First-Time Campers

After "Get Your Feet Wet," I saw my child in a completely different way: much more capable, adventurous and open to new things.

– SLC Parent

First-Time Campers

SLC offers lots of ways for first-time campers to join in and feel at home! Families, we’re always glad to chat with you by video, phone, or in-person about camp, your child, your priorities, and any questions you have about our approach, tuition assistance, and more. Options include:

Tours & Home Visits

We hope to resume in-person tours as soon as we can but in the meantime, the best way to learn about camp is to speak with one of our directors and watch our camp video. We are happy to speak with you on the phone or schedule a time to Zoom with you to answer any questions you may have and walk you through what a day at camp looks like.


Choose Your Ideal Session

Our regular 4, 6, and 8-week sessions are designed to give each camper ample opportunity to bond and grow. Yet sometimes a shorter session is just right for a younger first-time camper.

Regular Sessions

For current 1st – 11th graders • June-August

Dive in! Give your child all that Surprise Lake Camp offers in our regular sessions. In 4, 6, or 8 weeks, your child can fully settle into camp life—and make deep friendships that enrich your child’s sense of community all year. As wonderful as shorter introductory sessions are, sometimes they end too quickly, just as your child is feeling fully comfortable.

Staff are fully trained in how to support both first-time and long-time campers, integrating everyone fully into the unit, group and bunk from the first moments of camp.

Mini Camp

For current 1st-4th graders • Thursday, July 1 – Sunday, July 11

In this shorter session, counselors specially trained to support younger first-timers help campers have a fantastic introduction to sleepaway camp. Because the entire unit is Mini-Campers, everyone goes through this new adventure together while making friendships they can continue in future years. Mini-Campers get to try activities throughout camp, and share in two Shabbat experiences.

Get Your Feet Wet: 5 days

For current K-4th graders • August 25 – 29, 2021

Wrap up your current K-4th grader’s summer with Get Your Feet Wet. This mini-adventure helps your child dip their toe into the magic of sleepaway camp. Campers will experience a hike, a Shabbat program, a campfire and s’mores, daily swims in our lake or pool, an ice cream sundae party, singing, ballfield activities, boating, arts & crafts, drama, and much more!  The 5-day program ends with a special Show/Graduation & BBQ lunch for families.

Get Your Feet Wet is staffed by dedicated volunteer alumni and hand-picked summer staff members who bring with them electric energy! Aquatics are supervised by certified lifeguards and a nurse is present at all times. Spirit, caring, and outstanding supervision are guaranteed.

Questions about Get Your Feet Wet? Email us or call 845-265-3616.

1f your child loves SLC, then Get Your Feet Wet can be effectively free: Families who take part in Get Your Feet Wet and then register their camper(s) for the following summer will receive their entire Get Your Feet Wet tuition as a credit toward the following summer.

Experienced, Caring Leadership

Enroll your camper with confidence. You can trust the leadership of Surprise Lake Camp to make sure your child is safe, well cared for, and having a successful first summer here. We’re always glad to talk with parents, too.