Frequently Asked Questions

The questions and answers below contain general information about summer camp at Silver Lake.

For information about our summer Covid policies and procedures, visit

General Camp Information

Registration Information

Required Forms

Life at Camp


Camp Store

General Camp Information

It's my child's first time at Silver Lake. What do I need to know?

Welcome! We're glad you're here! And you will not be the only one here for for the first time (even if you're in high school). Our conferees 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 conference 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 conference 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! RSVP to

Parents, you can find more information about policy and procedure in our Parent Information Guide, available to download.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!

Our main office phone number is 860-364-5526 and our general email is We love to hear from you!

What is a conference?

Each session at Silver Lake, we host conferences, or camps, for different age groups with different themes. The theme of the conference helps to shape some of the activities for the session. For example, Reel to Real will spend some time writing, shooting, and editing short films. Hiking the Way will go on hiking adventures outside of Silver Lake.

Will I get to go swimming? Or try the ropes course? Or have a campfire? Or...?

While a lot of your group's activities will center on the conference's theme, all conferences are camp experiences first: You will live at camp, eat in the social hall with the other conferences, swim in the lake, have the opportunity to check out the high and low ropes courses, dig around in the garden, or sit around a campfire. Also, each conference takes turns leading all-camp worship one night of the week.

When are check-in and pick-up?

Check-in is Sunday afternoon and pick-up is Saturday morning.

Arrival and departure times will be staggered. Please arrive on time.

Campers who arrive early will be directed to return to Silver Lake at their scheduled time.

You will receive instructions for drop off and pick up in the welcome letter that will be mailed to you a few weeks before your camp session.

Transportation to and from Silver Lake is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

My child requires additional support. Is Silver Lake set up to support them?

Silver Lake Summer Conferences provides 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 conference experience for all God’s children. 

We strongly encourage parental involvement ahead of their conference to ensure programs and facilities meet the needs of your individual child. If your child has special physical, mental, developmental, or dietary needs that require special support, please contact the Program Director prior to the start of the conference. 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

Can my friend/brother/neighbor/church member pick up my child?

Yes, as long as we have prior authorization from you. You may add someone to your account as an Authorized Pickup before camp and when you drop off your child for camp.

We can only release campers to a parent/guardian or an authorized pickup.

How can I contact my camper at camp?

We encourage you to write to your child while they are at Silver Lake.

Mail may be sent to:

Conferee’s Name
Title of Conference
Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center (SLCRC)
223 Low Road
Sharon, CT 06069

We ask that you not send food; it attracts critters.

You may also send a fax to your child at 860-364-1000.

Please limit faxes to one page, without a cover sheet. Please be sure to indicate what conference your child is attending.

Registration Information

How do I register for camp?

All registrations and paperwork are completed through our online registration system, UltraCamp.

Click here to login or create an UltraCamp account.

Find step-by-step videos for creating an account, making a registration, finding and completing paperwork, and more on our Instructional Videos page.

Why are there three prices for each conference?

We at Silver Lake are committed to keeping the cost of camp as affordable as possible. Silver Lake’s prices have always been well below the national average. We also make sure that every child who wants to come to camp is able to do so regardless of ability to pay. Because our scholarships are funded completely by donations, this has become a financial balancing act.

We have found that a tiered pricing structure better reflects the actual cost to host a camper for a session. Families can then select the level of payment that best fits their circumstances.

We invite you to consider the actual cost of camp. If the Actual Cost level is out of reach for your family, you may choose the First Discount level or, if your family needs more assistance, the Second Discount level. And, of course, scholarships are available.

The payment level you select will be confidential and will have no bearing on your child’s participation at camp — all will enjoy the same life-changing Silver Lake experience.  

We hope that those of you who are able to pay the Actual Cost of camp will join us in ensuring that Silver Lake remains open to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. 

And if you can pay more, please make a donation!

Are scholarships available?

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 are able to.

Many local churches also sponsor partial or full scholarships 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 account.

For more information about scholarships, please contact our office at 860-364-5526 or

For a step-by-step guide to finding and completing the Scholarship Application, check out the video on our Instructional Videos page.

What is your financial policy?

A non-refundable $150 deposit is required to process your registration with final payment due by June 1.

A $25 fee will be charged to switch conferences.

We are not able to refund deposits or final payments. Payments for a cancellation may be applied to another conference, but are not transferable to another child.

Refund Policy:

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 tests positive for Covid-19 or the family is advised to quarantine in the 14 days before camp, every effort will be made to move the registration to an upcoming session. Otherwise, a full refund will be available.

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.

Why do you ask what gender I identify as?

Silver Lake is open and affirming to people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. We hope that by changing the way we ask about gender, we will allow more people to feel comfortable expressing their gender identity.

On your Biographical information page, you will have the option to select a gender that most closely matches your identity. If you choose "Another Gender," please take the time to write us a note in the box that asks if there is anything else you'd like to tell us about your gender expression so that we can give you the best experience at camp.

Silver Lake offers all-gender cabins. During registration, you will be asked to indicate your willingness to be placed in an all-gender cabin. All-gender cabins will be supervised by trained counselors. All members of the cabin will be provided with private changing areas.

