Director Jud's Blog

SMA Teen Summer Camp Session 1 Camper Reflections!

Posted by Jud Millar on Mon, Oct 30, 2017

Scout Kranick

This was my first year at SMA. I had spent 3 summer at an all girls camp in Maine. My first year there I didn’t make many friends. I saw all the other girls laughing and hanging out with their friends. Therefore, I kept going back because I wanted what the other girls were having and getting out of camp. However, I never did find it. By the end of my third year, I decided I was done trying to find something I was never gonna get at my old camp. So I searched on the internet for a new camp. I found Stone Mountain Adventures. I was really excited when my parents said I could go. A few months later, (aka 2 weeks ago) my dad was driving me to camp and all of a sudden I got sad and began to cry because I was scared this camp would be like my old camp where everyone was a brat and had all their cliques. But I got here and Swags came and told me that everything was gonna be ok and it wasn’t gonna be like my other camp. Then I started making friends with everyone in my cabin. Everyone was so kind and opened up to me. Soon, I had many friends from all different cabins and we had fun, laughed together and cared about each other. Here at SMA, I finally found what I was looking for at camp: fun, memories, and friends that will last a lifetime. Next year, I wanna come back…maybe even for two sessions. So thanks SMA for giving me a second home and being the camp I always hoped to find.





Jordyn Bitton

This session was very strange. One second I was unpacking, the next I was going down the Yough. Personally, I could have been more mature this session, therefore moving into Mattawanna. There are obviously things to improve on but I have 6 more weeks to do so. I spent most of this session worried about a lot of things which I know I need to stop but I made new friends and I can’t wait for more of my friends to arrive in session 2!

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Alex Soulier

I really enjoyed first session, the people were really nice and cool! My favorite activity was the wakeboarding and waterskiing overnight. My crew during white water rafting was great and I had the best time going down the Yough! I can’t wait for next session!


Harry Borislow

This year at SMA I met many new people and enjoyed lots of different activities. First of all, I met new people like Ryan and Nico, secondly I enjoyed white water rafting for the third time. I also really enjoyed mountain biking and playing soccer and going to Sheetz.


Ryan Ozmelek

These first two weeks of camp at SMA Teen Summer Camp have been the most fun I have had all year. The balance between trying new things and becoming more social has been really helpful with gaining more experience and skills along with some extra self confidence. The only regret I have from this session is that I didn’t go on another overnight. This first overnight I went on was on of the best experiences I have had so far.




Sophia Godfrey

I was nervous when I first came to camp because I wasn’t sure if I would make friends or fit in because I have never been to sleep away camp before. However, I made amazing friends and did a lot of fun and unique activities which was great! I did activities like Jud games, rock climbing, wakeboarding, candlelight, knee-boarding, swimming in the lake, softball, rollerblading, petting the dogs and many more. I am going to miss my friends and I got used to living at SMA very easily, but it felt like it went by so fast because I was having so much fun!

Nicolas Magnin

I really enjoyed my first two weeks at SMA Summer Camps for Teens. During the two weeks I forgot about my family because here, everybody is like a second family for me. The activities proposed by Jud and the counselors were wonderful. I loved the variety of activities and all the different sports we got to play. The counselors are like our friends and I am very impatient to begin my next two weeks in this dream place.

Walter Keiler

I enjoyed this session, it started off slow but soon picked up with the early climbing overnight telling stories and watching the stars. Soon enough it was the yough and I finally got to go down I a ducky which was awesome! All in all it was a great session and I am looking forward to seeing everyone next year!

Morgan Oxenreider

A super, super big thank you to Jud and Anne for giving me the chance to experience SMA’s magic for another year! This being my 2nd year made it even more special. This year I got very close to the counselors making it very, very hard to leave them. The overnights were very fun and some of the best memories this session, from getting up on the water-skis for a good 4 seconds, to the cuddle-puddle we had on the canoeing overnight. This session I discovered that I am a great volleyball player and an AMAZING chicken wrangler!! The friends I have made during these 2 weeks have become some of my bestest friends and I’m so grateful for all of them. I hope to some back as a super camper next year and a counselor in 5 years. Thank you to everyone who made my 2 weeks at SMA Teen Camp great. I loved being the ‘CIT’ (Counselor in Training) for the session and I hope that it helped you a lot! Love Morgan Oxenreider.


