Director Jud's Blog

SMA Session 1 Memory Book - 2 Week Teen Summer Camp

Posted by Jud Millar on Fri, Oct 23, 2015

 Here is the Stone Mountain Adventures Session 1, 2015 Memory Book!






Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp

Sarah Moroney

As this session comes to a close, I realize – or more accurately – am forced to acknowledge the fact that it is my final year. This place has been a second home of sorts for me during the summer month for four years now and I am not quite certain how I will cope after all is over. To be accepted without judgment, without scorn, by others is wonderful. SO to those who saw me and accepted me for who I am, and even those who did not, thank you. I will miss you all.


Trevor Valentine

“My teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told her I wanted to be happy. She said I didn’t understand the assignment. I said she didn’t understand life” –John Lennon. Words to somewhat live by. I enjoyed canoeing the Little Juniata with Alyna. I will always remember the late night Furnace talks with Devin and Tom. White water rafting was easy this year because of the high water level.

 A group of female Campers pose for a picture

Ethan Apparies

From the second I saw the camp I knew I would love it. As the days flew by I would feel more and more like I was part of the camp. I couldn’t feel better anywhere else. The campers were amazing, and while I hope to see them next year, I can’t imagine SMA without the counselors. As a first year camper this camp was well above my expectations. I am excited to come back next year and I am excited to enjoy every last second of this year.


Olivia Boyle

This is my 4th year at SMA and in my opinion by far the best! In the past I’ve only gone to 3rd session and I wasn’t very happy about having to change sessions because I wouldn’t see the usual people I see.  But when I got here, I saw some familiar faces and I didn’t care about not being at session 3. This camp means so much to me and a bunch of other campers/counselors. This camp gives you a chance to leave your comfort zone and experience new things with great people. I’ve had a lot of changes in the last year and it’s a great feeling to come here and not having any contact and none of it mattering. This session was full of jokes, memories, fun and drama, yes of course drama… the people this session seemed to bond really fast and people were not afraid to be themselves. I met a bunch of new people who I became very close with and became even closer with people I already knew!! I met Shira, McKenna, Elizabeth, and all my lil J girls!! It was such a great cabin this year.  We stayed up late making hand puppets talking and me getting stuck between the bunk and the wall.  I also enjoyed getting to know the girls in other cabins and the guys. Some guys I got pretty close with were Michael, Ethan, Gordon, Antoine and others! I could write so much about Nine and about how close we got and that she is some of my closest friends and I’m going to miss her sooo much!!! But I won’t! The counselors this year were such a group. I loved seeing and getting to know everybody from last year. I have to give Melissa and Ali a shout out though because Melissa got me to cry at candle light and she said the nicest thing anybody could’ve said to me! and shout out to Ali because if I have to be told I remind people of someone I’m glad it’s her because she is such a well rounded people and has such a great personality!! I also loved meeting the new counselors! Love all of you and I miss you soooo much!!! I could go on and on but I’m running out of room on my paper so goodbye for now. And get excited for 2016 SMA!!


Gordon Ziv

SMA is one of my most favorite places. I have had so many good memories with the campers and activities. The camp is a very amazing place which I hope will stay open for a long time. My favorite activities are rock climbing and SUP and sail. Some of my greatest friendships are with people that are not even from the same country like Antoine and Nine and Lili. This camp can bring people very close to one other. I will miss the camp a lot and miss the counselors like Tom and Rory. Hopefully I will see everyone next year.


Annabel Kusnitz

My first year at SMA was a blast!! I had lots of fun playing sports like ultimate frisbee and paddle boarding at SUP and sail. I also met a lot of new people like the girls in my cabin (Rothrock) which include Nina, Sydney, Kaylan, Georgia, and Lili B. And I met other nice people like Lily J, Shira, Ally, Olivia, Sarah, Sam, Isaac, and Daniel. I tried so many new thing with these people like rock climbing (terrifying), wakeboarding (almost got my arms ripped off) and horseback riding. But some of the highlights of the summer was when I was coming off the top bunk and my foot went through the recycling bin and got stuck, which was very funny! Some other highlights were white water rafting and the talent show. SMA was super fun and I can’t wait to come back next year!!


