Silver Lake Camp Prepares for Summer with Lots of New Faces

June 24, 2022
The Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center is bustling in preparation for the start of the summer camp season on Monday, and a lot of new faces are ready to greet the campers and volunteers.

“The start of camp season is always a joy-filled time,” said the Rev. Dr. Audrey Price, Executive Minister for Strategic Operations. “This summer is both exciting and challenging as the camp program gets back into swing after two summers impacted by the pandemic, and with a new staff configuration in place for the summer.”

Following is the lineup for leadership this summer at Silver Lake:
  • Kate OstertagKate Ostertag, who is the Executive for Camps & Retreats for Edwards House and Irons Homestead, will oversee the Silver Lake operations this summer. Because Pilgrim Day Camp uses Edwards House as part of its operations in the summer, there are no bookings there, allowing Ostertag time to rotate among the three sites. She is also being assisted by Natalie Smith, a new hire who will provide onsite coverage at Irons Homestead.  

    “I am excited to be joining the Silver Lake team for the summer! It is a very special opportunity to serve and to witness firsthand the transformations that our camp is known for,” Ostertag said. “Overseeing all three Outdoor Ministry operations will certainly bring some challenges but I fully expect them to pale in comparison to gifts that this broad view can bring to my work for the Conference. “
  • Nancy TrueNancy True is serving as Summer Camp Director. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the SLCRC, and for managing all summer and year-round camp staff. Some key responsibilities include ensuring activities are conducted safely and with good supervision, planning and implementing the summer program, ensuring children receive opportunities appropriate to their needs, and maintaining open lines of communication among campers, parents and staff.

    Nancy is a member of Trinitarian Congregational Church in Norton, Massachusetts, where she led Faith Formation for 13 years, including youth groups, confirmation classes, and retreats, and where she worked as office manager for three years. She currently works in the office of her local middle school. She was a Silver Lake camper as a child, as were both of her children who are now grown and on summer staff. She is a regular dean at Silver Lake, including for the 2019 New Horizons conference of Chinese college students, and was a counselor in 2021. Nancy is on the Silver Lake Board including the sub-committees for the Silver Lake Award event and Facilities. She was originally scheduled to be on the 2022 summer staff as secondary resource coordinator. 
  • Caitlin MundyCaitlin Mundy is serving as the Interim Program Director, which means she will lead the summer staff members and volunteers, including deans, counselors and chaplains.

    Mundy, who holds a Master of Social Work, was most recently Camp Family Coordinator.
  • Aila Brennan is serving as the Compliance Officer for the summer, which means she will oversee the day-to-day operations at Silver Lake, ensuring the safety and health of all campers and staff. This includes working with leadership to ensure compliance with all state and Board of Health requirements.​

    "I spent the past year working with the Site Manager at Silver Lake learning about the facilities and property management/maintenance of the site. Silver Lake has held a special place in my heart since my first week as a camp way back in the 90's," Brennan said. "My experience over the years has included Camp Family, ETF, and A-Team and working many weekend retreats in any capacity needed. I have a Master of Business Administration and am currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Elementary Education."
  • Austin EricksonAustin Erickson is serving as the Ecological Task Force Supervisor for the summer. In that role, he will oversee the facilities for the summer camping season.

    Austin graduated in May 2022 from University of Albany with a Master of Regional Planning. He's been coming to camp since he was 9 years old, was a member of Camp Family 2009 and has been on staff several years since in various roles. 
  • Stephanie Pitman has temporarily come back from retirement to serve as Business Manager and Retreat Coordinator, following the departure of Ashley Nicols.
  • Ruth Choate continues to serve as the Administrator and Registrar, and Lynn Boettger as the Food Services Manager.

At the end of the camp season, searches for hiring a settled Site Manager and Program Director will take place.

One camp dean is also the Area Conference Minister for the region where the camp is situated, Rev. Terry Yasuko Ogawa. 

"As I trained as a co-leader for Clergy Camp this summer, I was amazed by the care that surrounds each camper and the provisions made for those who are non-neurotypical and who may be marginalized in other settings," she said. "I can't wait to be on-site in a few days to share in the inclusive love of God's Creation -- hallmarks of Silver Lake's important faith formation for young people across our region for generations. Blessings to the Silver Lake family, staff, and volunteers who carry out this important ministry."

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 |