Director Jud's Blog

Here's the 3rd Session Memory Book - SMA Mountain Biking Tween Camp

Posted by Jud Millar on Tue, Nov 10, 2015

Read the "Latest and Greatest" from SMA Non-Competative Summer Camp in our 3rd Session Memory Book!  


Will McGlone

Words cannot describe how much this camp is loved by so many. This is my second year here at Stone Mountain and I could not love this camp more than I already do. This camp has also done so much for so many kids. The kinds of experiences you have at camp cannot be matched anywhere else. Last year I came here alone, scared, and shy. Here and only here I have met friends from all around the world who are some of the most fun people I have ever gotten to know. Friendships made here are kept for a life time. Without this camp I don’t think I would be anywhere near as happy as I am right now. Out in the real world things are not as simple like they are here at camp. The simple pleasures of camp like seeing someone slowly come out of their shell, strange stories in the cabin (The Furnace), even meeting someone that lives surprisingly close to you and you didn’t even know it! The point is this camp can AND will change your life. Take all of it in, you’ll never want to leave. Thanks again, SMA, you beautiful thing, you.

mountain biking tween camp

Lina Gillberg

Being my first time at camp it has been amazing. I have gotten to know so many friends and learnt so many new things – everyone was so welcoming. Every day I have tried and learned something new, like White Water Rafting, Fishing, Rock Climbing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, and American Football. I’ve also  gained more friends than one can count.

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Mia Beahm

This is my third year at camp this summer, and it has been the most interesting out of the three years. As a third year I can do the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of some activities. Paper Plate Awards has been my favorite part so far because of the secrecy surrounding it and knowing something others do not in the lead up to the awards. There’s a strange kind of joy in it – and then seeing their reaction when they get their award is great! A few memories I’ll never forget are; Thomas’ flip on dimple rock while White Water Rafting (twice!), the talent show, and disco bowling. The session was packed, and I’ll never forget all the cool people I met.


McKenna Shaffer

This session was amazing! From Horsemasters to Secret Friends there was never a dull moment. SMA is the only place you can go to sleep knowing you’re going to wake up to an amazing day ahead. The campers and counselors were always happy and upbeat and made every day fun. Every night I was exhausted and barely (very rarely) could stay up for the Mattawanna bonding sessions. Horsemasters was amazing this session. I rode Snoopy and I’m now riding Daisy bareback! I never thought that I’d ride a Norwegian Fjord let alone jump bareback and fall off 4 times in 2 days. I made a lot of awesome friends and had a lot of awesome power hours. SMA is the best place on earth and I can’t wait for another session.


Hannah Soifer

Session 3 of summer 2015 was so much fun! I’ve met so many new people and have made many new friends. Horsemasters has been amazing and I have learned a lot from Pam and from the horses. It’s been great and I’m looking forward to next session. All of the activities have been so much fun. White Water Rafting was definitely a highlight of the session. My raft was awesome and flipping on Dimple was so scary but looking back on it now it was pretty awesome! Camp overall has been great and as usual a great experience.

Daniel Nilov

Jud is a cool guy. I will miss Maintenance Mike and all of his crazy shenanigans. Declan is a bro, even though he is Scottish and I can’t understand him. The swing is a pretty rad spot, I had some crazy conversations there. This is truly my second crib, and I will never forget it and all the people here. I am having trouble coming to terms with my departure since it feels like I have been here for so long, but everything seems so short and sweet at the same time. Time is a strange thing at SMA.

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Emily Fichandler

This is my sixth year at this amazing camp and I wish I could come for six more. The special thing about SMA is that it is with you even when you are not physically here in Huntingdon. You keep in touch with with other campers, dream about what the first day will be like, anticipate all of the amazing memories you will soon be making. For me, camp is an escape. Jud sets up amazing things from overnights with just 7 people, to Jud Games where we learn all about who has seen a shooting star and who has been to every US state. SMA is a mixture of activities that are in place for the sole purpose of making everyone feel good about themselves. Here, we are all built up and complimented and taught so much about ourselves that is impossible to learn or feel in our regular lives back home. Camp replaces where we have been beaten down by grades and stress with confidence and joy. The friendships I have made here have a completely different feeling and level of depth than I have ever experienced at home. From people like Mathilde and Spencer who I have known and loved for years, to newer friends like Ben, Owen, Beth and Eliza who I’ve known for less time yet still feel so comfortable and safe with. SMA gives you a family. I can walk down the hill and join a game of knockout, or sit on Trouble Rock, or join the party wash in the kitchen and feel 100% welcome. The activities are always engaging and exciting, but my absolute favorite part of camp is when we are all together. Evening meeting with warm fuzzies gives you a window into what this place means to everyone – which is a lot. People notice all the good here – like a great hug or a sweet compliment – things that would be missed out in the rush of our home lives. For me, camp sessions fly by, but the days are long. Days here are overflowing with the Birdie Song, deep conversations, loud van rides, cute bunnies and many laughs. Camp is a good place to be. Jud has made this place full of inspirational individuals – both campers and counselors who instill a simply yet joyous feeling in every single person. I came here a young 12 year old in 2010, and have been shaped and molded into the person that I am today hugely thanks to SMA. I care more about people and how what I do affects others. I have learned that losing a few hours of sleep is okay if instead I get to stay curled up with 2 of my best friends in the world, laughing and crying and talking about everything. SMA is a special place to me – and I intend to love it forever.