Mikolo Schlager

Before coming to SMA I was skeptical about this camp. But now that I am close to the end I am proud to say that I will miss SMA very much. Favorite Activities were Tie Dye and Volleyball Tournament. The mountain bike overnight was AWESOME!!! My favorite part of camp was the McCracken family. They were awesome.


Zack Gilbert

Over the part two weeks some reflections I’ve had were hanging with people on overnights and white water rafting especially. My favorite activity is biking and eating. My funny moments were on the van rides and Nate. I went on one overnight.


Sam Borislow, Berwyn, PA

This year was different from the last; for whatever reason this session seemed shorter. Maybe it was all the rain. Maybe it was all the fun I had. Speaking of fun, my cabin was really funny this year (especially Trevor and Mikolo). I also had a great group for crew and white water rafting. I had some nice conversations with some of the campers, like Lily, Sarah, and the guys. I also like talking with Texas and Tom in the cabin, and Felice outside of it. I really liked canoeing and hiking this year too. All in all, I’d like to say the different crazy things that happened at camp were more entertaining than most TV shows. Whether it be the loud morning wake-up calls, or the van ride parties, I enjoyed my session at SMA, and I will miss it here.


Luke Werner, CO

At SMA 2 week teen summer camp, so many good memories were made. For me most of the high points took place at the evening activities. Every time you felt free, and like nobody was watching you, and nobody cared. Through the whole time, the evening activities were the ones that made even the shyest kids move out of their comfort zone. Through the first week, all kids are trying to find a foothold at camp, but only after a little while it became every kid could just talk to each other.


Elizabeth McCracken, PA

Stone Mountain Adventures 2 week teen camp was a great way to have an amazing summer! So many different activities every day. SUP & sail, volleyball, white water rafting, soccer, wakeboarding, and softball were on my list of favorite activities. I met a bunch of new people throughout the entire camp. Celebrating McKenna’s birthday was super cool! I love all of the people here in different ways. I made a connection with basically everyone at this awesome camp! Shout out to Nate for being the coolest kid on the block. #straitfire. There are so many things I could write about but I can’t possibly mention everything. Get excited!


Donny Hilton

Hi my name is Donny. I want to tell you all about my highlights for session 1 2015 SMA 2 week summer camp for teenagers. Some of my favorite activities were rock climbing, SUP & sail, mountain biking, frisbee golf, and white water rafting. Some moments that I will never forget are getting to the top of the rock wall twice, losing my glasses at the bottom of the lake, evening meetings on the front lawn and in the barn, the talent show, secret friends, pranks that failed, and all of the gossips in Crow’s Nest. Some of my friends this year were Zack, Isaac, Gordon, Adian, Brooklyn, Nine, Sammie, LT, Ethan, Jin, Nate, Walter, Daniel, and Kaylen.


Braden Dahl, CO

While I was at Stone Mountain Adventures 2 week summer camp, the best part was hanging with Mike, Luke, and Nate in the vans. I went on one overnight with Mike and Luke and it was the wakeboarding overnight. Although the boat didn’t work we still had a lot of fun. My favorite activities were wakeboarding and ultimate frisbee. We had the coolest counselors. My most favorite part of all was the car ride jams with Mike, Like, and Nate. It was Strait Fire.

 A group of male Campers pose for a picture


Daniel Nilov

SMA rock climbing teen summer camp is a special place, I will never forget it. Overall the experience has changed me vastly as a person, but most importantly I had so much fun! Personally, I had no favorite activity since I was surrounded by friends everywhere, however, I had always loved the white water rafting experience (especially the van rides). Not to mention the river was almost above flood level so we flew through it. This was just one of the amazing experiences I will remember. All in all SMA is great and Jud is a cool guy.


