Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center strives to create an intentional, welcoming, Christian community accessible to all. The staff and Board of Directors believe that exposure to diverse expressions of humanity is beneficial to all God’s children.
Silver Lake welcomes and affirms campers, staff, volunteers, and guests of all races, ethnicities, gender identities and expressions, and sexual orientations. Please be in touch with camp administration so that we can best support you while you are here.
Silver Lake respects the gender identity and preferred names and pronouns of all participants. Mistakes will be made, but Silver Lake does not tolerate the intentional denial of another person’s gender identity, preferred names, and pronouns.
All persons, including campers, have a right to privacy. This includes the right to keep private one's transgender status or gender non-conforming presentation at camp. Transgender and gender non-conforming students have the right to discuss and express their gender identity and expression openly and to decide when, with whom, and how much to share private information.
When contacting the parent or guardian of a transgender or gender non-conforming camper, camp staff will use the camper’s legal name and the pronoun corresponding to the camper’s gender assigned at birth unless the camper, parent, or guardian has specified otherwise.
Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center, a year-round outdoor ministry of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, is called to covenant with God and with the churches and people of the conference in the work of forming life-sustaining leaders for the church and the world, by offering:
We worship, learn, play, serve, and work together, respecting the right of private judgement. We seek to provide a safe environment of acceptance regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, reflecting our unity in Christ and respecting the faith journeys of all of God’s children.
Silver Lake hosts close to 1,000 young people each summer and more than 3,000 retreat participants in the off-season. In addition to groups from Southern New England UCC churches, we regularly offer retreat space to other Christian denominations, Jewish groups, school groups, and hobbyists. Our summer program is open to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identification, or sexual orientation.
No matter where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.
Silver Lake was founded in 1957, the same year the United Church of Christ was formed. The historic Connecticut Conference of the UCC, then known as the Missionary Society of Connecticut, purchased the property in Sharon, which had been Camp Easton for boys, to be the summer camp site for the Connecticut churches.
Before this land was a summer camp, before the Europeans arrived on Turtle Island, this land was stewarded by Mahican tribe, an Eastern Woodland Algonquin-speaking tribe. Read more about the Native History of Silver Lake.
Silver Lake welcomed our first conferees (campers) to the first series of summer conferences (camp programs) in the years that followed. In the 1960s and 1970s, four winterized retreat buildings were built, allowing Silver Lake to host church retreats in the fall, winter, and spring, and to expand our summer conference offerings.
Ryan Gackenheimer - Executive Director
Jennifer Kronholm Clark - Program Director (Summer Program, Weekend Programs, Summer Staff, Volunteers, Communications)
Ashley Nichols - Retreat and Finance Manager (Retreat Booking, Accounting)
Matt Taylor - Site Manager
Lynn Boettger - Food Services Manager
Ruth Choate - Administrator and Registrar