We provide a high quality Jewish experience for children and young adults that is safe, fun, and promotes personal growth.
– The SLC Mission
Our mission is to create a nurturing camp experience in which young people learn essential life skills by being immersed in nature, developing relationships, and exploring Jewish values.
The magic of camp is rooted in caring, courage, confidence, and community.
Every day we enrich the hearts and souls of every member of our community in profound ways proven to develop character, facilitate growth, nurture independence, and build friendships that last a lifetime.
Role models inspire and nurture growth.
Our well-trained, caring staff strive to enhance each child’s sense of discovery, connection, and achievement–and help teens grow as leaders and role models for younger campers.
Shared Jewish values and experiences cultivate appreciation and pride.
Our families come together from diverse Jewish backgrounds—identifying as “just Jewish,” interfaith, Reform, Reconstructionist, Humanist, Conservative, and Orthodox, among others—to create a vibrant, joyful community, connected to nature, Israel, and each other. At Surprise Lake Camp, Jewish life is engaging, welcoming, and fun—and even a year-round home for many families.
Safety and camper care is our top priority.
Our entire team is dedicated to excellent care, with an emphasis throughout the camp on physical and emotional well-being. Leaders of the effort, our Camper Care Team includes the staff of our excellent, well-equipped Health Center and two full-time summer social workers.
Unplugging from technology and connecting with nature are vital in today’s world.
A few weeks away from screens is a mental and emotional gift. Here, young people rediscover the beauty of direct connections with each other and nature, fostered in dozens of physical and/or creative activities and electives.
The power of Jewish camp should be accessible to all.
As a nonprofit institution, Surprise Lake Camp and its many generous donors invest in affordability and tuition assistance for camp families who qualify.
Zoe5 Years as Camper
"Shabbat is so fun: you sing the prayers, and you stand up and clap and dance with your friends. I really love it here."More
5 Years as Camper
The friends that you make here turn into family. It’s a very loving community, and everyone here is so nice to each other. I really like going in the lake and all the activities, but the people are why I keep coming back. I think camp has made me a better person, because it’s given me more independence, learning how to live on my own, while having support from others along the way.
Before coming to camp, I never really knew what it meant to be Jewish. I would just light the candles on a menorah at Hannukah. But now I get to do Shabbat. It’s so fun: you sing the prayers, and you stand up and clap and dance with your friends. I really love it here.
Dylan5 Years as Camper
"What’s most special here is the people. Everyone's really nice. I think camp helps you grow and makes you a better person."More
5 Years as Camper
My favorite activity at camp is probably the waterfront. I really like swimming, boating, everything that the waterfront has to offer, and the pool. I’ve been working on sailing and this year, finally, I passed the sailboat test! Every day is really fun but my favorite days are Olympics and All Camp Show. At Olympics you’re cheering, you’re shouting, and competing. The All Camp Show has the 5-year sweatshirts, ice cream, lots of cool traditions.
What’s most special here is the people. Everyone’s really nice, and people listen to what other people have to say. I think camp helps you grow and makes you a better person.
Ben3 Years as Camper
"Surprise Lake Camp is a nonstop sleepover. My favorite activities are all the sports, getting into the woods, and playing with my friends all the time."More
3 Years as Camper
Surprise Lake Camp is a nonstop sleepover. My favorite activities are all the sports activities, like gaga and 9-square. I also really like the climbing wall. This year I’ve probably gotten better at soccer, better at dribbling the ball, and aiming my shots. I like all the Jewish stuff here. Shabbat feels like a vacation day, a day to sit down and think. And I really like getting into the woods, and playing with my friends all the time.
There are a lot of people here who know more than me, and I learn from them every day. Something that might stick with me is how good it feels to take a break from screens. When I get home, I’m going to try to put my phone down more!
"Come to camp! It's a lot of fun. It can be scary at first, of course, because being away from your family is hard—but it goes by so fast and is super fun."More
I think camp is really fun! I love spending time with my bunk mates and getting to know everyone. This is the longest I’ve ever been away from my family, but I feel like it’s all going by super fast. I feel like it’s also making me more independent. One thing I think is especially cool here is how we get to learn a lot about Israeli culture. People come here from Israel, which is pretty cool.
To future campers, I’d say: Come to camp! It’s a lot of fun. It can be scary at first, of course, because being away from your family is hard—but it goes by so fast and is super fun.