Sammie Titus

This session at SMA rock climbing camp which was my favorite because I got to meet a lot of new people that I hope to keep in contact with and see again. I don’t have any low points which is awesome. I wish I could stay for another session. I enjoyed candle light because I got to connect with people. My cabin was also very warm and welcoming. We never had a dull moment after lights out. I will always have a special place here at SMA because it really brought me out of my shell as a person. I am going to miss all my friends here.  Having crew made chores a lot less painful and a lot more fun.

Michael McCracken

At SMA rock climbing teen camp my favorite activity was football in the mud and wakeboarding for the first time.  Funny moments were the van ride jams. My friends were Ethan, Antoine, Luke W, Braden, Harry, Nate, Gordon. The overnights were really fun. I went on the wakeboarding one so even though we didn’t get on the boat we still had fun at camp.


Michael Seifert

The first session of SMA rock climbing summer camp for teenagers was full of exciting activities. My favorite activities were mountain biking, wakeboarding, volleyball, and the Amish Market. There were many funny moments like the van rides and doing flips with Rory. I went on the mountain biking and wakeboarding overnight and they were lots of fun. I had many warm fuzzies and cold pricklies that I forgot but the first session was an overall warm fuzzy. White water rafting was so much fun and a bit scary. Camp was so much fun.


McKenna O’Donnell, Huntingdon, PA

I had a very fun time at SMA 2 week teen summer camp for the most part. I definitely want to come back next year. I came very close to many people in a short amount of time. I love my SMA friends and I hope that I can keep in touch with then and hopefully see them next year. I did many different activities that were all very fun. Some of my favorites were canoeing, playing football, SUP and sail, and many more. There wasn’t really that much I didn’t enjoy. There were some very funny moments during these two weeks, van rides and definitely nights in the cabin making shadow puppets on the ceiling and making farting noises. I pretty much got along with everyone for the most part but my closest friends were of course the girls in my cabin, it was a good group. I went on a climbing overnight and it was fun but I didn’t really have many friends with me and we couldn’t climb because one, we slept in, two the rocks were really slick. White water rafting was amazing, I would love to do it again.


Evan Ehlers

This was a great first session at SMA 2 week teen camp. At first I thought it was going to last forever, but it actually went by quick. Some of my favorite activities were soccer, SUP and sail, rock climbing, and white water rafting. My closest new friends are Nate, Harry, Braden, Luke, Michael, and Mike. White water rafting was both scary and fun. I’m coming back next year!



Harry Borislow, Berwyn, PA

At SMA 2 week summer camp for teenagers I tried new things. I have never been rock climbing on a real rock wall or been white water rafting. White water rafting was my favorite activity at SMA. I also met new people who became my friends. Mikolo and Nate were the funniest kids at camp and they would always make me laugh. Some of my favorite activities were SUP and sail, soccer, and rock climbing. SMA was a great camp and I can’t wait to come back next year. 


Shira David, Wyndmoor, PA

This year is my 2nd year at SMA 2 week summer camp and it was just as much fun as last year. I love meeting all the new people as well as seeing my friends from last year. I was really close with the people in my cabin (Little J) and some others. Wakeboarding was a lot of fun and was probably my favorite activity.

Lily Jenkins

This is my first year at Stone Mountain rock climbing teen summer camp, and by far has been the best summer camp I have ever been to. Despite being here for only two week it has felt like two years for I made many new friends and memories. The thing that makes Stone Mountain different from other camps is that you are able to explore and to attend activities away from the grounds, such as white water rafting which was a blast! I’m going to miss Stone Mountain for it’s like a second home, and I will be sure to attend next year.


Luke Titus (LT)

Some of my favorite activities at SMA rock climbing camp are white water rafting, canoeing, and wakeboarding. Some friends I have made are Isaac, Luke, Braden, Adian, Brooklyn, Nate, and Michael. I went on the wakeboarding overnight. Cold Prickly I did not like mountain biking. Warm Fuzzy I had lots of fun doing everything else.


