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.


Today, 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.



Mission Statement

Silver Lake Conference 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:  

  • Experiences of inclusive and nurturing Christian community
  • Opportunities to grow and participate as Christ’s disciples
  • A model of sustainable environmental stewardship of God’s world.

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.

Staff Listing

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/Registrar




Silver Lake Conference Center

Silver Lake Conference Center is a ministry of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Click here to read our Mission Statement.

223 Low Road | Sharon, CT 06069 | 860.364.5526 | Fax: 860.364.1000 | slcc@silverlakect.org