Alex Friedmann

This was my first time at a sleep-away summer camp and it was one of the best and worst experiences of my life. At the beginning I was EXTREMELY homesick and all I wanted to do was go home. I don’t want to admit it, but everything that counselors told me was true. After the first week, I started to fit in with people and stopped crying everyday. My favorite activites were definitely Jud Games, Art Studio, Volleyball Tournament, and Wakeboat Fun. The van rides were also a high point because they were the few moments that we received air conditioning. I met so many amazing people! The girls in my cabin were so accepting and let me into their ‘circle’ on the very first day. The counselors made me laugh and cry at the same time, and they gave me some of the best advice ever. I’m not sure if I’ll come back next year, but I do know that I will never forget this experience.


Aaron Marsh

I’m very happy I got to experience life at SMA non-competitive teen camp. This was my first time at sleep-away camp, and I’m glad it was here. I feel it couldn’t have gone much better because I had a great time and I made many new friends. I got to try new things like tubing, which I thought was very fun. I enjoyed everyday life here, and most of the meals I thought were very good. I like having power hour because it gave us a time to relax and hang out with friends. Overall I had a great time!


Max Deihl

I thought camp was super duper fun!


Ben Six

This was my third year at SMA. It was a really great year, but I thought I’d lost the magic of this place. In fact, I actually found it again yesterday. I don’t know if I’ll come back next year, so if I don’t I just want to say that SMA changed me so much. I’m not the same as I was and I’m very thankful about that.


Abbey Scott

I had an amazing first year at SMA non-competitive teen camp! I pushed my limits and experienced so many new things. I made extremely close friends and I’m going to miss my fam so much! I can’t wait to come back next year. I really enjoyed Rock Climbing and doing cuddle puddles on the front lawn. Though I could have done without falling into the mud while Canoeing. I’m going to miss seeing these faces every day. My cabin were my closest friends and our conversations were unforgettable. The activities here brought us so close. This is my second family and Ultimate Frisbee with Felice was unforgettable. This whole camp was unforgettable. I can’t wait to come back next year for more new experiences!


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Jules Dolige

I have to say it, I was a bit scared about coming here. But now, 2 weeks later, this place has become like a second home for me. When we are at camp, spending time with friends, we have lots of things to do. Here, everyone is kind, smiley and friendly. Counselors are really easy to talk to! Activities are just awesome! This session, I did so many new things like rafting, canoeing, hiking…the best thing I did here is surely the wakeboarding overnight. It was just awesome! I want to do it again. I made lots of friends and I have just the thing to say: SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!


Katie Bisio

SMA non-competitive teen summer camp  is a great place to be. When I’ here I can feel like I’m home. I’m comfortable here and I hate leaving. Whether my session was fun or not I love it here. These people are my family and I don’t ever want to leave. This is my third year here and I’m going to come back every year that I’m allowed by the camp.



Zoe Nechin

This session was awesome. I made a lot of new friends and a lot of connections with new people. I helped a few of my friends in my cabin with problems that I have experience dealing with. I had a blast at Horsemasters and I’m going to miss all of the horses and people that have helped me get better. I also found out that there are a few people that live in my area and I will be able to hang out with them throughout the year. I’m going to miss this place and I can’t wait to come back! This place is my second home and I have come to know these people as my family. I LOVE THIS PLACE!


Brantley Boyda

SMA non-competitive teen summer camp was fun. I had fun and it was fun. SUP and Sail was probably my favorite activity. People are nice here, it is like a family, except a lot bigger than a normal one. This place would make a good reality TV show I think – very funny stuff happens here. The international part of this camp is cool because then I can learn new things about other countries firsthand.


Noa Gold

This is my second year at SMA non-competitive summer camp for teenagers and my second session this year. I really enjoyed this session. I did wakemasters this session and really enjoyed it. I love being on the boat! I got up on the kneeboard and went tubing with Melissa. Then when we went white water rafting I was in Tom’s boat and we capsized on dimple. But I did have a great time. This session went by really fast it zoomed by. I really like being at SMA and I’m definitely coming back to camp next year!