Becca Daniels

This is my second year at SMA rock climbing teen camp and I love it just as much as I did last year. SMA is my summer home and my favorite place to be in the world. Being at camp with no phone and basically in the middle of nowhere makes you appreciate your life and what you have. Even though I’ve been here for two years, SMA has taught me so much like its ok to be yourself and its okay to be silly. SMA has given me so much more self confidence and independence. There are many great things about SMA. One thing is the van rides to our activities. The counselors blast music (not too loud), roll down the windows, and sing. It’s really fun. I really love being at a place that accepts you no matter what. I’ve made so many friends here new and old. Also the counselors here are really fun and understanding. I can’t wait to come back next year!


Nine Pradal, France

It is my 3rd year at SMA rock climbing summer camp for teenagers and I want to thank everybody at camp who made these summers amazing. Thanks Jud, Anne, Pam, Biff, and all the counselors. I have made so many life long friendships. I don’t know yet if I’m coming back next year as a super camper even if I would love to spend another summer here. SMA taught me so many things. How to live with other people. I discover new cultures from all over the world. I laugh, smiled, cried, loved, hated, lived at SMA. This place will always stay in my memory. Thank you again.


Kat Alsfelder, Cincinnati, OH

This is my second year at SMA and I had just as much fun as the first year. I liked getting to see friends from last year as well as making some new friends. My favorite activity that we did was white water rafting. This camp is so inclusive and accepting of everybody that you can actually be yourself even if you can’t at home. I don’t think I ever stop smiling at this camp (except for morning). Late night gossip sessions with the cabin are the best thing ever. SMA van rides are the best. SMA gave me many new memories and friends and is the best place to be during the summer.


Ally Sobola, Arlington, VA

SMA is my home away from home. Being here for 3 years has taught me so much – be inclusive, caring, go with the flow, and to have fun! I have grown so much from the past 3 years. I was a scared little kids, not wanting to be away from my parents. But as camp went on, I have blossomed into a confident and happy person. I can be myself here, opposite of at home. No one will judge you here, and accepts you for who you really are. I have to make every second of every day count, because life goes by way too fast. This camp has a special place in my heart, and I am so happy to have spent my past three summers here.


Antoine Bernardini, France

This year was different from last year, first because there was less frenchies than last year. One thing I’m proud about is the fact that I spoke a lot English and I met some amazing American friends and I feel now really comfortable about having a serious conversation in English. I think that during this camp, my favorite activities were for sure rock climbing. I did for my first time sharktooth and other one rocks. Then, mountain biking was awesome, it was difficult and I had some good feelings during the downhill. The famous volleyball and swim that I did for three times, I liked it every time. Also, I learned how to play (American) football. I went on a mountain biking overnight, it was a really good time. It was when I met some of my friends. My friends during 1st session were almost all of the campers. But I’ll say that my “besties” were Michael from NYC, Brooklyn from Brooklyn, Trevor, Olivia, Shira… Counselors were Melissa, Texas, Rory, Josh Love, Chase. Also I went on a wakeboarding overnight. I wakeboarded with Michael and we were the only ones because the boat broke down. Whatever, we had a really good time after this event. One of my cold pricklies was the weather and humidity, it rained for almost a week. Warm fuzzies I definitely improved my English and I had an awesome time during the weeks. One funny moments talents show and prep. We did an awesome choreography on “lip gloss” song. That’s all bud.

Lili Bachelerie, France

It’s my second year at SMA!! I still think it’s an amazing camp, a place to meet wonderful new people from around the world (or not). I got so much luck to come back this year because its my summer camp home. I want to thank Jud for everything, I think he is an incredible man, even if he is tired, even if he is angry, he always has a big smile on his face. He is kind of our second dad. Thanks also to the counselors! They were amazing this year! Love you guys!! Here at SMA, you always have somebody to hang out with, everybody takes care of everybody, it’s like a big family. The food is amazing, the activities are great fun. I’m really happy because this year I did Horsemasters. I rode an amazing horse and with her I learned a lot things and she did too. Thank you everything and I hope I’ll come back next year!

-Your Frenchie


Jin Yu Hirsch, Larchmont, NY

I want to thank you for making this an amazing session 1. From white water rafting with Rory, Max, Mike, Kaylen, Ana, and Jonathon to making friendship bracelets outside the Furnace with Sam, Harry, and Lily. Some of my favorite things we did this summer include going on the wakeboarding overnight but not wakeboarding. I got to know the other campers on the overnight better because of this. I also really enjoyed watching everyone in the talent show.


