Here is the Stone Mountain Adventures Session 2 Slideshow - Enjoy!
These past two weeks have been among the most enjoyable and meaningful I have ever experienced. The activities are great, but the people here are an even more integral part of what makes this camp so special. You are part of a community, and the bonds formed with others here feel a good deal more solid than those formed at home. The friends I have made here will always be something of a second family to me, and I will always be there for them as they are for me. Every single moment spent with all of you is a treasure of its own. I love you all, and I will miss you dearly.
My favorite thing about this camp is that I can act like a complete idiot and nobody would judge me or even care. Everything is just so chill, and camp creates a tight-knit group of friends that we can trust and rely on, and who are always willing to help us. I like how there is a genuine relationship between the campers and counselors, and people can always count on and confide in them. When I leave, the thing that I will miss the most will be all the new friends that I made in the past two weeks.
My best friends were Arianna, Antoine, Evan O, Gabriel, Matt, Michael, Nine, Sydney, Theo, and T-Money. My favorite counselors were Babs, Virginia, Devin, Tom, Declan, and Chase. I enjoyed fishing with Devin. I’ll miss my friends. I discovered my true passion in life…riding horses. I have legs built for horse-riding. The Yough with Tim Bailey. Wyatt’s butt-breathing turtles are living legends. Watching Piggy and Comet play. Late night talks in the Furnace and Furnace’s trade mark phrases and sounds. Love, Trevor.
This session I was a wakemaster and I actually did some a lot of times. We had an awesome group. I tried everything a lot of times like kneeboarding, wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakesurfing. That was amazing. Here, at this camp I feel really able to talk to everyone and I feel like this place is a kind of second home for me. All the activities here are different and so unique. White water rafting is one of my best moments here. All the candle meetings that are had make this place amazing and magic. You’re really yourself and meet some awesome new friends.
I’m so happy to be back at SMA this year because I really think Stone Mountain is a unique place. I had so much fun and I met a lot of new friends. Thanks to SMA I learned a lot of vocabulary in English and I improved it. All the activities are awesome and all the campers and counselors. Everybody is always happy at SMA and everyday is a new perfect and cool day. I especially like warm fuzzy at the evening meeting at camp. I think it’s a very good thing and interesting. I like to hear funny cold prickly and the good moment of campers and counselors day. You are never bored at SMA, you always have something to do and there is a lot of activities. I know I forget a lot of things about SMA but it doesn’t matter because you just have to know that SMA is definitely unique and probably the best summer camp ever. Thanks Stone Mountain Adventures.
This is my 3rd year at SMA. This was my first year in Mattawanna, the oldest girls’ cabin. I have had a lot of fun this session. SMA is my home away from home, but it’s also my home. I’m so sad to leave because this is my last year because I am 16. I hope I will be able to come back. I love you guys.
Over the course of the last few years I have gone to many different camps, mostly because after a year or two they become repetitive and sort of boring. But that was never an issue here at Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp. From the time I step out of the car and onto this camp I am already excited to come back next year. One of the things that makes this camp so worth while is the people you interact with over the course of your stay. From day one you are greeted with tons of smiles and they never go away. Campers are woken up every morning by happy, singing counselors and are sent to bed with warm hugs and sweet dreams. Often we get to spend days with our friends and if we don’t we spend the day making new friends. Personally, I enjoyed the wakeboarding overnight most this session. I got to spend the afternoon out on the boat with a great boat crew then camp out under the stars. Even when I wasn’t on great activities such as that, I got to spend time with life long friends I’ve made here at camp such as Connor Fritsche. At camp you’ll meet many people like Connor; full of happiness and energy. Connor was always dancing during the dance, singing in the van, and just having an all around great time. People like Connor are part of the charm here at camp. You always will have friends here and will never be alone. Overall camp is a wonderful place and I am so grateful to have met all these wonderful people this session, including Connor, and I’m so excited to spend another month here.
When I first came to SMA 2 week teen camp , I was really nervous. However, that feeling soon faded after I did activities with new people and had a lot of fun. I had fun singing in the cabin, canoeing down rapids, white water rafting, reading books out loud to the Rothrockers, chilling at the rock climbing overnight, getting a dreadlock, playing mafia, doing henna tattoos, jamming in the vans, going to Walmart and wasting money, secret friends, and laughing and enjoying myself. I will miss the closeness of the bonds I have with all the people here. I never want to leave, and I don’t want anyone else to leave either. I’ll miss you all.
