Director Jud's Blog

Declare Independence From a Traditional Summer Camp!!

Posted by Jud Millar

Wed, Jul 3, 2019

Traditional Overnight Summer Camp has it's benefits.  But for some families, a Non-Traditional Overnight Summer Camp is just the right fit!  I challenge you to Declare Your Independence Traditional Overnight Camp and see if a Non-Traditional Overnight Camp Experience is the right one for your child!


What are the differences between Traditional and Non-Traditional Overnight Camps?

This is a great question and good place to start.  In this blog post I will explore the major differences between "Traditional Overnight Camp" and "Non-Traditional Overnight Camp".

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp

SMA Summer Camp for Teens Director "Jud" to attend ACA Confrence

Posted by Jud Millar

Fri, Nov 4, 2016

Next week SMA Teen Camp Director Jud Millar is attending the American Camp Association Keystone Conference at Bear Creek Mountain Resort & Conference Center.  Attending ACA Conference is an incredible professional development opportunity.  It's a fantastic chance to learn from summer camp industry professionals, network with our camp directors and attend informative workshops.  The Keystone Retreat offers three content tracks running concurrently: PROGRAMMING, LEADERSHIP, and MAINTENANCE as well as many others - Core Competencies included - vital to a successful camp operation.

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Topics: Summer camp, SMA Teen Camp, aca conference

S'MAzing Summer 2019: Read all about the Event and its Essence at SMA.

Posted by Jud Millar

Wed, Sep 10, 2014

A truly S’MAzing summer at Stone Mountain Adventures has come to a close. We ended the summer as we began it with an incredible final two week session!

The summer of 2014 at Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp really was one for the ages. We had campers from 16 states and five foreign countries including Spain, the UK, France, Switzerland and Dubai.  Our staff was equally diverse with a total of 15 full time camp counselors from nine states as well as “funny-talkers” from England, Northern Ireland, and Australia.  Of those counselors, five were former SMA Campers. 

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, 2 Week Summer Camp, A Message from Director Jud

SMA Teen Summer Camp Featured in Camp Navigator Publication

Posted by Jud Millar

Thu, Apr 24, 2014

Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp has been featured in a recent publication by Camp Navigator.

Camp Navigator helps parents find quality summer camps and summer programs for thier children. Our updated 2013 Directory of Summer Camps can help you in your search for the best day camps, overnight camps and teen tour/travel camps for kids and teens this upcoming summer.

While sending children to Summer Camps has meritorious results, choosing a right Summer Camp is what actually matters. Landing in a wrong place wherein tutors or coaches take children for a ride will be a more adverse situation. Then what to do? Nothing to worry my friends, search for a right summer camp. Here at Camp Navigator, you can find 10,000+ best summer camps to choose from, that matches all your childs interests. You Can also use Summer Camp Advisory Service to request this information by email or phone. I am happy today that I have found something like Camp Navigator. Hope you will make use of it to transform your child into most successful person.


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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, Summer Camp PA, Camp Navigator,

Seth Meyers put gum in his friend’s toothbrush at baseball Summer Camp

Posted by Jud Millar

Wed, Mar 12, 2014

New Late Night host Seth Meyers once put gum in a friend’s toothbrush at an Overnight Baseball Summer Camp in retaliation for his friend dropping an equipment bag on him to wake him up.

This story comes via the friend, Greg Henrichon, talking about Meyers in a newspaper article from his home state of New Hampshire.

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Topics: Summer camp, Overnight Summer Camp, Seth Meyers

Did Superman meet Lois Lane for the first time at a teen summer camp?

Posted by Jud Millar

Wed, Mar 5, 2014

SMA Teen Summer Camp Fun Fact of the Day: YES, Superman did meet Lois Lane for the first time at a teen summer camp!

(Article originally published on the Summer Camp Culture Blog)

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen Camp, Teen summer camp, Superman, Comics

Central PA Camp Fair: Read about the Date Time and Venue of the Event

Posted by Jud Millar

Sat, Feb 1, 2014

SMA Rock Band Summer Teen Summer Camp to attend the 2014 State College Area Youth Camp Fair!

WHAT: 2014 Summer Youth Fair, scheduled for 

WHEN: Saturday, February 1, 2014, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

WHERE: Mount Nittany Middle School.  