Kaylen Houldin, FL

My favorite activities were soccer and wakeboarding, everyone here is my friend at SMA. I went to the biking overnight. I have very little cold pricklies but so many warm fuzzies. I loved white water rafting. I am going to miss everyone so much and I had the BEST time here!


Nate Viorst

My favorite activities were soccer, football, rugby, climbing, overnights, and sharing warm fuzzies. Some friends I made were Adian, Mike, Gordon, Luke, Braden, Mikolo, Max, and Brooklyn. I had fun! Happy moments with friends were good. White water rafting was awesome.


Sydney Waterman, Huntingdon Valley, PA

SMA is my home away from home. It feels like I’ve lived here my whole life, even though it has only been two weeks. I’ve made many new friends and reconnected with old ones. The people are nice, funny, caring, and supportive. My Rothrock girls are like my sisters, and they make me laugh, smile, and cry whenever I need it. The memories I’ve made during this session will stay with me throughout the upcoming year. If I ever feel sad and lonely, I can just think about SMA and I’ll be happier. Some of my favorite moments here were the SUP and sail overnight, van parties on the way home from rafting, canoeing with Kaylen, bonding over a dead bunny with Georgia, looking at a beautiful scenery, convincing my mom to let me get a dreadlock, faceplanting during wakeboarding, hugging people, Alex’s lemonade stand, the candle light meeting, getting an awesome coin, learning important life lessons, dancing with everyone, winning the game of electricity, accidentally slicing my finger with a razor blade, going to Walmart, Nina’s doll Seth and her wanting to give it a haircut, cuddling, and soo much more! Since that was such a long list, it is easy to see that I had fun here at SMA. I hope the next three sessions will be as fun as the first. It will be so hard to say goodbye to everyone because they are such great friends. SMA is awesome. I hope you all have a great summer and I’ll see you next year…maybe?


Walter Keiler, PA

I really enjoyed camp. I still think there should be a rockmasters.


Nina Margiani, OR

This session one of 2015 at SMA was my first time. My favorite activities were SUP and sail and going to Belleville. Playing with Seth the Barbie doll with my cabin was a funny moment. I went on the SUP and sail overnight which was one of my favorite times at SMA. My friends were Lily J, Jackson, Isaac and everyone in my cabin. It was my first time white water rafting at SMA. It was fun and terrifying.


Isaac Hochberg

This camp has changed my life. All the activities have been fun like white water rafting. The friends Becca and Nine, L.T., Ethan, and Max. Every activity was a once in a lifetime thing. I will always love this camp.


Brooklyn (Theo Puccio), Brooklyn, NY

I had a lot of fun this session. Mountain biking was a blast. I’m so glad Tom came back because he’s like a role model. Trevor is my good friend because he reminds me a lot of friends back home. Van rides are fun. I wanna go back to Brooklyn, but I love this.


Jackson Bogardus, New York, NY

His summer I had lots of fun at SMA. I made lots of friends and had lots of fun doing activities like stand-up paddle boarding and rock climbing. I went on a stand-up paddle boarding overnight. I made it to the top of all the camp rocks. I had lots of fun doing white water rafting again. The water was high so there was a difference in water to navigate. All in all I had a great time at Stone Mountain.


Ana Hilton

This year was a different year for me. I came here with my Brother and I am staying here when my brother is going home. I will miss him but I think I’ll be ore myself here without him here. At first this session was odd I mean at first I only knew people from last year and my brother not I know almost everyone here. I love the feeling of family here. This is like a second home to me. This is my last year. I am so sad to leave this camp. I wish I found this camp earlier, I feel like I have changed so much because of this camp. I love the person I have become. I am more open with myself and I know this camp has helped me with this. This camp has let me be open with myself and others. It has also helped me talk out my feelings, and I can talk about things without crying. I think this is because of the people I have been hanging out with. Some of them were Isaac, Nine, Becca, Mikolo, Theo, Trevor, Kat, Ally, Shira, and many other people. I loved all of the activities. I went on an overnight, a SUP and Sail overnight. We went on Raystown Lake and just hung out on the water. We ate mountain pies. I can’t wait to go on other overnights next session. I am in Mattawanna this year or at least this session. I thought I was going to hate being in Mattawanna but I love it. Mattawanna is for the older girls. This session I feel like had a lot of drama but I guess every teen has some kind of drama. 