Aidan Williams-Healy

My time at SMA non-competitive summer camp for teenagers has been great. I learned so many new things and had so many new adventures. SMA is a lot different from other camps I have been to. It is a lot less reliant on new gadgets and high-tech sports. SMA is about the experience you have and the friends you make. I made so many friends at camp including Sam, Asher, Luca, and Julia A. Sam and I agreed that we are the same person, we are both crazy and act the same. Also, the counselors are really cool because they are really good at their job and a lot of fun too. They are all so cool I can’t choose my favorite counselor. One of the main reasons I came here is for the different activities. The activities I enjoyed most were rock climbing, wakeboat fun, and white water rafting. I enjoyed these activities because they were different from many things I normally do. I liked rock climbing because I got to choose my own path and all the rocks were different textures. The rocks were tougher to climb than in the rock gym because they weren’t all of those bright colors and stuff. SMA was overall my favorite thing I have done all summer.

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Phoebe Simon

My time at SMA non-competitive summer camp session 3 has been really fun and went by fast. I wish that some people could stay for session 4 with me but sadly they can’t. I am pumped for next year though.


Julia Kahn

This year was my 4th and last year at Stone Mountain Adventures non-competitive summer camp. I had an amazing session and I will miss everyone so much. All of the activities were a lot of fun. One of my favorites was wakeboat fun with Texas and Rory. We all went tubing and even though it hurt a little when you fell off, it was worth it. Over the past four years SMA has changed me in so many ways that I never could have imagined a camp could. Through all of the friendships, whether they only lasted one year or the entire duration of my time at camp, all of them were so meaningful. This year I made and received so many friendship bracelets, including a bracelet from Declan which was his best one. I will miss everyone so much and I know my experiences at camp will stay with me forever.


Ben R.

These past two weeks have been so much fun. I’m gonna miss camp a lot. Being on the boat was really fun. The talks on the wing were always funny. Most of the campers here were very nice and welcoming. I wish that I got to do all the activities at camp. I’m gonna miss all my friends.



Ben Gelfond

I had a fun time at camp for this session. I enjoyed doing all the activities. It was fun hanging out with all of the campers and counselors.


Mirena Medina

This session, being my second this year at non-competitive summer camp, was phenomenal! It may seem that after being here for a month it would be boring and repetitive, but that was never an issue here. Every day we had new fun activities and had a blast with great friends and counselors.


Anna Kauffman

I’m glad I came for two sessions this year because I met so many people I wouldn’t have. The session went by so fast, and I had so much fun on all of the activities. I wish a lot of people would stay for the next session. Everyone was so nice and supportive. It was nice to give the first years a good experience and watch them adapt.


Noah Hoffer

I couldn’t have asked for a better last year at SMA mountain biking teen summer camp. After having to miss a year of camp, returning to see familiar faces was such a great feeling, but meeting so many new people that came previous years but different sessions helped me reconnect with the SMA spirit. Returning to all the amazing activities and van rides and bunk junk. SMA was the greatest summer experience I’ve had, it makes me so sad to go. I’ll miss everyone <3


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Jeremy DeYoung

Coming back to SMA mountain biking teen summer camp for my 4th year was great. Even though I came late, I still had a great time. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones.


Asher Kohan-Gaffar

For the past two weeks at SMA mountain biking teen camp, I’ve had the time of my life. I’ve overcome most of my fear of climbing, and almost became a SMAM. I loved the van rides. Once, even though the music was loud, I managed to fall asleep. It’s nice to know that I will also come away with another friend, Aidan. When I leave, I know I will miss everyone, including Aidan, Piggy, Simon, Texas, Comet, Frisbee, Figaro, and Babs. Babs was awesome! See y’all next year!


Matt Hambrecht

I don’t even know where to begin on how amazing session 3 was at SMA mountain biking teen camp. From wakeboat fun to rock climbing and white water rafting I can’t tell what my favorite part of camp was because I loved it all. I will miss everyone and everything about SMA.



Brandon Mortimer

My time at SMA mountain biking camp was a lot of fun this session. One of my favorite activities was tubing along with many other fun activities such as mountain biking and white water rafting, I met lots of new people and made new friends. Overnights are a lot of fun, this year I went on the wakeboarding overnight and had lots of fun tubing and seeing the stars. Another amazing part of overnight are the mountain pies which are sandwiches you make and burn over the fire. Overall, everything about camp was a lot of fun and I am excited for next year.


Luca H.

