Included on this page:
For additional information about rules and what to expect, including a sample schedule and a packing list, read through the Summer Camp Information Guide.
When considering whether Silver Lake is the right fit for your camper, please keep in mind the following expectations that our campers are responsible for:
In addition to special needs, please inform the Program Director of any special circumstances that your camper may be facing prior to arriving at Silver Lake. A recent death of a loved one, family divorce, or a change in medication may contribute to a camper’s behavior while at Silver Lake, and any information you share with us will assist us in understanding and meeting the needs of your camper. All information shared with the Program Director will be handled confidentially.
Welcome! We're glad you're here! And you will not be the only one here for the first time (even if you're in high school). Our campers tell us they make new friends on the very first day of camp, every year. You're in for a session of outdoor fun with a whole program full of new friends.
A day at camp is very busy, full of games, crafts, swimming, singing, and campfires. And you'll have quiet time after lunch to read, write letters home, or even take a nap. You will have the chance to meet God in a very unique setting. Your program will lead worship at least one night. You and your new friends will pick the songs, stories, poems, prayers, dances, and even silliness that add up to a truly engaging worship service.
We encourage you to join us for Open House. You will have the opportunity to tour camp, meet some counselors and staff, hear about a typical day, eat cookies, and maybe even meet someone from your conference! Learn more about Open House
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!
Please see program descriptions for individual program themes and special events.
How to add/edit your Authorized Pickups:
If Silver Lake or the State of CT cancels camp, we will encourage families to roll their money forward to next year or convert to a donation. Partial or full refunds will be available.
If a camper becomes ill in the 7 days before camp, every effort will be made to move the registration to an upcoming session. Otherwise, a full refund may be available.
A non-refundable $150 deposit is required to process your registration with final payment due by June 1.
If a family chooses to cancel a registration before April 30, all fees minus the $150 non-refundable deposit may be refunded. If they cancel after April 30, a family may receive a refund of up to 50% of the total camp fees.
Note: Copies of Insurance Cards are not required. If your camper must see a doctor while at camp, you may be contacted to provide a copy of your insurance card. The Camp Nurse will make every effort to contact you before bringing your camper to a doctor.
Silver Lake follows the immunization requirements for students and staff in Connecticut schools. In addition, Silver Lake requires all guests to our site to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. If your camper has a medical exemption, please contact us for more information.
Check out the video on our Instructional Videos page, for a step-by-step guide to finding and completing the forms in the Document Center of your UltraCamp account.
Silver Lake's Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to families who need it. Our goal is to ensure all who want to come to camp can. Many local churches also sponsor partial or full sponsorships for their youth. Please ask your local church if such support is available.
Silver Lake scholarships are intended for, but not limited to, youth from UCC Churches in the Southern New England Conference (CT, MA, and RI) to attend a summer program at Silver Lake. Our scholarships will be awarded based on financial need. Wherever possible Silver Lake strives to provide funds as part of a combined effort between families, churches, and our funds.
Silver Lake Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis and will be awarded until all funds have been distributed. We understand asking for assistance may be difficult. We have tried to make the process as easy, confidential, and fair as possible.
Please register your camper(s) before applying for a scholarship. If you are not able to pay the non-refundable $150 deposit at the time of registration (your registration will not be recorded without a deposit), please contact Silver Lake as soon as possible.
The Scholarship Application is available through the Document Center when you are logged into your online registration account.
For more information about scholarships, please contact our office at email@example.com or 860-364-5526.
How to add/edit your Authorized Pickups:
Cell phones do not work at camp due to lack of network coverage and are not permitted and will be collected and held in the office until the end of the program.
Please do NOT bring: alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs, weapons, expensive jewelry, pets, pocket knives, fireworks, gum, candy, food, or valuables, including electronic and handheld devices such as: cell phones, music players, laptops, tablets, or video games. Silver Lake cannot be responsible for items that may be lost, stolen, or broken.
