Director Jud's Blog

Jud Discuss his Trip to England, and his meeting with former SMA Staff

Posted by Jud Millar on Thu, Jan 31, 2013

A few weeks ago I traveled to Manchester, England, for three days. It was aCeit, Jud, Konni, Foxxy quick trip, but an incredible experience. The purpose of my trip was to attend a "staff fair" hosted by Camp America, a company that helps camps like SMA Teen Camp find international staff and then arranges their J1 work visas.  The staff fair was a smashing success with about 60 camps in attendance and more 2100 potential camp counselors trying to find the perfect camp for them.   
  While I was in country I traveled east by train to York and stayed with the Richard Thompson, the son of my host family in the fall of 1990 to the spring of 1991 when I did a "Gap Year" after high school. There are lots of SMA connections in the Thompson family: Will Thompson was a counselor at SMA in 1985 & 1986 and his son Sam was a camper from 2008-10. Now they live in Port Washington, NY. Charlie Thompson was a camper in 2006 and 2007 and his younger brother David will be a first-time camper at SMA this summer. It was amazing to reconnect with old friends and visit some familiar places such as the Pocklington Rugby Club where I played rugby and St John's College where I was a student.  
  There was time to visit with some former SMA Teen Camp counselors who live near Manchester including: Ceit Bannon 2006-08 and Konnie Bannon 2007 & 2008 (sisters of Rory Bannon 2012); Matt Fox aka FOXXY 2006-08 and Beth Clewes 2012 and her mom. It was amazing to be so far from home but to have so many great connections and friends to visit. Pictured below are Ceit Bannon, Jud, Konnie Bannon & Matt Fox.  
The camp fair took place in the Historic Manchester City Hall with Albert Square .

Camp America

Here is an exererpt from the Manchester Evening News Article:

"Camp America attracts hundreds desperate to bag a summer in the States"

The fair opened at Manchester Town Hall 1pm, but by 10.30am hundreds of people were already braving the cold for their place in line, with the queue snaking all the way around Albert Square.

 Once inside people had the chance to consider the camps and roles on offer, interview and get hired on the spot, and they had travelled from all over the north west for the opportunity. 

Huma Ahmed, 20, is from Manchester and is currently studying at Staffordshire University – she found out about Camp America through her students' union. 

She said: “I'd like to be based in a city, and I'd also like to do something with kids. It is something completely different from what 
I'd usually do. Ideally I'd like to go to New York.” 

Connor Adams, 19, from Lymm had been queueing alongside Huma for around an hour and 40 minutes. 

He found out about Camp America through a friend, and had decided to come down and see what it is all about. He said: “I don't mind where I go, as long as it's somewhere hot!”        

Edward Reid, 17, travelled from his home in Wallasey, Merseyside, for the event and queued for around an hour and a half to get in. 

He said: “A friend of my dad's did it 30 years ago, so my dad is always going on about it. I thought I'd give it a look and it sounds brilliant – what better way to spend the summer? 

“There are quite a few camps I'm interested in. My dad is really into sailing, so I can do that, but I'm also quite artistic and I play 
rugby, so I'm into lots of different things.” 

Amy Taylor and Shannon McCafnrey are both 19 and travelled from Liverpool, where they go to university. They had been queueing for around half an hour. 

Amy said: “I signed up because I wanted to do something different, and I like working with kids. It sounds like a brilliant experience.” 

Ryan Moorhouse, 19, travelled from Chester and is interested in going on a football camp, while Ed Wright, 18, from Derby is hoping to do something involving watersports. 

“I am quite into extreme sports, so something like that would be really good,” he said. “I want to do it for the experience really, and you can do something you're interested in.”

Topics: Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, Manchester, Camp America

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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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