My time at SMA mountain biking camp has been awesome. My favorite acitivity was tubing. I thought the 1000 steps hike was fun. I caught a fish my first fish. My cabin was awesome. I liked a lot of people. I loved the three dogs Comet, Frisbee, and Piggy. I have two dogs and I want three dogs and SMA has three dogs so it feels like home. Now I’m at the end of my time here at SMA and am sad to leave, but happy to go home.


Ben Novack

This place is crazy. From the Furnace and using a nalgene as a unit of measurement to not going the right way down the Yough, but going the Texas way, and never capsizing while we’re at it. While trading Daniel for Max and watching Daniel immediately fall out of his new raft. From passing out cold on van rides to jamming out to new #sweatercore and reciting every word to Bohemian Rhapsody once with Alyna and another with Ali. Then came Declan and a knowledgeable person about soccer and golf, and the giant insult giving, smack-talking sunburnt Santa of a man known as Rory. Last but not least was watching will get out of the van not more than five minutes after leaving the Yough for his adventure. What a great three years.



Alex Deihl

I really enjoyed these two weeks of SMA mountain biking summer camp for teenagers went by too fast. But during these two fun weeks, I climbed, hiked, biked, canoed, white water rafted, shopped, tidied, and made some great dog toys. I wish I could stay longer. It was fun at camp.


Lucas Friedman

This session at SMA mountain biking summer camp for teenagers went by pretty fast but it was by far one of my favorites. I did a lot more climbing and I finally did the climbing overnight. Rafting was also crazy with swimming dimple twice with Tom and Ariana. But the main reason is the people, the Furnace this session was insane but I could say it was the best Furnace I’ve been in.


Jake Barone

There’s nothing at camp that I didn’t enjoy doing, from climbing to wakeboat fun to SUP n’ Sail to sports and everything else. I had an amazing experience this year and I can’t wait to come back next year and see old friends. I made so many friends that I hope to stay in touch with in between summers. I’m going to miss all of the memories that I made this session and I can’t wait to make more next summer.



Evan Ozmelek

I had such an awesome time during my second session here at SMA. Even though I lost some friends from last session, I quickly made new ones. I also got to try some new activities such as wakeboarding. On the overnight I went on, I had the opportunity to try wakeboarding. I learned that wakeboarding si really hard and I should probably stick to tubing. The overnight was still very fun though. Even though there were some cold pricklies, there were always warm fuzzies every day!




Evan Kaye

Session 3 has been awesome. I had so much fun and made so many new friends. My favorite part of this session was spending most of the days on the boat for wakemasters. I have been here for four weeks and couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my summer.


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Jin Hirsch

Thinking back on the past two weeks I realize that it went by so quickly and that’s all thanks to the amazing friendships I made. When the session started I was excited to see my old friends and meet new people. My favorite thing that we did together was during all camp day when we had the BBQ at camp. I also enjoyed teaching other people about the horses during horse care.


Sydney Waterman

Third session was a lot of fun. This camp is truly my second home, and I never want to leave. I hope I will never forget the wonderful memories I’ve made. I enjoyed most of the activities, power hour, van rides, breakfast, deep talks in my cabin, bonding with all the campers, writing this reflection, secret friends, cleaning, eating, and swimming in lakes! I learned many important lessons during these past two weeks. I have tried many new things, including fishing and DJing in the van. These activities have opened my eyes to the greater things in life. All in all, I enjoyed it here, and there’s no place I’d rather spend my summer.


Palma Price

The past two weeks have been so amazing I can’t even begin to describe it. I’ve met so many amazing new friends from all over the world. I am so excited for next session, and next year. I am going to mss everyone who is leaving (Julia K, Alex, Kat, Mathilde, etc.). I loved rock climbing and tubing and weird Little J conversations about bees. I love mornings with Ali Sanzo and Palma & Melissa’s day of fun and tattooing Rory in his sleep. I, however, will NOT miss Texas’ country music jams. I am so excited for the next two weeks at SMA! Love love love!



Chloe Williams-Healy

I’m so sad that I have to go home already because this sessions has gone so fast. When I got here, I was so excited to see people from my first year (two years ago) because I didn’t come last year. I had thought that no one would remember me but it was amazing to be reunited with everyone and to meet all of the new wonderful people here.


Jessica Axelson

This session went impossibly fast. I am so sad to be leaving, knowing that I may never see some of these people again, but I am so happy and grateful that I was able to come and meet new people and form stronger bonds with familiar faces. The people at SMA, both counselors and campers, are just so amazing and interesting, and that is a huge reason why I love this place so much. I was able to try so many new things and do a lot more of what I already knew I loved like rock climbing and SUP n’ Sail. Everything at this camp is so enjoyable, from activities, to van rides, to power hour, and evening activities. Each day is a new and amazing adventure and I’m able to do them with even better people. I am so sad to leave, SMA is where I’m happiest, it feels like home, and I will be counting down the days until I come back. I LOVE YOU SMA!!!