If a participant requests to be assigned to a cabin better matching their gender expression, Silver Lake will honor that request.

If you have questions about all-gender cabins, please contact us at

Read more about All-Gender Cabins here

Watch a video recording of the Parent Information Session Presentation

Can I register for more than one conference?

Yes, but we ask that you not register for back-to-back conferences; take time off to rest and decompress. 

Required Forms

What forms will I need for camp?

Most of our forms are online and available through the Document Center when you are logged into your account. For a detailed guide of the required forms and how to find them, check out the Overnight Camp Silver Lake Guide to Forms & Day Camp Silver Lake Guide to Forms

For a summer conference, you will need the following:

  • Acknowledgement of Risk and Release of Liability - Conferee
  • Behavioral Covenant
  • Cabin Assignment Options
  • Challenge Course Release
  • Church Information
  • Ethnic Identity
  • Important Information on Financial Policy 
  • Photo and Video Release
  • Special Needs
  • A Complete Health Record, which includes:

Camper Health History (online form; update annually)

Covid-19 Vaccination Record (download from Document Center and return according to instructions)

Doctor's Signature Page (good for 2 years; download from Document Center and return according to instructions)

Medication Authorization Form (for any medications that will be brought to camp; good for 1 year; download from the Document Center and return according to instructions)

We do not require you to provide a copy of your insurance card. Please be sure to fill out the insurance information section of the Camper Health History with all requested information. If your camper must see a doctor while at camp, the doctor's office or emergency room may ask you to provide a copy of your insurance card. You are responsible for any doctor's fees incurred. The Camp Nurse will make every effort to contact you before bringing your child to a doctor.

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.

Do I need a health form?

Every person at Silver Lake, adults included, must have a current and complete health record.

You can access our health forms from your online account.

The health record has multiple parts:

  1. Camper Health History (online form; update annually)
  2. Covid-19 Vaccination Record (download from Document Center and return according to instructions)
  3. Doctor's Signature Page (good for 2 years; download from Document Center and return according to instructions)
  4. Medication Authorization Form (for any medications that will be brought to camp; good for 1 year; download from the Document Center and return according to instructions)

To start a new online form:

When logged in, click on the menu icon (3 horizontal lines, upper-left) in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Choose "Document Center." This will take you to a list of all the available online forms. The Camper Health History form can be filled out by the parent/individual. It asks for dates of immunizations, so please have those handy when you're ready to fill it out. An immunization record is not required for adults, though it is important to know the date of your last tetanus booster.

To view or edit an existing form:

When logged in, click on the name of the person whose forms you'd like to view. This will take you to the person's detail page. Scroll down and expand the section titled "My Forms." This will give you a list of all the forms that have been completed for this person. Click the form name to view or edit a form. Be sure to click the save button at the bottom of the form when you're done making changes.

If you have successfully uploaded a form for this person, it will show up in this area.

Doctor's Signature Page and Medication Authorization Form:

Because these forms must be signed by a doctor, you must download them and take them with you to the doctor. The Doctor's Signature Page is valid for 2 years from the date of the signature; the Medication Authorization Form is valid for 1 year from the date of the signature. A separate Medication Authorization Form is required for each medication that will be brought to camp. Medication includes, but is not limited to, prescription medicine, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, rescue inhalers, EpiPens.

If a previously uploaded form has expired, it will no longer show up in your list of forms and you will need to provide a new one.

To download a form:

When logged in, click on the menu icon (3 horizontal lines, upper-left) in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Choose "Document Center." This will take you to a list of all the available online forms. Scroll down to the "Forms" section. Click on the form you'd like to download. You will be asked who you want to download the form for; click on the correct name.

The form that is downloaded is unique to each individual. It prints with a barcode on the bottom that allows the computer to match it up with that person's account. YOU MUST DOWNLOAD A UNIQUE FORM FOR EACH PARTICIPANT.

Follow the instructions on the downloaded form to return it. You may fax it or scan and email it according to the directions.

If you are unable to return the form electronically, please mail it to camp: Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center, 223 Low Road, Sharon, CT 06069.

Once the form has been received electronically and processed, it will show up in the list of forms on your person detail page.

We do not require you to provide a copy of your insurance card. Please be sure to fill out the insurance information section of the Camper Health History with all requested information. If your child must see a doctor while at camp, the doctor's office or emergency room may ask you to provide a copy of your insurance card. You are responsible for any doctor's fees incurred. The Camp Nurse will make every effort to contact you before bringing your child to a doctor.

For questions about forms, please contact our office at 860-364-5526 or

Life at Camp

What is a day at camp like?

A Sample Day at Silver Lake

7:30 a.m.    Morning Dip at the lake (optional)
8:00 a.m.    Wake Up Bell
8:30 a.m.    Breakfast
9:00 a.m.    Cabin Clean Up
9:15 a.m.    Morning Watch/Opening Circle
9:45 a.m.    Conference Programs
12:30 p.m.    Lunch
1:15 p.m.    Cabin Quiet Time
2:00 p.m.    Ceramics, Arts and Crafts, Nature, Music
2:45 p.m.    Camp Store
3:00 p.m.    Swim Time
4:00 p.m.    High or Low ropes/Challenge course
5:00 p.m.    Conference Programs
6:00 p.m.    Dinner
7:30 p.m.    All Conference Worship
8:00 p.m.    Evening Programs/Campfires
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.    Snack (by conference)
9:00 through 10:30 p.m.    Lights Out (depending on grade level)

See conference descriptions in summer calendar for individual conference program themes, and special events

What are the rules at camp?

