Director Jud's Blog

James Pulls Off The Best Prank of the 2014 at SMA Teen Summer Camp!

Posted by Jud Millar on Tue, Apr 14, 2015

overnight-summer-camp-JamesMy name is James Flynn-Kocourek, I was a counselor at SMA Teen Summer Camp the summers of 2013 and 2014. I can’t believe that it’s almost time for camp this summer. It feels like yesterday that camp was in full force and I was in Pennsylvania. I’ve been missing those days, especially with this cold and snowy winter (and spring) on Long Island.  

In this Blog Post I reflect on the experiences I had over those 2 summers and explain how I pulled off the best prank of the SMA Summer of 2014!

        Looking back at the last two summers at SMA overnight summer camp, I have nothing but great memories. Being a counselor at a sleep-away summer camp camp was something I never thought I would be able to do.  I was never able to go to overnight camp as a kid but it is something that I’ve always heard great things about. I wished I could have went and I thought that opportunity was lost. After college graduation, I would have to look for a job on Long Island and join the working world. If you told me back then that three weeks after graduation I would be leaving for for an teen overnight summer camp camp, I would have told you that's crazy. When I came across SMA Teen Camp online and the counselor openings, I thought it’s a long shot but why not apply. After talking with Jud and Anne, I was blown away when I got the call that they wanted me to be apart of their team. It was my last chance at going to sleep-away camp. I didn’t think twice, I accepted the offer the next day.

 A group of Campers white water rafting

         A lot of people have asked me about my experience at camp and when they do I always have the same reaction. I get overwhelmed with memories that I struggle to form words. They look at me weird, but I just can’t explain it. The experience can't be described. Nothing said can do justice to the camp experience.

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        When I first arrived at Horsepower Farm for staff training I was anxious and nervous. Everything was unfamiliar and I felt a little awkward. After our first meeting, I knew I had made the right decision to come to camp. Everyone was already making jokes, laughing, and enjoying themselves. Staff training was great. We learned the importance of making everything we did fun and safe for the kids. We were there to make sure they were enjoying themselves.

Picture of a male Camper        Once staff training ended and all the campers arrived, the fun really began. I met so many new people and people from all over the world. I have endless memories of my first summer at camp. Mountain Biking on the Allegrippis Trails, whitewater rafting the Youghiogheny River, epic soccer matches, rock climbing on Donation Rocks, everything about Raystown Lake, canoeing overnights. The list goes on and on. At the end of the first summer, I couldn’t believe what everyone had accomplished.  The experience that I had at SMA teen summer camp exceeded my expectations!

        My second summer at SMA Teen Camp almost didn’t happen because I wasn’t planning on coming back. Jud had offered me the chance to be a counselor again but I wasn’t sure. One day in about March when I was sitting at my desk at work I began thinking about camp. I thought about how much fun I would have if I went back. I couldn’t imagine sitting at my desk all summer when I knew I could be running around with all the campers having the time of my life. I immediately emailed Jud and told him I was coming back. I quit my job in June and was headed back to Huntingdon,PA!

            I didn’t think it was possible, but my second summer was just as great as the first. I supervised different activities, made new friends and new memories. I taught campers water skiing, wake boarding (and belly whomping). There were so many activities to do. We went disco bowling and floated the Yough. I even discovered the fun in making friendship bracelets. 


The Best Prank of SMA 2014!

         The highlight of the summer was when my little brother came to SMA for the fourth session. We decided to have some fun with the campers and decided not to tell anyone he was my brother.  We even gave him a different last name. At the end of camp we shocked everyone when we told them he was my brother during the last evening meeting. At first no one believed us, we had everyone fooled! It was great getting to see him out of his element and sharing my love of SMA with him.


        My two summers in Pennsylvania at SMA Overnight Teen Summer Camp are something I will cherish forever. Getting to see the growth of the campers was extremely rewarding. I saw them become more confident, mature, energetic, and even silly. All of it is due to the passion of the people I worked with. I have never had bosses that care about their job as much as Jud and Anne (and Pam and Biff). I also never worked with co-workers that made my job not feel like a job. Their enthusiasm brought out the best in me and made for not only a great work environment but a place that I will always call home.

                                                                - James Flynn-Kocourek


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This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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