Georgia Thomas, State College, PA

This year at camp my favorite activities were Horsemasters and mountain biking. I loved all the new and old counselors this year. Although this year was much different from last year I can already tell that it is going to be the highlight of my summer. The moment I left last year I knew I had to come back. Not only because I would miss my friends Kaylen, Sydney, and Lili but I knew I would miss the counselors and the experience. Even though my knee hurt the whole session I still had a blast. My heart breaks every time I leave. It lifts itself back up when I see my friends and the counselors. I can’t wait to come back next year.

Jonathon Crist

The most terrific part of camp was when the whole camp went white water rafting and people fell off. Also the bike overnight and Gordon’s story about Rock Bottom and camp lake wood.


Max Benson, Cherry Hill, NJ

This year I did a lot of climbing and wakeboarding. I did very good in these and it made me happy. The conversations in Furnace were hilarious. I was friends with everyone. Anyway, I went on two overnight trips. I did SUP and sail overnight and climbing overnight. White water rafting was very fun. The waters were high so we were able to go on different routes than normal. Overall camp was very fun.





Adian Vinograd, FL

My favorite activities were mountain biking and sports. I had close friends like Nate, Mike, Evan, Luke, Jonathan, Braden, Gordon, Mikolo, Ethan, and McKenna. My cold prickly is that the detergent in the laundry sucked but my warm fuzzy is that camp was a blast. White water rafting was very fun.



Session 1 2015 Staff Reflections



Sarah Fisher, Evanston, IL

Session 1 of 2015 was nothing less than amazing. I absolutely loved being with all of the kids and counselors and thought we had a wonderful group to kick off the summer. The most memorable part of the past two weeks was the amount of rain we had and how it affected our time. Even though countless activities were poured on – biking, hiking, canoeing, white water rafting, crew Olympics, etc. – the energy was always full of excitement and positivity. I will never forget that first volleyball tournament, chilling out with my ladies in Rothrock, creating the first dance photobooth, my sassy diva of a secret friend, dressing up for disco bowling, story time around that massive fire on the SUP and Sail overnight, smelling of rotten food after the counselor sundae activity, and MOTIVÉ – the most amazing raft the Yough has ever seen!! Honestly, there are too many good times from these two weeks to write them all down. Even now as I type, I keep thinking of more and more I want to add! But that just shows how much fun I had this session and how much I will miss everyone.

Before these past two weeks I was a little nervous to return to camp. SMA holds a special place in my heart and I never want that to change. But right away I knew that the group from this session would hold together the same spirit of SMA that keeps me coming back. Even though this group may never be together again, the memories we’ve made will last forever.

And of course, I’ll never forget spraying the confetti all over myself…and (un)fortunately you all probably won’t either J


Josh Love, Belfast, Northern Ireland

So this would be my second summer working as a counselor in the special place that is Stone Mountain Adventures, and I couldn’t have been more eager for session 1 to get started. That first day when parents drop off their kids is awesome, I loved meeting new campers and catching up with old ones from the previous year.

I knew instantly that session 1 this year was going to be great. The vibe was just awesome and the energy was high. I was bunk captain for the ‘Crow’s Nest’ this session and I had a ton of fun being with the guys in that cabin. Those late night talks and as the Irish say the banter between the campers and I was awesome. One of the highlights for me this session was getting out on the boat with the kids, whether it was just swimming and relaxing or seeing the smile on their faces when they got up on that wakeboard. Another highlight is definitely white water rafting on the Yough. There is always anxiety and excitement in the air before we begin, and once we get started on that river it’s just excitement and fun in the air. This session was incredible and I loved spending time and getting to know all 43 campers that were here at SMA.


