Director Jud's Blog

SMA Teen Camp Counselor Sarah Badman Reflects on Dancing at THON

Posted by Jud Millar on Fri, Mar 8, 2013

Spending  46 hours of my life with no sitting or sleeping has to be the most unique experienceA female Camper excited about her experience. I have ever  had the opportunity to be a part of. Getting  the honor to dance in THON 2013 was an amazing time full of moments that I will never forget. Inside the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University from 4:00pm on Friday February 15th 2013 until 4:00pm on Sunday February 17th 2013 there was always something going on and more than enough people to pass the time with.  My journey started early Friday morning, I woke up around 8:00 am, had breakfast, went to class at 11:00 am, packed my things, and then headed to the BJC at 2:30 pm. Technically, over the weekend I was probably awake for a total of 58 hours without sleeping.

                Overall the time seemed to fly by and truthfully I when it came down to the last few hours I did not want it to end. While I was there I played games, took lots of pictures, made videos on YouTube, blew bubbles, ate tons of food, and got to spend time with family and friends. The weekend is set up to provide an escape and offer a vacation-like feel to the families of The Four Diamonds Fund. The children who still are or were a part of The Hershey Medical Center are invited here to spend the weekend to forget about cancer and have fun with their family and Penn State students!

                One of my favorite things to do over the weekend was to run around and have water gun fights with all the kids and other dancers who were on the floor. The water fighted reminded me of many we had last summer at SMA Teen Summer Camp. I received a large water gun in one of my packages and it never left my side. Some kids had super soakers and before I knew it I was drenched in water but having a blast. It kept me entertained and gave me something to do. Getting sprayed in the face by the water also helped keep me awake. I also was always excited to see the THON families my organization is paired with and to talk and play with them over the weekend.

                The most memorable moment for me had to be when the total was revealed. We were finally allowed to sit down after the 46 hours and I thought I would have fallen asleep right then and there but the excitement in the room made it hard to even close an eye. The top special interest, general, and greek organizations are called first. The group I danced for this year, The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was the top general organization for the third year in a row raising $92,481.23 which made me jump up and down about with excitement. Then the overall total was revealed which was an amazing amount of $12,374,034.46. I was so overwhelmed with emotions at this point and shocked at how high the total was that I didn't know how to react.

A Camper paddling her way off the white water

                Throughout the weekend there surely were times that I wanted to stop and give up. Your feet start to hurt and your mind starts to get delusional. I honestly wondered at some points why people would ever want to go through this or why they would want to do it at all. But by the end of the weekend I was wishing we could still dance and even now I know I would do it all over again if given the opportunity. The moments you gain from being down on the floor and the people you meet make it all worth it. Even though today we still dance to find a cure for pediatric cancer, I know someday we will dance in celebration cause we found that cure and have officially beat cancer. THON is one of my favorite things to be a part of here at Penn State and I couldn't imagine a better philanthropy to be a part of.


Here are some videos that we were able to take on the floor THON weekend. I'm not sure what the exact times are and the times posted are wrong but the rough estimate is next to it should be right.

 Late Friday Night:

Topics: Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, THON, camp counselor, DANCE

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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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