March 9, 2021

We pride ourselves on many things at Spring Lake Day Camp, but it is our wonderful staff that makes our camp so special. From our general counselors to our specialists, from our administrative team to our lifeguards, our staff is the heart and soul of SLDC. 

To a large extent, our SLDC family is homegrown. So many of our counselors (and even some of our administrative team!) have been campers with us and have also gone through our JTP and LTP programs. This provides us with so many advantages as these young adults already know how our camp day works and they have been trained by us in our leadership training programs to do things the “SLDC way.” They also bring a fresh perspective since they know what they liked as campers and what they wish they could have done. Most importantly, they loved their experience at SLDC and they want to help provide that experience to the next generation of campers, a generation that consists of many children of our older staff!

If you have never worked at a camp, you may think it is a job you take when you can’t get an internship or a “real” job. However, anyone that has had the privilege to add “Camp Counselor” to their resume can attest to the fact that working at SLDC is the most “real” job there is. Our staff knows that there is no job more important than taking care of other people’s children and being a positive role model to those in their care.   

                      From Campers to Counselors - Summer Camp NJ

Working at SLDC also provides staff members with a unique skill set that is transferable to any future jobs or professions that they may choose:

  • Collaboration: Our staff and campers are from a myriad of backgrounds, cultures, towns (even states and countries) and our staff members learn to cooperate and work together to make the camp day run smoothly and meet everyone’s needs, a skill that is not only important in the camp environment but in any profession one chooses to pursue.

From Campers to Counselors - Summer Camp NJ

  • Communication: From writing Daily Reports to interacting with Division Leaders, Directors and Specialists, communication is the key to making sure everyone is on the same page and that the needs of our campers are being met. When our staff communicates effectively with our administrative team, our administrative team can communicate effectively with our camp families. Effective communication skills not only bring success in the camp environment but in personal and professional relationships as well.

From Campers to Counselors - Summer Camp NJ

  • Adaptability: Days that start out sunny can turn to stormy afternoons, or other circumstances can change the “normal” course of the camp day. Our counselors can quickly pivot and be creative and flexible to ensure that our campers still have a great time at camp. In fact, it is sometimes these “pivots” that make for the most memorable days at camp.

From Campers to Counselors - Summer Camp NJ

  • Dedication: A strong work ethic is needed to work long days in hot (and sometimes stormy) weather. Keeping a positive attitude and being a good role model, all while keeping our campers safe and happy, takes dedication. This is where our staff shines. Their commitment to our campers and to Spring Lake Day Camp is unparalleled and they, like our campers, consider SLDC their summer home.

From Campers to Counselors - Summer Camp NJ

For thirty three years our staff has been “essential” in making summers at Spring Lake Day Camp so successful. After a year of social distancing and virtual learning, camp is needed now more than ever and our staff is key to making this summer one to remember. Even the CDC recognizes the importance of camp staff and has now expanded the definition of “essential workers” to include camp staff and lists them in Phase 1b of its vaccination prioritization. It is up to each state governor to decide whether to follow the CDC’s recommendation and we hope that the governor of New Jersey does so and adds camp staff to the list of essential workers so that our staff will be able to get vaccinated in time for the camp season.

December 15, 2020

Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day CampIf you are new to Spring Lake, or “camp culture” in general, you may be confused by the idea that Spring Lake requires a sort of “uniform” to be worn each day at camp, revolving around a specific assortment of t-shirts the campers can choose from to wear based on their age. For this reason, we would like to dedicate this post to describing all of the wonderful benefits that come from having our SLDC camp shirts for both staff and campers; so as you enroll and prepare to order your camper’s shirts for this coming summer (it will be here before you know it!), you understand what all the fuss is about!!!

Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day CampFor new campers especially, camp can be extremely intimidating those first few days; New people, new surroundings, and a whole new routine that they aren’t used to. Having campers get off their buses on the first day already in their camp shirts and looking like all of the other campers around them provides them with an instant sense of belonging. We want them to know right away that they’re in the right place, they belong here, we’re happy to have them, and that all of the other campers are a lot like them. The T-shirt means that campers and staff are officially part of a family: our Spring Lake camp family. No matter what town (or even state or country) they come from, and what school they go to the other 10 months of the year, for the 8 weeks that they are on our grounds repping these shirts they are all part of one big united family. It allows the campers to quickly identify and feel comfortable in their new group, and is the best way we have found for counselors and group leaders to spot their campers as soon as they step off the bus to welcome them and help them get where they need to go, minimizing the first day stress and fears and getting them to the fun stuff as quickly and efficiently as possible! 

Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day Camp Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day CampSummer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day Camp

Because the colors of the shirt denote specific “camps,” genders, and age groups, they are a great way for small-unit campers to identify commonalities and develop a sense of pride. From a practical standpoint, they provide campers with an easy way to locate friends in a large-group setting, and are a great help to counselors in keeping track of their “kids” as they travel from place to place around camp.

Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day Camp Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day Camp Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day Camp

They serve many additional safety benefits as well. Not only are all of the staff aware of the designation of the shirts, allowing them to identify campers and make sure they are where they are supposed to be at all times around camp, but this is even more critical and important to us when it comes to our travel program and taking campers off-campus. We offer many exciting trips to water parks and theme parks, and safety is always our number one priority whenever we take campers anywhere. Requiring any campers going on trips to wear one of our brightly-colored neon orange travel shirts makes it very easy for counselors to supervise their groups. If a camper were ever to become separated from his or her group, the T-shirt also makes it easier for authorities to identify the child’s affiliation and connect with camp administrators as quickly as possible.

For campers and staff alike, the SLDC t-shirt is a source of pride. For our staff, it denotes the responsibility they are proud to be given in taking care of your children each day, and the departments they represent and work for. It helps the campers to recognize them as someone they can turn to, and also creates a sense of coworker unity. Over the years, staff have created a tradition of using t-shirts to show their pride in their groups, camp, or specialty area; designing special shirts each summer that even coordinate with the specific year’s overall camp theme.

Most importantly, at the end of the day when the 8 weeks of summer have flown by, after we’ve burned the camp year and said our teary farewells to our best friends that may have been strangers a short while ago, the t-shirt becomes a warm reminder of the wonderful memories, new accomplishments, and shared friendships they were able to create.  

For those of you who have already enrolled for camp this summer, you will have noticed that the early enrollment gift this year was a bright green tie dye shirt that says #22for2 on the back of it. Many have asked what this means and since this saying has become so special to all of us this crazy year, we want to share that meaning with all of you. Typically in the camping world we say that we live 10 for 2; meaning we wait, work, and prepare 10 months of the year for the 2 months of camp. Since we were unable to run camp in 2020, we have altered this, saying that we are living 22 (LONG) months before we can finally come together for the best 2 months of the entire year in 2021. Hence the hashtag #22for2.

We cannot wait to see our campers stepping off the buses in their camp shirts in a few short months, welcoming them back to our SLDC family. It has most certainly been a long wait, but more than worth it! #22for2

Summer Day Camp - Bergen County, NY - Spring Lake Day Camp

November 20, 2020

Camp Kindness Day at Spring Lake Day Camp in Bergen County, NJThis past Friday, November 13 was World Kindness Day, and SLDC decided to honor it by kicking off our brand new initiative called “Camp-Kindness-Community.” This initiative got started around our planning for Camp Kindness Day this summer, in conjunction with the ACA and other camps around the country. Camp Kindness Day will take place on July 20, and is an opportunity for us to promote the importance of being kind to each other, to ourselves, and to the world. We have some exciting ideas underway for various campwide projects we will do and donate to the community (more information will come on that soon!) But this got us thinking that kindness is so important and necessary in our world, especially in these difficult times, that we didn’t want to just limit it to one day in the summer. Thus, the Camp-Kindness-Community initiative was born! Our intention with this program is not only to spread kindness within our own SLDC community, but to spread kindness to the community outiside of camp as well. To get this exciting program started, our administrative team is participating in Flames of Giving, a charity that matches less fortunate individuals with donors to ensure that everyone gets a gift during the holidays.