We want all conferees to have a fun and safe experience. Inappropriate behavior (including but not limited to: fighting, bullying, hitting, stealing, destruction of or intrusion into another's property, threatening another, refusal to eat, sexual activity, or possession of a weapon) will result in the conferee being sent home and their minister being notified.

Can I request my camper bunk with a friend?

We have found throughout our long and rich history of summer conferences that conferees make new friends faster and easier if they room with new people. We encourage parents to help their children understand that part of the Silver Lake experience is making new friends. If your child registers for a conference with a close friend, please assure the children that they will see each other throughout the day even if they are not assigned to the same cabin or bunkroom.

Can I bring my cell phone?

Cell phones are not allowed at camp; we find they disrupt community building. Also, Silver Lake does not have reliable cell phone service, so they are not useful at camp. 

If a conferee is found to be in possession of a cell phone, the phone will be confiscated and returned to the parent at pick-up.

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 do allow conferees to bring music players or other small devices to listen to music with headphones. These must be kept in the conferee's bunk and only used at quiet time or bedtime. You assume all risks of sending electronic devices to camp (loss, breakage, etc.).


What if my camper is homesick?

Sometimes children experience homesickness, especially if they have not been away from home or have not previously been to Silver Lake. There are several effective ways of helping your child 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 children and homesickness, we suggest the following strategies:

Please do not promise your child that you will come and pick them up if they call home. This may set them up for failure.

Understand that there are many people working to help your child have a successful experience: staff, counselors, the Silver Lake Nurse, chaplain, and Director.

Extreme cases of homesickness are managed by the Executive Director. If it is advisable, we will call you to discuss options about how to manage your child’s situation.

It is helpful if you make immediate contact with your child by sending a letter early in the week (some parents prepare them ahead of time so they can be mailed early enough to arrive on Monday or Tuesday of the child’s conference). You may also fax a message to your child at 860-364-1000. Please limit faxed messages to one page without a cover page and be sure to note what conference they are attending. Please keep the message upbeat and do not focus on how much you miss your child, as this can trigger homesickness.

If you, as the parent, are having a bad case of missing your child, please do not let on! Of course, let them know that they are missed and loved, but encourage them to make new friends and to have a great time staying at Silver Lake!

Can my camper call home?

We have found that children can avoid feelings of homesickness by getting involved in the conference. Conferees are discouraged from making telephone calls home as this invariably makes them more homesick.

If a camper asks to call home, they will be encouraged to wait until Wednesday to call because we find that by that point most cases of homesickness have worked themselves out on their own.

Can I visit camp?

In our experience, we have found that parents/guardians visiting their children during their conference can be extremely disruptive to the conferee’s experience. Therefore, Parents/Guardians may only visit Silver Lake during their child’s stay if prior authorization is obtained from the Executive Director.

Camp Store

How much money does my camper need for the Camp Store?

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 session, and to help them plan for a Missions contribution. We recommend setting aside $5 for Missions and $3 per day for snacks.

Snacks are $1-$2, t-shirts are $15-$16, water bottles are $8-$15, sweatshirts are $25-$35, souvenirs are in the $10 range.

How do I add money to my child's store account?

Log into your account.

In the upper left of the page, click the menu icon (3 horizontal lines, upper left.) Choose "Camp Store" then "Store Deposits" from the list.

On the next page, enter the amount you'd like to add to the store account in the "Add Money" box next to the name of the camper. Follow the directions from there.

Your account must have a summer conference 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.

How do I purchase a Care and Share Package or a Photo Collection?

You will have the option to purchase a Care and Share Package (a bag of goodies delivered to your child during camp) or a Photo Collection with photos from the session when you sign up online.

If you are already signed up, you can add a Care and Share Package or Photo Collection to your account:

Once you're logged into your account, click the "Registrations" option in the header. Click on the Registration you would like to add a Care and Share Package or Photo Collection to.

On the next page, click "Edit" next to "Options" (this is where the price of the conference appears).

You will be asked again to choose the price of the conference. If you do not want to change anything here, click "Next."

The following page will allow you to select a Care and Share Package or Photo Collection. Select the item(s) you'd like to add and click "Next." 

You will now see your cart and be able to review the selections you've made. Click "Next" to proceed to payment.

You may add a Care and Share Package or a Photo Collection to your account up until 9 a.m. of the Monday your child is at camp.

Care and Share Packages are delivered during the session.

The Photo Collection will be sent to you after the end of your session, with a link to view and download photos.

What if my store account has a balance at the end of the session?

At checkout, any money above $10 left in the Camp Store will be returned in cash with your camper.

Remaining balances under $10 will be considered a donation unless you call the office by 3 pm on Thursday before checkout.

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 |