Sam Kelemen

My time at camp has been really fun. Meeting new people doing fun activities. I made a new friend named Aidan and played with all the animals. All of the counselors are really nice and the food tastes really good. I will miss all of my new friends and everything else at camp. One of my favorite activities was wakeboarding/rafting. My other favorite activity was rock climbing and I made it to the top of all but one of the climbs.


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Owen Gelfond

This is my first session here at SMA non-cometitive summer camp for teenagers and it was a great experience. I made many new friends and I am going to try and keep in touch with some of them. I hope to return next year and have more fun. All the counselors made it really fun.


Emilie Montanelli

This was my second year here at SMA. I really love to come to camp. It is not a big camp, so we can know everyone. I am coming from France just for this camp and I think this is an amazing place for everyone to make new friends. Activities are great, it is always fun. I could try things that I could not try at home like wakeboard, rock climb, and softball. We also tie dyed some shirts that we can wear after. Once during the session, everyone gets to go rafting which is really fun. The van trip to go to the rafting is three hours long and it is amazing. We have good music in the van. Counselors are awesome. I’ve spent a long time talking with them. I am really excited to spend another session here.




Spencer Stingley

Every year I return and every year it gets better. It’s amazing getting to see my friends again and it’s even better getting to know new people. I got to do new things this year, such as wakeboat fun. This camp always leaves me a changed person and I can’t wait to get back next year.

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Mathilde Van Doosselaere

This was my 8th session at SMA. It’s the end of session 3, but I am leaving tomorrow. It’s weird for me because in all of my four years I have never not finished out a summer. I’m not staying because I already made plans to visit a camper that was here last summer during 4th session. I hate thinking that camp will go on and I will miss everything about the next two weeks. Even though in the “real world” 2 weeks may not seem like a lot, but here, time is warped. Everything goes by so slowly that you don’t remember what you did in the morning, yet halfway through the session you look back on the week and it flew by. This session was such a nice blend of new and returning campers. It’s nice when there are a handful of each because it creates a good balance. Being around new people pushes me to try new things. This session, I went out on the boat for the first time since 2012, my very first year. I don’t know why it took me so long to get back on the water. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of things I can’t do. I’m also not sure why it took me four years to realize that if there is any time to try something you think you can’t do, it’s camp (especially if you make an idiot of yourself if you really can’t do it). Camp has really helped me get out of my confort zone in so many ways (invention convention). Even though everything about this place makes me love it, it’s all the campers and counselors that make me want to come back every year because even though I know that there will be people that won’t come back and a bunch of new campers, I know that SMA attracts the best of the best people to be campers and counselors. Thank you all for another amazing session and even though I’m going back to New York tomorrow morning, I already feel like I’m home. P.S. – Thank you so much for everything you have done for me in the last 3 years, Ali, I love you so much and I know that wherever you go next in your life you are going to do incredible things and influence so many people. You and I ARE going to keep in touch.





Kat Flanagan

This is my third year at this camp and it has become an extremely special place. Living here is like being in a home away from home, and spending time with counselors and campers is like living with a big, loving family. It’s hard to fully explain how wonderful SMA is. It is something that you have to experience to understand. There really is no other place as unique as this camp and I will always treasure the memories I made here.


Alex Sayre

This session was lots of fun. I love wakemasters the most out of all the activities. I met a lot of new people and I love being around everyone. This place is a second home for me. I hope to come back next year.


Chris Thompson

Finishing up another session at SMA non-cometitive teen summer camp and I can say it was as good as last session. The highlight of this session was doing wakemasters again and skiing just how my father taught me. The only sad part about this session is seeing so many old friends leave. With one more session to go I’m going to try my hardest to make new friends and not staying around old ones. Instead of doing wakemasters every time it’s offered I’m going to bounce around and do more activities and try to get SMAM! Saying goodbye to 3rd session is hard but saying hello to 4th session is going to be great!


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Beth Lewis

I thoroughly enjoyed my time here at SMA non-competitive summer camp for teenagers session 3. Whenever I did an activity, it quickly became my favorite. The wakeboarding overnight was amazing, I saw my first shooting star! The van trips were as fun as I remember. The campers ensured my time here was full of laughs and I can’t wait for next session. I will definitely keep in touch with the friends I made here – I love you all!


Jonathon Crist

I am going to miss my tooth dearly. RIP Tooth. The ride to the dentist was fun with Declan. Kat and Evan were two of my best friends and I will miss them so much. Fish and I had fun pestering Maintenance Mike and Maggie. Camp is so much fun and I will miss it so much. I will miss Texas yelling at me to do the reflection.