This is my second year at SMA overnight summer camp. I stayed 2 sessions this year. I don’t want to leave. I feel so comfortable here. This place is my home. I know that sounds cheesy but this is the only place that I feel like I can be myself. I learned so many things while at SMA. I learned responsibility. I learned how important communication is. I also learned what true friendship is. I really bonded with the counselors this year. Some of the counselors I bonded with were Alyna, Felice, Brenna, and Rory. The counselors were super supportive and I feel comfortable telling that them what’s wrong. I’m going to miss it here but I can’t wait till next year. I love SMA.
SMA teen summer camp is my second home. When I first got here one month ago at the start of 1st session, it felt like I never left. I have made so many friends over the past three years and I made so many memories. I have gained so much confidence, especially this year, when I went on my first overnight. Next year is my last year here, so I want to make the best of everyday, to make many more friends, and to have memories that will live on forever.
Two of my favorite activities were SUP and sail and rock climbing. Standup paddleboarding is so relaxing and just reminds you of what summer is all about. Rock climbing is so rewarding. When you get to the top of a really hard climb, especially one you didn’t think you’d be able to climb, it is an amazing feeling, and it reminds you of how strong you can be when you work hard. The people this session were so amazing. I was able to get to know people from last time a lot better and I met a lot of really great people I had never met before. This session went by so incredible fast and I am so glad I am staying another session and really hope I will come back next year. I love you SMA!!!
The past two weeks have been amazing. I have been coming to SMA 2 week teen camp for four years now! This place is definitely my second home! I love seeing all the new faces and all the returning faces. Over the course of these four years I have learned that being normal is boring. This place has changed me in so many positive ways. Wakemasters was amazing this year! We had an amazing group of kids and counselors! I had so many good days on the boat! I can’t wait till next year to come back and make my summer amazing!
Over the past two years SMA overnight summer camp has been an awesome place, from riding the Allegrippis with Tom, Brooklyn, Ethan, and Jonathan – to chilling out at camp with great people that I deeply know and trust. As this might be my last year here, I will miss many things about this place. I’ll miss the Walmart runs, warm fuzzies, cold pricklys, Allegrippis, shoe throwing, the Yough, and funny roasting, not to mention the awesome group of campers and staff.
First of all, my favorite activity was definitely canoeing because I like the fact that you can be in the nature, do some sport, swim and talk with friends. I am really sad that there was not a canoeing overnight this session! The highlights of this session were probably like at camp. I loved waking up every morning (even if everybody yells at you), seeing the same people, doing everything with them (shower party). It makes me feel a little like family. I had many friends this session so I don’t want to say some names cause I would probably forget some of them. I will probably miss many things at camp, the people are probably the most important. Everybody is so nice here!! There is kind of a POSTIVE VIBE inside camp and this is probably what makes SMA unique. To finish the reflection, I am gonna say that those summer days change me in so many ways…you know it!!
Mathilde Van Doosselaere
This was my 7th session at Stone Mountain Adventures teenage summer camp, but one of my best by far. A lot of people are surprised when I say I’m a fourth year but for me it would be crazy for anyone to not want to come back to SMA for as many summers as possible. Yes, I do the same activities and go on all the same evening activities, but it’s all the campers and staff that make me want to come back every year. When I get excited to come back to SMA in the weeks leading up to my session, I think of all the people I get to see who I haven’t been able to hang out with in a year. And now half the camp is leaving and I am going to miss everything about you guys, all of the talks and late nights in Mattawanna, slack lining and doing dishes. Thanks for making this session AWESOME. (I also loved every moment I spent with Brenna Powell). PS I LOVE SHIRA DAVID
SMA teenage summer camphas been my home for one month during 3 years. I’ve never felt as happy and myself. I made so many friendships. I will miss them a lot. I achieve so many goals this summer. I got up on the wakeboard and I placed many different sports. I will try to come back next year as a supercamper and in 2020 as a counselor. This place is amazing. Thank you Jud, Anne, Pam, and Biff for creating this world.
My experience at SMA summer camp for teenagers was great and way better than last year. During the talent show I pretty much roasted everybody. Then I finally tried belly womping for the first time and it was great. Then apparently I had a fly named after me but otherwise it was my best year yet.
I love coming here because the campers are so nice. Everybody is so nice to everybody and is so happy. I love it at camp. Some of the highlights were probably mountain biking with Tom, Brooklyn, Ethan, and Michael. The worst part is saying goodbye to the friends I made every two weeks. But it is still fun.
