Register Early for Sandy Island Weekend Retreat

Dear First Church members and friends,

If you haven't yet registered for Sandy Island, now is the time!

Cabins will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. So register early to get your favourite cabin. If enough folks register before August, we could have the whole island to ourselves!

Our annual weekend retreat on Sandy Island is September 16–18, 2022. All are welcome to join us for a weekend of fellowship, reflection, relaxing, kayaking, games, tennis, shared meals, interesting conversation, bocce, swimming, volleyball, and fun. This year we'll be joined by several members of the church staff, our minister included, and they are all excited to be taking part.

You don't have to be a member of the congregation to take part! If you're brand new to First Church, Sandy Island is a great way to deepen your connection with this community and make new friends. You'll absolutely be welcome. Kids, loved ones, and friends are all welcome, too.

Details about registration are below. Scroll down to learn more about Sandy Island and the fun we'll have there.

Questions? Send us an email at

Samuel Foster, our friendly Membership and Outreach Manager, is also happy to connect with you if you're new to the church, or if you're unsure whether a weekend on a small island with a bunch of goofy church folks is for you. Email Samuel at

Very best,

The Fellowship Committee


To reserve your spot, fill out our registration form.

Pay 50% of the registration fee to reserve your spot, then pay the balance by August 31. Details about how to make your payments are on the registration form.

The fee covers meals, lodging, activities, and the ferry rides. The cost for the weekend is as follows:

  • Adults: $185

  • Children and youth age 4 thru 17: $95

  • Children under 4: FREE

The fee also covers a financial assistance fund. A 50% discount is available for families who need it. There's a check box on the form.

The fees are for the entire weekend and cannot be prorated. Cancellations with a full refund are possible up to one week before the weekend.

Questions? Send us an email at

What is Sandy Island?

Sandy Island is a YMCA camp on a secluded and beautiful island on Lake Winnipesaukee. The weekend begins on Friday evening and continues through Sunday afternoon. Life on Sandy Island is simple and casual. While grown-ups will enjoy the serenity, the peaceful setting and fellowship, kids will revel in the kind of freedom this island offers.

The island has numerous recreational options including tennis, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, and bocce. Other activities include capture-the-flag, tie dye, a wine- and-cheese-reception, and a campfire. Or just bring a good book and relax by the waterfront — it’s totally up to you!

On Sunday there will be an inspiring lay-led worship service, with a beautiful view of the lake.

Accommodations for the weekend are in rustic cabins right by the waterfront. They have cots with mattresses, linens and wool blankets. The cabins have electric lights and sockets, but they are unheated and the nights can be chilly, so pack a sleeping bag or extra blanket. It can also be warm, so bring your swimsuit! It’s a short walk to shared bathrooms and the shower house. A few cabins have toilets and running water; these will be assigned to folks who need them. Each cabin has a porch with a beautiful lake view. For folks coming alone or as a couple there are several larger cabins with private bedrooms including one with a shared living room and a fireplace.

Bring a musical instrument, your favourite board games, whatever you like. Folks love to make music on the island. We'll have multiple singalongs, including one around the campfire. We'll play boardgames in the dining hall or under the big tent.

Travel time from Belmont to the boat dock is approximately three and a half hours by car. Boat transportation to the island is included in the registration fee. More details about the camp and the weekend will be sent to registrants by email as the weekend approaches. WE HOPE YOU CAN MAKE IT!