Frequently Asked Questions

1. General Camp Information

Q:It's my child's first time at camp. What do we need to know?
A:Welcome! We're glad you're here! And you will not be the only one here for for the first time (even if you're in high school). Our conferees tell us they make new friends on the very first day of camp, every year. You're in for a week of outdoor fun with a whole conference full of new friends.

A day at camp is very busy, full of games, crafts, swimming, singing, and campfires. And you'll have quiet time after lunch to read, write letters home, or even take a nap. You will have the chance to meet God in a very unique setting. Your conference will lead worship one night. You and your new friends will pick the songs, stories, poems, prayers, dances, and even silliness that add up to a truly engaging worship service.

We encourage you to join us for Open House on Sunday, May 19, 2019, from 1 to 5 p.m. You will have the opportunity to tour camp, meet some counselors, deans, and staff, hear about a typical day, eat cookies, and maybe even meet someone from your conference! RSVP to

Parents, you can find more information about policy and procedure in our Parent Guide, available to download at

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us! Our main office phone number is 860-364-5526 and our general email is We love to hear from you!

2. Registration

Q:What is your finanical policy?
A:A non-refundable $150 deposit is required to process your registration. The balance of the conference fee is due by June 1.

A $25 fee will be charged to switch conferences.

We are not able to refund deposits or final payments. Payments for a cancellation may be applied to another conference, but are not transferable to another child.

3. Camp Store

Q:How much money does my camper need for the Camp Store?
A:We encourage you to talk with your camper before camp about their store account. The camp store is intended to help campers practice faithful management of resources: spend some, donate some, save some. We encourage you to limit your child’s amount of spending money during their week, and to help them plan for a Missions contribution. We recommend setting aside $5 for Missions and a total of $25-$40 per week.

Snacks are $1-$2, t-shirts are $15-$16, water bottles are $8-$15, sweatshirts are $25-$30, souvenirs are in the $10 range.

4. Life at Camp

Q:What is a day at camp like?
A:A Sample Day at Silver Lake…

7:30 a.m. Morning Dip at the lake (optional)
8:00 a.m. Wake Up Bell
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Cabin Clean Up
9:15 a.m. Morning Watch/Opening Circle
9:45 a.m. Conference Programs
12:30 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. Cabin Quiet Time
2:00 p.m. Ceramics, Arts and Crafts, Nature, Music
2:45 p.m. Camp Store
3:00 p.m. Swim Time
4:00 p.m. High or Low ropes/Challenge course
5:00 p.m. Conference Programs
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. All Conference Worship
8:00 p.m. Evening Programs/Campfires
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. Snack (by conference)
9:00 through 10:30 p.m. Lights Out (depending on grade level)

See conference descriptions in summer calendar for individual conference program themes, and special events.

5. Homesickness

Q:What if my camper is homesick?
A:Sometimes children experience homesickness, especially if they have not been away from home or have not previously been to Silver Lake. There are several effective ways of helping your child work through the sadness of being away from home. Sometimes this may take a few days, so please be prepared! Based on our experience with children and homesickness, we suggest the following strategies:

Please do not promise your child that you will come and pick them up if they call home. This may set them up for failure.

Understand that there are many people working to help your child have a successful experience: Deans, counselors, the SLCC Nurse, chaplain, and Director.

Extreme cases of homesickness are managed by the Executive Director. If it is advisable, we will call you to discuss options about how to manage your child’s situation.

It is helpful if you make immediate contact with your child by sending a letter early in the week (some parents prepare them ahead of time so they can be mailed early enough to arrive on Monday or Tuesday of the child’s conference). You may also fax a message to your child at 860.364.1000. Please limit faxed messages to one page without a cover page and be sure to note what conference they are attending. Please keep the message upbeat and do not focus on how much you miss your child, as this can trigger homesickness.

If you, as the parent, are having a bad case of missing your child, please do not let on! Of course, let them know that they are missed and loved, but encourage them to make new friends and to have a great time staying at Silver Lake!