The past two weeks have gone by so fast, it’s crazy. Some of the best parts of this session have been disco roller skating, watching people give/get crazy or weird things from secret friends, reconnecting with the returners, meeting the new campers, and forming friendships with them. One of my goals from this session was to become friends with some people that I wouldn’t normally be friends with at home. Because of this goal I have made some amazing friends that have made this session so much fun. I hope to keep in touch with all of you guys but if I don’t I hope to see you next year.
Being at SMA summer camp for teenagers has been an amazing experience. I am a returning camper from last year but this year has been very different. This year I came to camp by myself and made a lot of good friends. Everyone at SMA is so kind and helpful with everything and anything. Not only are the counselors a role model, they are also friends who you can joke with, play with, and talk to. SMA has been a really good, fun, and helpful experience and I can’t wait to come back next year!
This year wakemasters was by far my favorite activity. It was relaxing and fun to be part of such a close, non-judgmental group where we could all work on our skills. One highlight of camp was the wakeboarding overnight where, even though we were not able to go wakeboarding, we all bonded as a group. Here at SMA, the amount of freedom we have is incomparable to any other camp I have been to. Even after four years of this camp, it always makes me happy just to be at camp where all of the stressors of the normal world are gone. The experiences I have had at SMA I will hold with me for the rest of my life.
This session was so much fun. I got to spend time with people that I didn’t know so well last year as well as make new friends. Also the counselors were awesome to hang out with and talk to. I’m really sad that I need to say goodbye to so many amazing friends but at least I got their info. I love this camp so much, it is my escape from all of the crap in my head and at home and this place makes me happy. I spent so much time down at the barn and with all of the amazing people and horses that work there. I made so many new friends and I am really upset that they need to leave. Lili, one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Kaylen is beautiful and always wants to make the people around her happy. Jessie is the Rothrock den mother and always looks out for me and the rest of us in the cabin. Gracie is the cutest, most protective, and fun person that I have had the fortune of meeting here. Justiss is so chill and such a go with the flow person. I am going to miss everyone so much and I am so happy that I get to stay for another session and that I am going to be coming back next year.
As my first ever session of this camp, it has been very interesting. I was in Rothrock but I definitely didn’t stick with them. I made friends with a few people from each cabin, which was a lot more than what I expected. People here are very open and friendly and they are definitely very touchey-feely. These people have brought out the best in me, something which almost no one else can do. At camp I have learned to be confident in myself. I am an extremely shy person in real life, so it was nice to finally be able to be myself. People here are very accepting to an almost impossible degree and I respect that. People here love each other and themselves, and I think that’s beautiful.
This session was awesome! I did so many fun activities. Some included SUP and sail, soccer, and much more. My favorite was wakeboarding. Over the past two weeks I have met many new people and made lots of friends. I will especially miss listening to the awesome music in the van on the way to activities. Session 2 was really fun and I hope to have a lot more fun!
Throughout this session I got to try many things. The best thing I did was horseback riding. Some highlights were things at the farm. Some funny moments were when Tim Bailey made the raft almost capsize. One of the things that makes camp so worth while is the people you interact with over the course of your stay. From day one you are greeted with tons of smiles and they never go away.
This being my fifth year at SMA some would think I’d be getting bored of this place. Well you think wrong. This place has a way of making me feel like it’s my very first time coming to this place. This place is very near and dear to my heart and I know will be for a long time. I’ve learned so much from the campers and counselors here and it’s so amazing. I’ve learned to laugh at myself and just go with it, which I’m very thankful for.
Next year being my last year is going to be hard. This place has become a huge part of me and letting go is hard. I’ll miss so many things about this camp, mostly all the amazing people I’ve met and how hard it’s going to be to say goodbye. I know so many other people are going to enjoy this place just as much as I have, which I love.
This session I had so much fun. I did Wakemasters and had so much fun on the boat. One of the highlights of the session was going white water rafting. I really enjoyed it. This session had some really cool people that are going to stay my friends for a long time. My favorite activity was either s’up and sail or being on the boat. I did really enjoy the session and I definitely will be coming back next year, and future years to come.
