Lantern Review of Silver Lake

Just a couple of hours from the bustling Manhattan streets in the heart of the picturesque Catskills lies Silver Lake Camp. Few camps can match the number or range of activities that campers can find at this session camp. More importantly, the campers discover a special summer home that encourages new skills and forms tight friendships.

The coed program at Silver Lake features a wide-range of traditional and sports options. The boys and girls have separate bunk areas, demonstrating Silver Lake’s intentional desire to provide separate experiences for the boys and girls while still honoring an obvious coed experience. By doing so, the campers benefit from the enthusiasm and energy of a larger, coed camp family, while creating both a strong camaraderie for the boys and sisterhood for the girls. Judging by the joyful energy here, it’s obvious that this works well.

The campers participate in six daily activities chosen among two waterfront, two team sports and two electives. Traveling as a “division” of campers of the same age group, the “division” then breaks into smaller groups given their personal choices. The focus here is not just skill development, but to create a supportive environment that encourages campers to learn new skills in a variety of interesting and unique activities.

The key to the high return rate at Silver Lake is the strong bonds formed in the bunks. Friendships are a focus for the Silver Lake community, using both the bunk groups and the larger age-related ‘divisions’ to promote pride and positive relationship skills. The dedication to the campers is evident not only in their counselors’ training, but also the very structure of the camp, such as the kitchen which tries to accommodate special dietary needs. This community benefits from the passion of its leadership, who continue to innovate within the camp program, reinvest in their facilities and honor the culture of camping handed down from previous generations.

For those seeking the Silver Lake experience for an even longer session, Camp Chipinaw is just on the other side of the tree-line from Silver Lake.

Fast Facts

  • COED
  • 400 Campers per Session
  • 4 Weeks, 3 Weeks, 7 Weeks
  • Founded in 2004
  • $$$$

Director's Message

When their neighboring camp was put up for sale, Michael and Shari Baer, who had owned and directed Camp Chipinaw since 1999, had a brainstorm! They had the idea to open a camp that was similar to Chipinaw, yet cater to the ever-growing demand of the half-summer camper. Michael had the vision to open a camp that provided the opportunity for a youngster to attend camp for an abridged summer, yet not miss out on any of the fun and excitement. Simply put, he wanted to provide campers with the opportunity to go to camp for half of the summer and still get the "full camp" experience.

Program Highlights

  • 60 Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Mountains
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Waterfront
  • Forest
  • Rural

Top 5 Activities

  • Horseback Riding
  • Circus
  • Waterskiing and Wakeboarding
  • Basketball
  • Tennis

Travel Information

Flights to Stewart, drive, bus in Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey


Silver Lake

(845) 583-8600

Glenn Brown