1. General Camp Information

Q:What is a conference?
A:Each week at Silver Lake, we host five conferences, or camps, for different age groups with different themes. The theme of the conference helps to shape some of the activities for the week. For example, Silver Lake's Funniest Videos will spend some time writing, shooting, and editing short films. Hiking the Way will go on hiking adventures outside of Silver Lake.

2. Registration

Q:Why are there three prices for each conference?
A:We at Silver Lake are committed to keeping the cost of camp as affordable as possible. Silver Lake’s prices have always been well below the national average of $690 per week. We also make sure that every child who wants to come to camp is able to do so regardless of ability to pay. Because our scholarships are funded completely by donations, this has become a financial balancing act.

We looked around and found other camps had moved to a tiered pricing structure that better reflects the actual cost to host a child for a week. Families can then select the level of payment that best fits their circumstances.

This year, we invite you to consider the actual cost of camp. If the Actual Cost level is out of reach for your family, you may choose the First Discount level or, if your family needs more assistance, the Second Discount level. And, of course, scholarships are available.

The payment level you select will be confidential and will have no bearing on your child’s participation at camp — all will enjoy the same life-changing Silver Lake experience.

We hope that those of you who are able to pay the Actual Cost of camp will join us in ensuring that Silver Lake remains open to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.

And if you can pay more, please make a donation!

3. Camp Store

Q:How do I add money to my child's store account?
A:In the toolbar at the top of the page, click on "Additional Options." Choose "Store" from the list.

On the next page, click the link to "Add money to the camp store/manage store accounts." Follow the directions from there.

Your account must have a summer conference registration on it in order to set up a store account. If you are trying to add money to the store account of a counselor/dean/chaplain/staff person, please contact the office at 860-364-5526.

4. Life at Camp

Q:What are the rules at camp?
A:We want all conferees to have a fun and safe experience. Inappropriate behavior (including but not limited to: fighting, bullying, hitting, stealing, destruction of or intrusion into another's property, threatening another, refusal to eat, sexual activity, or possession of a weapon) will result in the conferee being sent home and their minister being notified.

5. Homesickness

Q:How can I contact my camper at camp?
A:We encourage you to write to your child while he/she is at Silver Lake. You may also send a fax to your child at 860.364.1000. Please limit faxes to one page, without a cover sheet. Please be sure to indicate what conference your child is attending. Mail may be sent to:

Conferee’s Name
Title of Conference
223 Low Road
Sharon, CT 06069

We ask that you not send food; it attacts critters.

1. General Camp Information

Q:Will I get to go swimming? Or try the ropes course? Or have a campfire? Or...?
A:While a lot of your group's activities will center on the conference's theme, all conferences are camp experiences first: You will live at camp, eat in the social hall with the other conferences, swim in the lake, have the opportunity to check out the high and low ropes courses, dig around in the garden, or sit around a campfire. Also, each conference takes turns leading all-camp worship one night of the week.

2. Registration

Q:Are scholarships available?
A:Silver Lake's Scholarship Fund (from special donations) provides financial assistance to families who need it. Our goal is to ensure all who want to come are able to.

Many local churches also sponsor partial or full scholarships for their youth. Please ask your local pastor if such support is available.

Our preference is to have you register for a conference before applying for a scholarship. If you are not able to pay the $150 deposit at the time of registration (your registration will not be recorded without a deposit), please contact Silver Lake as soon as possible.

The Scholarship Application is available through the Document Center when you are logged into your account.

For more information about scholarships, please contact our office at 860-364-5526 or

3. Camp Store

Q:How do I purchase a Care and Share Package or a Photo Collection?
A:You will have the option to purchase a Care and Share Package (a bag of goodies delivered to your child during camp) or a Photo Collection with photos from the week when you sign up online.

If you are already signed up, you may add a Care and Share Package or Photo Collection to your account:

From your Account Detail page (click "My Account" to go to this page at any time), expand the section titled "Registrations." Click on the Registration you would like to add a Care and Share Package or Photo Collection to.