Arek Simpson

This year at camp I had a lot of fun. 3rd session went by so fast. Sleeping in Crow’s Nest was fun staying up telling stories and eating candy with Alex. Coming back for my 2nd year, I tried more and very cool activities.



Julia Allen

One hour ago, I was leaving the hotel, packed for my second and final year as a camper at SMA. At least, that’s what it feels like. My time here has gone by so fast that I’m not quite sure if I’ve been here for five minutes or five years, and I’d honestly stay longer if I could. I can’t put into words how special SMA is to me, or how it has changed my life, but I’ll try.

The first thing I noticed upon returning was how much more comfortable I felt compared to my first year. It felt like returning to a home in a dream I’d had long ago. I grew much closer to old friends and quickly made new ones; something that doesn’t happen very often outside of camp. Each day has been a new adventure and I have the cuts and bruises to prove it. I’ve accomplished so many incredible things in such a short span of time that being dragged around by a boat or raving in a barn have felt like casual pastimes. In reality, I probably would never have done it anywhere else.

I made sure to take in every little detail of SMA this session. The positive atmosphere during power hour, the peace and quiet in the morning (at least until wake up), the smiles on people’s faces that never fade throughout the day. There isn’t a single thing at camp I don’t love. SMA feels almost otherworldly. A place full of fun, togetherness, rest, and wonder that much of the world lacks. It has boosted my self esteem and confidence. It has challenged me and helped me discover new skills I never knew. It has created so many bonds and experiences that will never leave me.

My only regret is not discovering this camp earlier in life so that I may have spent more time here. In 24 hours, I will be on a 7 hour drive home, likely in tears, waiting for 4 years to pass so that I may return. Perhaps I may not return at all. Though, even if I won’t physically be here, SMA will always be with me in my memories and in my heart. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me; campers, counselors, and camp as a whole. I promise now, this is most certainly not the last you’ve seen of me. Thank you, and until we meet again.


Arianna Kattner

This was my final session of my 2nd year at SMA mountain biking tween camp. I have to say that it was a great way to top off my second year at this amazing place. There were a lot of first years this session, and at first I felt shy around them but they ended up being really funny, interesting people. Also it was great to meet new international people that I had never known before, like Beth from England and Lina from Sweden. I will truly miss the new and old faces alike in this coming year when I am not at SMA.


Eliza Cash

This session at SMA this year was completely different than last year. This time around people I knew and loved were back in my arms. It was so much easier than I thought to immediately get back into the groove of camp. People who I hadn’t seen for a year I was quickly having long conversations with as if no time had passed. Something about our lives at camp make it so easy to open yourself up 100%. The family that is created here is not like anything else. Of course there was drama and everybody struggled at some point, but at the end of the day, everybody is loved and appreciated for who they are. The most important and special thing about this camp is how conscious everybody is to include everyone. I think it is so important to be able to find people who will unconditionally love you and have your back forever. I feel lucky every day I wake up that I can be surrounded by the best people in the world.


SMA Teen Summer Camp All Star Staff Team!

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Simon Lefevre (Walsall, England)

SMA Session 3 was so much fun and the two weeks absolutely flew by. It was probably the oldest group we’ve had so far and with it brought a different set of challenges but also a more mature attitude. Right from day 1 all the campers who had stayed from previous sessions helped greet all the new kids, whether it was their first time or they were a returner. The way all the kids interacted with each other; regardless of age, gender or cabin; was great to see. The forming of those close friendships so early on really helped the session turn into one which saw both campers and counselors grow really close. The enthusiasm shown to activities, both day and evening, created a very positive atmosphere.


I was bunk captain for the Furnace this session, the oldest boys’ cabin, and it was quite different from being bunk captain for the other two cabins. Nearly all the boys were returners and this made it a real pleasure to spend so much time with them this session. I was really impressed by the maturity and level of respect that many of the boys showed towards cabin rules, each other and myself. I can honestly say that I can’t remember a single time where I had to shout at them. We had some real good chats in the cabin in the evenings and I feel like I got to know all the boys on a personal level.



One of my highlights from the session was the canoeing overnight. This was my first overnight ever and I was very excited to be going out and doing one of my favorite activities. We had a relatively small group and that meant that we could get to know each other really well. The float on the way to the campsite was a lot of fun and we didn’t have any capsizes, although I was left in the middle of a rapid after freeing a canoe from shallow water and had to swim down it! We got to the campsite and ate dinner round the campfire and then we slept under the stars. It was a really enjoyable overnight.