I love coming back to camp and seeing old friends that I haven’t seen in at least a year. Being a fourth year is fun because I get to see people that I have known before so I already have inside jokes and memories with people. I loved doing wake masters for a second year and there were a lot of old people who were wake masters last year. I’m going to miss all of my friends and just the general camp environment. This place is absolutely magical and I love all of the time that I get to spend here. I hope I will be able to come back again next year because this place has taught me so much about myself and my abilities. Shoutout to Mirena for being amazing as always. ILY BAE
I had a lot of fun this session, and I’ve met many new people. This session was definitely made up of lots of amazing campers and counselors. It’s interesting to catch up with the people I met here last year, and see how they’ve changed over the past year. It was equally interesting to be introduced to some new faces. The fact that some of my close friends are leaving and won’t be in session 3 makes me sad, but hopefully there will be even more people to meet and stories to be told.
This is my 3rd year at camp and it feels like I am back at a home away from home. This place is incredibly special in that everyone here feels like family and I’m constantly being given opportunities to experience new things. There is nothing out there like this place and that’s what makes it feel so much like a home, including a big, loving family that is heartbreaking to say goodbye to. I can’t wait to come back again next year.
Camp this year was great. Everyday I made new memories and such close friends. Every activity and every meal seemed special and I’m sad to leave so soon. I especially enjoyed climbing, van rides, and talks on trouble rock. Although there were a few more people than last year, I love how it feels so small. I’ve gotten to know each and every person at this camp, some even better than my friends at home. I’m so sad to leave but I hope to stay in contact with those I got to know and I will always remember the times I’ve had here.
My experience at SMA has shaped and changed me as a person. I have learned how to live in the moment and enjoy life, this has led me to many fun times. For example, I will always remember the Amish Market and all the treasures I have found there. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
I am overjoyed that I am staying for another session, I can’t imagine all of the crazy times that will happen. However I will never forget my friends, old and new, that I had this session. SMA is my new home for the summer.
The mountain biking here is wicked. For bikemasters, we would always go out to the Allegrippis Trails, which are amazing for the casual rider or the experienced rider. My favorite part of this session was the mountain biking overnight. We camped out overnight and we biked in the morning and afternoon. When I leave camp I will miss all of the people I met here and all the friends I’ve made. I will also miss having the ability to do so many activities. There were many funny moments that occurred inside the crow’s nest. But trust me, it was crazy (Alex’s stories made a little bit of me die on the inside). This camp is pretty good.
My favorite activities were rock climbing, white water rafting and canoeing. A highlight this session was the climbing overnight and bouldering. I will miss everything about this camp, especially the activities. A funny moment was while white water rafting, getting everyone in the back and spinning the raft and everyone falling out.
During camp, my favorite activity was the wakeboard overnight. The mountain pies were awesome and I loved kneeboarding. Playing pool with Simon (oooy!) was fun too. Two shot was the most annoying thing ever! White water rafting was cool, especially Dimple Rock. It sucked Rory couldn’t come and his elbow was stitched up. At least he is okay now. Van fun was also another great activity. I had a really good time at camp and I hope I come back.
Theo Puccio (Brooklyn)
Bikemasters was amazing, definitely best activity. All day bikemasters was the most fun I had. Also, when we got the van really hot then jumped into the lake. I don’t think I sweated more in my life. It was awesome having Mikky here. Nathan is the best. Trevor is the bro. Aaron is cool. I will miss Connor. I learned that Jordan is comedy gold.
2nd session was so much better than the last. It was almost all returners, so we all were already good friends. I was happy Becca, Nine, Michael, Theo and Antoine all stayed a month with me. I was in wakemasters (partially), which was great because it failed last session. Two of my favorite people, Mathilde and Chris, came back this session which was amazing. Mathilde was my secret friend which was fantastic and she gave me the cutest things including a lot of food, a cute bag, and two very nice notes that made me tear up. I wish I had more activities with Brenna because I think she is a really cool counselor. Mathilde is my best friend here. I love her and I’m going to miss her so much. I dyed Chris’ hard which made my day. I got closer with Texas, Alyna, and Rory, which was really cool. I love SMA and am not ready to leave L
PS: I love Ari, Mathilde, Kat, Nine, Becca
SMA is a very special place I will always remember and has changed my life. I love the activities and will remember them forever and the lessons I learned. I am going to miss wakeboarding because this is the first time I got up. But sometime I will be able to hop the wake and turn.
I will miss all the counselors and campers, which will be a big part of why I come back. The cabin got crazy. I hope I’ll come back some time.
