Director Jud's Blog

Aussie Counselor Alyna Plans to Return to SMA Small Summer Camp!

Posted by Jud Millar on Fri, Feb 6, 2015

My name is Alyna Malyniak, and and a few months again I returned to my home in Australia after working at Stone Picture of AlynaMountain Adventures Summer Camp.  I am already gearing up for another summer there in 2015!  ‘Bunk Junk’ and ‘Invention Convention’ were only two terms  I had no idea about when I first arrived to work at my first ever SMA Teen Summer  Camp this year.

Having never attended a 2 week summer camp before, let alone worked at one, I had no idea what to expect when I was picked up at the train station in Huntingdon, PA after travelling for what felt like forever. That night, once I had met my fellow counsellors through a haze of jetlag, one thing was for certain: I’d met some of the best people I was sure I’d ever meet. The next 10 days of staff training were a challenging and confronting experience, I felt like I had so much to learn, and of course I was terrified of being a terrible counsellor – but I made it through and was ready for the next challenge, the arrival of the campers.


Nothing can prepare you for some of the experiences you’ll encounter once the campers arrive at SMA Small Summer Camp. Sure, there are the experiences you expect like romance blossoming, homesickness or casual disagreements, but you can’t prepare for the feeling of putting your own needs second to make sure these teenagers are emotionally and physically safe so they can experience the best summer of their life. Or the feeling of getting one girl to face her fears and perform at the talent show. Or the feeling at the end of a session that you now feel as though you have dozens of little brothers and sisters on the other side of the world.Picture of a Camper White Water Rafting 

Why am I so excited to come back to SMA  Camp? I’ve made memories that will last forever with some of the best people (campers AND counsellors) that I’ve ever met; helping the Roth Rock girls prank the boy’s bathroom and then the prank going wrong (don’t worry girls, I’m not THAT mad… anymore haha), dancing in the rain during first session with Lili and Shira, being strong independent women, girl talks on the lawn, cuddle puddles, White Water Rafting with Tom, the Grease skit, and jamming out to Mumfordy Goodness in the blue van. 

While I know next summer won’t be the same I’m looking forward to creating new memories, catching up with campers to see how much they’ve changed in a year and meeting new campers who are keen for a summer full of adventure, challenging myself all over again, and seeing my best friends who I miss each and every day. I just can’t wait to be an Outdoor Professional again because I really did start something I couldn’t finish.


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This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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