Celebrating Successes — Now & Future


Some of the 2022 Deans gather at Silver Lake for
Deans Retreat in March 2022.
Are you tired of reading newsletters that talk about how wild and crazy the last two years have been? Me too. I am going to avoid that letter and instead celebrate a bit. 

We are so excited to welcome back our Deans and Counselors for Summer 2022 at Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center. These amazing volunteers who make the ministry at Silver Lake possible are truly a blessing, and we are so excited to have them back after a pause for COVID safety protocol. 

It is truly amazing to be able to offer more than 30 conferences this summer for campers from 1st grade through high school. Yes, you read that right! We are offering a week of Day Camp for rising 1st through 3rd graders this June. There is a conference for everyone to find their place and be welcomed into a community of joy, laughter, authenticity, and love. 

And we are finding that all of our young people are needing community more than ever. As we have gathered together again this spring, whether at the Counselor-in-Training weekend or Spring Action, we have seen something happen that is magical and hard to articulate. There is a deep spiritual, physical, and emotional need to be in community in a safe space like Silver Lake.

You have young people in your life right now who need this community. Help them find their way to Silver Lake. We still have a few Summer Staff positions to fill, but don’t wait! If you reach out to them directly, that can be the encouragement they need to have a life-changing experience as a part of Summer Staff. And some Conferences still have room for more conferees. So, again don’t wait, and help the campers in your life get registered for Silver Lake today. 

In addition to all the great community-building that is happening at camp, we are also celebrating a fruitful year of fundraising. Silver Lake has been blessed for 65 years to have an incredible community of support. 

Right from the beginning in 1957, our local churches very quickly and with great prayer raised the funds to purchase the property that is now Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center. They have continued that support since, whether through direct donations or by paying for the children in their congregation to come to camp. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our churches!

Many individuals, from alumni to parents, have blessed Silver Lake with gifts of both treasure and time. We are grateful for the literally countless volunteer hours our supporters have invested over the years. Your generosity has kept this ministry vital and vibrant.

To keep Silver Lake relevant and transformational, we need to continue to grow in the gifts we receive. We have set a goal of increasing giving to The Fund for Silver Lake and the unrestricted fund by 5% over 2021. That is approximately $10,750. For most of us that would be a huge gift. Together it is not. If every person who ever came to Silver Lake as a camper gave $1, we would exceed that easily. 

If you already support Silver Lake financially, THANK YOU. You will find your name later in this newsletter. And I would invite you to prayerfully consider making an increase of any amount and invite a friend to give as well. If you have never made a gift to Silver Lake, I would invite you to prayerfully make your first financial gift of love to a ministry that is here to change lives for another 65 years and beyond. 

We have a lot to celebrate. Come join us in 2022!

Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer
Executive Director

Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center

Silver Lake Camp & Retreat 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 | slcrc@silverlakect.org