Overview | Surprise Lake Camp


The toughest job you'll ever have!

Surprise Lake Camp looks to hire the finest candidates to be professional childcare workers:  teachers, friends, and role models to help our campers learn and develop independence and self-esteem, while gaining and strengthening relationships and their connection to nature.

By joining the SLC team, you will guide our campers to reach their highest potential. You will become part of over 115 years of camping tradition, all while making a competitive salary in the beauty of the Hudson Valley.

All staff positions require a positive attitude, commitment to safety, integrity, and a determination to give 100% to your campers and the success of Surprise Lake Camp.

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

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.


We break our staff down into four different categories. They are:

Counselors are the leader, helper, listener, and above all, the role model.

On our younger side of camp, Mainside, two counselors are assigned to a group of twelve campers, so responsibility is shared. On our older side of camp, Teenside, one counselor is assigned to a group of eight campers. The groups throughout camp are organized into units of 35 to 60 campers and seven to ten counselors. Each unit has its own supervisor who gives direction to the counselors and oversees the program.

We generally hire specialists in the following areas:  Archery, Arts & Crafts, Adventure (low ropes, high ropes, zip line, climbing tower and group-building activities), Digital Photography, Drama, Golf, Israeli Culture, Jewish Culture, Lifeguard, Physical Fitness, Songleader, Sports, Tennis, Video and Teva (nature, including overnight camping)

Each one is responsible to one of camp's Specialist Supervisor or that area's supervisor.  

In addition to their specific program areas, specialists live in camper units and are expected to assist counselors when not running activities.

Mainside Kitchen

Support Staff 
Surprise Lake Camp offers a variety of non-program staff opportunities.  These include kitchen, site assistant (driver), canteen, maintenance, housekeeping, nurses and office staff.  These positions play a significant role in the everyday operation of camp.   

If you are 16 or 17 years old, SLC did not forget you!  There are positions as parents’ helpers, office aides, kitchen aides, canteen aides, housekeeping aides and health center aides.  In addition, there are counselor aide positions available for staff finishing their junior year in High School.

A summer at camp creates lasting memories for both campers and staff.  Find out for yourself!

Apply Today



Winter Address:  520 Eighth Avenue - 4th Floor, New York, NY 10018

Summer Address:  382 Lake Surprise Road, Cold Spring, NY 10516

Phone: 845-265-3616   Fax: 646-582-0138   Email:  [email protected]