My favorite activities had to be playing soccer and playing football. A huge highlight was that the evening activities were always super fun, but particularly “Jud Games” were my highlight. My main friends were Katie, Becca, Justiss, Ally and many more. What I’ll miss most about camp would definitely be the feeling of how inclusive this place is and everything around it. A big funny moment was playing mud ultimate frisbee (MULTIMATE) because it was extremely fun and it was a bonding moment. Overall, I learned how to deal with people, how to react, and most of all how to stay chill and relax when necessary. I learned limits and learned how close or how far past them I should go without passing “The Line”. I would say session 2 2015 at Stone Mountain Adventures was an amazing time that I enjoyed thoroughly and of utmost jubilance and happiness.
My favorite activity at camp was biking the Allegrippis. The trails were really flowy so it was fast riding. I also really liked s’up and sail, but my favorite thing was just chilling around camp. The Yough was also super fun. I was on Tom’s raft and no one fell until he pushed us all in. Overall, I really loved camp and am excited to come back next year.
This session was fantastic, the most fun I had in a long time. I made a bunch of new friends and it felt like family to me. Everyone got along pretty well and it feels like we’ve known each other for more than 2 weeks. I also loved talking to the staff. They are so easy to talk to and are extremely fun to be around.
Some of my favorite activities were wakeboarding, s’up and sail, and biking. This year I tried a variety of different activities because I did almost the same activities last year. I don’t have a favorite staff but I love all of them the same.
Thank you for having me here and I hope to come back next year!!
I did not have any favorite activities but I enjoyed all of the activities that people that I liked were on. Some of the activities that I enjoyed more were volleyball, “at the farm”, rock climbing, and swimming. In the second session I made some new friends and I also had friends that I met in the first session. Here is the list: Nine, Antoine, Brooklyn, Owen, Ethan, Matt, Aaron, Nathan, Walter, Brandon, Connor, Daniel, Trevor, Noe, Gabe, Kaylen, Charlie, Laura, Bonnie, Shira, Mathilde, T-Money, and Mirena. One thing that I will miss about SMA are the people that I spent it with. I will miss all of my new friends and old friends. One fun fact that I learned during my two sessions is that some water turtles can breathe from their butts. Some funny moments that I will remember were Alex’s story and conversations that the Crow’s Nest had at night.
Session 2 this year was great. It was pretty crazy at the beginning for sure. This time I tried to be more of a part of camp instead of just The Furnace. Helped me get to know a lot of different people like T-Money, Zoe, and Daniel. Some highlights were definitely white water rafting. I got a good raft and even though I fell out, I still had fun. Most of my friends this session were still from The Furnace like Chris, Evan O., and Gabe, but I also hung out with people from Crow’s Nest and girl’s cabins. I won’t really be missing anything because… I’m staying for session 3! Anyway, I didn’t learn much that I could use out of camp but I learned a lot about others and opened up a bit too, so I guess that’s something.
Coming back to SMA this summer was something I truly needed. When coming out of the van on the first day and seeing so many familiar faces I knew it was going to be a good session. Besides seeing old friends, I made new friends as well. This session I was part of the wakemasters team. During wakemasters we would write in our journals about goals we had that day or throughout the session. My goal was getting up on the waterskiis and staying up and I did it, I finally got up on the skiis. My family is filled with amazing waterskiers and I was the last one to learn how. I know my Dad, brother and past instructor are proud of me now that I can get up on skiis, Session 2 2015 of SMA was amazing and I can’t wait to spend 4 more weeks here at home.
I had a blast during second session this year! Lots of friends that I knew from last year came back and I also made lots of new friends. Some of my favorite activities at camp were white water rafting, mountain biking, and climbing. At camp I learned how to stay on a raft during white water rafting. Funny moments at camp were at s’up and sail when five of us tried to stand on a paddle board at once and we all fell off the board each time we tried standing up. Ultimately, this session was a blast and I can’t wait to meet new people next session and have more fun times.
My friends at camp were everyone in Furnace, T-Money, Bonnie, and a couple in all the cabins. Two of my better friends were probably Noe and Gabe, but I got along well with everyone else in Furnace. We would use Lucas’s speaker and bump when we had the chance.
Other people outside of Furnace were Matt, Charlie, and lots of others. I never thought that I would get to know so many awesome people here at camp. I’m also glad that I was accepted into the group so quickly. I had an awesome time for my first time at SMA and can’t wait for next session!
I had a lot of fun this session. My favorite activity was rock climbing and the rock climbing overnight. One thing that would make camp much more enjoyable would be to have rock masters. I hang out a lot with Tristan and Cupcake Charlie. A highlight was being able to stay at the rocks the full day.