Summer-Camps for-Teens-2017


Natalie Houldin

I liked my two weeks at camp. I made lots of friends. I love all the staff. The food was great. So are the people. The horses were awesome. :D My favorite thing was the secret friends. I really liked the swimming. I will miss everyone. The overnights were awesome. All the people here are so nice.

Tessa Small

What an unforgettable first experience at SMA overnight summer camps! Starting with the North East van with Will and Jem, every part was a blast! We got lost picking up most campers but it only made us laugh louder. I was impressed by the spirit and love shared by the group. Within a day I felt like I had made 50 new friends. Today, just two weeks in and I know I have made a new family and I am proud to call this place my second home! From the activities to the atmosphere, I easily forgot about any outside problems and got to submerge myself into camp. Everyday was filled warm-fuzzies and firsts. I topped-out a climb, slept under the stars, wake-boarding, made bracelets and had a wide smile continuously.

Mattawanna was so loving and supportive no matter how messy it was. The people I met at SMA will be there for me forever and vice versa. The counselors became my parents (Ben and Helen) and overall best friends. I am so thankful. Now as it wraps up all to fast, I hold these adventures close to my heart. I hope to never forget it or take camp for granted. I can’t wait to come back next year!! Cheers Luv!

Nick Engleman

This was my first time at SMA and I loved it. I will definitely come back next year if I am able to. Everyone at camp was great and it was a great way to get away from the stress at home. I wish I could stay another session this year but I can’t. If there was one thing I would do differently next time I would to be more outgoing. I really liked how we didn’t have our phones and was disconnected from home.




Coby Polatsek

Most of the people in my cabin were sane. Going to McDonalds and Wendy’s (for the first time J) was great. Going white-water rafting for the first time was awesome!! I had a great time playing hilarious Jud Games. I had a great time.

Alyssa Phillips

This was the best 2 weeks of my life, hands down!!! What I like about SMA is you can sign up for an activity, knowing nobody, and leave three hours later with a new best friend. I love all the counselors and their big personalities! Camp would be very dull if no one had the courage to be themselves and the counselors make it easy for people to feel comfortable. In session one, I have made so many memories! Including- ‘whose sneakers are those?’, ‘there’s grippy stuff’, Morgan’s arm is a petting zoo, our invention convention skit, and many, many more. It was so awesome to meet all of these really cool people and get to learn stuff about them. I couldn’t have asked for a better camp with so many awesome people! I can’t wait to come back next year! But for 2 sessions this time!!!

Stephen Reohr

I came to this camp to have fun! I had fun! I got to relax with cabin mates and get to go on amazing activities: biking, kayaking, rafting, and climbing high up. Thank you Stone Mountain for this great experience! I will come back!


Liz F-N

This year marked my second year and third session here at SMA. Coming back, I was thrilled to reconnect with the people and the atmosphere at camp. It’s not hard to believe that I immediately felt back at home within minutes of arriving! I jumped from being in Rothrock last year to Mattawanna this year and I couldn’t be any happier with my cabin. Having a small group of welcoming girls made it easy and fun to get back in the groove of SMA after being away for 11 months. Some of my favorite moments or activities from this session include: being on the boat, 4th of July fireworks and watching the sunset in the huge cuddle puddle, playing ultimate in the rain yesterday, and all-camp day. I also especially enjoyed feeling so loved by my “parents” (Simon and Greta). This session flew by faster than ever before. I feel like everyone just got here and I can’t believe most of my friends are leaving tomorrow! I will never forget the people and the memories I had made this session and even though I’m staying for another session, I can’t wait to connect with my friends after and visit. Never forget “what happens in Mattawanna, stays in Mattawanna!” Cheers!

