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Who’s Who This Summer

Want to know more about the amazing senior staff we will have at Camp this summer? Read on and check back here often as we will be updating this page regularly.

Learn more about our year-round Leadership Team.

Mainside Senior Staff

Carolyn, Division Head

This will be my 14th summer at SLC. During the rest of the year, I am a clinical therapist, but many don’t realize that I am also a master dance instructor and choreographer. I have done professional theater, and have even recorded an original cast recording, but I actually began my theater career on a camp stage at the age of 9,  as Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz.  I also love tap dancing. SLC is special to me because of the people, who have truly become my second family. My kids brought me to SLC, but I am the only one in my family still here! This summer, I am looking forward to my new role as the Mainside Division Head, though, I will forever be Carolyn “Support.” I’m also really looking forward to creating new memories while at camp. That’s the best part!

Jared, Head Counselor

I am from Glen Rock, New Jersey and this is my 23rd summer at SLC! When I am not in camp, I am a teacher/Assistant Athletic Director in New York City. Camp is special to me because my parents met here and my sister and I have been coming here since we were born. All of our best friends are from Camp too. I am looking forward to my new role and excited to be working with all of our incredible staff including those who used to be my campers.

Neil, Head Counselor / Support

This will be my eighth summer at Surprise Lake Camp. During the year I am a School Social Worker for the New York City Department of Education, private psychotherapist, and a parent to three wonderful sons. This summer at Camp, in addition to my roles as Mainside Head Counselor / Camper Support, I will be serving as Jedi Knight, Story Teller and Magician. I enjoy Camp because it is a great place to learn about children while watching them challenge themselves, grow and mature. As usual, I am looking forward to meeting and working with a great bunch of kids this summer.

Isabel, Mini Camp

I am from Great Neck, New York but was raised in South Florida. This will be my eighth summer at Camp! When I am not at Camp, I am an English tutor for ESL learners, and will be traveling to Latin America after Camp, where I will work as an English teacher. I also love to write, take photos, go to concerts and museums with friends, and explore nature. SLC is special to me because of the sense of community. Never before in my life had I felt I had a family of hundreds of people – both campers and staff – but camp made that a reality. Not only that, but Camp is a time capsule, a special place that retains its authenticity, community, ethics, and natural beauty, even through the generations. I am so excited to help first-year-campers transition into Camp and find a new second home. I also look forward to quiet moments at the lake or during a regular hike to Cornish where I take in the beauty of Surprise Lake.

Jacob, Mountainview

This will be my seventh year at Camp in total – I spent two years as a camper and this will be my fifth as staff. I was born and raised in Oxford, England and I am currently a student at the University of Bath where I’m studying International Development with Economics. If I am not studying, I am playing Ultimate Frisbee, European Handball or spending my summer at Surprise Lake. SLC is special to me because it’s my home away from home. My years as a camper allowed me to gain independence away from my friends and family from home, and while I still grow as an individual every summer I return, as staff I also get to help our campers grow and experience what I love about Camp. Of course, I’m also looking forward to seeing my SLC family from previous years.

Jenna, Mountainview

I am from Westchester County but I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. This is going to be my first year as a staff member at SLC but I was a camper for about five years. When I am not at Camp, I am a special education teacher and a newly licensed school counselor. I love hiking and camping with my family. Surprise Lake is special to me because it’s a piece of my childhood that I love. This summer I am looking forward to having many memorable adventures!

Tyler, Lower Seniors

I’m from Washingtonville, New York. This will be my 11th summer at SLC. I spent four summers as a camper and this will be my seventh year as staff. When I’m not at Camp I am finishing a masters degree in School Psychology and I’m currently a substitute teacher, as well as a school psychologist intern. SLC is special to me because it’s my home away from home. Once you’ve joined the Surprise Lake family, you are a part of it forever. I have many life long friends from SLC and I grew as a person and learned a lot about myself thanks to Camp. It’s truly an amazing place to be and experience. This summer I’m looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends, getting to know new campers and seeing returning campers, hearing about the year they had and giving them the best summer of their lives.

Lydia, Lower Seniors

I grew up in New York City and this will be my 11th summer at SLC. When I am not at Camp I am a student entering my final year of study at Middlebury College. I’m an environmental policy major with a geography and African studies minor. SLC has introduced me to lifelong friends, allowed me to grow into myself, and fostered my Jewish identity– it is my second home and extended family. This summer I am looking forward to sharing the SLC magic with the next generation of campers.

Sydney, Upper Seniors

This is my seventh summer at SLC and I am from Long Island, New York. I am currently studying Public Policy and Computer Science at the University of Albany. I also have been a teacher in my local Hebrew School program. Some of my hobbies in Camp are running the Newspaper specialty, swimming in the pool and playing softball with my campers. Surprise Lake is special to me because it’s an environment that allows campers and staff to express themselves and thrive however they choose. This summer I am looking forward to working on innovative and creative programming.

