The Lodge Goes Green

May 25, 2016
By Jennifer Kronholm Clark

When you drive into camp these days, the first thing you notice is the scaffolding around the Lodge. Many trees have been cleared out near the
Gary Lubben and Shakeela Nobles put in some
work on the Lodge during Spring Action.
building, making it visible from the driveway.

The scaffolding — and the thinning of the trees — are part of an ambitious project to renovate the Lodge to passive house standards.

“Passive house is a building standard to make a building robust and highly energy efficient,” explained Greg Arifian, site manager at Silver Lake. “It will use up to 70 percent less energy overall and 90 percent less energy to heat and cool.”

Greg, a civil engineer, completed coursework to become certified in passive building standards. He serves as project manager for the renovation, which has saved Silver Lake a considerable amount of money in construction costs.

In addition to improving the energy efficiency of the building, the renovation aims to create another “adult-friendly” building suitable for smaller groups. The Retreat Center, which was renovated in 2012, proved tremendously popular with adult groups. It became clear that there was enough demand to warrant renovating the Lodge as well.

It’s a big project. The Lodge is one of the orginal buildings on site when the Connecticut Conference purchased the property in 1957. Greg estimates the Lodge was built in the late 1800s.

“There are square nails in there,” Greg said. “Real old school.”

The Lodge is on track to be rented to groups in the fall of 2016. For information on scheduling a retreat, contact Stephanie Pitman, business manager, at

“This is a chance to live out our values,” Greg said. “We’re creating a building with very low environmental impact, with a very low carbon footprint.”

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 |