Sophia Segura

Everything was in one of these categories: fun, terrifying, or a mixture of both. White water rafting was in the third category. For 15 minutes before the trip, I was crying and for 15 minutes during the trip, I was crying. But after that it was really fun! I went mountain biking for the first time and it was really, really fun! On the wakeboarding overnight, I got up on the kneeboard and had fun with the bike masters overnight when they came over. Sitting on the rocks, telling stories was also quite enjoyable. I made so many friends this session! Jem made a gorgeous henna design on my hand and the scavenger hunt that Gia, my secret friend, gave me almost made me cry when I read the letter at the end. Candlelight was very emotional, and I learned a lot about my fellow campers. Roller-skating was also fun, and it felt like I was hanging out with friends at home. Overall, I absolutely LOVED camp and I don’t want to leave!


Jamie Masterson

Hello sweet, sweet parents- it has been two weeks and I have made many memories. My fondest of them was chasing a duck and her duckling for half an hour. I almost caught one. I also enjoyed playing with the cat. I had a great time biking even though I gashed open my hand. I managed to not miss any biking trips though, and when the stitches are out- I’ll be biking again! I also water-skied- it was great but so different that real skiing because you have to lean so far back. I have been on a few camping trips and every one of them I rolled off my sleeping bag. I’m having a pretty good time. Love Jamie. PS- I made many purposeful mistakes (as the counselor typing this). PSS- sorry for my hand-writing, I’m not left handed and my hand hurts. (That’s ok Jamie- I could still read it!)

Odessa Shingler

I am so happy that I decided to come to this camp. I love that there are only about 50 people here and that everyone can be themselves. I had so much fun with my new friends. I loved going white water rafting. It was so much fun going swimming and stand-up paddling. Being able to be myself felt so good. Everyone is so fun to hang out with. My favorite thing was candlelight- it feels so nice to know that even though people can be different, they can be the same in so many ways, fitting in was, and is, so easy! SMA is my family and I loved everyone here so much. All the counselors helped me feel right at home as soon as I got here. I love this camp so much and I am definitely coming back to my family next year! This camp has changed my view of myself and the world for the better. I love you all!

Georgia Thomas

This year was my fourth year at camp. Coming to camp is always one of the hardest and easiest things for me to do. I always want to come back but I never want to leave. And by the time camp comes around again I always think why do I put myself through this torture of making amazing friends and then leaving them and having to face that heartbreak all over again. That being said, SMA is, and always will, be my favourite place on earth. The activities are amazing, I love riding bikes and going canoeing. My favourite activity is by far white water rafting. This year Walter and I got to go down the river in a ducky. It was so fun. Even though the activities are fun it is the people that make the camp what it really is.

Gia Flynn

It’s my second year and camp is still amazing. Everything was the same or so much better. All the activities were so much fun! It’s so nice to see all my friends again. My cabin was a lot of fun and because of all the new campers, I’ve made many new friends. The evening activities were just as exciting and enjoyable as last year. I definitely plan to come back for as long as I can. I went on no overnights but still had tons of fun with the group of people who stayed back. This session seemed to go faster than any other session before! The 4th of July celebration was a lot of fun, but I did lose my flip-flops. I have two more weeks here this year and I will be back in future years!


Tyler Margiana

This was my third year at SMA, I wish I could stay longer. It was very excited to move up to Little J but hard on my legs haha. Each year here is better than the last. With all the new campers, I found many great friends, who I hope to see next year. My favorite times this session were cuddle puddles and the dance parties. This year will be the hardest to leave, I hope to say in touch with everyone.

Becca Daniels

This is my fourth year at SMA and sadly my last. The past 4 years at SMA have been the best. I’ve made friendships that have helped me grow into the person I am today. SMA has helped me to mature and taught me responsibly. I will treasure this place and the memories forever. SMA will always have a special place in my heart.

Flora Fonquernie

I had great time this session. I tried to stay more with the people that I don’t know and I feel that I’ve done a part of my session goal. When I came back, it was like I had never left- nothing changed, just the campers. It felt like another session of the same year. My favorite memory was the rock climbing overnight, when we were around the campfire, telling stories and playing games.


Ben Reohr

The first session of camp was amazing and surpassed my expectations as a first year camper. I mad a lot of friends as everyone was accepting and open. There were no grudges or bullying that arose between people. I loved the activities that were offered including mountain biking on the Allegrippis trails and climbing around camp. I participated in the bike masters program which was a great experience. I grew close to those campers as I went mountain biking almost everyday with the same group. I highly recommend overnights as they were super fun and helped bonding start. I loved the mountain pies which are basically god-blessed sandwiches. Also, the activities were great as they brought the camp together. In conclusion, I really LOVED the SMA camp experience and I hope to come back next year.