On the next page, click "Edit" next to "Options" (this is where the price of the conference appears).

You will be asked again to choose the price of the conference. If you do not want to change anything here, click "Next."

The following page will allow you to select a Care and Share Package or Photo Collection. Select the items you'd like to add and click "Next."

You will now see your cart and be able to review the selections you've made. Click "Next" to proceed to payment.

You may add a Care and Share Package or a Photo Collection to your account up until 9 a.m. of the Monday your child is at camp. Care and Share Packages are delivered on Wednesday; the Photo Collection will be sent to you after the end of your session, with a link to download photos.

4. Life at Camp

Q:Can I request my camper bunk with a friend?
A:We have found throughout our long and rich history of summer conferences that conferees make new friends faster and easier if they room with new people. We encourage parents to help their children understand that part of the Silver Lake experience is making new friends. If your child registers for a conference with a close friend, please assure the children that they will see each other throughout the day even if they are not assigned to the same cabin or bunkroom.

5. Homesickness

Q:Can my camper call home?
A:We have found that children can avoid feelings of homesickness by getting involved in the conference. Conferees are discouraged from making telephone calls home as this invariably makes them more homesick.

If a camper asks to call home, they will be encouraged to wait until Wednesday to call because we find that by that point most cases of homesickness have worked themselves out on their own.

1. General Camp Information

Q:What forms do I need for camp?
A:Most of our forms are online now, and available through the Document Center when you are logged into your account.

For a summer conference, you will need the following:

Photo and Video Release
Challenge Course Release
Special Needs
Church Information

A Complete Health Record, which includes:
Camper Health History (online form; update annually)
Doctor's Signature Page (good for 3 years; download from Document Center and return according to instructions)
Medication Authorization Form (for any medications that will be brought to camp; good for 1 year; separate form for each medication; download from the Document Center and return according to instructions)

We are no longer requiring you to provide a copy of your insurance card. Please be sure to fill out the insurance information section of the Camper Health History with all requested information. If your child must see a doctor while at camp, the doctor's office or emergency room may ask you to provide a copy of your insurance card. You are responsible for any doctor's fees incurred. The Camp Nurse will make every effort to contact you before bringing your child to a doctor.

2. Registration

Q:Can I register for more than one conference?
A:Yes, but we ask that you not register for back-to-back conferences; take a week off to rest and decompress.

3. Camp Store

Q:What if my store account has a balance at the end of the week?
A:On Saturday, when you pick up your child at camp, stop at the Camp Store to have your store account balance refunded.

Balances cannot be carried over at the end of the year. Any money left in a store account on Aug. 20 will be donated to Missions.

4. Life at Camp

Q:Can I bring my cell phone?
A:Cell phones are not allowed at camp; we find they disrupt community building. Also, Silver Lake does not have reliable cell phone service, so they are not useful at camp.

If a conferee is found to be in possession of a cell phone, the dean will confiscate the phone and return it to the parent on Saturday at pick-up.

If there is a problem at home that will affect your child's week at camp, please call the main office at 860-364-5526.

If there is a need for us to contact you about your child, we will use the numbers you provide in your account. If you don't hear from us, it means your child is having a great time at camp!

We do allow conferees to bring MP3 players or other small devices to listen to music with headphones. These must be kept in the conferee's bunk and only used at quiet time or bedtime. You assume all risks of sending electronic devices to camp (loss, breakage, etc.).

5. Homesickness

Q:Can I visit camp?
A:In our experience, we have found that parents/guardians visiting their children during their conference can be extremely disruptive to the conferee’s experience. Therefore, Parents/Guardians may only visit the Conference Center during their child’s stay if prior authorization is obtained from the Executive Director.

1. General Camp Information

Q:When are check-in and pick-up?
A:Check-in is Sunday, 2-4 p.m. No early than 2 p.m. and no later than 4 p.m., please.

Pick-up is Saturday at 10 a.m. sharp from the cabin/building area.

