Christmas at the Lake 2021 Recap


On December 4th, 2021, thirteen folks, some camp staff, and volunteers arrived at Silver Lake for another year of Christmas at the Lake - Family Day.  This perennial favorite welcomes families of every shape and size to God's beautiful backyard to spend time outdoors with other families, make new friends, visit with old friends, observe the season of Advent and prepare for Christmas.  Dean Sara Capalbo and Executive Director Ryan Gackenheimer led the day’s activities.  

After the usual camp greeting and housekeeping, thanks to the year-round staff, the day began with opening worship.  If you’ve been to any programs at the Lake, you know how special and moving this part gets.  If you haven’t, you really should add it to your faith bucket list!  

The group then departed on a meaningful Advent Walk, visiting different areas of the camp - like a scavenger hunt - while pausing to reflect on different parts of Advent. Walking the grounds this time of year is magical, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it was this year.  My family has attended on much colder days and much wetter days, and the magic is still there, but when the weather cooperates it’s that much better. 

After returning from the Advent / Scavenger walk, the group gathered around the roaring blaze of a fire thanks to Matt and his team.  Bodies were warmed and smiles were shared.   Lunch was delivered and, as always, Lynn and her team delivered an impressive portable feast.  

While letting their food settle, and perhaps going back up for seconds (it’s ok, I won’t tell), the participants worked on decorating gingerbread houses.  We aren’t talking the big-box prefab gingerbread house kits mind you, we’re talking Chef Lynn’s famous home baked, handmade gingerbread mansions!  There were toppings galore, some made it onto the houses, some made it into bellies (again, I’m not telling!).    

After bellies were filled, bones were warmed, and houses were decorated, it was time to head out to the ballfield with Sara and Ryan for some field games.  The games were super fun and focused on communication.  

Make sure you check out the calendar and make plans to celebrate Christmas, Silver Lake-style next year! 

Written by Dan Krhla
Silver Lake Board of Directors
"In the woods is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years.  In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life--no disgrace, no calamity (leaving my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground --my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space --all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God. "
Excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Nature"

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.
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