Director Jud's Blog

SMA 2023 Session 3 Memory Book: Read about Campers amazing experiences

Posted by Jud Millar on Mon, Oct 30, 2023


Camper and Staff

Memory Book

3rd Session Summer 2023


A Note from the Camp Directors Jud Millar about SMA Session 3:

Greetings to everyone in our Stone Mountain Adventures (SMA) family. It is hard to believe that the summer of 2023 has come and gone so fast. It seems like only yesterday we were dusting off the canoes and tuning up the mountain bikes, and now this incredible summer is in the history books. The remainder of August was great, but we often found ourselves playing “remember that time in Third Session... that was awesome!” during our down time.

Campers, we miss each one of you so much, and it’s just not the same without you here. We hope you have recovered from the craziness of camp and had an awesome end to your summer.  

Parents, thank you for sending your son or daughter to Stone Mountain Adventures. Each member of the incredible third session of SMA 2023 possessed fantastic qualities and helped to make the group so special. We had incredible experiences as individuals and as a group – it was truly a memorable session.


On the last full day of the session we asked each member of our group to take a few moments and "reflect" about his or her experience at Stone Mountain Adventures. Enclosed are the written reflections of campers as well as a brief description of many of the activities that we did at camp written by our stellar staff.

We hope you enjoy this SMA Memory Book and these reflections as much as we do!

Best wishes on the school year ahead,

                    Jud, Anne, Wyatt, Molly, Pam, Biff, Comet, Jack, Piggy, the Cats, the Horses, the Rabbits & other random farm animals!


Reflections session 3 2023 – campers


Jesse – I liked this year at SMA a lot. I knew more people this year and I knew what to expect. I made so many new friends this year and I made so many new memories. This session I loved the talent show and I even took part in it with all my friends.


Lily – Before I arrived at SMA I was really scared but when I arrived I actually really liked it. I really liked playing volleyball and canoeing. It was really funny because me and my friend Eden flipped our canoe, and it was really funny. I didn’t go on any overnights this session because I liked staying at camp. I also really liked all the counsellors especially Jordan, Zak and Diego. Lastly, I loved ice cream abs bunk junk because it was so fun.


download - 2024-03-28T163017.199


Becca – SMA was great. This was my second year but my first time spending 2 weeks so a lot of the stuff was new. I went on my first overnight, the rock climbing one. Everyone said it wasn’t going to rain but it did! We got soaked! The bouldering and cave system was fun. I loved climbing down at Donation rocks was also fun and I made it to top of the rocks! I also tried horseback riding for the first time, and I went to Walmart for the first time too. The white-water rafting was fun and the mighty HHEBJ is the best boat ever! I made friends with Helaina, and she is great, and we will keep in touch after camp. The counsellors were really cool, they weren’t just there to supervise and you could tell they were really passionate about SMA and getting us to have fun. SMA is great!


Xander – My time at SMA was good and better than I expected. I came here with a negative attitude but as the days went by I realized that this was a wonderful experience with lots of opportunities and great people. I will always cherish my time spent here at SMA.

Mountain Biking Teen Camp (3)

Shai – Being at SMA has taught me extremely valuable life lessons such as how to go with the flow and appreciate things as they happen, even if they are wildly spontaneous. I will always remember the long van rides, falling off of our raft, the craziness of evening activities, the way the counsellors made me laugh. Late nights with the girls in my cabin, Roth Rock and everything else that unfolded in these eventful 2 weeks. I loved the freedom of decision and the sense of family – it turned a sense of dread into one of comfort and belonging. SMA was definitely a once in a lifetime experience that has offered me time to reflect and appreciate a different way of living and I will remember it forever.

Benjamin – During my first session at SMA I really enjoyed French Revolution and the mountain biking overnight. I had the opportunity to make new friends. I loved the white-water rafting, the counselors and Will. Roller-skating was also cool.

Mountain Biking Teen Camp (7)

Kipp – I loved my second session at SMA. I liked French Revolution. The wake overnight was fun. The counsellors had really good music when we were in the vans. The roller-skating was fun and made loads of friends.