Half-week conferences and special (off-site) conferences will have different pick-up or drop-off times and/or locations. If you register for one of these conferences, you will receive information specific to your conference via email.

Transportation to and from Silver Lake is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

2. Registration

Q:Do I need a health form?
A:Every person at Silver Lake, adults included, must have a current and complete health record.

You can access our health forms right from your online account. The health record has three parts: the online Camper Health History form and the Doctor's Signature Page (both required for all participants), and the Medication Authorization Form (required for those bringing medication to camp).

To start a new online form:
When logged in, click on "Additional Options" in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Choose "Document Center." This will take you to a list of all the available online forms. The Camper Health History form can be filled out by the parent/individual. It asks for dates of immunizations, so please have those handy when you're ready to fill it out. An immunization record is not required for adult campers, though it is important to know the date of your last tetanus booster.

To view or edit an existing form:
When logged in, click on the name of the person whose forms you'd like to view. This will take you to the person's detail page. Scroll down and expand the section titled "My Forms." This will give you a list of all the forms that have been completed for this person. Click the binoculars to view or edit a form. Be sure to click the save button at the bottom of the form when you're done making changes.

If you have successfully uploaded a form for this person, it will show up in this area.

Doctor's Signature Page and Medication Authorization Form:
Because these forms must be signed by a doctor, you must download them and take them with you to the doctor. The Doctor's Signature Page is valid for 3 years from the date of the signature; the Medication Authorization Form is valid for 1 year from the date of the signature. A separate Medication Authorization Form is required for each medication that will be brought to camp. Medication includes, but is not limited to,  prescription medicine, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, rescue inhalers, EpiPens.

If a previously uploaded form has expired, it will no longer show up in your list of forms and you will need to provide a new one.

To download a form:
When logged in, click on "Additional Options" in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Choose "Document Center." This will take you to a list of all the available online forms. On the right is a column headed "Downloadable Forms." Click on the form you'd like to download. You will be asked who you want to download the form for; click on the correct name.

The form that is downloaded is unique to each individual. It prints with a barcode on the bottom that allows the computer to match it up with that person's account. YOU MUST DOWNLOAD A UNIQUE FORM FOR EACH PARTICIPANT.

Follow the instructions on the downloaded form to return it. You may fax it or scan and email it according to the directions. If you are unable to return the form electronically, please mail it to camp: Silver Lake Conference Center, 223 Low Road, Sharon, CT 06069.

Once the form has been received electronically and processed, it will show up in the list of forms on your person detail page.

We are no longer requiring you to provide a copy of your insurance card. Please be sure to fill out the insurance information section of the Camper Health History with all requested information. If your child must see a doctor while at camp, the doctor's office or emergency room may ask you to provide a copy of your insurance card. You are responsible for any doctor's fees incurred. The Camp Nurse will make every effort to contact you before bringing your child to a doctor.

For questions about forms, please contact our office at 860-364-5526 or

1. General Camp Information

Q:Can my friend/brother/neighbor/church member pick up my child?
A:Yes, as long as we have written authorization from you. You may add someone to your account as an Authorized Pickup, or you may fill out a paper form when you drop off your child for camp.

We can only release campers to a parent/guardian or an authorized pickup.

Q:When is Open House?
A:Open House is Sunday, May 19, 2019, from 1-5 p.m. Everyone is welcome! Please RSVP to so we can be sure to make enough cookies.

2. Registration

Q:Why do you ask what gender I identify as?
A:Silver Lake is open and affirming to people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. We hope that by changing the way we ask about gender, we will allow more people to feel comfortable expressing their gender identity.

On your Biographical information page, you will have the option to select a gender that most closely matches your identity. If you choose "Another Gender," please provide information in the box below that asks if there is anything else you would like to tell us about your gender expression.

Silver Lake does house campers based on gender, with a similarly gendered counselor. If you have questions about which cabin you fit into, please call the office at 860-364-5526 so we can be sure to find you a space where you feel comfortable.

Silver Lake Conference Center
The Outdoor Ministry of
The Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ
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