First Time Experiences for Young Campers

Summer 2025
First-Time Experiences for Young Campers

Is your child curious about sleepaway camp, but needs the security of a trial period?  Choose from a variety of shorter session lengths geared toward new and younger campers. Or dive right in and explore one of SLC’s longer sessions.

Looking for 2024 Experiences? Click here!
We are still accepting 2024 Get You Feet Wet registrations!

Shorter Session Lengths:

Mini Camp • 1st graders - 4th gradersTuesday, July 15 – Sunday, July 27
Get Your Feet Wet • K-4th graders, new campers onlyWednesday, August 20 - Sunday, August 24
Rookie Day • K-5th graders, new campers onlySunday, July 20th (Select one date per camper)
Rookie Day • K-5th graders, new campers onlySunday, August 3rd (Select one date per camper)

All grades are completed as of June 2025

Tuition for Mini Camp and Get Your Feet Wet

Regular Tuition
Mini Camp • 1st graders - 4th graders
Get Your Feet Wet • K - 4th graders

*Campers who participate in Get Your Feet Wet will receive a tuition credit of their GYFW tuition towards their following summer registration as follows; 25% for Mini Camp, 50% for one session and 100% for a full summer registration

About Mini Camp: Two Weeks

For current 1st-4th graders • Tuesday, July 15 – Sunday, July 27, 2025

In this shorter session, counselors specially trained to support younger campers help kids have a fantastic time at 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.

About Get Your Feet Wet: 5 Days

For current K-4th graders • August 20 – 24, 2025

Wrap up your current K-4th grader’s summer with Get Your Feet Wet. This mini-adventure for new campers 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!  

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.

Campers who participate in Get Your Feet Wet will receive a tuition credit of their GYFW tuition  towards their  following  summer registration as follows:  25% for Mini Camp, 50% for one session, and 100% for a full summer registration

About Rookie Day

Try camp for a day, free of charge! Our Rookies will get to experience the magic of Surprise Lake Camp as they participate in a typical day of activities. Lunch will be provided.

After checking in your child and waving a quick goodbye, we invite all parents to take a tour of the camp with plenty of time included for Q&A with our Directors.  We will then send you on your way into Cold Spring to enjoy a beautiful afternoon. This camper experience runs on the following dates, (select only one):

  • Sunday, July 20, 2025:  10 am – 4 pm; check-in begins at 9:30 am
  • Sunday, August 3, 2025:  10 am – 4 pm; check-in begins at 9:30 am

To register please login or create an account through  CampInTouch.

If you have any questions about Rookie Day, please email [email protected].

Tuition Policies

Surprise Lake Camp has a sliding fee scale based on family income and maintains a deep commitment to ensuring that camp is affordable to all families. If, at any time, you have questions about tuition, payment, or deadlines, please contact Abbe Wittenberg to arrange a confidential conversation.

Tuition Deposit

  • A completed application requires a $250 deposit (applied to the total charge) per camper per session. The $250 deposit (per session, per camper) is refundable until December 2, 2024.
  • We request that an application be submitted when families are ready to commit to taking a spot. This will help us reduce the number of campers being placed on a waiting list.
  • If you are unable to complete enrollment based on the level of assistance we can provide, a full refund of your deposit will be given.

Payment Schedule

  • You may pay in full or make equal monthly payments, from October 1, 2024, through May 1, 2025.
  • Camper tuition must be paid in full by May 1, 2025, and is not refundable after that date.

Sibling Discount

  • $200 off per session, for every additional camper attending.

Tuition Refunds

  • Full refunds will be given for campers on a “Waiting List” (those not able to be placed in their desired session at Camp) if at any time they choose to be removed from the list or are ultimately unable to be placed.
  • A refund, on a pro-rated basis, will be made for a camper who is withdrawn from Camp for a medical issue.
  • No refunds will be issued if a camper is withdrawn for any non-medical issues including, but not limited to: camper’s homesickness; camper’s refusal or inability to participate in normal activities at Camp;  camper’s violation of any rules, regulations or policies at Camp for which the camper has been provided notice, and as described in our other written policies.

Tours and Zoom Visits

We are happy to schedule tours of camp, a phone call, or zoom with one of our directors.  We will also meet with your child to answer any questions they may have. We suggest you watch our   camp video with your child before we meet.

Tuition Assistance

Surprise Lake Camp is a non-profit organization committed to affordability for families. We believe that no child should miss out on the power of Jewish camp because of ability to pay. Thanks to many generous donors, SLC offers extensive tuition assistance to camp families who qualify.

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.