An unusually warm winter meant the sap was flowing this year! Thirty-one young people came to Silver Lake March 18-20 to learn how to tap the camp's maple trees, collect sap, and boil it down into maple syrup.
This touchstone Silver Lake program invites 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to spend a weekend at camp. It's a great way for them to reconnect with friends they made over the summer or to try out camp for the first time. This year we had groups come from First Church Milford and First Church Middletown as well.
Deans Brian Lapis and Ashley Sylvester led the weekend. Volunteers came up to help man the outdoor evaporator. Over three days, about 80 gallons of sap was boiled down into 2 gallons of syrup over a wood fire.
In addition to make the syrup, the participants learned from Pam Arifian, director of the Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake, about how what they choose to eat impacts the environment. They had the opportunity to reflect on their connection with nature in their journals and to share those thoughts as part of a closing worship service.
On Sunday, each participant took home a bottle of real Silver Lake maple syrup to remember their adventure.