Surprise Lake Camp is a Jewish, residential summer camp located in ColdSpring, New York that provides a welcoming and fun oasis for our campers. We commit to balancing our state of the art facilities with a deep commitment to nature, building life-long friendships, and simple living.
The historic mission of Surprise Lake Camp is to provide a high quality Jewish camping experience where children and young adults have fun and grow as they engage in programs and activities that enable them to learn values and skills that will help them lead fulfilling lives and be assets to their communities.
Surprise Lake Camp is committed to serving families regardless of their ability to pay.This has been the cornerstone of our mission since 1902. Our fees are set according to a sliding scale based on income and family size, with approximately 50 percent of the campers receiving reductions. In 2017, over $800,000 in total scholarships were provided, making Surprise Lake what we believe to be the most generous Jewish scholarship camp in the country.
Surprise Lake Camp boasts one of the most beautiful sites in the country, one of the most reputable programs, and a large, well-trained, caring staff. Many facilities, like our theater, heated pool, and gymnasium, are among the finest that you will find anywhere.
But Surprise Lake Camp does not try to be like an exotic theme park, full of bright lights and glitter. We don’t emphasize material things because we believe that the true magic of camping is rooted in intangibles like the beauty of nature, the forming of lifelong friendships, the guidance of a highly trained staff helping children to grow into well-rounded adults.
Camp is a supportive, caring community with an upbeat Jewish flavor. We sing a lot and we cheer a lot, and we make the most of the unique opportunity camp affords to create a model of the world as it should be—joyous and at peace, achieving the human potential for successful group living.
Surprise Lake Camp has a rich history. One of the first campers was Eddie Cantor, who, upon achieving success as an entertainer, became one of the camp’s most ardent supporters. Since then Surprise Lake Camp has served thousands of young people, many of whom have achieved prominence, among them, entertainer Neil Diamond, talk show host Larry King, actor Jerry Stiller, and former New York Attorney General Robert Abrams.
The Surprise Lake Camp Alumni Association is also very active and currently has over 800 members. The purpose of the Association is to assist camp in providing scholarships, enriching and expanding programs and continuing a long-lasting relationship between Surprise Lake Camp and the Associations members.Social and fundraising events held throughout the year include Camp Casino, Alumni Day, CYC for SLC, Family Hike Day and more.