Camp Kindness Day at Spring Lake Day Camp in Bergen County, NJThis holiday season especially, the needs in our community are greater than ever before: from isolated seniors, to hospitalized patients that cannot have family with them due to Covid restrictions, to vulnerable children who don’t have basic items let alone a holiday gift- and the list goes on. Flames of Giving ( is a program that was started 25 years ago by one of our very own camp families. The charity matches less fortunate individuals with donors to ensure that everyone gets a gift during the holidays. During its first year, the program provided 49 gifts, and now, 25 years later, provides over 2,000 gifts to the community. This year, the program has almost 2,300 holiday wishes on its list and is partnered with over 21 agencies and collaborative initiatives.

If you would like to join us in fulfilling some wishes and helping a neighbor in need, the Flames of Giving website has 5 different and easy ways you can help, from donating money directly to Flames of Giving, to sending Shop Rite gift cards, to selecting specific gifts from their Amazon or Target wish lists, or even adopting a specific neighboring family in need!

Click on this link to get more information on how you can help:

We are so grateful for our wonderful camp community, and can think of no way better to celebrate this holiday season than giving back and helping our neighbors in need! #SLDCCares

November 5, 2020


The mystical setting at Spring Lake Day Camp provided the ultimate backdrop for a much needed Halloween get together with some of our camp families and the day could not have been better! Everyone participated in the fun including our own mystery-solving gang of Scooby Doo and his crew Shaggy, Velma, Fred, and Daphne. Even Camp Pup Buddy came dressed as Scrappy Doo!


Campers paraded around the lake in their incredible costumes and took a hay ride through our not-so-spooky forest. They were then greeted by SPIRIT the Hawk, who boogied down with them to music from our DJ, and even played some good old-fashioned classic games like hot potato, duck duck goose, and the Limbo while families watched, cheered, and laughed. The day was capped off with a warm campfire and some delicious S’mores by the lake.

Camp parents Melissa and Adi from Hoboken commented after the party that it, “was the best day and Halloween activity. Everyone had so much fun and is happy, full, and tired. SLDC is a magical place and this is the closest to normal activity we have had in what feels like FOREVER!”

We are so grateful that we had this opportunity to share in the fun and spirit of Halloween with our families. You can count on SLDC to put the magic touch in all we do, for we love our campers and will always be there for you!


November 15, 2019

Halloween has come and gone, and we thank our SLDC campers for stopping by our camp office or sending us your pictures of all of your outstanding costumes! We love hearing from our SLDC families all year round and we love sharing your pictures with the rest of our camp families on our Facebook and Instagram pages! So don’t forget to like and follow us on our social media sites!

This cute little camper looks adorable as Batwoman!
Danny & Sandy aka Mitch and Michelle strike a pose in front of our main office on Halloween!
Danny Zuko, The Pink Ladies & our Greaser Pup Buddy all get in on the Halloween fun!
Beautiful pic of our boating dock on a crisp fall day!

Is Thanksgiving only 13 days from today?  We have tour dates in November and December for any new campers or families interested in our camp for 2020.  The grounds look beautiful with all the magnificent fall leaves.  If you’d like to take a tour of our beautiful facility just  let us know online @ or give us a call at 973-831-9000. We are always happy to help!

Stunning Ringwood sunset!
Just can't get enough of this SLDC eye candy!
Just can’t get enough of this SLDC eye candy!

And is camp really only 226 days away? IT IS and we can’t wait till Summer 2020!

Camper enrollment is greater than ever and we are working every day to make SLDC an amazing summer experience for all of our campers and staff!

