60 miles from NYC, on 460 wooded acres, sits SLC’s mountain lake
Directions & Transportation
Surprise Lake Camp is conveniently located, an easy drive from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.
Usual driving times
(please confirm with Google or Waze!)
Under 1 hour from Westchester, NY
1 hour from New York City
1-2 hours from: Brooklyn, NY; Hartford, CT; Long Island, NY; Morristown, NJ; Stamford, CT
3 hours from Philadelphia, PA
Campers arrive by car, SLC bus, and plane. If you would like your child to fly to Camp, please contact the Camp Office to discuss your arrangements PRIOR to booking tickets.
Driving to Camp
Even though you are driving to camp, all luggage must be securely closed and labelled with your child’s camp-provided luggage tags.
Express Check In
Drop and go. Skip the line. No need to wait for a parking space. This speedy option is available to families of experienced campers who are ready to hop out of the car with their luggage and wave goodbye. Staff members will assist with luggage. If you need to speak with a nurse or anyone in the Camp Office, use Regular Check-In instead.
In the event of rain: The Express Check-In option will not be available if it rains. We appreciate your understanding that the overall check-in process will run more slowly to make sure everyone stays safe and all bags stay as dry as possible.
Staff will direct you to where to park and help you with luggage. You can stretch your legs and, if needed, go into the main building to talk with a nurse or the Camp Office. (Because the day will be so busy, we encourage you to contact the Health Center in advance for your conversation instead.) At most, please expect to spend about a half hour at camp.
Riding Our Bus
From/to NYC and NJ
For each 4-week session, we offer our very own supervised bus service to camp (and back home at the end of the session) from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Park Slope, Queens, Long Island, and New Jersey. Many Philadelphia families use the New Jersey location, too. Choose the bus option when you enroll your child. Reservations required. Bus service fee applies.
For the shorter sessions
Limited bus service available for the shorter first-timer sessions:
- Mini-Camp I campers (ages 7-9) may arrive from any of our bus locations, since their opening day coincides with Session 1’s start. No departure bus.
- Mini-Camp II campers (ages 10-11) may depart to any of our bus locations, since their closing day coincides with Session 1’s end. No arrival bus.
- Mini-Camp III campers (4th grade or younger) may arrive from any of our bus locations, since their opening day coincides with Session 2’s start. No departure bus.
- Get Your Feet Wet campers (ages 6-10) may arrive on a special bus from NYC/Manhattan only. No departure bus.
For campers who sign up for the bus:
Watch your email about one week before camp for a confirmation of your bus location and pickup time. Please arrive at your bus location 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time!
We usually use the same bus locations each year. Pickups have taken place at:
- BROOKLYN (Kings Plaza)
Avenue V between Ryder and Kimball Streets
Take Belt Parkway to Exit 11 North (Kings Plaza, Flatbush Avenue Exit). Continue north on Flatbush Avenue to Avenue V. Turn left on Avenue V and continue until you cross Ryder Street.
- BROOKLYN (Park Slope)
Prospect Park Southwest between 10th Avenue and Bartel-Pritchard Square on the park side of the street. This is the western-most point of Prospect Park.
- LONG ISLAND
Mid-Island Y-JCC, 45 Manetto Hill Road, Plainview, NY
Please do not call the Mid-Island Y-JCC or make inquiries inside. We use their parking area but they have no transportation information.
27th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues
- NEW JERSEY (this location is about 1 hour from Philadelphia, too)
Monmouth County Library Headquarters, Manalapan Branch, 125 Symmes Drive and Route 9 South, Manalapan, NJ
Meet the bus in the LOWER PARKING AREA (off of Alexandria Drive), NOT the front of the Library.
Please do not call the Monmouth County Library or make inquiries inside. We use their parking area but they have no transportation information.
Kissena Velodrome Parking Lot in Flushing, near the intersection of Parsons Boulevard and Booth Memorial Avenue
At this intersection, go 1 block north into the park to our loading zone area. Please park cars in the lot, and not on the street.
Flying to Camp
Each summer, SLC chaperones one designated plane trip from Florida, with van service from the airport to camp and back. Families book flights directly; SLC does not handle ticketing. Please call the camp office to find out this year’s designated flight. We may offer other arrangements as well, depending on how many people are involved and staff availability. For example, last summer we provided an airport van for a group of campers and staff arriving from Poland and also from Israel. All airport pick-ups are by prior arrangement only, subject to availability. Please contact Abbe, Camp Register, to discuss PRIOR to booking any travel tickets.