Jessie, Upper Seniors

I am from Washingtonville, New York and this is going to be my 12th summer at Camp. I was a camper for five years and this is going to be my seventh year as staff. When I am not at SLC, I am a college student at SUNY Oneonta. Surprise Lake is special to me because it has given me invaluable skills but it has also made me a better human being. Camp magic is special and the relationships I build with campers and staff each summer is the reason I have returned year after year. I’m looking forward to meeting new campers this summer, as well as seeing all of my old campers!

Teenside Senior Staff

Robbie, Division Head

This will be my sixth summer at SLC. I have been a Unit Supervisor, the Head Counselor of Teenside and I am very excited to be the Division Head of Teenside this summer. During the year, I am a teacher, a tutor, and a full time mom. SLC is special to me because I love being able to spend my summer doing all of the things I love to do. I swim in the lake, hike with Whammy and play outside. This summer I am looking forward to the same things that I look forward to every summer: meeting new people, both staff members and campers. I think that the relationships we build truly makes every summer special.

Gary, Head Counselor

This is my 11th summer at SLC.  During the rest of the year I’m a High School teacher who specializes in teaching Social Studies and Special Education. What makes SLC so special to me is the lifelong memories and experiences that I’ve had here. I feel blessed to have had SLC help me become the person that I am today. I’m looking forward this summer to creating new memories, and starting each day by that beautiful serene lake.

Jen, Head Counselor / Support

This summer will be my 10th at SLC. In the off season, I am a Social Worker at a preschool. I also get to spend quality time laughing and loving with my wonderful husband and fantastic son. SLC is special to me because of the meaningful connections people make with one another and the powerful sense of community that we create. This summer I am looking forward to slowing down, breathing the sweet smell of the lake in the morning, watching the magic that happens when people make strong personal connections and guiding the campers to recognize the beauty and power that exists in their individuality.

Omer, Lower Teens

I am from Oraqiva, Israel, and this is my second summer at SLC. When I am not here, I am working on a fantasy fiction book that I recently wrote. Surprise Lake is special to me because of the people. It’s not the cabins, the basketball court or the dining room, it’s the people that live in the cabins, play on the court and eat in the dining room. This summer I am looking forward to thriving in my new position and forming relationships with the campers and staff.

Dena, Lower Teens

This is my third summer running Lower Teens and I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know each of your children very soon! I was a camper and staff here at SLC for many years and being here always feels like home to me. I am a wife and mom to four amazing kids who will all be campers as well this summer. During the year I am blessed to be able to pursue my passion of helping people achieve better overall health. I am a field partner with a leading nutritional research company and have been doing so for the past four years. I am also a runner and have several marathons and half marathons under my belt. I am excited for the summer of 2019!

Serge, Upper Teens

I was born in Minsk, Belarus and moved to Brooklyn in 1992. This will be my 13th summer at SLC – my 10th summer as staff, and second summer as a supervisor. Outside of Camp, I’m happy to say I just started my career as a teacher. So far I’ve taught 6th grade, 2nd grade, and preschool, but I see myself spending most of my time working with middle school students in future years. SLC is special to me for so many reasons, but most of all for the friendships I’ve built over the years. My closest friends in the world are the ones I’ve met as a camper and later as a counselor. Real-world friends don’t last nearly as long as Camp friends. Other than that, I wouldn’t trade the experiences and moments I’ve had over the years at SLC for anything in the world. I’m looking forward to seeing the growth in my campers from last year and making this summer as memorable as possible for them and new campers. Specifically, I am looking forward to the 3-day trip, and making some truly unforgettable moments from activities that *seem* ordinary. Can’t wait!

Andrea, Upper Teens

I am from Long Island, New York. This is going to be my 18th summer at SLC. I was a camper from 2002-2008 for seven years and this will be my 11th year as staff! When I am not at Camp, you can find me with friends that I have made throughout my time at SLC and working as a Speech Language Pathologist in NYC. I wouldn’t be me if not for SLC (literally!) My entire family has gone to SLC for the past three generations, so I have love for the place in my genes! Looking forward to being back in my favorite unit in Camp, Merrylane, with new and familiar faces and watch some memories be made!

Sam, Work Program

I am from New Jersey. This is my 13th summer at Camp and my 10th summer as staff. During the off season I am getting my master’s in Sports Management through Northeastern University and I work for the New York Red Bulls, the MLS team. Camp is truly a special place to me. It is my home away from home. It has taught me many life lessons and it shaped me into the person I am today. I am excited about watching my former campers continue to grow as staff. In addition, seeing Work Program form into a family. There is nothing more special than seeing campers come from different friend groups and become one big Work Program!

Camp-wide Senior Staff

Ilana, Health Ctr Director

This will be my 19th summer at SLC, 11th as staff. During the year, I am a School Nurse in New Brunswick, NJ. Surprise Lake Camp is special to me because it is where I have always felt happiest. All school year, I look forward to the summer at SLC. I am looking forward to meeting all the new staff and campers along with everyone who is returning. It is always my favorite thing seeing campers fall in love with Camp like I did!