Asara – At SMA session 3 I loved doing rock climbing and volley ball, but I would like to get better at belly womping. The overnights were extremely fun! They were a good opportunity to get to know people more. White water rafting was soooo fun! My group and I shared a lot of laughs and had a lot of funny conversations. Canoeing was really fun and I got to know one of my bunk mates a lot more. The more I got to know everyone the more camp seemed to become like home and a big family. I made amazing friends and got to know some kind, funny and interesting people. I can’t wait for next year!

Tristin – SMA was so fun and I made so many friends in my cabin. I want to get better at wakeboarding but I still liked it. The yough was fun and Matthew the counsellor allowed us to listen to our music on the bus. Roller skating was amazing.

 Mountain Biking Teen Camp (10)

Ronan – The climbing overnight was the best activity, and it was really cool. Being a 3rd holds really cool privileges and I enjoyed it a lot. I loved being in Furnace this session. Next year I want to play Sweet Child O’ Mine on my guitar in the talent show. I can’t wait.


Lucia – SMA session 3 was fun. I liked doing the activities with my friends and I want to get better at wakeboarding. I liked the overnights a lot and my favorite activity was the wakeboarding overnight.


Hortense – I loved the wake overnight when we slept in front of the stars on the grass and ate melted marshmallows. I want to get better at wakeboarding to be able to do high jumps! I loved tubing because it was hilarious. I had a lot of fun and I couldn’t stop laughing. Canoeing was also really fun and white water rafting.

Mountain Biking Teen Camp (6)

Kai – This session was cool. On the first hike we saw a porcupine in a tree which was cool. I also loved intersession because I got closer to everyone, and we did cool things. I really enjoyed SMA session 3.


Nate – SMA is a magical place. Every year I come I feel like I become a whole new person. This camp helped me mature and grow as a person. I learned to care for others and respect their feelings, I learned how to make people feel loved. I like the person I am this year. I want to thank Chase, Laura, Matthew, Caroline, Sam, Asara, Alek, Kipp, Emma and Judd for their insights and helping me move through a tough time in my life.

Emma – I have been a camper for 45 summers, 15 session, 30 weeks. 13 yough trips, 7 Mattawanna songs, millions of signatures across all 6 cabins, Hundreds of new friends, 5 summers of counting down till I can come back, and 15 days spent crying when my friends leave. But now I’m the one leaving. What do you do when you don’t know when you’ll next be back to the place you’ve been going to for a third of your summers? You reminisce. Reminisce on the van trips spent screaming lyrics to camp songs or the ones where you are asleep and your friends take pictures of you., Reminisce on the activities spent with your friends, trying not to do the activity. Reminisce on the times spent talking after lights out while your counsellors tell you to be quiet. When you’ve spent so long in one place there is nothing more to do than reminisce. This place has changed me for the better and I couldn’t be more grateful. Forever in my heart, SMA.

Mountain Biking Teen Camp (5)

Lorelei – SMA has officially showed me what I have been looking for in life and what I have been missing. Kinf, true friends whom I know will last a lifetime. SMA is a place of peace, SMA is a place where my inner child can be set free and I can be 100% myself. I went from being an introvert with a few friends to being confident with 30+ friends. Being here at SMA I have grown, evolved and had the chance to live in the moment and appreciate the small things in life. I was only here a week but I feel like I have gotten to live a new life and I will definitely be back. Thank you so much SMA, counselors and campers. I love you so much and I cannot wait to see you again next summer.


A group of Campers White Water Rafting



Session 3 2023 reflections counselors


Session 3 was a weird session. 2 is always the best and 2 is always the worst, which makes 3 a hit or miss. This year, 3 was somewhere in between. We had good kids as always, some better than others, although that’s how it always goes. As we got further into the session, you could tell some of the campers were getting too comfortable and it needs a lot more wrangling in kids than anything else. We’ve definitely had fun with climbing and doing other activities like white water rafting and the various overnights. Overall, another successfully fun session at SMA and I’m looking forward to the last.


Mountain Biking Teen Camp (1)



This session was incredibly funny, enjoyable, fun and quite sad because many of the campers are leaving this session and the memories created are special. The yough was incredible and every camper on the river was insane! I am feeling really happy that everyone had fun including myself. However, I have developed a caffeine addiction which helps me hahaha! I will miss everyone and I wish I could know that I was 100% coming back to SMA next year and I really hope that I can. My favorite memories include talent show as many people showed their unexpected talents, the yough, watching Rush Hour and the wake overnight. I will truly miss everyone and I hope I can see them again next year.