Here at SMA I had a great time with many people doing lots of fun things. Some of my favorite activities were s’up and sail, rock climbing, soccer, the Amish Market, and Walmart and laundry day. I’ve met lots of great, funny, and enthusiastic people. Even thought this was my first year, I fit in and had a great time doing it.
It was great and the people here are awesome. They will make you laugh no matter your personality. Some funny moments were one camper in my bunk broke a bunk rule and we got to spray him with a hose. Another funny moment was when I almost died rock climbing but on the way down I was laughing. My time here was great.
This session was one of the most memorable sessions for me because I met many new friends and made some incredible memories. Some memories that I will always remember are the adventure hike when we got attacked by a turkey vulture and almost stepped on a huge snake.
Another memory was the canoeing trip on the last day of activities. This trip was my favorite trip because we got within 30 feet of 2 bald eagles. One of them actually flew right over us. Overall this session was amazing and I can’t wait to come next year.
This session was full of excitement! One of my highlights at camp was overall just making friends. I feel that my most favorite activity was rock climbing. I will miss all of the counselors. They were all awesome.
This year was great. I loved all the activities. Although our bunk started out bad, it only got better thanks to Tex and Declan. Also, I really liked getting to meet Cupcake and having a group with Walter, Cupcake, and Melissa.
This entire experience was great. I like the way that SMA helped me get away from my crazy life but still remembering my true home. I tried many new things also, such as mountain biking and getting air on the water skiis.
I’m happy to be back at SMA. This is my third year. I didn’t get to do much wakeboarding, but I did other activities that were fun like s’up and sail, sports, swimming, community service, capture the flag, and so much more. I met old friends and I also made a lot of new friends. I love all of the Frenchies that come here. I will be staying for the rest of the sessions this summer and I will miss my friends. I will write to the Frenchies as often as I can.
A lot of stuff happened this session; it was really exhausting, but an exciting experience. I think I have matured a little since last session, which is something that I will take back home with me. I would like to give a shout out to those who helped me through any troubles. Thank you Becca, Owen, Evan, Nine, Jordan, and probably more I just can’t remember. Thank you, Noe for still being my friend even though we didn’t talk much. You’ll still be my best friend for my whole life. Finally, thank you Bonnie for always being there for me and giving me great advice and being one of the best friends I’ve had and will still be.
Camp was fun but it was more than that. We live in a world with about 7 billion human beings and it’s very rare that you get a connection with one person. It’s almost impossible to make one within the entire camp, but at SMA it’s not impossible and I love it.
I made a lot of friends and I will miss every one of them. I love everything about camp.
SMA Teen Summer Camp 2015 All-Star Staff Team!
Second session 2015 here at SMA was amazing! We had a full session of awesome kids, many of them returners from previous years. It was fantastic to see such a large group get to know each other and become friends as well as get to know everyone myself. I was a bunk captain for the oldest girls’ cabin, Mattawanna, and was immediately struck by how laid back, mature, and friendly each other were. All of the girls in Mattawanna were returning so they were comfortable and familiar with life here at SMA and so inclusive of everyone else at camp, wanting others to be comfortable and have fun as well. My favorite part of this session may have been the day we went whitewater rafting. We got to guide our own boats with our group of kids and Melissa and I had a fantastic group with so much fun and a lot of laughs. The water levels and weather at the Yough that day could not have been better.
A very bittersweet part of this session was having to say goodbye to everyone who was leaving, especially campers who were also here for session 1 who we had grown close with and a member of our staff, Brenna, who had to leave to go back to school. Saying goodbye is difficult. However, I feel so fortunate to have spend so much time with such incredible people and look forward to and hope to be reunited with many of them in the futures. I am also highly looking forward to the two remaining sessions here at SMA!
Opening day was a beautiful day in the sun. Once again, all the new faces came to camp. I was so happy to see all the faces that I had last seen in 2012, they had changed so much yet so little.
As the days went by I got to know the new faces more and more. So much energy going around camp; so excited for activities, it was amazing. We had some incredible overnights go out and come back with so many crazy stories.
I had one or two problems with injuries and illnesses, meaning I missed out on the white water rafting. With injuries and illness comes feeling down and low, yet being at camp made it so much easier. The energy and love around camp made it so much easier with 60 people asking how I was doing on a daily basis. What an incredible place SMA is. I will never forget this place.