We’ve got some new and exciting things on the SLDC chalkboard for next summer!

• New Wood Working Studio
• New Yoga Deck on the mountain
• Expanded Tree Walk
• Changing rooms for JTP groups
• 3D printer projects for Tech Zone
• More kayaks for the lake
• More elements for the ropes course
• Bleachers for turf soccer
• Basketball Rebound machines

And . . . . we promise to reveal our 2020 theme soon! Can anyone guess? Keep checking in with us! Hint: Did someone say FROYO?

We wish everyone a happy and plentiful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your time with family, friends and furry little family members too for those pet lovers !

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from our SLDC family to yours!

May 4, 2018

SLDC and Parisi

Spring Lake Day Camp is bringing the PARISI Speed School in Franklin Lakes to camp this summer. Mitchell Kessler, SLDC owner, feels that creating programs to help develop balance, quickness, speed, and agility will benefit all children no matter which team or individual sport they wish to focus on.

SLDC and Parisi share the ideals of professional instruction which offers campers well rounded programs to increase flexibility, improve coordination and boost speed. Every child will gain confidence and resilience when working on improving their personal best.

We are excited for the new partnership with Parisi, offering an 8 week program to our campers with the expertise and instruction of Parisi staff. Enriching the lives of children is a big responsibility which the camp takes seriously. All children deserve an environment that will ignite imaginations, discover passions and allow them to “Dream Big”. Our program of swim, sports, arts, adventure ropes, special events, travel and more are blended together help campers develop character, community and confidence. At Spring Lake Day Camp you can start with us and stay with us. Campers range from 3 to 15 and then go on to become staff thru college and beyond. The “SLDC EXPERIENCE IS TRULY PRICELESS”!

November 6, 2017

Ever wonder what we do at SLDC in the off season?

Our big event in October is our Fall Fest Open House for new campers and previous jr. campers which always draws a huge crowd. One cannot help but gaze at the fall foliage eye candy along with our beautiful flower beds which attract pretty monarch butterflies and the most interesting caterpillars.

SPIRIT our mascot greeting new and old campers at our Fall Fest in October!
Just can’t get enough of this SLDC eye candy!
Beautiful monarch butterflies!
This very hungry caterpillar takes a bite out of our pepper plant! Simply amazing site!
Breathtaking View Of Our Lake!

But……not only are we already gearing up for our 30th Anniversary season and have been busy enrolling campers etc.,  SLDC finds many ways to give back to the community this time of year.

Living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan Mitch and I  are huge supporters of all the public schools in the area. We have partnered with PS 199 to help build the future one student/camper at a time. Their annual Walkathon is always a big hit and we are proud to help sponsor this event. It’s always great to reconnect with our camp community and staff at this event.

In addition to PS 199 we are have also partnered with The Brownstone School, PS 452 & PS 87 and help sponsor items at events such as the Thanksgiving Carnival at The Anderson School which takes place the eve before Thanksgiving…this year it will take place on Wednesday 11/22 in the school courtyard. We will once again sponsor the photo booth so be sure to stop by and strike an SLDC pose and catch an up close view of the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons!

SLDC is also proud to help support our local schools near our camp such as the High Mountain & Colonial Road Schools in Franklin Lakes, the Coolidge School in Wyckoff, Barnert Temple Preschool also in Franklin Lakes, the Willard School in Ridgewood & Saddle River Day School in Saddle River just to name a few. We were also supporters of the Franklin Lakes Day as well as the Allendale Festival Day this year. We love seeing so many of our campers wherever we go! It’s always a pleasure to give back and support the community that supports us.


Michelle strikes a pose with these adorable campers at the PS 199 Walkathon!
Our SLDC gaga pit was a huge hit at the PS 87 Harvest Festival!
Camper sighting at The Brownstone School event!
Staff sighting at the Allendale Day Festival!
So proud the sponsor the PS 452 Fall Fair!



