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Working Here

Like our campers, the staff at Surprise Lake Camp gain skills, confidence, and experiences that help them grow into the people they want to become. When you join the team at SLC, you become part of a lifelong family. You’ll find peers and mentors who will encourage, cheer, and support you as a friend, leader, teacher, and role model. And you’ll have an awesome, rejuvenating summer at the same time!

Who We Hire

For each summer season, SLC hires top-notch staff as counselors, specialists, nurses, and many “behind the scenes” roles. In each candidate we seek out a positive attitude, commitment to safety, integrity, and a determination to give 100% to the campers, mission, and program of Surprise Lake Camp.

With a summer staff of 270, Surprise Lake Camp thrives on its diverse and inclusive community.  We hire staff who are committed to upholding SLC’s philosophy and values, and we respect the diversity among campers and staff. Such diversity includes, but is not limited to, differences in racial, cultural, religious, geographic, and ethnic origin; economic status; sexual orientation; gender identity; and age. Our differences are a core community strength.

The majority of our staff have grown up at SLC or have worked here in prior summers. We create an environment you’ll want to return to year-after-year! The deep understanding and care that these returning staff bring is a huge part of the attraction of SLC to campers and new families. About 80% are Jewish. About a quarter of our staff come from Israel and Europe. Their perspectives and the culture they share adds an enriching and exciting component for campers and other counselors alike.

A Great Job, plus Skills for the Job Market

By working at SLC, you’ll gain skills you can take with you and strengthen your credentials for the job market. Leadership, decision-making, responsibility for program and people, collaborative team skills: all are daily components of your day at SLC. Many staff tell us that a summer job at SLC gives them much more hands-on experience than an office internship, whatever their chosen field or planned career. This job counts on you to take the lead, organize a team, plan, implement, manage, and reflect on your work, with mentors supporting you. Our staff members join SLC to give to others, but they gain so much in return!

We offer a competitive salary and a summer home in the beauty of the Hudson Valley. You’ll enjoy days and evenings off to explore the area. You can even spend the day in NYC, because an easy Metro-North train trip will bring you right to Grand Central Station. Find out more in our Staff Information.

Our Shared Commitment to Excellence

The Surprise Lake Camp Staff Standard of Excellence connects our team in a shared vision. By joining the SLC team, you will become part of what has defined SLC since 1902: a commitment to guiding our campers to reach their highest potential.

From our counselors, to our specialty staff, to our support staff in the kitchen, office, Health Center, and other areas, everyone on our staff is truly dedicated to making the summer as wonderful as it can be for the campers–and for each other.