SLC Values

Surprise Lake Camp focuses on what’s important and nothing else! No politics. No material. Just community and togetherness.

-SLC Parent

SLC Values

Instilling values is a process involving teachable moments and modeling through everyday actions. At SLC, values are woven into the very fabric of camp life. We guide campers to embrace our five core middot. These aren’t just words on a plaque. They’re the compass guiding camper choices, from the sportsfield to the campfire — and serve as the foundation for character development. Once campers are back home, life’s challenges become new opportunities to embody the values learned at camp.

Surprise Lake Camp’s Five Core Values/Middot:

Community (Areyvut)

Community means actively caring about fellow campers, staff members, and our shared environment. It recognizes the roles of friendship and responsibility — that we all play a part in shaping our community. Individual actions make a difference in the whole. At SLC, we work hard to nurture strong connections and foster relationships.

  • Engaging in group meetings
  • Caring for the camp environment
  • Participating in mitzvah days

Compassion (Rachamim)

Compassion is a powerful combination of understanding, empathy, and acceptance. Compassion can motivate a person to take action to help another person or living creature — from a small gesture of kindness to actively advocating on a larger issue. At SLC, we teach campers to accept, celebrate and feel empathy for one another. These lessons happen little by little, day by day.

  • Empowering friends to navigate new experiences or overcome obstacles

  • Offering support to friends who are facing challenges

Courage (Ometz Lev)

Courage is the ability to face and overcome difficult situations. Courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear. It involves acknowledging fear and taking action despite it. Each day, SLC campers are encouraged to (safely) step outside their comfort zone. Counselors are right there beside them to cheer them on and lend a supportive hand.

  • Performing in front of other campers
  • Attempting new activities
  • Standing up for someone or something

Gratitude (Hakarat Ha Tov)

Gratitude involves a deep appreciation for the good things in life. It’s not just about saying “thank you”. It’s about actively recognizing and savoring the positive aspects of life, both big and small. At SLC, we help campers take notice of special moments, whether it’s drinking in a beautiful sunset or enjoying a festive Shabbat shared with friends.

  • Thanking a friend for support
  • Recognizing the beauty of nature
  • Giving thanks daily (prayers & services)

Grit (Netzach)

Grit is that combination of passion and perseverance which allows an individual to stick with a long-term goal, even when the going gets tough. It’s about embracing the marathon, not just the sprint. At SLC, we teach kids never to give up on their dreams. When campers encounter bumps in the road, we teach them to steer around them and continue to move forward toward their goal.

  • Experiencing failure, then subsequent success
  • Practicing a skill to track progress