Braden Dahl

I lived in Crow’s nest for the duration of two weeks. In the weeks, I had a great deal of fun with my chums. Thy chums were very caring and we told a multitude of humorous tales around thy camp fire. We drank water of the lemon and feasted on the flesh of an animal. We then played a very fie physical actives called Frisbee of the Ultimate. At night, we gathered in the oddly shaped circle in the wet, green, delicious grass. Our fearless leader Jud, made thy laugh and giggle when thy chose a rambuncous activity for the next dawn. Many moons have passed and I have had a time to ponder the question that plagued thy life. However, a new dawn has passed this time has come to return to thy homeland. Thy self will retun as a new man, similar to the metamorphosis of a caterpillar.

Maddie Day

Camp was fun. I would go back next year. The activities were fun and almost nobody got hurt. It was nice to be away from my family though I’m glad I’m going back home. It felt like a home away from home. I got henna too!

Cedar Cox-McAllister

This was my first year here at SMA and I have enjoyed my time here immensely. At first, I was super nervous and hesitant because everyone here seemed so close and knew each other. I quickly learned that it only took a couple of days before I also felt like I had known my friends here forever. SMA is such a safe, caring place and I feel completely accepted and happy here. The overnight was definitely one of the highlights and canoeing for the first time was too! After the first week, I never wanted to leave. I was completely settled and couldn’t believe that we were already halfway through. The second week was just as, if not more, fun than the first. Now I’m leaving and there’s nothing I want more than to stay here forever. SMA is like an alternate universe and therefore no problems or drama and everyone is happy.

Ethan Apparies

This session was interesting. A lot of first year campers made it better in so many ways I wouldn’t have originally thought possible. I was able to watch new campers become part of the SMA family. I was lucky to experience that. This session I got to go out mountain biking again at Raystown. It was such a good time, especially with such a big number of bike masters this session. Disco skating was (obviously) such a good time, dressing up is always fun! Then the Fourth of July! Ben (the counselor) spent his night off with us in an American dress. I don’t even know how to explain how much I look up to him. Overall, session 1 was just all around a good session, different, but in good ways.

Nate Viorst

I was in Crow’s Nest Cabin. I had friends. I was sick a lot. The evening activity was pretty fun. White was rafting was fun and so was the car ride. I love sheetz. I want sheetz in my life. O sheetz, your warm greasy food and cheap freezing milkshakes.

Gabriel Pradal

I think SMA changes my life because of all the other campers who are so cool. I really liked the wakeboard overnight, the moment when everyone was around the fireas really nice, we all had a positive attitude.

Donny Hilton

This year was probably the most emotional year for me. The boat was really fun! I got to see my old friends and counselors. Some of my highlights were the boat, secret friends, playing games and sports, getting sheetz, and the van rides. Some sad moments were the candlelight meeting and the song summer days that Jud sings in the talent show. I was crying a lot and everyone wanted to help me out so I would feel better. I hope I can stay for a second session this year.

Eline Delmas

I will never forget SMA, it had changed the way I see so many things.

The climbing overnight was amazing so was the canoeing one. Mountain pies are now one of my favourite foods. Wearing bunk junk was really funny eating icecream was so good. Doing gifts for secret friend was great. The SMA talent show was amazing. I am looking forward to more canoeing next year.

Oliver Camp

This was my first time at SMA overnight summer camps for teens and it was great. I will want to come back next year. I got to go and rock climb and to learn how to wake-board. I went white water rafting and it was great. The counselors were awesome and really chill. This camp is my favorite camp!

Annabel Kusnitz

This session at SMA sleepaway camps for teens was different from previous years, but in the best ways possible. I can’t even count the new facts and friends I’ve made this session, not to mention the old friends and familiar, welcoming atmosphere I returned too. As a third year, this was my first time doing things like dance prep and paper plates- which were both very fun! It all went by so fast, too fast to remember every little thing that made me smile. But regardless, I can’t wait to see the counselors, activities, and friends again. See you in 2018 SMA!!

