Activities & Fun

At SLC, the fun never pauses.

– SLC Camper

Activities & Fun

Families often tell us they like how Surprise Lake Camp balances structure and choice, offering the best of both. Bond with your Unit and group in shared activities like Waterfront and Pool. Then follow your own interests, hone your skills, and/or try something totally new!

Campers get  to pick a Speciality elective for 3 times/week and explore more than 50 Choice options. As campers grow, their amount of Choice also grows. We’re always adding special experiences, too, such as Balloon Animal Making, Juggling, or Young Scientists. With so many options, campers will find lots to love!

Daily Schedule At-a-Glance

Mainside (current 1st – 6th graders)Teenside (current 7th-10th graders)
7:30amWake up, campers!
Wake up, campers!
8amRound-Up (songs & cheers)

8:15amBreakfast (8:15 am Mainside)
Breakfast (8:45 am Teenside)
9amClean Up
Clean Up
9:45amFirst Activity
First Activity
10:50amSecond Activity
Second Activity
11:55amThird Activity
Third Activity
1:45pmHafsakah/Rest TimeHafsakah/Rest & Free Time
3pmFirst Afternoon Activity
First Afternoon Activity
4:15pmSecond Afternoon ActivitySecond Afternoon Activity
5:15pmThird Afternoon Activity
Third Afternoon Activity
7:15pmEvening Activity
Evening Activity
8:30pmBack Up to Cabins
Open Curfew: Games & Free Time
9:30pmLights OutBack Up to Cabins
10:30pmLights Out

Summer 2024 Special Events

Explore Your Options

Outdoor Adventure
Trips & Special Events
Water Fun


Ever played 4-Square on a playground? Now make it bigger, and put it up in the air (like volleyball) for the awesome game of 9-Square. You can play with a big group or just a few friends. At SLC, we play it during activity periods and in free time.


Bullseye! Learn to use a bow and arrow. Archery combines strength and precision as you aim for your personal best.


Have a ball under the lights outside or in our modern Belle Abramson Gymnasium–which has a scoreboard, bleachers, lockers and showers. Coaches offer instructional fun, and you can play during free time, too, in games for all ages. Go casual, with pickup camper-vs-staff games during hafsakah (rest hour), or advance your skills in progressive tournaments as a specialty elective. SLC also competes in intercamp tournaments, with home and away games.

Beach Volleyball

Perfect your spike, or learn the rules of the game, whatever your experience level, on our sandy court.

Camping Overnights

SLC is situated on 460 wooded acres surrounded by undeveloped state parkland. Miles of trails—and our experienced guides who know this land—take campers on overnight adventures where they’ll connect with nature. Overnight camping trips (using SLC tents) create lasting memories. After all, everything tastes better when shared by a campfire.


Try your hand at ceramics, including learning to use a potter’s wheel. We’ll fire your pieces in SLC’s kilns, so you can take home your masterpieces. This activity is available to Teenside campers.

Climbing Tower

Take your strength and confidence to new heights! Learn to climb and belay on SLC’s 35-foot climbing tower. 


There’s no such thing as too many cooks in this kitchen! Bake, decorate cookies, and learn to cook camp specialties in this fun activity where you get to eat your work.


Learn modern dance, jazz, hip hop, and so much more. Build skills in choreography and have an opportunity to perform in camp, whatever your prior skills and experience.

See one of the 2018 Dance Performances


Pump it up! Whether you want to build strength for your coming sports season or learn proper technique, you can use SLC’s weight room and fitness gym for lifting and building muscle. This activity is available to Teenside campers.


Israeli dodgeball is a camp favorite. Played in round courts, the rules are simple–but they keep you on your toes!


SLC is situated on 460 wooded acres surrounded by undeveloped state parkland. Miles of trails—and our experienced guides who know this land—take campers on adventures where they’ll connect with nature…and themselves.


On SLC’s street hockey rinks (on both Mainside and Teenside), you’ll learn stick-handling and teamwork.

In the Pool

Jump into our heated, modern swimming pool—or take a ride down the waterslide. Campers have free swim several times a week. Sometimes we turn on the lights for an evening pool party! An accessible pool lift means that everyone can enjoy a swim.