SMA session 2 was very different to session 1 but equally as enjoyable. Having quite a few kids stay over from session 1 and a whole bunch of new campers meant that both staff and campers had to adjust to the new dynamic. Happily, everyone did it really well. As soon as a new camper arrived, there were multiple kids surrounding the car to make them feel as welcome as possible. I was really pleased by the enthusiasm both those who stayed over intersession and the returning campers showed towards new arrivals. The amount of tours kids gave and bags they carried really set the tone for the session. Overall, I think both the staff and campers gelled really well over the course of the two weeks of the session. One thing that stood out right at the start for me was the campers’ enthusiasm in the ‘getting to know each other’ games. The volume produced by the campers in the barn was nothing short of spectacular. This enthusiasm continued to all the activities they did, including Jud games and candlelight meetings. It really was a great session, and the tight bonds that were created between both the staff and campers was demonstrated by the outpouring of emotion on the penultimate day and the day of departure itself.
On a personal note, a couple of my highlights from session 2 were the way I bonded with new campers, the friendships I made and built on with both new and old, getting to spend one-on-one time with every camper and, of course, the white water rafting trip where I got to guide a raft for the first time. It really was an enjoyable session for everyone and the campers were a pleasure to have here.
My second session of SMA was as awesome as the first. As well as having a great time with the kids during this 2 week period, it felt that during this session I was more confident with my counselor position. I used skills I had gained from my social experiences during session 1.
This session I made many new friends with the new arrivals, as well as building on my current relationships with campers from first session. I had many great experiences in the 2nd session, but my stand out moment was captaining my own boat on the Yough for the first time during white water rafting. Being captain was a lot of fun, especially because I had an awesome crew, however this experience also helped me improve my leadership skills.
It was hard to say goodbye to campers this session, more difficult than the first, especially with campers I had built up cherished relationships with over the past month. Although I will always remember these great memories, I will keep in contact with many of the campers, my friends, in the future.
Second session was amazing. There was a quick roll over from first so it was very easy to get into the hang of things right off the bat. We started off climbing triceps and everyone was crushing all the climbs making it to the top of all the climbs. We then moved to sharks tooth area where the climbing is a little bit harder but that did not stop people from reaching the top of the rocks and yelling dirty! After a few days of climbing those climbs, we set up a new place called Damnation where the climbing becomes much harder and requires more skill rather than brute force. At first not many people made it to the top but after a few hours of trial and error I would say at least half of the campers made it to the top which is leaps more than last year! We also went on a rock climbing overnight which was amazing; we got there and bouldered and played around on the rocks. The next day we set up some top ropes and did some amazing climbing on the 80 foot high rock walls. All in all it was an amazing session filled with great climbers and some great climbs as well. I really hope some of you continue to climb at home. ROCK ON!!
With such an incredibly high number of returning campers second session, I had equally high hopes of how fun the session would be – I was not disappointed! Starting from day one, campers immediately got right back into the swing of things making our job as counselors both easier and a lot more fun. I was especially impressed by how well the new campers melded in with the returners; it’s so encouraging to look around the circle at the end of the session and forget who was “new” just two weeks prior. I think one of the most memorable parts of this session for me was white water rafting. We had the calmest raft on the river and a day filled with “gentle back left, please!”
The end of second session marks the half-way point through my third year as a counselor. I truly can’t believe how quickly this summer is going! Each morning I wake up more thankful for another opportunity to be back at the best place I’ve ever known – even 10 years later, I can see that while so much can change about this place, so much will always stay the same. This place continues to change the lives of whoever comes through it. Long live SMA.
Well session 2 was a lot better in a sense than I know what was going on in day to day activity. I had a better understanding. It was less stressful which makes my day’s work fun and easier. I made some good friends in session 2. The kids were easier to talk to since I was more comfortable in my own skin now.
Session 2 2015 was amazing! Since this session was largely dominated by returning campers, it really hit the ground running and was a blast from the start. Our returners did a great job welcoming new campers and making them feel at home from the very first day. This session was filled with dance parties, starting with invention convention and spreading to dishes crew and countless van rides. I was lucky enough to help lead an awesome wakeboarding overnight out at Raystown Lake, complete with a beautiful sunset, lots of campfire stories, and watching the sunrise from the boat the next morning. During this session we played soccer and volleyball, went canoeing on the Little J, climbed at Donation Rocks, and spent numerous hot days on our standup paddle boards out at the lake. And of course we spent another wonderful day in Ohiopyle, PA rafting down the Yough. The day was filled with cheers and swims and I want to say a big thank you to Boat Palm Trees for making it such an amazing day! The session finished off strong with the opportunity to make a gopro video for wakemasters, which made out final day on the boat all the more exciting. Thanks to an amazing group of kids for making that video possible. Thanks everyone for an awesome session and making this summer so memorable!
