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Waterloo Region Subsidy!

Posted on: February 23rd, 2024 by Karen Cornies

Silver Lake is thrilled to partner with the Region of Waterloo to get kids to day camp!

Region of Waterloo’s Child Care Subsidy Program can help eligible families pay for camp. The SLMC day camps in Kitchener, Waterloo and Breslau are eligible for the Region of Waterloo Child Care Subsidy Program.  Families can review child care subsidy eligibility criteria and submit an application online or by calling 519-575-4400. Once an application is submitted and all additional documents are received, Region of Waterloo staff will book an appointment with you to determine eligibility for subsidy. Individuals are encouraged to apply for child care subsidy as soon as they register for camp, as proof of requesting subsidy may be required. More information about the Child Care Subsidy program can be found here: https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/living-here/help-paying-for-child-care.aspx

Summer 2023 Schedule & Camp Info!

Posted on: June 7th, 2023 by Silver Lake Mennonite Camp

Click here to find all the information you need to plan a great Silver Lake experience!

Meet the Team!

Posted on: May 27th, 2023 by Karen Cornies

Summer is coming!!  Meet Silver Lake’s new Program Director, the Assistant Directors and Head Cooks!

Program Director:  Karen Buschert

I am a Silver Lake alumni (summer 86) and have many fond memories of camp and of being outdoors in general. My experience at Silver Lake inspired me to pursue a career teaching people about nature through outdoor education, a long stint working for the Grand River Conservation Authority and several years on the west coast. Now I come full circle, back to the place where it all began for me! I am looking forward to running day camps and bringing the mission of Silver Lake to a wider audience, teaching kids and adults the importance of being in and experiencing our natural world.

Compliance Coordinator & Assistant Day Camp Director

I’m Jen, Kitchener Day Camp’s Compliance Coordinator and Assistant Day Camp Director! With over 21 years attending camps a

nd working in the industry, camp is part of my identity. I’m currently a graphic design student at Conestoga College, and in my free time I love exploring Ontario on my stand-up paddle board and playing weekly trivia with friends. I can’t wait to spend an incredible and impactful summer with Silver Lake Mennonite Camp!

 

Assistant Director Outtripping & Maintenance Director:  Shanah Hofer

Hi! My name is Shanah Hofer, I will be working as Maintenance Director and Assistant Director of Outtripping at SLMC for 2023. I’m very excited to join the SLMC team and to meet many new faces! I grew up in the Campground industry and spent over a decade working (and playing) outside. During that time, I developed a passion for working with my hands and quick problem solving. I look forward to implementing this skill set to my maintenance role.  Through my love for nature and spending so much of my time outdoors I got bitten by the outtripping bug. This bug made me become someone who highly enjoys going days without showering, carrying a pack on my back for long distances, eating dehydrated meals, making dehydrated meals, and a long list of other tasks that most people probably wouldn’t find enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the 2023 outripping season and the great hiking and canoeing trips to be had this summer at SLMC!

Assistant Director Overnight Camps:  Jonah Thiessen

What I love most about camp is working with my friends, having a great time while creating a fun environment to hang out with kids. Silver Lake has a beautiful property which makes it amazing to spend the summer working and having fun outside. I spent 5 summers working at Silver Lake and then came back as an Assistant Director.  I like playing sports (hockey, skiing, ultimate frisbee) and making music (violin, guitar, singing). I want to use my years of experience at camp to make the right decisions and choose the correct actions for camp. Being able to have an impact on the incredible staff from a supporting and directing perspective is so important, and I hope to help Silver Lake staff be the best versions of themselves this summer.

Communications & Fundraising Manager:  Jessa Braun

Hi, I’m Jessa, a former five-year summer staff member and now Communications and Fundraising Manager for 2023. I’ve always loved the way camp eternalizes our childlike spirit while also helping us grow into who we want to be. I can’t wait to meet new friends and hear others’ stories about what they value about Silver Lake, as well as their hopes and dreams for its future. Working in journalism and media for the last seven years has helped me pursue interests in writing, imaging and content creation, all of which I’m looking forward to contributing to my newest role at Silver Lake. I’m an ENFP/Enneagram 7/Aquarius who loves the sunshine, playing sports (especially soccer) and watching the NWSL, Toronto Six and Canadian women’s national soccer team.

Head Cook:  Erika Falk

What I love about cooking:  It is an honour and a joy to feed people! The thing I love most about cooking is the process. The way you start with a list or a recipe, go through chopping and measuring, it’s a flow state for me. Everything else falls away and I feel content and present (most of the time). And the end result, if you’re lucky, is delicious and nourishing to the body and soul.

A favorite recipe, I couldn’t pick just one! Recently, with a baby and with it being wintertime, I’ve been into sheet pan dinners. I make a really nice, simple chickpea confit that has red onions and canned tomatoes. You can add chicken thighs or leave it plant based and it’s very grounding, herby zingy and great with bread or rice and salad. I love a soup or casserole, something that can have a lot of veggies in it as well as beans or lentils for fiber and protein. As well, dishes where each person builds their own plate are great for feeding folks with different preferences. Lookin at you, taco salad! I’m always baking something new too, whether it’s trying herbs and seeds in my sourdough bread or a variation on classic chocolate chip cookies. I made a batch this week with coconut oil and shredded coconut instead of the usual oats. So good.

Cooking at camp is so many things to so many people, so it’s a big responsibility and I take that seriously. Food is so central, so basic but also really emotional and nostalgic, even spiritual. What we eat is what we are made of! Food and love and sunlight, all of which we are getting lots of at SLMC. The meals I’ll cook this summer will connect back to my days as a camper, and on staff all those years with the classic dishes we expect like the cookout on the first night of camp. I also hope to bring to the table (heh) as much fresh fruit and veg as possible, options for all the dietary preferences/needs that are equivalent to the main for everyone else in taste and nutrition, and plenty of fun food experiences because it’s so much more than just fuel! I love when campers get involved in cooking, so I hope we will see baking projects and kitchen sessions this summer too. I can talk about cooking, and about camp, forever so I’ll leave it at that but I’m just really stoked to be back in the SLMC kitchen and be mixing up industrial sized meals for hungry campers, staff and volunteers.

Many of my favorite memories of SLMC are at the waterfront. As much as I love the heat and noise of the kitchen and dining hall, the water is a good break from that and I recall being out in a kayak by myself as a camper for the first time as such a core memory of self-efficacy. That’s such a gift we get from camp, to be empowered to do something hard, or new, with the support of the group which makes you feel so proud of yourself. Worship at the waterfront is always so meaningful to me, as we receive the gifts of the land and water and give back our voices raised in song.

Head Cook:  Liz Klassen

What I love about cooking:  Can’t think of anything that makes people smile more than food. At camp the day is so full of activities that even children who are light eaters or “fussy” eaters are eager to see what is to eat. Cooking and meals bring out stories and form memories of camp.

Favorite recipes:  What I liked as a kid at camp: Mazzetti, chocolate oven pudding, egg boats, hot oatmeal porridge on a cold morning or after morning dip  What I like to cook: zweibach, soup, platz, willing to cook or bake just about anything that makes the staff and campers happy!

What cooking at camp means to you: My first time as Head Cook was when my son Chris was one year old – we spent the entire summer up at Silver Lake – great time. Cooking at SL is about being at the hub or nerve centre of the camp…cooks are often the (informal) welcoming committee and as we cook (and eat meals together) we have a wonderful time getting to know other volunteers and staff in a way that is so unique, with lasting memories.

Favorite memory of SL:  Well, Silver Lake is where I met my husband (Gerry Steingart) and where we made so many friends. SL draws us both back to good memories and lasting friendships that we continue to have all these years later. Memories of cooks from years gone by remind me of a number of women who came to SL to cook who at the time seemed SO OLD – I was amazed by their stamina in the kitchen and the skill and knowledge that they imparted. A few women I recalled in this category were Annie (Ma) Bergen, Marie Reimer, and Irma Kaethler – amazing women.  When I was initially working in the kitchen a good portion of time was spent cleaning up our messes (ton’s and ton’s of mixing bowls, pots and pans) NOW more time is spent on the fun aspect of baking and cooking and sending the dirty dishes to the wonderful dishwasher run by an amazing group of staff to do the clean up! Go team!!

 

Register for Winter & Spring Retreats!

Posted on: December 29th, 2022 by Silver Lake Mennonite Camp

Registration for 2023 Winter & Spring Retreats is now open! Click here for more information and to register…

Now Hiring! Come work with Silver Lake!

Posted on: November 3rd, 2022 by Karen Cornies

The Maintenance Coordinator is a 50% FTE position year round based in Sauble Beach.  Click here to learn more!

The Assistant Director Day Camps is fulltime May 1-August 31 with additional hours available between now and May 1. Must be able to be present in Kitchener Waterloo in July and August.  Click here to learn more!

To apply email karen@slmc.ca.

Positions are open until filled.

The Grand Paddle & Hike May 6-8, 2022

Posted on: April 10th, 2022 by Silver Lake Mennonite Camp

** Fundraiser extended and open until Sunday, May 15 **

Click here to donate or participate in this important annual fundraiser! 10% of proceeds going to support Ukraine.

Meet the Cooks!!

Posted on: March 10th, 2022 by Karen Cornies

Silver Lake cooks have lots to say!  Read about what they love about cooking, recipes, and camp!  Erika, Liz and Michael will be head cooks at various points throughout the summer and Ben will be supporting the effort with fantastic baking skills for the last two weeks.  If this post doesn’t make your mouth water I don’t know what will!

Erika Falk

What I love about cooking:  It is an honour and a joy to feed people! The thing I love most about cooking is the process. The way you start with a list or a recipe, go through chopping and measuring, it’s a flow state for me. Everything else falls away and I feel content and present (most of the time). And the end result, if you’re lucky, is delicious and nourishing to the body and soul.

A favorite recipe, I couldn’t pick just one! Recently, with a baby and with it being wintertime, I’ve been into sheet pan dinners. I make a really nice, simple chickpea confit that has red onions and canned tomatoes. You can add chicken thighs or leave it plant based and it’s very grounding, herby zingy and great with bread or rice and salad. I love a soup or casserole, something that can have a lot of veggies in it as well as beans or lentils for fiber and protein. As well, dishes where each person builds their own plate are great for feeding folks with different preferences. Lookin at you, taco salad! I’m always baking something new too, whether it’s trying herbs and seeds in my sourdough bread or a variation on classic chocolate chip cookies. I made a batch this week with coconut oil and shredded coconut instead of the usual oats. So good.

Cooking at camp is so many things to so many people, so it’s a big responsibility and I take that seriously. Food is so central, so basic but also really emotional and nostalgic, even spiritual. What we eat is what we are made of! Food and love and sunlight, all of which we are getting lots of at SLMC. The meals I’ll cook this summer will connect back to my days as a camper, and on staff all those years with the classic dishes we expect like the cookout on the first night of camp. I also hope to bring to the table (heh) as much fresh fruit and veg as possible, options for all the dietary preferences/needs that are equivalent to the main for everyone else in taste and nutrition, and plenty of fun food experiences because it’s so much more than just fuel! I love when campers get involved in cooking, so I hope we will see baking projects and kitchen sessions this summer too. I can talk about cooking, and about camp, forever so I’ll leave it at that but I’m just really stoked to be back in the SLMC kitchen and be mixing up industrial sized meals for hungry campers, staff and volunteers.

Many of my favorite memories of SLMC are at the waterfront. As much as I love the heat and noise of the kitchen and dining hall, the water is a good break from that and I recall being out in a kayak by myself as a camper for the first time as such a core memory of self-efficacy. That’s such a gift we get from camp, to be empowered to do something hard, or new, with the support of the group which makes you feel so proud of yourself. Worship at the waterfront is always so meaningful to me, as we receive the gifts of the land and water and give back our voices raised in song.

Liz Klassen

What I love about cooking:  Can’t think of anything that makes people smile more than food. At camp the day is so full of activities that even children who are light eaters or “fussy” eaters are eager to see what is to eat. Cooking and meals bring out stories and form memories of camp.

Favorite recipes:  What I liked as a kid at camp: Mazzetti, chocolate oven pudding, egg boats, hot oatmeal porridge on a cold morning or after morning dip  What I like to cook: zweibach, soup, platz, willing to cook or bake just about anything that makes the staff and campers happy!

What cooking at camp means to you: My first time as Head Cook was when my son Chris was one year old – we spent the entire summer up at Silver Lake – great time. Cooking at SL is about being at the hub or nerve centre of the camp…cooks are often the (informal) welcoming committee and as we cook (and eat meals together) we have a wonderful time getting to know other volunteers and staff in a way that is so unique, with lasting memories.

Favorite memory of SL:  Well, Silver Lake is where I met my husband (Gerry Steingart) and where we made so many friends. SL draws us both back to good memories and lasting friendships that we continue to have all these years later. Memories of cooks from years gone by remind me of a number of women who came to SL to cook who at the time seemed SO OLD – I was amazed by their stamina in the kitchen and the skill and knowledge that they imparted. A few women I recalled in this category were Annie (Ma) Bergen, Marie Reimer, and Irma Kaethler – amazing women.  When I was initially working in the kitchen a good portion of time was spent cleaning up our messes (ton’s and ton’s of mixing bowls, pots and pans) NOW more time is spent on the fun aspect of baking and cooking and sending the dirty dishes to the wonderful dishwasher run by an amazing group of staff to do the clean up! Go team!!

Michael Born

What I love about cooking:  I love cooking for the people that I love and get to share the food with. It is such a wonderful way to bring together a community and stimulate good conversation. I have also learned so much from my Mom and Dad (Marlene Epp and Paul Born) about cooking and feel so lucky to get to give back meals to them after they have made however many thousands of meals for me.

Favourite Recipe: I don’t often use recipes as I like to cook by feel and recipes don’t allow that to be taken into account. In terms of favourite things to cook? I would say Indian is up there, I love making huge amounts of fried chicken for big groups, and recently I’ve gotten really into making Bao buns with BBQ pork inside.

What cooking at camp means to me:  I absolutely LOVE cooking at camp. Silver Lake has been such a special place in my life and every person that comes down Pine Forest drive allows camp to continue to run and thrive. The love that I have for camp is transferred to these people who make camp what it is. When you love the people you are cooking for, the food tastes better and the process of cooking is made so much easier because you are doing it for the people you love, rather than just because you need to eat. It becomes a very spiritual experience being able to convey love for people through your cooking.

Favourite Memory of Silver Lake: Leading the CILT program in my fifth year. It is such a cool system where you go through CILTS and learn from your CILT leaders how to be a staff member and how to give all your love to camp, and then when you are a CILT leader you put your own flare on what your CILT leaders taught you and it keeps the culture of SLMC alive and it’s just such a beautiful system of giving back. I really love that part about camp.

Ben Schwartzentruber

 

What I love about cooking:  The exciting mix of planning and improvisation that makes a meal come together.

Favourite recipe at camp:  Pizza rolls 🙂

What cooking at camp means to you:  Making and sampling yummy food! Waking up early to ensure campers and staff are well fed.

Favourite memory of Silver Lake:  Playing endless gaga ball as a camper! Eating meals and socializing in the dining hall!

March 16 Camp Spirit Day! FULL!

Posted on: February 1st, 2022 by Karen Cornies

Thanks to all who signed up!  Camp Spirit Day is now full.

See you at First Mennonite Church in Kitchener @ 800 King Street East. Come for a day of camp programs: games, outdoor activities (weather permitting), crafts and a time to connect!  Campers will be divided into groups by age (5-9 and 10-14). See schedule below (subject to change).

Click here to register

Meet the March Break Camp Spirit Day staff:

Cadance Tan- Assistant Director Media & Day Camps

‘Hi! My name is Cady! I am a student at Ryerson in the Creative Industries program – essentially, I love anything media related (especially children’s media). I have many years of experience at day camps where my favourite thing to do at camp was crafts! Crafts are definitely an area I want to highlight at camp as I love developing this type of creative expression in campers. So, a little bit more about me: I like swimming, hanging with my friends, and eating twizzlers. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at camp!”

Nathan Diller Harder- Head Counsellor

What I love about camp the most is how supportive and positive a community it is. As a child, many of my fondest memories and most impactful growth experiences happened at Silver Lake and I am forever grateful that I can give back to a community that means so much to me.  Aside from working at camp since 2018, I have worked with the YMCA as a youth leader, volunteered in schools, tutored children, and worked with House of Friendship. I am set to graduate from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Social Development Studies and History.  My hobbies include running, basketball, reading, thrifting, soaking up the sun, and catching vibes while hanging out with friends 🙂 I hope to have a positive impact on the lives of campers, staff, and volunteers! Everyone who comes to camp deserves to be supported and welcomed, and to have a tremendous camp experience. I am excited to help make a wonderful environment where kids can be themselves and come home with a great camp experience! Whether through direct support, a positive attitude, checking in on others, or facilitating programming, I am ready to give my all to this wonderful community!

Mika Umutoni- Staff

Hi! My name is Mika!   What I love most about camp is the community! I always feel supported and welcomed. Silver Lake has a beautiful place which makes it great to spend summers working. I have volunteered at Eastwood Collegiate Institute, tutoring young children. I am a student at Eastwood Collegiate Institute graduating this year. My hobbies are dancing, volleyball, cooking, and hanging out with friends. I hope to have an impact on campers’ lives. I want the children to like SLMC so much that they would like to come back in the summer!

 

Bian Almasri- Staff

Clara Joy Tan- Staff

 

Schedule at a Glance:

8:30-9:00am Drop Off

9:00-9:10 Camp Opening, Morning Watch and Welcome Activities

9:10-9:40 Session 1- Team Building

9:40 -10:10 Snack, Bathroom Break and Games

10:10-10:40 Session 2:  Tag Time

10:40-11:10 Session 3- Active Circle Games

11:10-11:40 Craft + Clean Up

11:40-12:10 Session 4 – The Park!

12:10-12:30 Session 5 – Bathroom Break and Activities

12:30-1:00 Lunch-.  Bring Your Own Lunch (no nuts!) and Campfire & Hot Chocolate

1:00-1:30 Session 6- Nature

1:30-2:00 Session 7- Quest

2:00-2:30 Snack, Bathroom Break, Clean Up

2:30-3:00 Session 8- Camper Choice Activities

3:00 – 3:30 Large Group/Field Games

3:30-4:00 Session 9- Campfire

4:00-4:30pm Free Play and Pick Up