She just loves camp: the Jewish part, the friendships, the activities!
– SLC Parent
Why Choose SLC
You’ll find as many reasons to choose Surprise Lake Camp as stars on a clear summer night. This community is exceptionally caring. We’re passionate about what we believe—and about our people, this place, and each camper’s experience. Choose SLC and see for yourself!
Warm, welcoming community creates lifelong friendships
Campers live “10-for-2,” dreaming all year of the two months they spend here with their closest friends ever.
Dozens of fun activities & electives build confidence & skills
Sports of all kinds, visual and performing arts, and so much more in a program that balances structure and choice, as well as skill-building and fun!
Engaging, energetic Jewish life nurtures joy and pride
Whatever your family’s Jewish background, you’ll love Shabbat and Jewish living here.
Excellent, skilled staff make safety and camper care top priority
Your child will be safe, known, and well-cared for by our year-round and summer staff.
Convenient location, just 60 miles from NYC
You can drive, send your child by Metro-North train or plane (by prior arrangement), or use our convenient bus service from NYC and NJ.
First-time camper programs make it especially easy to get started
Sometimes a shorter session is just right!
Deep commitment to tuition assistance: more than any other Jewish camp we know of
We believe that a Surprise Lake Camp experience should be accessible for every Jewish child.
Year-round programs offer a home for your whole family
Family camping, hiking, even Rosh Hashanah services by the lake!
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.