Jared Rapaport

I got there at 11:00 but it still seemed cool. I loved rock climbing and white water rafting. Oh, also I liked the hikes. My friends were cool. It was awesome! I also loved the Amish marked- there was so much to buy and so much to see!

Rachel Masterson

This had been the longest time I have been away from my family. And one of the bad things was I got really homesick. But, that usually happens and it’s not fun but you get over it. I liked the car ride to white water rafting and back because it was fun to spend lots of time with my friends on the six hour round trip. I loved the bunnies though, and I got very excited when I got to name one Panda and adopt her for the session. I am sad I did not get to bring one home though. My favorite time was the rock climbing overnight because I love climbing and eating mountain pies. But, my favorite part was watching the sun go down and star gaze on a big tall, majestic rock. I also loved rollerblading so much. That was my favorite activity because I love rollerblading and going fast, racing my brother.

Chloe Godfrey

I had never been to an overnight camp before now, but SMA was pretty fun. I tried many different activities and learned new skills. Huntington is very different from where I live. The food here is usually pretty good. Evening activities here are also pretty creative and fun. Our cabin is a little messy but it's fine. They play fun music too sometimes.


Aron Barr

This year was my first at SMA and I had a great time. The activities were awesome, my favourites being white water rafting, climbing, horseback riding, and Jud games in the evening. The counselors managed to make everything creative and fun, even when I wasn’t with my group of friends. I enjoyed the staff skits especially the one about "stone adventures mountain". I can't wait for next year!

Session 1 Staff Reflections

Babs, Lancashire, England

Session 1 for me went by way too quick, but it was one awesome ride.

I had the pleasure of being bunk captain for Mattawanna where 90% of the cabin were first years however, you guys fit in so well, it was like you had all been here years. I am really proud of how you all looked out for each other and for the younger campers being excellent role models.

This being my 3rd year as a councillor I was even more excited to come back to SMA and get involved with all the activities and meeting new campers. My favourite activity was definitely white water rafting, we only lost one person out the boat which was a personal best!

I hope that you have all had as good a time as I did and hope you have a super sizzling summer ‘17!

Cheers Luvs!




Chase, CA

This first session has started off the summer with a bang! Its been amazing to see old faces and meet new ones that I will stay in contact with for years to come. The climbing overnight was spectacular with great climbing and then star gazing later that night. The biking overnight was sweet as well because the trails were so nice and flowed in and out of the turns. We also met up with the wake overnight to do s’mores and of course warm fuzzies and cold pricklies. All in all it was a great time with everyone and I can’t wait for second session.


Ben, Paris, France

“40 campers for first session is a lot” I remember thinking when I discovered rge list of campers. The beginning of summer would probably be intense. And it was. From a hard core horse-o-poly at the airport dressed as cows and penguins waiting for the campers, to last nights talent show, 2 crazy weeks flashed by.

I am still amazed by SMA’s capacity to distort time; it feels like this session lasted a couple of days and yet it was long enough to fit in lasting memories of laughter and friendship. Being one of the furnaces bunk captains the wakeboarding overnight, and the 4th of July fireworks were definitely highlights, but nothing beats the time spent on the USS Baguette raft on the Yough. We were elaborately all jumping out of the raft for the picture, but the rapids made the decision for us when our boat flipped.

To sum it all up, this summer could not have started in a better way. As usual, it will be hard to let some people go tomorrow, I may or may not be able to keep in touch with everyone. I used to be upset by the thought of not seeing people I became close to anymore, but camp has also thought me to enjoy what I have in the present moment; so that I don’t dread the future or have regrets about the past.


Jem, Newcastle, England

Wow… What an awesome session! From the first person I picked up on the North East van I knew this session was going to be a great one.

The activities have all been great and it has been amazing to watch so many campers achieve so many goals they had set, and I’ve had a lot of fun helping make that happen, even if it did result in an injury at the second rapid for me.

It has been a pleasure to get to know you all, and I can’t wait to see you all again soon!


Jason “J” Siegel, MD!

