my daughter to camp?”, “Will my daughter get something out of camp that she cannot get the rest of the year at home or school?” Camp Arcadia creates an atmosphere in which a girl grows in new ways. First hand experiential learning – working together at the ropes course, nature paddles, sleeping under the stars – is knowledge which cannot be found in classrooms.  Camp is a place where a girl learns to be dependent on herself and on nature.  At Arcadia a girl is involved.  She grows in understanding herself and the world around her as well as in learning to live happily with others. Life long friendships develop. As we live in today’s world we are convinced more than ever that an experience at Arcadia will give a young girl of today the balance she needs to take her place as a leader in this environment.  

Our Goals

Our four goals for each camper, in each age group, each summer, are to:
  • To build confidence and skills so that she may take her place in and contribute to her community.
  • To encourage positive risk taking through the exploration of new areas of learning and group living so she will have the confidence to face new situations and circumstances with strength and not fear.
  • To create a sensitivity to and awareness of the importance of the out-of-doors so she will respect and take care of living things and the environment.
  • To develop interpersonal skills, to establish lasting friendships and respect for others – skills she can use throughout life. The use of “life skills” will help her play and learn and develop solid, positive relationships with others.

Our History

The same family has guided Arcadia for 100 years. Dr. George L. Meylan was the Director of Physical Education at Columbia University.  In the 1890s, Dr. Meylan, who became friends with early camping educators in the 1890s, founded White Mountain Camp for boys on Sebago Lake in Maine in 1905. In 1917 Dr. Meylan purchased Camp Arcadia for girls, which had been founded the year before. Dr. Meylan and his daughter Juliette Meylan Henderson directed the camp for many years. He became the first president of the joined associations for boys and girls camps which evolved into the American Camping Association. Juliette, known as Mum-Mum to her camp associates, oversaw increasing the Camp’s land, building the tripping program and establishing a strong program as well as handling the staffing and enrollment. Her daughters, Anne Henderson Fritts and Louise Henderson became the directors in 1970, and oversaw growth in the number of both campers and counselors. Anne has worked on the establishment of Family Camp, the Scholarship Foundation and ‘A Week at Arcadia’ Program. In 2000, Anne’s third daughter, Louise Fritts Johnson became a director of Arcadia.