by: Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane
Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center
is a place where young people experience nature, make new friends, be themselves, and explore their faith. Days were filled with games, crafts, discussions, swimming, ropes adventures, quiet time, gardening, campfires, evening vespers, worship, food and fun. With more than 60 acres of wooded land on lakeside shores, Silver Lake offers many opportunities for young people to take risks and try new things with the support of an intentional Christian community.
This past summer, Silver Lake delivered on its long-time tradition of helping young people learn about who they are, learn about others, learn about living in community, and learn to simply be, just as they always have. Silver Lake welcomed and affirmed campers, staff, and volunteers, of all race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation and guests of all diverse backgrounds. That welcome was widened even more this year as campers had the option of utilizing a non-gendered cabin
, which is intended to include ALL genders -- male, female, nonbinary, trans -- and gives every camper a space where they can fully belong.
One parent of a 5th grade first-time camper said the family was looking forward to their next visit. “My camper had the kind of amazing week that we had hoped she would have. When I was waiting in line at pick-up, I saw her and two other campers repeatedly hugging and being silly together and I knew it had been another fantastic week at the Lake.”
Another parent thanked the staff for the ‘amazing experience’ her 4th
grader had, and assured folks that they would be back next year.
In addition to the summer camp program, Silver Lake transitioned to retreat season, the week summer camp ended, to host Sigma, longtime independent camp partners who offer a science curriculum for almost 200 youth. Many of the summer staff stayed to assist with the transition and support the camp.
What’s Next? Join Us at a Listening Session
Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center needs your wisdom. Help us imagine alongside God the bright future for this outdoor ministry site of the Southern New England Conference. At upcoming listening sessions, we will give a quick update about our new accreditation, celebrate what the summer of 2022 brought, and imagine together what we can do for the sake of the Gospel in lives all across Southern New England and beyond.
Please join us at any of the three listening sessions at the end of October by registering at the links below.
“It is our collective work to support the outdoor ministries of the Southern New England Conference,” said Rev. Dr. Chris S. Davies, Executive Minister for Programs and Initiatives. “It is my deepest hope that our listening to the wisdom of longtime Silver Lakers as well as planning for a future in the context of 2022 will set up camp to continue to transform the lives of children and young people for many years to come.”
We currently have two open positions at Silver Lake and are looking for candidates that will serve the God we know in Jesus Christ through the United Church of Christ by providing an environment and a culture that embodies the 4-part vision of the Southern New England Conference to: Make disciples of Jesus Christ; Make God’s love and justice real; Bring new life as agents of change; and form covenant partnerships, especially as it relates to colleague and staff interactions. The positions should be conducted in a way that reflects God’s love to all with whom this person has contact.
Director for Camp & Retreat Center for Silver Lake.
The qualified person will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center. This position includes the hiring and managing of all Camp staff and other key personnel, ensuring the safety and health of all campers and staff, and establishing a marketing strategy to meet annual enrollment goals. For more details and application information, view the posting.
Site Manager for Silver Lake.
The qualified person will be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the facilities to ensure that the maintenance and custodial needs are met, including managing, overseeing, and performing the ongoing maintenance of Silver Lake’s buildings, vehicles, furniture and equipment. For more details and application information, view the posting
More About Silver Lake
Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center, which is accredited by the American Camp Association,
serves the God we know in Jesus Christ through the United Church of Christ by providing an environment and a culture that embodies the 4-part vision of the Southern New England Conference to: Make disciples of Jesus Christ; Make God’s love and justice real; Bring new life as agents of change; and form covenant partnerships, especially as it relates to colleague & staff interactions.
When answering the question "How would you describe Silver Lake?”, one 11th grade camper said: "Home! An extremely safe place that always brings me joy."