Deans, Chaplains and Staff Gather for Dean's Retreat 2020

Deans, Chaplains and Staff Gather for Dean's Retreat 2020

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Close to fifty deans, chaplains, and staff gathered at Silver Lake Conference Center on March 6-7 to prepare for the 2020 Silver Lake Summer Camp season. Through a variety of activities, training, worship and fellowship times, these summer leaders focused on getting the summer conferences ready for more than 900 young people who will come experience a week in the rural beauty of Sharon, Connecticut.
 
Silver Lake is now accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). In 2019, the camp was reviewed and found to be in full compliance with 290 industry-established health and safety standards recognized by the ACA. In addition to ensuring that Silver lake campers are attending a safe facility, the accreditation allows Silver Lake to advertise its programs to the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ. Located only miles from the New York state border, this access could help increase the number of campers attending the camp and provide the opportunity for building new relationships with churches in the New York conference.
 
Program Director Jenn Kronholm Clark outlined this year's theme and curriculum for the deans. This year, the focus will be on individuals and their place in the community, or celebrating the "me in team," as Jenn put it.
 
"We are going to celebrate our community and our unique roles in it," said Jenn.
 
Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer shares changes at Silver Lake with deans and chaplains

One of the new conferences added this summer will be a third Family Camp conference. This is a half-week program for family groups. The popular Family Camp conferences provide opportunities for family members to come as a group. This is especially attractive to families with young children who are not old enough for conferences of their own and for adult family members who want to attend with children. The two existing Family Camp programs fill rapidly each year. The new conference, Family Camp 1.5 (it falls between Family Camp 1 and 2), will begin on Wednesday, August 5, immediately after Family Camp 1 ends, and run through Saturday, August 8.
 
In December, Silver Lake lost two long-time staffers. Greg Arifian, the former site manager, and Pam Arifian, who ran sustainability and environmental programming for the camp, moved to California to embark on a new journey. The search for a new site manager is moving along with first round interviews completed. Executive Director Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer shared that second round interviews were beginning this week. He was hopeful that a new site director could be hired in time for Spring Action Weekend which begins on April 24.
 
Due to the generosity of the Lordship Community Church in Stratford, Silver Lake now has a new electric kiln for the ceramics program. Run by a computer, the new kiln makes the project firing process more consistent. Jenn had already tested the new kiln with projects and stated that she is now planning a new schedule for the summer program.
 
Registration for the 2020 Summer Camp Season is open and there is plenty of room for all age groups with only a handful of conferences at capacity at this time. The brochure outlining each conference can be found here and registration can be done online. Those interested in seeing the camp for the first time, or revisiting to see all the new and improved sites around the camp can attend Open House on May 17 from 1:00-5:00 pm.
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