Ella Mangan

This session was my 3rd as a camp counselor here. At the start of the session I was feeling quite homesick but it soon passed when my days were filled with many fun activities. I fell like I’ve somehow managed to get closer to everyone I work with as we head into almost 2 months together. The campers this session were really great and were up to try lots of new things.

I find it crazy that we only have one more session to go. This summer has gone so fast and has been honestly so amazing. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and tried so many new things. I felt so much more confident on the yough this session than any other session and even driving and reversing the trailer felt much easier this session. I think I’ve finally got the full reigns of this camp and I fell much more confident as a counselor.


Mountain Biking Teen Camp (9)


Kim Schnalke

This third session was super nice, even though my body gets a little tired from being active the whole time. But it’s definitely worth it because I learned so many new things this session, in a personal and professional way. I improved my counselor skills and I feel more confident in my job now. I’m happy to learn all of this because it will also help me for my jobs back at home. I also learned how to be myself here. I love about this camp that everyone can be the way he is and everyone is appreciated. I hope for next session that I will improve even more in professional and personal ways. In this session my favorite activity was white water rafting because the people in my raft were super funny and the swimming zones are always a highlight. Also the boat is still so much fun even though I’m on it almost every day. But I just love it and I’m so thankful to have this opportunity here.

The first three sessions were awesome and I hope that the next session will be even better to make the summer end with a lot of positive memories!





This session was really great. While there were some obvious lows, I truly enjoyed this session with this group. I was blessed with an amazing group of Wakemasters and two great groups for the overnights, and it was wonderful to watch every one of them progress and develop skills on the board! I’ve enjoyed getting to know a smaller group of kids compared to the last two sessions, and feel like I’ve had at least a few good conversations with every one of them. I want to continue to prioritize those interactions through our final session and to keep my energy high for the group of kids to come. With the end of the summer now in sight, I want to continue to push myself to grow personally and professionally and to make the absolute most of the time I have left here. I want to continue to improve my communication and my sense of self as a leader. I want to take my lowest experiences of this session and learn from it so that I can serve me as a guide. I’m excited for a little rest during intercession to be able to run into 4th session with the energy and enthusiasm that makes this place great. It’s been a great session, I will miss this group dearly, but I’m so excited for the next two weeks!

Zak Kane

With half the summer already gone, I was excited for the 3rd session to begin so I could meet everyone. Mountain biking was less of a focus among the campers, which let me explore the other activities at camp. My favorite day of the session was the one on which we went to a local indoor climbing gym, Climb Nitany! The routes were some of the best I’ve seen, and I loved watching the campers dance up the walls!

Another high point would be the Talent Show. It’s always amazing seeing everyone open up to do what they do best, and we had some true talents this year. Everyone’s act was awesome, and I even got to sing! I can’t wait to see what the rest of summer holds.



Session three was so much fun with all the new and familiar faces at camp. We went to a rock climbing gym with some climbers who crushed the climbs! It was so cool to see how many crushers we had at camp this session. White water rafting was an amazing time as well, the water was a perfect level and the weather was superb! It was such a good session and everyone had a great time!



Session 3 of SMA was a whirlwind of growth, connection, and laughter. The campers' enthusiasm from the start set the tone for a remarkable two weeks. Their eagerness to embrace new experiences and forge friendships created a vibrant atmosphere of inclusivity.

Witnessing their personal growth was a true highlight. Whether conquering fears during outdoor challenges or immersing themselves in creative activities, each achievement showcased their newfound confidence. The diverse array of activities provided a balanced and enriching experience, fostering exploration and self-discovery.

As Session 3 concluded, a mix of nostalgia and pride filled the air. The bonds formed and memories made left a lasting impact. While farewells were bittersweet, they marked the beginning of new adventures for each camper.

In summary, Session 3 was an unforgettable chapter in our camp's story. The campers' energy, growth, and sense of community made it an incredible experience. As a counselor, I eagerly anticipate future sessions, ready to guide and create more cherished moments with new campers.