The very best way to prevent the loss of an item while at Silver Lake is to label all articles of clothing, towels, bedding, and other personal items. If your camper is missing a particular item, the staff will make every effort to help find the item in the Lost and Found. At the end of each week, prior to and during departure, all items from the Lost and Found are displayed near the Summer Office and Camp Store.
All unclaimed, unmarked clothing/personal items are held at Silver Lake for 30 days. If unclaimed after 30 days, they are donated to charity.
Drop-off is Sunday afternoon and pick-up is Saturday morning.
Please observe arrival and departure times, as these are busy days when the camp must be cleaned and prepared between the time one group leaves and the next arrives. Please arrive on time. Campers who arrive early will be directed to return to Silver Lake at their scheduled time.
To help the arrival check-in process be as smooth as possible, please submit all forms, pay your balance, add money to the store account, etc. through your online account before you arrive. You may want to bring a paper copy of your forms in case they are missing online. There will also be a health screening questionnaire for each camper to fill out upon arrival.
Silver Lake provides two swimming areas at the waterfront. There is a shallow entrance area for campers who do not wish to take or who do not complete the swim test, or who are beginner swimmers. The deeper swimming area is available for those who have successfully completed the swim test.
The swim test is optional and can be taken at most swim times.
The swim test consists of the following:
If a camper does not successfully complete the swim test on their first try, they are encouraged to try again.
At Silver Lake, we set aside Wednesday as Missions Day. This is a day to think about how our faith calls us to make a positive difference in the world through charity and social justice work.
On Missions Day, we do not serve meat in the dining hall, and we limit the types of snacks available to purchase in the Camp Store. We do this to remind ourselves that not everyone has access to the most expensive kinds of food (meat, sugar) and because reducing our consumption of meat is one of the ways we can reduce our impact on the environment and live more sustainably.
Each summer, Silver Lake supports up to three non-profit missions partners. Summer Staff members teach the campers about each of the missions partners on Tuesday, and campers are invited to make a donation to Missions from their Camp Store account on Wednesday. Missions partners will be announced before the camp season begins. We recommend including $5 for Missions when you set up your Camp Store account.
For more information about our summer health & safety policies and procedures, visit https://www.silverlakect.org/health-safety
Together with our Medical Director and our team of Camp Nurses, we have put together a comprehensive Communicable Disease Plan that will allow us to respond quickly to any communicable disease that appears at camp. The most current policies can be found on our website at https://www.silverlakect.org/health-safety.
We are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Camp Association (ACA), and CT Office of Early Childhood (OEC) guidance which may change, so please refer to the website for the most up-to-date information.
To ensure the safest environment for everyone, please follow all applicable CDC guidelines and monitor your health in the weeks before camp.
If a situation arises at camp, Silver Lake will follow best practices for disease mitigation, which may include testing, cohorting, and masking.
Campers who become ill, begin showing symptoms or who test positive for a communicable disease after arriving at Silver Lake will need to be picked up within 6 hours (unless parents are notified after 6 p.m. and live 3 hours or further away, in which case the camper will be isolated overnight). Campers will be housed separately until they are picked up by a parent/guardian or Authorized Pickup.
Our programs are held outside as much as possible, which brings us into contact with various biting insects. We recommend sending a non-aerosol insect repellent (make sure that it works against ticks) with your camper with instructions to apply daily. Counselors will help with reminders.
As in all parts of Connecticut, ticks can be found at Silver Lake. Please instruct your camper in how to do a tick check. Campers are encouraged to do a tick check daily, and we have mirrors with posted reminders in every bathroom. If your camper is bitten by a tick, they will be taken to the nurse, who will remove it. You will receive a “tick letter” when you pick up your camper with information on after care.
Mental health is as important to a camper’s success as physical health. Staff and volunteers are trained to recognize signs of campers needing support and to refer them to the Camp Nurse, Director, or another appropriate staff person.
If your camper is being treated for mental health concerns ahead of camp, please be in touch with the Program Director about a plan to ensure their success at Silver Lake.