Some of my other highlights from the session include; teaching some of the campers to play rugby, which they did really well; guiding a white water raft at the Yough and only having one camper fall out; hosting my first candlelight meeting and connecting with the kids in my group on an emotional level; spending time getting to know the kids during power hours and meal times; and making friendships bracelets for the first time.


It was one of the biggest sessions this summer and there were some really big characters who made it a truly enjoyable session.



Virginia Masland (Pennsylvania, US)

Third session was by far the fastest session. It began and was over in what felt like a few days. We had a very full session with 56 awesome kids. I was a bunk captain for Rothrock who are all the sweetest bunch of girls you could spend two weeks together with. Nights in the cabin were a breeze as they were all so kind and inclusive of each other and we always had good conversation before bed.


Some things that particularly stand out to me about 3rd session are the climbing overnight and our whitewater rafting day on the Yough. Declan, Chase and I took a handful of kids who signed up for the climbing overnight out to Shaeffer’s Rock about an hour and a half away. We started our evening by setting up camp and doing some bouldering, followed off by mountain pies, smores, and an evening around the fire. Had a fantastic sleep in the hammock on the porch of the super cool little cabin that we stayed at that is at the base of the rocks next to a beautiful little creek. The next day was an amazing one spent climbing ALL DAY! I was amazing.



Whitewater rafting day was extremely memorable this session as well. I captained a raft with 4 kids who paddled hard and laughed the whole time. Most of us got thrown in or swam which was incredible because the water felt so good. As always, it was so difficult to say goodbye to the kids and a staff member, Devin aka Texas, who will hopefully visit us during 4th session. Hoping to see everyone again next year and look forward to one final session here at SMA.


Chase Cloward (California, US)

Session 3 was a lot of fun with how many campers we had, there were so many that everyone had someone to hang out with and you rarely were on the same activity with someone. Rock climbing was, of course, one of the best activities I did with the kids all session. There were some amazing climbers that blew me away with their climbing and belaying skills. We all had an amazing time down at sharks tooth and the amount of campers who made it to the top or nearly to the top was astronomical!



The climbing overnight was spectacular with the group of awesome campers hat we had an also the weather which was pristine, everyone did a touch of climbing that included bouldering and top roping. We set up all new climbs this time including the ominous “Tower” which is a section of rock separated from the rest of main wall that has some hard but very rewarding climbs on it. This session was, of course, amazing and I will never forget the memories that I have made with everyone and I can’t wait to see how you all progress in climbing. ROOOOCK OOONNN!!



Declan Fitzharris (Glasgow, Scotland)

Its crazy how third session is over, however time does fly when you’re having fun. Third session this summer was as awesome as session 1 and 2, with the weather being the best it was been since the first day of SMA. This session felt more relaxed, however I’m unsure as to whether this was due to the difference in atmosphere due to a lot of returning campers, or me getting used to how awesome my job is.


I had a blast on every activity this session, as well as climbing the 1000 steps for the 2nd time this summer, and the Yough (white water rafting) was as awesome as always. I made many new friends in third session, most being returning campers who I became really close to (not Julia K.) as well as building friendships from first session.


I woke up every day this session excited and looking forward to the activities ahead, which shows I have the best job in the world in my eyes.


Felice Oltuski (New York, US)

As I sit here writing this reflection I am still in awe of how fast third session went by. As second session came to a close I was pretty nervous. Many kids who had been there from session one would be leaving, many new kids would be coming, and the dynamic was sure to change. But, as always, the SMA magic kicked in and by day one of session three everyone was so energetic and stoked to greet new faces and start fresh. The amazing thing about being here for the entire summer is that you really get to see how people grow, and how we grow as a group. The end of each session is definitely sad, but once the new session starts we quickly allow the old session to become a wonderful memory and move forward in order to make the next session an awesome reality. Some of my favorite memories include white water rafting. I must have fallen out of my raft at least six times but because I was with this group of people I had a smile on my face the entire time. I also loved the some of the really silly moments like playing Jud Games and buying funny gifts for my secret friend. Each session is so different but so far this summer every session had been so incredible. Session 3, I will miss you so much but I’m so pumped for session 4!


Ali Sanzo

For me, third session at SMA non competitive summer camp for teenagers was the perfect blend of returning campers and new campers. I genuinely saw old friends branch out and bring new friends into their friend group, allowing new (and even some old) campers to come out of their shells. Even though we had four Bens, three Alex’s, two Noa(h)s and a Noe, two Julia’s, two Evans, and two Emily/Emilies, each camper had a distinct personality that made remembering names a breeze. One thing this session that stands out in my mind was my wakeboarding overnight. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of kids to make mountain pies and s’mores with, to go star gazing with, or to have the most fun tubing with. Also, a big thank you goes out to Math and Manners, the most polite raft of the Yough.