Session 3 was quite fun, having quite different kids that were more calm and relaxed, many unique kids joined this summers session and i was happy to help them with their activities.we introduced archery as an all new activity and since ive done archery as a sport since i was 10 years old i was quite happy to be leading this activity and help them improve their aim. 

The Canoeing overnight was very enjoyable and we saw many insects I've never seen before. The campers made me and each other laugh alot. All the counselors had a great time helping the campers be successful in their activities and we all gave our best just like every session before that. Pizza oven specifically was a great success. We made 12 pizzas in under 2 hours wich was very efficient and i got people to try my corn pizza and everyone of them who tried it, enjoyed it wich made me quite happy to see them try new flavors and enjoying them. 



Session 3, well 3 session is almost gone but i am so happy that we had an awesome session with all the campers. I had so much fun doing all the activities but definetely white water rafting is one of my highlights because of my team and i won the race at the end lol and a fun fact was that at the begining of the race we got stock over a rock but we could get out of there and then we did the perfect come back because we pass over all the rafts in front of us and almost at the end it was jordan's boat and akbar's boat were in the front so i thought that that they were going to win but since we got stock i told to my team just don't give up we got this keep paddling and we made it jordan's boat got stock over a rock close to the end and akbar's boat could not turn well to get the short line so in that moment we passed them and it was really awesome because we did not give up so our reward was winning the race.  Session 3 was awezomw and i will miss all the kids that were part of it see you next year guys!



Session 3 is over halfway through the Summer, and with it being the tail end of the Summer, we had to keep the energy up to make session 3 just as good as the previous ones. The experience gained from the previous two sessions also allowed me to offer more confidence in my leadership for the campers

Although I had been rock climbing the whole Summer, I found a new appreciation for it during session 3 and I really looked forward to going every time. The rock climbing overnight at Bilgers rocks was very fun as we got to explore the rocks. Unfortunately it rained so we didn’t get to try any top roping but we still went back to donation and got some good climbs in.

Session 3 was also the introduction of the new archery activity with me and Alexia. It was great to be able to give the campers more options for activities and the activity has gone really well so far. It’s nice to be able to help the campers with shooting and see their progression. And it’s good that I’ve been able to add something to the camp.

Overall, session 3 was a really good vibe, all of the campers participated in lots of activities and everyone got along really well. It was sad to see session 3 end but I know that everyone will remember it fondly.



After 2 amazing sessions, the start of SMA3 marked the middle point in this journey. Now that is over, is incredible to look back and see all the new things that I've learned during the past 6 weeks. 


Session 3 was filled with tons of amazing moments like my first time sup n' sailing, winning the race while whitewater rafting, my first time organizing crewlympics and many more! 

Overall, I'm really happy that I got to spend my birthday with you and I'm so grateful for the trust and support towards me during, not only during session 3 but, during this whole summer. 

This experience have changed me completely and I'm so grateful to be in here. The people, the energy, the food... Everything in here is amazing! I think this was the session that I enjoyed the most from the 3 that we had so far. 

I'm already looking forward for session 4 and all the amazing experiences that will come!



When I made the decision to come to SMA I never thought of all the good and pretty things that would be waiting for me here.

At the beginning, it was really very difficult because of my understanding of the language, however, I found many nice people "coworkers " who helped me whenever possible.

Many times I thought about giving up and go back home, though, I thought about all the way I had come and the trust Jud had placed in me by giving me the opportunity to come here.

From the first week of training I felt super at home because it was really everything I expected and once the campers were here, it was easier because I already felt more confident.

The different activities we do each session, despite being the same, each one is different and has its own magic.

working with the children was a real challenge, however they were mostly

nice and respectful, so it was easier to work with them.

SMA is, without a doubt, a place to which I would love to return, because of the nature that is housed in this place and because of the people who make it up.

Jud, is undoubtedly a great leader, and a person who knows what he is doing, knows how to treat you with respect, tolerance and a lot of affection to make you feel like home. I love the way that when you tell him about any problem or situation, he only responds "we'll make a plan" and when you come back it's already solved. I love you Jud.




Mountain Biking Teen Camp (8)




Topics: Reflection packets, Camper and Staff Memory Books

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! 

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all