SHARON – Registration for the 2019 Summer Camp Session at Silver Lake Conference Center opens Jan. 15, and those registering by Jan. 31st can receive a $50 discount on their registration.
Summer enrollment at Silver Lake has increased by 130 campers over the last two years, following an increased outreach effort by Silver Lake and Conference staff. (Related Article: 'Incredible' Growth at Silver Lake). The staff is working to continue that upward trend this season.
The summer theme this year is Peace Works: Empowering the Next Generation of Peacemakers. All conferences will offer some programming that promotes peacemaking in everyday life, and some conferences will go deeper in exploring how to create peace in the world.
In particular, racial justice offerings are being expanded. In addition to Stepping Stones for 6th- 8th graders, there will be Welcome to Wakanda for 7th & 8th graders, which will use themes explored in the movie Black Panther to look at African-American contributions to the arts and sciences, and Stepping Up, a follow-up conference to Stepping Stones for high school youth.
Also new this year will be the first Counselor Retreat April 12-13. This is an opportunity to expand in-person training of volunteer counselors (all counselors complete both online and in-person training), and to build intentional community among the group.
"I am so excited for the Counselor Retreat," said Jennifer Kronholm Clark, Program Director and dean of the retreat. “Our counselors are amazingly talented and dedicated to the ministry of Silver Lake. This retreat will give us time to learn from each other and deepen our skills.”
All Silver Lake counselors, from first-timers to veterans, are encouraged to attend the Counselor Retreat to fulfill their in-person training requirement. The cost of the weekend is $45; those who need financial assistance should contact Kronholm Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For campers, online registration opens on Monday, January 15. The Summer Season Brochure, which provides details on dates and ages of each conference offered in the 2018 season, is available online now. Those who register by January 31 will be offered a $50 discount. For more information, visit www.silverlakect.org.
Financial assistance for families to send children to camp is available through a variety of sources. All families connected with a church are encouraged to talk with their pastors about what support the church can provide.
In 2018, 58 Connecticut churches and 2 Connecticut Associations provided full or partial sponsorships to 227 campers. In addition, eight Massachusetts churches and one Rhode Island church supported campers from their congregations. In all, churches and associations provided more than $66,000 in summer camp assistance.
Silver Lake also awards scholarships from its scholarship fund. Silver Lake scholarships are funded completely by donations, and the funds are exhausted each year. In 2018, Silver Lake gave full or partial scholarships totaling $28,700 to 95 campers.
In addition to the general Silver Lake scholarship fund, the Batchelder Scholarship provides assistance to campers from Hartford. In 2018, the Batchelder Scholarship provided $4,500 of support to 11 campers.
To donate to the Silver Lake Scholarship Fund, go online to www.silverlakect.org/donate.
For more information about how to apply for a Silver Lake Scholarship, email email@example.com.
Tiffany Vail is the Associate Conference Minister for Communications for the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ.