Sky Lake News Archive

Sky Lake Desktop Wallpaper Calendars 2019

Sky Lake Desktop Wallpaper Calendars 2019

We’ve created a monthly series of desktop wallpaper calendars for 2019. Each month you’ll have a variety of sizes from which to choose. We update this page monthly, so you’ll want to check back often.

Clicking any of the image size links below will open the wallpaper in a new browser tab. From there, you can save the image to your computer or set it as your desktop background.

April 2019

May 2019 Calendar

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April 2019

April 2019 Calendar

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March 2019

March 2019 Calendar

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February 2019

February2019 Calendar

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January 2019

January 2019 Calendar

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Posted on May 1st by Matthew Williams

Sustainable Forest of Giving

Sustainable Forest of Giving

Celebrating Sky Lake’s 72 Years of Ministry by Sustaining its Future

BE A CO-FOUNDER OF THE SUSTAINABLE FOREST OF GIVING!

In 1947, twelve pastors and laypersons pooled their personal financial savings to purchase the Sky Lake property. On April 10th of that same year, this daring act of faith was rewarded when the former Wyoming Conference voted to officially establish Sky Lake Camp & Retreat Center.  At its dedication in 2003, Founders’ Lodge was named to honor the legacy of this group of committed individuals.

You are now invited to become a co-founder of sorts yourself. To celebrate Sky Lake’s 72nd birthday we are establishing the Sustainable Forest of Giving—a group of Sky Lake supporters who commit to contributing monthly, quarterly, or annually to the Sky Lake Annual Fund. While you may choose to give at any level, all those who set up a recurring contribution to the Sky Lake Annual Fund, by April 30, 2019, at the Hemlock level or higher will be officially recognized as a co-founder of the Sustainable Forest of Giving.

It takes financial resources beyond camp and retreat fees and conference financial support to provide the life-transforming ministry that many of us have experienced at Sky Lake at some point over the past 72 years. Your contribution to the Sky Lake Annual Fund helps defray the costs associated with operating our ministry: electricity, propane, hospitality supplies, program equipment, tractor fuel, and more. In other words, the parts of the ministry that are not apt to be the most photogenic, but without which our ministry could not thrive.

How to Become a Co-Founder

In the table below, we’ve provided several different recommended levels at which Sustainable Forest of Giving contributors may feel called to give. Each level is named for a tree which can be found here at Sky Lake along with its prevalence in our physical forest. Other than the minimum requirement for being considered a co-founder of the Sustainable Forest of Giving (the Hemlock level), we invite you to give at the highest level your means allow.


Sky Lake Sustainable Forest of Giving Levels 2019

When it comes to setting up your recurring contribution, the quickest and easiest method is to visit the online donation portal which we share with our sibling sites of Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries.

BE A CO-FOUNDER OF THE SUSTAINABLE FOREST OF GIVING!

Once on the donation page:

+ Click the “Designation” field; select “Sky Lake Annual Fund” (please note that contributions to the Sky Lake Campership Fund and/or any other fund are gratefully accepted, however only recurring contributions to the Sky Lake Annual Fund, at or above $19.47 per month, are counted toward you becoming a co-founder of the Sustainable Forest of Giving)

+Click on the amount you wish to give monthly, quarterly, or annually (please note that in order for your contribution to count toward becoming a co-founder of the Sustainable Forest of Giving, your monthly, quarterly, or annual contribution must match or exceed the designated amount of your desired level on the table on the front of this document. If you plan to give quarterly or annually at an amount other than what is listed on the site, you will need to select “Other” and manually input that amount.

+Check the “Make this a recurring gift” box under “Choose how often to give”

+The default frequency is monthly, if you wish to give quarterly or annually select the box next to “Give” and a drop-down menu will appear (please note that all gifts are processed by UNYCRM on the 8th day of the month)

+Select which payment method you desire to use for your recurring contribution—both credit cards and direct debit are accepted

+If you are giving this gift on behalf of an organization (e.g. First Church or UMWomen) check the designated box

+We may publicly thank you for your contribution, if you desire to not be publicly acknowledged, please check the “I would like this gift to remain anonymous” box (you’ll still receive a thank you and an invite to join the Sky Lake Donor Newsletter email list.)

+If you have the means to give above and beyond the suggested levels, please contact Matt Williams, Director of Sky Lake, to discuss additional opportunities for giving.

Thank You! Now Let’s Stay in Touch

We thank you in advance for your generosity and promise to remain good stewards of your resources.

We would also like to invite you to join our email list to receive all the latest news from Sky Lake. There are several newsletters from which to chose—including one to provide donors with updates!

Have an off-line friend you’d like to invite to also become a co-founder with you? Download a printable flyer.

We’ve also received requests for a bulletin-size version of the flyer. Please feel free to download and share.

BE A CO-FOUNDER OF THE SUSTAINABLE FOREST OF GIVING!

 

Posted on April 5th by Matthew Williams

Spring 2019 Edition of Xenia is Available

Spring 2019 Edition of Xenia is Available



The Spring 2019 edition of our newsletter, Xenia News, is now available online. Click here to read about what’s been going in the life of Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries.

Posted on April 2nd by Matthew Williams

Committee on & Director of CRM Publish Letter In Response to Special Session of General Conference

Committee on & Director of CRM Publish Letter In Response to Special Session of General Conference

Click here to view a full screen version for easier reading


CRMletter

Posted on March 18th by Mike Huber

Special Needs Summer Programs

Special Needs Summer Programs

Since 1968, Sky Lake has offered camping opportunities for persons with mild-to-moderate developmental and physical disabilities. We believe our natural surroundings at Sky Lake to be the handiwork of God and do our best to make the great outdoors accessible to all our special needs campers, at a pace that allows them to fully appreciate it—after all, time at camp is vacation for many of our campers!

Through all that we do we strive to provide our friends with special needs with a time and place in which they can experience a supportive, loving, and safe Christian community that honors, respects and promotes each individual’s personhood. Each session is overseen by volunteer coordinators who have ample experience with our special needs camps and bring expertise as pastors, educators, and social workers. Campers are supervised by college-age and older adults who are passionate about making sure campers have a great time. The medical and health needs of our special needs campers are overseen by registered nurses that reside onsite.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable Sky Lake experience we use an application process for our special needs camps. Here is how the application process works:

+  Complete the Special Needs Camp Application form (available for download below)
+  Return the completed application to the Sky Lake Office promptly. Deadline is the 9th of each month, and will continue each month that space is available. Please do not send any form of payment with the initial application.
+  Decision letters and health forms will be mailed on or before the 20th of each month, beginning in February.
+  A $75 non-refundable deposit will be required of those who are offered a space in one of our special needs camps, which will be due by the last day of the month. Remainder of the balance is due prior to attendance at camp.

Please note the following:

+  Special registration forms are used for our special needs programs, which are available for download at www.skylakecenter.org or by contacting the Sky Lake Office directly.
+  Check-in times for special needs sessions vary. Please consult confirmation material for assigned check-in times for your particular session.
+  Pick-up for Special Needs, Helping Hands, Amigos, and Friends Camps will be at 1:00pm on Friday in Founders’ Lodge.
+  Pick-up for Buddies Camp will be at 4:00pm on Friday in Founders’ Lodge.

Download the 2019 Sky Lake Special Needs Application

Posted on January 9th by Matthew Williams

Be A Donor 2018

Be A Donor 2018

What does it mean to be a donor?

It means actively engaging with the ministry of Sky Lake and Camp & Retreat Ministries of Upper New York and Susquehanna Annual Conferences. It means doing something more than just supporting this ministry with your voice and your prayers (both of which are immensely important.) It means actively underwriting the operational and program costs associated with offering a ministry that truly transforms lives.

Beginning with #GivingTuesday on November 27, 2018, and continuing through the remainder of this year, we invite you to Be A Donor to the Sky Lake Annual Fund.

Over the coming weeks, we invite you to stay tuned to our Facebook page to learn more about what your generous financial donation supports.

Whether you ultimately decide to give $5/week, $15/month, or a one-time gift of $5000, we thank you in advance for choosing to Be A Donor!

BE A DONOR!

This link will take you to the Upper New York Camp & Retreat Center’s donation portal. Please select “Sky Lake Annual Fund” from the drop-down menu at the top of that form if you would like your donation to be used specifically for Sky Lake. Donations to the “CRM Annual Fund” will be used where most needed at the end of the year.

Posted on November 22nd by Matthew Williams

Sky Lake Desktop Wallpaper Calendars 2018

Sky Lake Desktop Wallpaper Calendars 2018

We’ve created a monthly series of Harvey the Hippo desktop wallpaper calendars for 2018. Each month you’ll have a variety of sizes from which to choses. We update this page monthly, so you’ll want to check back often.

Clicking any of the image size links below will open the wallpaper in a new browser tab. From there, you can save the image to your computer or set it as your desktop background.

December 2018

December 2018 Calendar

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November 2018

November 2018 Calendar

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October 2018

October 2018 Calendar

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September 2018

September 2018 Calendar

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August 2018

August 2018 Calendar

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July 2018

July 2018 Calendar

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June 2018

June 2018 Calendar

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May 2018

May 2018 Calendar

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April 2018

April 2018 Calendar

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March 2018

March 2018 Calendar

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February 2018

February 2018 Calendar

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January 2018

January2018 Calendar

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Posted on October 29th by Matthew Williams

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing earlier today (July 3, 2018) of our Director Emeritus, Jim Krager. Jim shared over 45 years of his life with the Sky Lake Community as colleague, as boss, as friend, and—perhaps most importantly—as someone who modeled what it looks like to be a committed follower of Christ. We cherish the time Jim spent with us and hold his family in close prayer this day.

Update (5 July 2018):

Please join the family of Jim Krager for a service of celebration of his life on Saturday, July 7th at Founders’ Lodge here at Sky Lake.

Informal gathering at 1:00pm
Service at 2:00pm

In an ode to Jim, you are invited to dress casually (bonus points if you wear a green Sky Lake shirt!)

If you are able, please arrive early enough to park on the West Shore and walk the Jim Krager Nature Trail along the lake to the East Shore.

A full obituary appears here

Contributions to the Sky Lake Campership Fund in Jim’s memory may be made online (Please make a note that is in memory of Jim in the note field next to “Camp & Retreat Ministries on that page.)

Posted on July 3rd by Matthew Williams

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Sky Lake Campbassador?

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Sky Lake Campbassador?

Chances are that if you are reading this, you already possess the most important quality of a Sky Lake Campbassador: interest in Sky Lake. There are a few other qualities below, but basically a Sky Lake Campbassador is someone who is willing to receive an email from us one to four times per month and share the materials included in each email at church, online, and with friends.

Here are some necessary qualities of an excellent Campbassador:

+ Ability to receive email from us
+ Ability to follow directions
+ Ability to positively communicate with others by speaking, writing, signing, etc. (in person, in print, or online)

It’s also helpful (but not necessary) to be able to:

+ Speak of positive camp and/or retreat experiences at Sky Lake (either your own or someone close to you)
+ Print designated materials to be shared in bulletins, post on announcement boards, etc. (or get the electronic files to someone who can print the materials to share)
+ Know who to give camp and retreat announcements for inclusion in weekly bulletins and/or monthly newsletters at church
+ Post to social media (including how to tag Sky Lake in photos and use #hashtags)<

What is expected of Sky Lake Campbassadors:

+ Open emails
+ Read emails
+ Share materials found in emails (or recruit someone who can)
+ Like/follow @skylakecenter on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter
+ Like and/or share our posts on these social media platforms

Remuneration for Sky Lake Campbassadors:

+ First access to materials
+ Our eternal gratitude

Click here to sign up to be a Sky Lake Campbassador! (New link as of April 2019) Donate Now!

Posted on April 16th by Matthew Williams

Summer 2018 Lineup

Summer 2018 Lineup

We’ve been hard at work on putting together another amazing summer line-up for 2018. As you might notice we’ve restructured our schedule a bit to bring together similar sessions of different ages under what we’re now referring to as “theme weeks”. We’re excited about this transition which we believe will help us better offer a clear line of progression to help campers grow as they mature.