Session 2 was great, back into the swings of things. It was great when new campers arrived and campers that stayed over intersession really helped the counselors out by taking a leading role. We had a huge amount of returners so the vibe was chill.
I lead an extremely successful bikemasters overnight with just 4 campers. We covered 25 miles of Alegrippis and bathed in Raystown Lake. I took a go pro to the trails and Babs created an amazing video from the footage I took. Overall session 2 was fun and a great session for my summer. Positive vibes and smiles all around. Peace
I don’t know how it’s possible but session 2 was just as amazing as session 1. On the last day of session 1 I looked around and couldn’t imagine how I could get used to new faces, a new group dynamic, new camp jokes, ect. But as the session picked up it was equally as incredible. New friendships were forged and new memories were made. All of those who stayed on from session 1 welcomed the new campers with open arms and our new session 2 SMA family bonded, laughed, and had so much fun. One of my favorite nights at camp during session 2 was the talent show. So many people participated and blew me away with their courage to perform and amazing talents. At camp we do a lot of group activities so the talent show is a really nice opportunity to see everyone’s uniqueness. Another favorite activity of mine was doing Alex’s Lemonade in State College. The kids got so into it and we raised over 300 dollars! It was so special to see everyone get excited about the service projects we do here. SMA you continue to amaze me every day!
With an incredible session 1 now complete, I was excited to get started and jump straight into session 2. On the intersession between 1 and 2 I was on the northeast van trip picking up campers, so when I arrived back at camp the majority of the kids had already arrived. Once we pulled into the driveway all the campers crowded the van to greet us which was awesome. I loved see old faces from the year before and greeting new campers. A couple of stand out moments for me are all day wakemasters with a go-pro. That was such a fun day and we got some awesome shots of the kids on the wakeboard. White water rafting this session was unbelievable and this time we didn’t have river guides in our rafts which makes it more fun. Another great evening was the talent show this session. It was one of the best I have been to, we were lucky to have many musically talented campers this session. I also really enjoyed bonding with the boys in the Furnace eating junk food and having a laugh. This session was just incredible for me and I was sad for it to come to an end.
As soon as the campers started to arrive you could tell we were going to have a great session. Everyone was so welcome to the returners and new campers. We kicked off evening meeting with name games and get to know you games, the energy in the barn was incredible, you were all so loud and enthusiastic it was awesome. Activities started and all the campers joined in and tried something new. The few new campers we had this session were never left out, always included and always smiling. It was great to see you all bond and make new friendships so fast and also laugh every time I fell out of the boat at the Yough! Thanks for making the session as fun as it was!
Second Session of 2015 was amazing! I know the kids were great when my job feels easier and when we honestly have so much fun together. With so many returning campers the SMA spirit was alive, while also making our few new campers fit right in. A highlight of the session was the waterski overnight because even with a few vehicle malfunctions, the kids still had a blast swimming, eating mountain pies (with cooked veggies – never forget!), telling stories and jousting on paddle boards. It is always so fun to see how a random assortment of campers can have such a great time after being thrown together for 24 hours. Along the same lines, I love how many close friendships were formed this session. Genuine relationships can always be measured at SMA by the length of the goodbye and tears shed – and it was definitely a long cry-fest on closing day. I was so sad to see so many go, but also so thankful for the amazing memories. These kids have taught me how to be more positive and op[en to new things, and I will always love them for that. So thanks for the many van rides, white water rapids, canoe trips, dance parties, friendship bracelets, confetti poppers, and crazy chats! I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
With so many familiar faces returning this session it was bound to be an exciting session! From the moment the first car pulled up and everyone (session ond campers include) ran over to great the newcomer I knew this session would be a lot of fun. My absolute highlight though would have to be the Adventure Hike Overnight that Chase and I led; the beautiful scenery, the wildlife, oh and tricking the campers into thinking we were lost and trudging through Rothrock State Forest – gotcha! The dance was also another highlight for me; seeing everyone get so into the awesome theme, dancing and singing, and also getting to be on “smut patrol” with the other counselors. All in all, session two was an amazing experience and I will miss every single one of you.