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6 Reasons To Join a Camp Alumni Association

6 Reasons To Join a Camp Alumni Association

Thursday, March 23, 2023
Category: Alumni, Giving, History

If you’ve ever reminisced about the idyllic days of your youth at camp, or thought about sending your own child to summer camp, you’re probably aware of all the ways sleepaway camps are great for children. They offer plenty of fresh air and exercise, opportunities to make new friends, ways to build skills, and the chance to navigate healthy coming-of-age milestones. Plus, camps are loads of fun, pure and simple. But have you considered the benefits of joining a camp alumni association

Much like your collegiate alma mater, camps offer some of the best alumni networks you’ll have in life, and they can offer so much more than just a nominal affiliation. Here’s why you should join your camp’s alumni association.

1) Meet Old and New Friends: Remember your “besties” from summer camp, who shared some of your toughest growing pains and most important memories? Ever wonder what happened to them after you grew apart and grew up? Well, you may just be able to reconnect with them at a summer camp alumni event. If you’d like to expand or mix up your social network, you may find a great group of new friends with whom you already have plenty in common.

2) Bond Over Shared Camp Experiences: One of the best parts of reconnecting with old camp friends and making new ones is reliving your youth and exchanging stories about your experiences. Attending an alumni event is a great way to do this, as you’ll probably unearth tons of memory “gems” that you may have forgotten about. Swapping stories and experiences is also a great way to build stronger bonds with your favorite fellow camp alumni—old and new.

3) Grow Your Professional Network: Although you may not have thought of it in this light, your camp alumni network can open untold career-boosting doors. You never know when you’ll need to recruit new staff or find a new job, and your fellow alumni may either be or know just the connection you need. Although this can be useful regardless of your profession, camp alumni associations can be particularly beneficial if you work in any of the following industries:

  • Outdoor recreation (experiences or products)
  • Environmental or wildlife conservation
  • K-12 education
  • Daycare
  • Social work
  • Child psychology
  • Physical education or sports coaching

4) Get Access to Fun Events: Regardless of where you currently live, being a member of your camp’s alumni program also gives you access to plenty of fun online and in-person events. In addition to feel-good fundraisers and volunteer opportunities, you’ll also enjoy events just for alumni, including reunions. These provide a priceless way to reconnect with previous fellow campers and forge new memories.

5) Get Camp Discounts: Camp alumni associations often offer member discounts on things like camp apparel, event space rentals, and even tuition as your own child prepares to attend summer camp. Feeling nostalgic for your favorite camp T-shirt or hoodie? Want your wedding venue to hold special significance for you and your outdoorsy loved one? Need to hold the perfect unique corporate event? Becoming a camp alumni member can provide all kinds of unexpected perks.

6) Help Future Generations of Campers: Being a camp alumni member also offers a variety of meaningful ways to give back to your community—which also benefit you. Maybe you’d like young people in your community to cherish your region’s natural resources, or maybe you’re interested in supporting healthy child development. Regardless of your inspiration, you’ll have the chance to help future generations of campers by making donations or signing up to help out with events and fundraisers. Donating your time or money also helps fund summer camp scholarships for underserved children.

Join Surprise Lake Camp’s Alumni Association

Surprise Lake Camp is very proud of its Alumni Association, which was founded in 1961 for the betterment of camp.  Through SLCAA members’ efforts, capital projects have been built, scholarships have been endowed, camp traditions have been maintained, and a museum was established.  If you’re a past SLC camper, learn more about our vibrant alumni association and join us.

Surprise Lake Camp is a nonprofit organization that provides a home away from home for generations of young people. We believe in the value of community and friendship, both at camp and throughout adulthood. Our Jewish values and identity shape our connection to nature. We’re dedicated to helping young people unplug, grow, and develop values, confidence, and skills to last a lifetime, adding to SLC’s storied history as the nation’s longest-running Jewish sleepaway camp. 

When you make a charitable gift to Surprise Lake Camp, you give children life-changing experiences. Partner with us to provide campers confidence, growth, friendships, and Jewish identity. Donate today!