The most rewarding part of working as a counselor is watching your campers grow and mature over the years. There are campers here that have influenced me and helped me learn more about myself than they know. To all of you – thank you. I wake up every morning with a smile because I know I’m the luckiest person in the world to be able to call this experience my job. I love you all.



Sarah Fisher (Chicago, US)

3rd session this summer was one of my favorites. With a full camp and a nice balance of new and returning campers, we had a great crew to work with. I really felt like I was working among friends and not among a younger group of kids. It is weeks like these past two that remind me why SMA is so special. The atmosphere hasn’t changed in 10 years and this group really kept it alive.


Highlights of the session begin with chilling with my Mattawanna girls – even the night when I fell asleep with so many of you on top of me! Another highlight was the Shingletown hike. Although it was a pretty low-key activity, I began it in such a bad mood and the enthusiasm and positivity of the kids totally turned it around. Same idea goes for the longest river float ever! Even though we were in those canoes for an hour and a half too long, we still had so much fun with so few complaints. These times, along with countless more, are the reason I love this place and this session so much. It didn’t matter what we were doing, as long as we were all together doing it.


Now a note directly to you kids: I love you all so much. More than you even know! I can’t imagine spending this summer doing anything else. You guys are true rock stars and I know you’ll all go far in life. But wherever you end up, never forget this time you’ve had here. There isn’t anything else quite like it.



Josh Love (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Half the summer gone and there was session 3 awaiting us. This session had a great mixture of returning campers and new campers, and after a few days the vibe of the group was great. This session I was bunk captain for ‘Tussey’ or ‘The Tuss’, as some of the campers like to call it. The boys in ‘Tussey’ were great, I honestly had so much fun, their energy was infectious, which made getting them all settled and into bed a challenge sometimes.


One other stand out point of session 3 was the white water rafting trip. The water was at a perfect height. The weather was awesome and the vibe on the river was fantastic all day. The ‘rivalry’ between the boats is always great banter, but of course my boat was the best as we won the race at the end and barely got stuck all day. Other stand out moments for me were Wakemasters and invention convention. I always seem to have the funniest invention skits and best group of campers. Session 3 was too much fun, this is why it seemed to fly by so quickly for me.


Ellie Phillips

Session 3 came and went so fast! 57 kids filled the barn at evening meeting on opening day! I knew it was going to be a great session from the start.


I was bunk captain for Mattawanna for the first time which was great fun. New campers and returners soon got to know each other and the atmosphere around camp was like everyone had known each other for years. As the session got going we did some awesome activities and I got the chance to know everyone from the session before better and from this session just as well.


We canoed a new river which was really exciting (even though it took nearly 3 hours). And going down the Yough I did not fall out once which was a change from session 2. From silly things like invention convention to the more serious like candle light you guys really rocked it! Thanks for a great session!

Lots of Love




Melissa Mooradian (Boston, US)

Third session 2015 was absolutely amazing! This session was filled with countless dance parties, great activities, and some awesome nights in the cabin. The session started off great with a trip to Trough Creek State Park where a group of us did some hiking and found a special swimming spot. I also got to spend two amazing overnights with campers this session, one at Raystown and one on the banks of the Little Juniata River. Our wakeboarding overnight was filled with great food and lots of laughs and we even got to go out on the boat as the sun rose. Later in the session was our canoeing overnight on the Little J. With only 7 kids and two staff, we got the chance to float a longer section of river and have a nice chill night at the campsite. A smaller group helped everyone bond and I’ll definitely remember so many funny moments from that overnight. We also had some great evening activities this session, including invention convention, disco bowling, the dance, and capture the flag. As this group became closer, we rolled straight into the Yough, and had an awesome day on the river. From there the rest of the session seemed to fly by, with many more fun activities. The session came to a close with one of the best SMA talent show’s I’ve ever seen and a great last day at crew Olympics. Thanks to everyone for making this such an amazing session!



Tom Prolze (Manchester, England)

The halfway mark for the summer hit an 3rd session began. All the staff were excited and extra prepared for what was about to happen, we had 57 kids and camp was in full force. Unfortunately for the bike masters we didn’t ride very much due to the lack of interest. Nevertheless, I concentrated on trying to climb as much as possible, I had some great climbing sessions and learnt a lot myself.


I spent 3rd session as Tussy bunk captain AKA “The Tuss” we had great times telling stories before sleep and bonding over past experiences. The Yough this session was a major highlight for me. My raft flipped on dimple and them Lucas, Arianna and myself flipped again on the safety raft. The river was running at 1.7ft so it was extremely dangerous. But lots of fun!!


Peace x


About Director Jud's Blog

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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