Alyna Malyniak, Adelaide, Australia

Even though this wasn’t my first time working at Stone Mountain Adventures, there still isn’t any way you can fully prepare yourself for the rollercoaster of fun that is SMA. And of course, the first session started in the most unexpected way – torrential rain! That didn’t damper our spirits, though. It was so exciting to see so many returning campers mixed in with a bunch of new faces – and even more exciting when the whole group clicked almost instantly.

Highlights of the session would definitely have to include the FIRST EVER SUP & SAIL OVERNIGHT! I don’t think I have ever laughed so much in my whole life. Also, finally getting out on the river in the canoes after the river went down was awesome.

I’d have to say though, my absolutely highlight of session one was just being back here, getting back into the swing of things and feeling as though I’d never left.

I cannot wait for the rest of the summer – get excited!




Tom Prolze, Manchester, England

During my time at SMA in 2014 I learned a lot about myself and being a camp counselor. In 2015 I came back and I was confident in myself from the first day.

I arrived back from a van trip late in the afternoon and as I arrived I was greeted by 43 campers including lots of returners. As soon as I saw all the familiar faces and new faces I felt at home.

First day of activities went off with a bang! As the bike master, I hit the Alegrippis trails and it was amazing. Two days into camp we went on a mountain bike overnight and hit the trails in the afternoon and then again at 7 AM the next morning!! ALEGRIPPER RIPPEEEEERRRRRR

Overall I had an amazing first session creating memories for life with new friends I will never forget. Thanks to all the campers, staff, and Jud for making this possible.

Peace x


Ellie Phillips (Babs), Chipping, England

Welcome to Camp!

I arrived at camp nervous and excited like most of the campers. My first time in America and at a summer camp. As soon as I got to SMA I realized there was no need to be nervous, the rest of the staff made me feel so welcome I already felt I was home.

Session One began with all the campers arriving on the rainiest day. The rain was bouncing off the ground and cars but every camper had a smile on their face. THEY WERE AT CAMP!! Counselors, parents, and campers rallied to keep everything dry and safely into their cabins.

Returners catching up with friends, inviting the new campers to join in, and letting me get to know you all.

The week got going and all the campers joined in every activity, water sports, hiking, canoeing, overnights, climbing, sports and swim, arts and crafts, Horsemasters and biking. The campers taught me new games, knock out, American football, nukem, and many more.

Session One was amazing for me, getting to know everyone and everyone making me feel welcome!

Thank you everyone and see you soon!


Virginia Masland, Carlisle, PA

Session 1 2015 was a fantastic one with 43 awesome kiddos! It was also my 1st session here at SMA. I truly had no idea how much fun and happiness was in store when I originally applied for this job. To start things off, the first few evening meetings really made me realize how small camp is. I was excited by the fact that I was going to get to know each and every person at least a little bit better over the next few weeks of the summer. Learning the kids’ interests and diverse personalities was something that I loved doing through various activities and just simply hanging around camp. I especially enjoyed watching kids try new things and step out of their comfort zones as I think that summer camp is an enormous opportunity for self discovery and growth, as it was for me when I was a camper. I absolutely loved when kids were eager to go biking or excelled at belaying during climbing. Another high point for me included spending a morning in the barn. This also included getting to see some kids ride for the first time and getting to ride myself for a little bit. Session 1 made me so eager and hopefully more prepared for more incredible sessions to come!


Simon Lefevre, Walsall, England

At SMA 2015 I have done so many things that I have never done before. To begin, this was my first ever time to America, and I didn’t really know what to expect – especially because all I had to base my preconceptions on was what I had seen on TV. However, right from the get-go I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute I had spent here. It literally feels like there have been absolutely no low points whatsoever. The stafs are great and they all made me feel really welcome, especially as there are so many returners and it would have been easy for them to stick with each other at the start. Furthermore, the campers are a pleasure to be with. I was late arriving as I was on the DC van and right from the moment I stepped out of the van and was mobbed by 35+ kids I know it was going to be a good two weeks. From that point on my opinion of the campers has grown and grown, whether it is their warmth and kindness to another camper, or their unexpected humor you can’t help but laugh at, or their massive improvement at a certain activity. They are the reason we do this job and they have made it all worth it. Some highlights form the session are playing Jud games in the barn and really seeing some kids come out of their shells, getting to know every camper on a personal level whether through cabins, crew, or activities, candlelight meetings where everyone shares their emotions and feelings (which doesn’t come easy to us Brits), and just hanging out with such special kids.

