|Jennifer Kronholm Clark|
Two key Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center staffers – Jennifer Kronholm Clark and Matt Taylor – have announced plans to leave the Conference staff this month to pursue other opportunities.
Jenn Kronholm Clark has been on the staff for 10 years, most recently as program director.
“I am struggling to find words big enough to convey how incredibly grateful I am for the extreme privilege of serving Silver Lake over the past decade. I will miss working with the talented and dedicated volunteer deans who are the backbone of Silver Lake,” Kronholm Clark said. “I am also grateful for the opportunity I had to work with the young leaders of Silver Lake’s summer staff.”
Kronholm Clark has taken a position with a non-profit serving her local community.
“While it is hard to leave Silver Lake, I am excited to be able to devote full-time efforts where I had previously only been able to volunteer in a limited capacity,” she said.
Taylor, the site manager, had similar sentiments.
“As a life-long Silver Laker, I have been nurtured and inspired by this community since 1982 and working/volunteering since 1988,” he said. “Stewardship at Silver Lake means looking out for the property and the people here and I’ve taken that responsibility as a sacred task. I came here during the early Covid shutdown and I hope I’ve not only helped Silver Lake through a trying time, but that I leave it better prepared for future challenges. Now I need to focus on the next phase of my career and on my family and both of those things will draw me back down to Southwest Connecticut and to the ocean.”
“The power of outdoor ministries is truly transformative, and I am honored and grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve here and lend my hand in that life-changing work,” he said. “I have deep love for Silver Lake’s community, a passion for Silver Lake’s stewardship, and a steadfast commitment to Silver Lake’s mission.”
Kronholm Clark began attending Silver Lake in 1988 as a fourth grader. She served on summer staff and as a volunteer, and joined the year-round staff in October, 2011, as administrator. In 2017, she took on the newly created position of Program Director. In this role, she was the lead on hiring and guiding the summer staff and working to develop community among them. She has also been the lead staff member working with volunteers. Her last day is May 25.
“The Silver Lake Board has been impressed and grateful for the work that Jenn has done expanding the position of Program Director,” said Nancy True, a member of the Silver Lake Board of Directors. “She increased the quality and breadth of opportunities for campers and retreat groups, improved staff training, and kept camp alive during COVID with Silver Lake at Home 2020.”
Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer, Executive for Camps & Retreats at Silver Lake, wished Kronholm Clark well in her new position.
“Jenn’s decade on year-round staff at Silver Lake has been one of growing the ministry as the first full-time year-round Administrator and full-time year-round Program Director. Jenn has deepened and widened the reach and connections to Silver Lake through her professionalism and love for Silver Lake,” he said.
Matt Taylor came on board in July, 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. His last day is May 28.
“The Silver Lake Board appreciates the difficulty that Matt has faced in his time as Site Manager during COVID, including addressing deferred maintenance with a skeleton crew,” True said. “His passion for Silver Lake, astonishing range of skills, institutional knowledge, and mentoring instincts will be greatly missed.”
Rev. Gackenheimer said: “Matt has brought great passion and joy to his time as Site Manager at Silver Lake. His love for the ministry that is Silver Lake is apparent with each guest, camper, and volunteer interaction. We wish Matt the best on whatever the journey holds ahead.”
Rev. Dr. Audrey Price, Executive Minister for Strategic Operations, said both will be missed.
“These are cherished staff members who have given to the ministry of Silver Lake and I wish them well,” she said.
Price acknowledged that the busy summer camp season is just two months away, and said Rev. Gackenheimer is working on a plan to address the vacancies.
Rev. Gackenheimer indicated that the camp will move quickly to make sure the summer is covered.
“Silver Lake will hire an Interim Program Director for this summer. The Interim Program Director will start as soon as possible. After the summer we will start a search for a settled Program Director,” he said. “The Interim Program Director is eligible to apply for the settled position.”
He continued: “Silver Lake will hire an Ecological Task Force Supervisor for this summer. The Ecological Task Force Supervisor will start as soon as possible. After the summer we will start a search for a settled Site Manager. The Ecological Task Force Supervisor is eligible to apply for the settled position.”
“We will need your help in the time of transition. There will be lots of opportunities to volunteer before, during, and after the summer,” he said.
Rev. Dr. Price urged anyone who feels a call to join the Silver Lake staff to be in touch with Rev. Gackenheimer.
Tiffany Vail is the Director of Media & Communications for the Southern New England Conference.