Returning to SMA as a counselor has been an incredible experience. It's also been a strange experience. It's been a strangely incredible experience. The people are different, the furniture has moved, but the vibe and energy is exactly same as it was many moons ago when I was a camper.


There were so many amazing, rewarding moments throughout the session that made me proud to be a counselor at this camp. I can't count the number of times during the session that I approached a camper sitting by themselves during an activity, only to be beaten to them by their fellow campers. When a camper finally meets the carabiner at the top of the rock for a victory smooch, or gets up on a wakeboard for the first time, or takes a big step out of their comfort zone to run around Huntingdon in bunk junk, it makes all the late nights, early mornings, and sun burn worth it. Thanks for making this experience so strange and so incredible!


Greta, Philadelphia, PA

This session was ab amazing experience and a great way to start the summer of 2017. Everyone bonded quickly and that really showed in activities and the general vibe around camp. Teaching everyone Rugby and helping people learn how to wakeboard/waterski were definitely some of the highlights. SMA is a place where strangers become friends and friends become family. As a former camper it is amazing to see that Stone Mountain Adventures still has such a positive influence in peoples lives. Secret friends and crew help campers mingle with others outside their cabins and make friends with unexpected people.

Thank you for an amazing 2 weeks!


Simon, Walsall, England

So this was the first session of my 3rd year at camp. This session was bigger than first session last year, but there was he same close-knit feel around camp. There was a good split between boys and girls, and new and returning campers.

The atmosphere around camp has been amazing all session, everyone was fully committed to all of the activities and they supported each other through them all.

My personal highlight from the session were firstly white water rafting, I always enjoy the Yough and this year the weather was fantastic! My other highlight was being on the boat. This was my first year on boat crew and I really enjoyed helping some of the kids get up on the wakeboard or waterskis for the first time!


Swaggers, Maryland

SMA went off with a bang this year as it does every year- with new campers being nervous and excited and returners being all-together too loud and unrelentingly happy. Within the first 3 days, everyone had settled down for the rest of the amazing 2 weeks.

I am always amazed by the capacity of the campers and their ability to thrive in a new environment and excel at new and challenging activities. I find this shows itself the most when White Water Rafting. It’s a long day. Its tiring. Kids start the day terrified. But they all power through and realise that its an amazing day and so much fun. They work through their fears to reach the other side.

Thank you for letting us spend time with your children and to the campers- thanks for an amazing influential first session.


Connor, Wellington, New Zealand

This first session was great, a really good staff team paved the way for a really well run camp. Unfortunately, due to the lack of wake-masters there was not a ton of boat action BUT, this allowed the boat crew to try more activities.

It has been fantastic to see campers grow and flourish, particularly the few who were reserved or home sick at the beginning. All the activities were a blast and I’m really looking forward to next session!


Hannah, Cheshire, England

I cant believe first session id already over. Time seems to fly by-probably because I had a great time with everyone!

It was amazing to get to know all the campers and spend time on activities from berry picking to sup and sail and power hour together.

The bike masters overnight was so much fun. White water rafting on the yough was one of my favorite days, my boat doubted my ability but I’m pretty sure we all had fun and no one fell out!

Thank you all for a super sizzling summer ’17 session 1!


Kyla, Maryland

This session flew by! It is amazing how much this place has not changed since I was a camper here. It is really cool to be back after so long and get to be part of SMA once again. Even though I didn’t get to be on the boat much, some of my best memories were watching kids get up on the wake-board, water-skies or knee board. It is also really cool to see the kids grow and get out of their comfort zones, trying new activities and meeting new people. Overall I am excited for the rest of the summer and so happy I get to be back at SMA.


Helen, CA

After three years as a camper from 2009-2011, I could not have asked for a better first session back at SMA as a camp councilor! Bouldering at hunters rock and climbing up the hill to stargaze on the overnight was amazing and seeing it with teenage eyes and enthusiasm made it even better. I loved rafting and hope the spinning ducks please forgive me for going on Juds boat for the race. Little J hasn’t lost an ounce of spice and sass since I was a camper sleeping there eight years ago and im glad no injuries were incurred in my hammock. Overall, session 1 put the super sizzling summer of ’17 off to just the summer we wanted!

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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