Silver Lake Award: Ruth Tyrol to be Honored at Fancy Camp Gala

October 19, 2017
The Silver Lake Board of Directors is pleased to announce Ruth Tyrol as the recipient of the inaugural Silver Lake Award. Her ministry will be celebrated at Fancy Camp, a Gala to Benefit Silver Lake Conference Center, on Nov. 18.

The board created the Silver Lake Award as part of the commemoration of the camp’s 60th anniversary this summer. This new award recognizes a “Silver Laker” who lives their life and faith in a way that reflects the formative experiences they have had at Silver Lake Conference Center. This person truly takes Silver Lake home with them beyond Low Road.

“Now is a great time to lift up extraordinary Silver Lakers,” said the Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer, Executive Director. “We are blessed to be able to more formally recognize individuals who have been profoundly impacted by their experience at Silver Lake and have gone on to live their life and their faith in a way that reflects the core values of Silver Lake and transforms the world.”

In addition to being shaped by Silver Lake, the Silver Lake Award recipient has given back time, treasure, and talent to Silver Lake, and has made a significant and sustainable contribution to the ministry of Silver Lake.

“Ruth Tyrol has been a pillar of the ministry of Silver Lake Conference center for six decades,” said the Rev. Erick Olsen, Chair of the Silver Lake Board and Senior Pastor at Church of Christ Congregational in Norfolk, CT. “There is no one better to receive the inaugural Silver Lake Award.”

Mrs. Tyrol served Silver Lake for more than 30 years beside her husband, the late Alden Tyrol. Together, they formed the program of ministry of Silver Lake, influencing thousands of young people on their faith journeys. Mrs. Tyrol is still deeply connected to many Silver Lake alumni.

Several members of the Silver Lake community lifted up Mrs. Tyrol in open nominations earlier this year. Some of their comments:
How many of us remember Ruth from our conferee days? She was in the summer office cutting stencils, recovering quarters, restocking paper cups in the soda machine. As a home sick conferee you knew that Ruth was looking out for you… Deane Hodges and Alden Tyrol made their mark but Ruth was the one inside the office talking to those of us that were too shy to approach anyone.
Mrs. Tyrol is one of the many people that was instrumental in the development of the Silver Lake core values. She has formed and continued creating friendships that are held dearly by hundreds of young adults that span her years of involvement at Silver Lake.
Ruth always had a smile and a gentle word. My first time at camp, in 4th grade, I was so homesick. My conference was in cabin row, and Ruth always made it a point to say hi and give a hug. As I grew to a teenager, she gave me the ability to be myself, to work with others and to see the face of God in all things. I would not be who I am today if it weren't for Ruth. To hear her tell me she is proud of me and loves me brings no greater joy to my heart.

While Mrs. Tyrol will not attend the Fancy Camp Gala, a significant portion of the Fancy Camp program will feature a tribute to Ruth’s service to the Ministry of Silver Lake Conference Center.

The Fancy Camp Gala to benefit Silver Lake is a signature event of the Connecticut Conference, featuring a buffet dinner, silent auction, dancing, and fun fancy/campy attire! Fancy Camp happens Saturday November 18, 6-10 p.m. at the Wallingford Country Club. Tickets are on sale now at

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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