Calling all parents

Submitted by Eli Winterfeld on February 7, 2012 - 12:00pm
A look at the belonging and community values fostered at summer camp

Belonging.  We all yearn for it, and rightly so.  It makes us feel valuable, purposeful, and connected.  Community has the power to make you feel that you are a part of something much bigger than yourself.  I know many people have written about belonging before but I do not believe enough can be said for the matter. 

We all find belonging in different circles and through various means in those circles.  I find that a diversified collection of communities is healthy and energizing.  Still, despite these various places I turn to, I always find myself gravitating back, every summer to camp.  It is my yearly dose of very intentional community.  It’s almost as if my internal community battery is recharged during the summer and I use that energy throughout the fall.

It is so revitalizing to be in a place where everyone has one common purpose, though through different roles.  We are all there to have fun, learn, be challenged and most importantly build bonds.  A week at camp is so full of profound yet simple moments that I cannot even begin to share the experience of Silver Lake though anecdotes.

It may seem that I am shamelessly advertising, but I’ll let you in on a secret…I’m not being paid by anybody to write this.  I genuinely believe that this can be a life changing experience for your children and youth.  This is, as always, in the name of building community.

One of the aspects I like most is that together (campers, staff and volunteers) we are fostering the values of community in the next generation.  In fall and winter I can get pretty cynical about the state of the world (that’s what university seems to be about anyway).  But in the summer my hopes in humanity are renewed as I interact with the kids.

This blog of course is quite timely, it is in fact registration season for the upcoming summer.  I urge you think about it if you have not entertained the notion before.  Silver Lake is a place of community cultivation.

See the Silver Lake website and a lip dub video that we shot last summer which is a fun watch.


Our son get's this and yes he is going this year again. There is something magical about camp and yes, I never thought of it as good training for living in community but of course it is. Excellent!