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Surprise Lake Camp Announces New Executive Director

New York, NY, April 27, 2016 --( The Board of Directors of Surprise Lake Camp is proud to introduce their next Executive Director, Bradley Solmsen, who will join their team on August 1, 2016.

Since 1902, Surprise Lake Camp has provided an oasis for children in the beautiful mountains of Cold Spring, NY. The camp is proud of its rich scholarship tradition, enabling Jewish children to attend camp regardless of their ability to pay. Surprise Lake is a national leader in the Jewish camping field, and it enjoys strong support from its loyal alumni which number in the thousands, and include entertainment icons Neil Diamond, Jerry Stiller, and Larry King.

Solmsen was selected after a rigorous process conducted with the assistance of executive search firm Harris, Rand, Lusk. There was an impressive applicant pool.

The Board’s Transition Committee liked Bradley’s enthusiasm, professionalism, personal skills, vision, and understanding of Surprise Lake Camp’s mission. Board President Linda Markowitz said, “We are very excited to have found Bradley to serve as our next Executive Director. He has the qualities of leadership and passion for camp that will help launch us into another period of exciting growth. We are lucky to have found a new leader who seems like he can step right into the shoes of our retiring legend in the camping field, Jordan Dale.”

Bradley will be spending a significant amount of time at camp this summer and be prepared to hit the ground running when outgoing executive director Dale retires at the end of September after 30 years of service. Dale observed, “This is a great time for Surprise Lake Camp. We have made extraordinary progress with our capital campaign, including a wonderful new swimming pool, our program is thriving, our financial position is strong, and now we have identified an exceptional new executive.”

Solmsen has an extensive background in organizational leadership, child development and fundraising. Committed to Jewish pluralism, he was ordained as a rabbi by the Reform Movement at HUC-JIR, and completed his Masters in Jewish Education at the Conservative Movement’s seminary, JTS. Currently he serves as the North American Director of Youth Engagement at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Previously he led nationally recognized Jewish residential summer programs for high school students at Brandeis University. Bradley is a former camper and supervisory staff member from the private camping world, and is part of the team at the URJ that oversees its 16 camps and youth programs.

Solmsen added, “Surprise Lake’s mission, vision and philosophy have already helped shape the lives of thousands of young people and their families. I am thrilled and honored to have been selected to help steward the next stages of the camp’s development. I am especially excited about the beautiful natural setting and working with the dedicated staff and deeply committed alumni.”

Surprise Lake Camp considers itself to be The Best in Jewish Camping. It is the oldest Jewish camp still operating on its original site. The Board believes that Bradley is the perfect choice to both continue our rich heritage and historic mission and move us forward into a new chapter in SLC history.
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Surprise Lake Camp
Jordan Dale

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