Our SLDC Halloween giveaways were a big hit!
Franklin Lakes Day was a huge hit!
Our campers loved our SLDC sport ball giveaways!
Great to see our staff reunite with our campers!

While we are in the spirit of giving we want to wish all of our camp families and amazing staff a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Please take this time to enjoy family and friends and the simply gifts of everyday life.


This Is Us! Michelle & Mitchell AKA Rebecca & Jack from the show This Is Us

April 4, 2017

Day camp can be an exciting time for both parents and children. You can watch your child grow, make new friends, and have exciting experiences. On the other hand, it can be quite overwhelming if you’re sending your child to a day camp for the first time. So many different questions can pop into your head. What kind of sunscreen should be used? Do I pack a change of clothes? The list goes on and on, but have no fear; we’re here to help.

One of the most important things that your child brings is sunscreen. Sunscreen will protect him or her from the harsh summer sun and save you the headache of having to treat sunburn. At day camp, children are running around, sweating, and possibly even swimming, so we suggest using a waterproof sunscreen. It is also important to keep in mind that children probably are not going to remember to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, so try using a high SPF.

The next item on our list is lunch. It may seem like a no-brainer that children need to eat lunch every day, but what kinds of food are best for them? Light foods that are full of protein will be the most beneficial. If your child is spending all day running around, he is going to be relying on the energy he gets from his lunch to keep him going. Try to stay away from packing sugary drinks and salty snacks; drinks with a lot of sugar, as well as snacks like potato chips, tend to dehydrate the body.

Dehydration brings us to our next item: water. Most day camps have access to a water source whether it be from a fountain or from a cooler. The problem is that they are usually located in one place, and children aren’t always going to want to run back to the hydration station every time they want a drink. Your child having his own water bottle resolves that problem because they can carry it with them to any section of the camp grounds.

Picking out the right clothing every morning is essential for having a successful day at camp. The standard camp dress is breathable, athletic clothing and sneakers. It’s important to remember that the weather won’t always be perfect, so be sure to check it every morning. This way, you’ll know if you need to pack a rain coat or a pair of boots. Supplying a change of clothing can also be beneficial. Children are messy, especially when they’re spending all day running around outside. It couldn’t hurt to supply an extra pair of sneakers or a backup shirt for your child.

Finally, it is important to check the day camp’s calendar for special events. Depending on the activity, you may have to pack extra items. Whether this means packing a bathing suit, a group snack, or a pair of hiking boots, you always want your child to be prepared.

February 7, 2017


Yes!!!! Summer is right around the corner and SLDC is thinking warm during these cold winter days.  We are so looking forward to Summer 2017 and have been super busy every day since camp ended in 2016 making SLDC’s programs and facilities better than ever! It takes 10 months of “getting ready” to have an awesome 8 weeks of summer! Our Junior Camp Boys bunk had a complete make-over and looks fabulous! The field house looks brighter with new lighting and new fans! We are busy putting together a Ninja Warrior course near our lower soccer field, new elements are being added to our Adventure Challenge course, and there’s more to come!

Spring Lake is so appreciative of our camp families’ support and loyalty. Our 29 years of success has been mainly due to our campers and parents “spreading the word”, talking to friends, family, schoolmates and neighbors. If you or someone you know is interested in SLDC for 2017, now is the time to come visit us and take a tour of our facilities. Many of our groups are already filling up so now is the time to register!

Upcoming Open House Dates:

Saturday February 25th – 10:00am – 1:00pm

Saturday March 4th 10:00am – 1:00pm

Sunday March 12th 10:00am – 1:00pm

Tours typically last about an hour and are by appointment only. Please call our office @973-831-9000 or simply email us at to schedule a tour. And please bring the kids! We love meeting our future SLDC campers and sharing our excitement and camp spirit with them!


2017 Summer Day Camp Bergen County, NJ - Spring Lake Day Camp