Israeli/Jewish Culture

The land of Israel is a special resource for Jewish culture and pride, and campers will feel a love of Israel throughout camp. A cohort of Israeli counselors and specialists, including some bunk counselors, lead songs and spirit days. Campers get to know them and their stories one-on-one, too.

Music, Guitar & Drums

Sing. Play the drums. Play the guitar. Just let the music move you! At SLC, you can learn to read music, create a beat, and strum a chord. Camp provides guitars, an array of African drums, and music. No experience necessary; all levels welcome. Our music program is sponsored by singer-songwriter (and SLC alum) Neil Diamond.

On the Lake

Use the stand-up paddleboards, or choose from our fleet of canoes, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, and windsurfers. On hot days, bounce and slide in from the water trampoline. Have you ever pedalled a giant-wheeled Aquacycle? This is your chance!

Organic Farm

Check out the chickens! Then get your hands in the dirt in SLC’s organic vegetable garden, vineyard, fruit orchard, butterfly garden, and extensive flower beds. Examine the intricate work of bees in our apiary (beehives). Learn about sustainable agriculture, food justice, and responsible stewardship of the planet’s ecosystems, and how these ideas are rooted in Jewish law and tradition. Campers get to plant, cultivate, harvest and eat what we grow.

Photography & Videography

Learn to use the technology of digital cameras, video cameras, and computer graphics. You will get to take pictures of all aspects of camp life, and then help put together the end-of-session slide show and video.


Even if campers are a little green when it comes to pickleball, here at SLC they will learn scoring, serving, dinking — and, most importantly, how to stay out of the kitchen!

Ropes Course & Zip Line

SLC offers both low and high ropes course, with individual challenges and teamwork opportunities. A highlight for many campers: whoosh through the trees on our own zip line!


Fields on both Mainside and Teenside mean that a soccer game is never far away. Coaches run drills to build skills for campers who choose this specialty elective, while campers and staff scrimmage and play games during hafsakah (rest hour) and pick-up games during free time. SLC also competes in intercamp tournaments, with home and away games.


A game on the SLC diamond is always a home run in Mainside and Teenside games for all ages. Batter up in pickup games during hafsakah (rest hour), or get coaching and more intensive skill-building in the softball specialty elective. SLC also competes in intercamp tournaments, with home and away games.

Special Events

Enjoy a steady stream of special programs, including SLC’s very own Olympics, Carnival, Israel Day, parties, and celebrations. Special guests often come to camp for a performance or to lead a special activity.

Fun Fact: a young Neil Diamond was inspired to write songs after seeing Pete Seeger perform for campers in a special event at SLC!  


Have fun honing your game with our talented tennis specialists. Learn to serve, volley, forehand, backhand, and smash like the pros. Bring your racquet if you like, or use one of ours.


Meet and help care for SLC’s bunnies and goats. Learn outdoor and camping skills, such as using a compass and building a campfire. Explore the natural world, including how to recycle or “upcycle” what you might otherwise throw away. Get to know SLC’s spring-fed lake, including the fish that live in it and the creatures such as lizards and frogs that live on its banks.


If you like to be on stage or behind the scenes, you’ll love theatre at SLC. Perform in a show, or work backstage on set design, lighting, and sound. We put on four full musicals each summer! Each session, Mainside and Teenside each rehearse, create, and present a show to the entire camp on the stage of the huge Eddie Cantor Theatre overlooking Surprise Lake.

Mainside’s 2023 shows:

Winnie the Pooh

Teenside’s 2023 shows:

Little Shop of Horrors

Tournaments & Away Games

Interested campers can join SLC’s sports teams and take part in tournaments and matches with other camps–some hosted at SLC and some away. These games give campers a chance to use the skills they’ve gained in practice with our coaches and specialists while having a great time bonding with their teammates.

Visual Arts

Select from a variety of projects & media. Explore sculpture, copper work, painting, drawing, jewelry, and much more in our studios.

Swim Instruction

At the beginning of each session, our lifeguards and swim specialists assess each camper’s swimming skills for placement into the most appropriate instructional level. Every camper gets weekly American Red Cross swim instruction. Swimmers who achieve a new swim level receive an American Red Cross swim card.