Our summer brochure is still in creation mode, but there are only a little over 175 days* until the first week of camp at Sky Lake so we wanted to share the lineup with you now so you rearrange your calendar to fit in the perfect week of camp!

*Yes, we’re totally keeping track of the countdown to Summer 2018. You can too by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Posted on December 28th by Matthew Williams

Autumn 2017 Edition of Xenia is Available

Autumn 2017 Edition of Xenia is Available



The Fall edition of our newsletter, Xenia News, is now available online. Click here to read about what’s been going in the life of Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries.

Posted on November 20th by Matthew Williams

Grateful For Where We’re Going: Planning Our Church Visit Tour 2018

Grateful For Where We’re Going: Planning Our Church Visit Tour 2018

It’s not all that uncommon for us to be asked: “what do you do here the rest of the year?” Some might get upset when asked this sort of question, but we hear this as a genuine invitation to share more about our ministry here at Sky Lake. (Which is also why we’ve started sharing a glimpse behind the scenes in this column each month.)

Sure, we have some rather unglamorous tasks that we do on a routine basis during the retreat season—like paying the bills, emptying garbage bins, clearing leaves and snow away from buildings, refilling paper towel dispensers, answering calls from telemarketers, blah, blah, blah…. But these pale in comparison to some of the “bigger things” that we get to do, like welcoming back friends we haven’t seen in a year, lighting a fire in the fireplace in Founders’ Lodge for guests to relax in front of, and working on bigger projects that have a bunch of little “moving parts.”

During the autumn and winter we actually spend a lot of time thinking about and planning for…the next summer. One of the “moving parts” of this bigger project is setting up times for us to visit churches and organizations in the spring. We are always grateful for the churches who extend an invitation for us to come visit and we are equally grateful for those churches who respond affirmatively when we invite ourselves. Here’s what we look for when considering a visit:

· The trend of the congregation’s/group’s support of camping and retreat ministries — in other words, does the church have a history of “sending” campers or do they express a strong desire to start doing so? (Guess what…we like to visit both!)
· Average worship attendance compared to the overall membership of the church — this is a more helpful number for us rather than thinking of a church as big, medium, or small
· Potential for recruiting campers — full disclosure, while we love chatting with potential donors (it does take a fair amount of money to keep a ministry going after all) our spring tour is geared more toward recruiting campers. So we try to schedule visits where we’re apt to run into actual kids and youth! And to help us determine the potential of interacting with children and youth, we look at (1) the number of children and youth involved in Christian formation groups + (2) Sunday School attendance compared to worship attendance + (3) VBS attendance compared to Sunday School attendance. When considered together, we get a better idea of not only the life of a congregation but the community surrounding it.

One of our earliest cheerleaders, the Rev. Edgar Singer, once referred to Sky Lake as the additional Sunday School classroom for each congregation. He wasn’t wrong. A local church is great at providing the “head knowledge”, while camps are really great at being the “learning labs” where these theories can be tested, prodded, and experienced in real time. When head knowledge is reinforced by affirming experiences it becomes heart knowledge. And believe “heart knowledge” is what leads to the transformation of the world! (Can we get an AMEN?!)

To help us share our vision with others is the reason we like to do our visit tour each spring. No two visits are alike and we enjoy working with leaders at the local level to personalize our visit. We are pretty flexible and equally comfortable doing a presentation for kids and youth during Sunday School, delivering a quick speech during a Mission Moment, giving the children’s message, bringing the goods to make s’mores for a covered-dish meal, or even leading an entire worship service. (We’ve done all this and more over the years.) Also, our unofficial mascot, Harvey the Hippo, usually tags along with us, so there’s that… And if there’s one thing Harvey has taught us over the years, it’s to play well with others. So we like to include some non-United Methodist Churches on our Spring Tour every year!

If you’re interested in setting up a visit or exploring the possibility of partnering with us a little closer, please don’t hesitate to connect with our site director, Matt Williams. We hope to see you on our tour this spring!

Posted on November 3rd by Matthew Williams