Camp History

In the summer of 1928, Aaron Rose brought 30 campers from Rochester NY to a campground in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Those 30 campers became the first campers of a new overnight camp, Camp Conesus. Camp Conesus would continue on to serve boys and girls until a new property was purchased in 1939. The property would become Camp Seneca Lake. Today, over 95 summers later, Camp Seneca Lake continues to provide a meaningful summer camp experience where children from all backgrounds develop independence, form lifelong friendships and build their Jewish identity all in a safe, compassionate community. 

Our Mission

CSL will provide a fun, adventurous program with immersive, experiential learning that builds Jewish identity, facilitates personal exploration, cultivates an appreciation of nature, and establishes the importance of Jewish community.

  • Camp life fosters a strong sense of responsibility, self-reliance, independence, and self-worth.
  • Adventurous outdoor experiences create a connection and appreciation for our environment in the Finger Lakes region.
  • CSL provides a space and community to build lifelong friendships and develop interpersonal relationship skills.
  • Intentional and meaningful programming establish the importance of a Jewish identity and creates a deep connection to a tight knit community that is strong at its core.

Camp Seneca Lake serves youth and teens entering grades 3-12. Each cabin consists of 6-12 campers, staffed by at least 2 college-aged counselors.

What makes Camp Seneca Lake Special?

CSL is a safe, compassionate community. Our highly trained staff work hard to create this warm and nurturing environment for our campers. Many of our counselors are former CSL campers themselves, and are now trained and prepared to provide the fun and memories they once received to a new generation of campers.

At Camp Seneca Lake, we believe that everyone is unique, special and deserving of being embraced and celebrated for exactly who they are. We are a supportive and inclusive community where people of all backgrounds are welcome.

CSL welcomes those who are Jewish, not Jewish, and interfaith. We invite everyone to participate in our Jewish rituals in the way that feels comfortable to them. We believe in the Jewish value that all human beings are created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. This belief underlies our commitment to the full inclusion, acceptance and equity of people of all gender expressions and identities. Accordingly, we affirm the right of all people, including gender nonconforming and transgender individuals, to be referred to by their name, gender and pronouns in our programs.  

CSL supports campers with special needs in many ways during the summer. We always have onsite camp mental health professionals who are available to meet with campers as the need arises. We also hire extra staff with special training to help support campers with a wide range of MESSH (Mental Emotional Social Spiritual Health) concerns.

Explore more about CSL

Give the Gift of Camp

By making a donation to Camp Seneca Lake, you give children the opportunity for life-changing experiences. Our goal is to make camp possible regardless of a family’s financial ability.