One thing that has struck me whilst I have been here is the amount of former campers and former counselors and children of former campers and counselors who keep coming back to SMA. For me, this speaks volumes about how much SMA means to people and really stays with them for life.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to be here for the past two weeks.


Felice Oltuski, NY

Where to begin…session one 2015 was amazing! The last time I was here I was a third year camper and so incredibly sad to say goodbye to Stone Mountain Adventures. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it feels to be back, and I really owe that feeling to the amazing campers we had, old and new. To my session one kids – you are all so wonderful. You are kind, thoughtful, HILARIOUS, and just all around great people and you made the start of my summer fantastic. By the end of the session I could not tell who had been coming to Stone Mountain Adventures for years and who was spending their first summer away from home – everyone just became one big SMA family and I think that speaks to the magic of SMA and the positive effect it has on people. My favorite moments of session one probably include too many to count. One highlight was definitely invention convention. I was blown away by the creativity and spent that evening laughing until my stomach hurt. Another amazing memory was our giant game of epic duck-duck-goose, which included around 50 people. All of us had so much fun playing a game we all learned at 4 years old – again something that speaks to how unique this place is. My favorite day, however, was white water rafting. Some of us were pumped, some of us were scared, but we made it down the river as a team and the hilarious photos that were taken of us along the way are proof of how much fun each and every one of us had. Session one, I will never forget you!


Chase Cloward, CA

I had an amazing time coming back to camp and seeing everyone again for the first time in over a year! Everyone was very eager to start doing all the amazing activities that we do at this camp and we started out with a bang. All the campers started connecting and forming friendships that will last long after camp ends. Rock climbing started out great with new and returning campers crushing the climbs at Donation Rocks and almost everyone that tried got to the top. We also went hiking to Hunters Rocks which was breathtaking when we all reached the top and saw an amazing view that overlooked most of the valley. The biking overnight was also something that I will never forget, everyone was riding hard and pushing themselves in order to make it up those steep hills. After we biked hard we all went down to Rasytown Lake and cooled off in the water that was so refreshing that it recharged our tanks so we could wake up in the morning and do it all over again! All in all it was an amazing first two weeks that I will remember for a long time to come!!


Devin Rose, TX

During my time at SMA, it has been a wild and new ride for me. I remember the excitement followed by nervousness to spend my first summer as a SMA camp counselor. When we had finally gotten all the kids together, I remember looking around the barn and seeing so many faces that looked how I felt with so much anticipation, hopefulness, and just not knowing what to expect!

After the craziness and being uncomfortable had worn off, I got to connect with the campers like I never thought was imaginable. It was such a true personal level that has really changed me for the better in every way.


Ali Sanzo, Sewickley, PA

The first session of 2015 absolutely flew by this year. It’s hard for me to believe that it’s already over! It was an absolute joy to watch the kids, especially new campers, come out of their shells and try new things. Although the boat difficulties this session were a bummer for campers and counselors alike, I know that we rallied on the lake by stepping up the SUP and Sail program – one that I genuinely love. There was something very special about this group of kids; the energy this session astounded me and the group surprised me day after day…candlelight meetings being the biggest surprise of all. I was happy to see how many kids were still around from my first year, considering this is our third summer together! But even by day three it was hard to say who was a returning camper or a new camper because of how comfortable each kid became. And of course, I was extremely pleased by how popular friendship bracelets were this session; boys made just as many if not more than girls did this session! Some things about Stone Mountain will never change J With three more sessions to go, I’m amped and ready for another incredible summer at Stone Mountain Adventures!

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