Director Jud's Blog

Nick Blue Reflects on his summers at SMA Wakeboarding Summer Camp!

Posted by Jud Millar on Wed, Nov 25, 2015

            My name is Nick Blue, and I have been a part of Stone Mountain Adventures for the past fourovernight-camp-Nick-Blue.jpg years.  I came to SMA Teen Summer Camp  for my first summer in 2012 when I was fifteen years old, and for the past two summers I have been privileged with the opportunity to come back as a “Super Camper”, and both enjoy all of the amazing activities and experiences at camp, while being given some extra responsibilities due to my older age.  In less than a week from now, my time as a camper will unfortunately come to a close, however the valuable lessons I have learned, the lifelong friendships and connections I have made, and the incredible experiences I have gained will always stay with me and be a part of my daily life. 


            I attended two other overnight camp before coming to Stone Mountain, yet due to their large physical size and amount of campers and staff, I felt isolated and didn’t feel I was getting something valuable out of being there.  Additionally, I found that few of the activities were stimulating and felt that I was not doing what I could.  One day in eighth grade, I met Jud at a camp fair, and he explained the close knit feel of SMA, the great adventure sports oriented activities, and the amazing camaraderie that took place at his small, Central Pennsylania based camp.  I was thrilled to finally hear of a place that seemed to have everything I wanted, and without hesitation, I signed up for Stone Mountain that summer! 


            The first thing I remember at Stone Mountain Adventures was when I arrived here on my first day four years ago- I opened to door of my car to 10 or 15 campers eager to greet me, get to know my name, and even help me bring my luggage up to the cabin.  I soon found myself branching out to new people, making friends, and trying new activities every day.  The shy and hesitant person I once was started to become more confident, willing, and open to form new friendships, try activities, and experience things in a whole new light.  In addition, I learned the value of appreciating the opportunities that are given to me, and making the best of experiences you may only get to experience a few times, if not less.  An example of this at SMA is when ten campers, a couple counselors, and I went out to State College dressed in “bunk junk” to enthusiastically give away lemonade and collect donations towards pediatric cancer research through Alex’s Lemonade Stand.   Opportunities like this are very hard to come by in the world outside Stone Mountain, and I have learned through my time here to appreciate times like this. 


Two of my favorite activities here at camp are waterskiing and rock climbing.  I was a wakemaster for two years, and made substantial progress behind the boat with great coaching and with learning new tricks and jumps.  The counselors on the boat helped me become more confident in my abilities, and the other wakemasters were all very supportive of each other’s progress as well.  Rock climbing has also become one of my passions, because of my exercising of it here.  Whether climbing the Donation Rocks down the road in the morning or at Shaffer’s Rock on an overnight, rock climbing has given me the resilience and skill I need to get to the top of the rocks, and face other challenges in life.  I truly found my calling for rock climbing when I was at Shaffer’s Rock- I was halfway up to the top when my arms gave in and I almost came down.  However, with the incredible moral support of other campers there, I somehow got past my pain, and used every ounce of energy I had to make it to the top.  At that moment, it didn’t matter to me how I felt or how long it took, but that I simply made it to the peak.



The experiences I have had at camp, whether it be the activities, traditions, or friendships, are the reasons why I am so grateful to have found such an amazing place.  For me and so many others, SMA is more that just an overnight camp, it is a second home and a place to be who you are and do what you love with truly amazing people.  The lessons I have learned and the person I am today would not be complete without Stone Mountain Adventures.  Although I am upset I will no longer be able to attend camp here, I will forever remember everything I have accomplished and experienced.  


Wakeboarding Summer Camp


Overnight Summer Camp


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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