Sandy Island Retreat 2024

A panoramic view of Sandy Island with a dock and boathouse on a lake.

MEET NEW FRIENDS, CONNECT WITH OLD FRIENDS AND Wrap up the year in fellowship!

If you’re new to FUUSN (First Unitarian Universalist Society in Newton), have you heard about Sandy Island yet? Here’s all you need to know: We all head up to a lovely YMCA camp in New Hampshire to spend a joyful and relaxing weekend together.


Sandy Island Coordinator: Denise Bousquet  <>
Sandy Island Activities Coordinator: Emily Gelbert <>

Register here.

What: FUUSN’s annual retreat to Sandy Island Camp (a YMCA family camp)Campers cluster on the porch at the 2023 Sandy Island retreat

GPS address: Northwoods Camp Road, Tuftenboro, NH
Where: Sandy Island, a small isle in Lake Winnepesauke (NH) containing only the camp (map)
When: Memorial Day weekend (
SatMay 25– MonMay 27, 2024)
How Much: $260 for adults; $165 for children 2-17 yrs.; Free for under 2 yrs.

Who: FUUSNites of all ages—singles, couples, families/significant others, friends (no pets), usually about 130 campers

Why: Fun and relaxing weekend to build connections within FUUSN

Several adults and children ride a ferry to Sandy Island.

How: Drive 2½ hrs. to just beyond Wolfeboro NH, park your car, take 10 min. boat ride to island. Boats leave the mainland Sat. at 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm & 2:00pm. Leave the island Monday at 9:30a, 10:30a, 11:30a, 12:30p. Other trips require a water taxi: $70 daytime; $134 from 10pm-8am. Email to arrange.

Housing: Rustic cabins w/single beds (some bunks), electricity but no heat, walk to shared bathhouses (a few exceptions have in-house shared full bathrooms).

Accessibility: One cabin has a stairless access (most others have 2-3 steps). Visitors to the island should be capable of navigating (1) a long stairway to reach/leave the mainland loading dock, and (2) a few steps into/out of the boat. There are defined walking paths throughout the camp, but some areas have exposed tree roots, uneven ground, and shallow mud after rain. One or two 3-wheeled motor scooters may be available for camper use (email Denise Bousquet <> to request).

Food: Shared dining hall meals (to suit many dietary needs) provided by Sandy staff. If you need to bring special food items, a few shelves of easily-accessible refrigerator space are available in the serving area. You can make special dietary requests (vegan, low-carb, gluten-free, etc.) on the registration form.

Campers lounge on beach chairs at Sandy Island.Activities: Sports, crafts, discussion groups, music, swimming, boating, fishing, yoga, art, nature walks, photography, happy hour, bonfire, talent show, dancing, lounging, etc. Watch for messages from our Activities Coordinator requesting activities & leaders.

What to bring: A flashlight for each member of the family—most bathrooms are in separate buildings & there is minimal outdoor lighting. Sandy Island provides linens, pillows, medium-weight blankets. Cabins are unlocked and unheated, so unless the weather is unseasonably warm, bring your own sleeping bags or comforters to supplement camp blankets.

Bring warm clothes, jackets, hats, bath towels, beach towels, bathing suits, rain gear, extra shoes or mud boots (it can be quite muddy after wet weather). Sandy Island provides Pack ‘N’ Play cribs, island-hardy strollers, baseballs, bats, basketballs, Capture the Flag equipment, life jackets. Bring your own board games, tennis rackets, baseball mitts, camera, binoculars, musical instruments, fishing gear.

Three children wearing swimsuits play in the water and the sand on a beach at Sandy Island.Children and adults seated and standing at tables on a covered porch participate in crafts activities at Sandy Island.

A woman, an man, and a child wearing life jackets paddle a large kayak on a lake near Sandy Island.