All participants are asked to read and sign a Behavioral Covenant as part of the registration process. This Covenant explains Silver Lake’s expectations for how campers will engage with each other, their counselors, and Silver Lake. You can review the Behavioral Covenant through your online registration account.
Any camper who uses illegal drugs or alcohol, abusive language, promotes or participates in sexual behavior/misconduct, or demonstrates aggressive/violent behavior will be asked to leave Silver Lake immediately. The camper’s parents/guardians will be notified so that counseling or other relevant services may be arranged to assist the camper and family. All issues related to misconduct will be managed by the Director, or an Alternate Director if needed.
Any camper who is dismissed from Silver Lake for misconduct will need to be picked up within 6 hours (unless parents are notified after 6 p.m. and live 3 hours or further away, in which case the camper will be isolated overnight). Campers will be housed apart from their Program until they are picked up by a parent/guardian or Authorized Pickup.
Silver Lake Summer Programs provide an environment to nurture children and youth of many backgrounds and abilities so that all may have the opportunity to share in our Christian community. It is our sincerest wish to ensure a positive program experience for all God’s children.
We strongly encourage parental involvement ahead of their program to ensure programs and facilities meet the needs of your individual camper. If your camper has special physical, mental, developmental, or dietary needs that require special support, please contact the Program Director prior to the start of the program. As a home for inclusivity, we will do our best to reasonably accommodate requests to ensure safety and comfort of our campers and community.
At the same time, it is important to know that Silver Lake is not a special needs camp and is not equipped to support campers who would need one-on-one support. Read Silver Lake’s Special Needs Policy
A full-time nurse is on site for medication administration and minor medical needs. In addition, all Silver Lake staff are certified in First Aid/CPR/AED. If there is a medical emergency, every effort will be made to contact the parent/guardian immediately.
Your camper’s medical insurance will be used first by the physician or emergency medical service. Silver Lake provides limited medical coverage for accidental injury, subject to the group policy terms and conditions. Pre-existing conditions must be covered by the camper’s medical plan.
Campers who are not medically restricted are expected to participate fully in all activities, programs, meals, worship, and recreation.
Sometimes campers experience homesickness, especially if they have not been away from home or have not been to Silver Lake before. There are several effective ways of helping your camper work through the sadness of being away from home. Sometimes this may take a few days, so please be prepared!
Based on our experience with campers and missing home, we suggest the following strategies:
If you, as the parent/guardian, are really missing your camper, please do not let on. Of course, let them know that they are loved, but encourage them to make new friends and to have a great time at Silver Lake!
If there is a problem at home that will affect your child's week at camp, please call the main office at 860-364-5526.
If there is a need for us to contact you about your child, we will use the numbers you provide in your account. If you don't hear from us, it means your child is having a great time at camp!
We encourage you to write to your camper at Silver Lake.
Mail may be sent to:
Title of Program
Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center
223 Low Road
Sharon, CT 06069
You may also send a fax to your camper at 860-364-1000. Please limit faxes to one page, without a cover sheet. Please be sure to write the name of your camper’s program on the fax.
Each day, your camper will have a chance to visit the Camp Store to purchase a snack, drink, or Silver Lake memorabilia. On Missions Day, they will have the opportunity to donate some camp store money to the summer missions. We encourage you to talk with your camper before camp about their store account. The camp store is intended to help campers practice faithful management of resources: spend some, donate some, save some. We encourage you to limit your child’s amount of spending money during their week, and to help them plan for a Missions contribution.
We recommend setting aside $5 for Missions and a total of $25-$40 per week.
Snacks are $1-$2, t-shirts are $15-$16, water bottles are $8-$15, sweatshirts are $25-$30, souvenirs are in the $10 range.
We encourage you to set up your camper’s Camp Store account online before you get to camp. You can replenish your Camp Store account during the session through your registration account or by calling the camp office.
Your registration account must have a summer camp registration on it in order to set up a store account.
If you are trying to add money to the store account of a counselor/dean/chaplain/staff person, please contact the office at 860-364-5526.
If you have questions or would like assistance, contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-364-5526.