Seriously, the winter has been so bitterly cold that it’s hard to even begin to think about summer.

But for parents, it’s time to think about what activities your children will be doing when summer finally gets here. And there may be no better place and day than Mount Nittany Middle School on Saturday.

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, music jam, Rock Band Teen Summer Camp

Popular teen summer camp performer Pete Seeger dies at 94

Posted by Jud Millar

Fri, Jan 31, 2014

Popular summer camp performer Pete Seeger dies at 94

(Article originally published on the Summer Camp Culture Blog)

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, Pete Seeger

Come see SMA Teen Summer Camp at a Camp Fair!

Posted by Jud Millar

Mon, Jan 13, 2014

Winter is upon us and as the northeast is blanketed in snow many families start to think about summer plans including summer camps for kids. A great resource to help families sort through all the available options are to visit a camp fair.  A camp fair is similar to a job or college fair but is for summer camps and travel programs.  Representatives from 50 to 100 camps and travel programs gather at a school, mall or hotel and families stop by and learn about the programs.

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, camp fair

Update about 2013 Summer Camp Session 3, at Stone Mountain Adventures.

Posted by Jud Millar

Mon, Aug 5, 2013

It is hard to believe that 3rd Session at SMA Teen Summer Camp and August have already arrived and we are nearly half way through session three. This summer has gone by so unbelievably fast and before we know it all the campers will be on the road home. The weather this summer has been quite the roller coaster, ranging from scorching hot during session two to raining almost every day of session one. For 3rd Session it has finally leveled out with warm days and cool nights!

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, Summer Camp PA

Network Tonight Compares the past and the Current state of Summer Camp

Posted by Jud Millar

Wed, Jul 3, 2013

Summer camp, then and now (via NewsWorks)

July 2, 2013 By Jonathan Zimmerman Download Audio File » Listen to the interview. (Reposted with permission from

I  went to three different summer camps when I was a kid, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I swam, hiked, and played sports (badly). And sometimes, I did nothing at all. That's what summer — and camp — were all about.

My, how times have changed.

About 20 years ago, so-called "specialty camps" began to replace the general-interest kind that I attended. So now you can go to camps that stress particular activities, from cooking and computers to robotics and rocketry.

Even at general-interest camps, meanwhile, kids are much more likely to receive professional athletic coaching, top-of-the-line art and music instruction, or even SAT-prep classes. Camp isn't just for fun anymore. It's about building a resume, a skill-set, a profile, a future. Like school, camp now prepares young people to win the great Race of Life. And that's a big loss, for all of us.

Camps more like school now

Ironically, summer camps began as an antidote to school rather than an extension of it. According to Ernest Balch, who founded the country's first camp in 1881, formal educational institutions were making young men "soft." Boys needed a rugged outdoor experience to escape the "weakening feminine influences" of modern society.

Around the turn of the century, the YMCA and the Boy Scouts started summer camps. So did groups with names like the Woodcraft Indians and the Sons of Daniel Boone, all devoted to recovering the lost rustic masculinity of the old frontier.

In 1893, historian Frederick Jackson Turner had famously described the frontier as the key to American identity. In the same essay, however, Turner announced that the frontier was gone! So summer camps would keep its spirit alive. With their simple tents and cabins, camps would give boys "the sturdier training of our forebears," as one camp advocate wrote.

Girls' camps arose, too, so that young women from the city could breathe fresh country air and grow into healthy mothers.

"The old-time education of girls kept them too much under cover," a Girl Scout magazine warned in 1917, "too much confined to books, too little free to engage in sports that might spoil their clothes."

Camp would free both sexes from the stifling effects of over-civilization, even as it reinforced their separate roles.

Naming roots

To do that, camps borrowed names and activities from the "primitives" who preceded whites on the frontier: Native Americans.

Indian-style ritual "gives the boy the much needed opportunity to express his inherent savagery," one camp brochure declared. "Just to be free, to run, to climb, to shout and yell like a wild Indian on a war-path!"

Girls, meanwhile, made Indian skirts and jewelry. And several camps boasted that they hired actual Indians, rendering the camps more "authentic" than their competitors.

Eventually, this same competition would lead many camps to forsake their simple facilities on behalf of modern amenities, especially electricity and indoor plumbing.

"Will they come back to your camp?" asked an advertisement for flush toilets in a 1931 camping magazine. "The parents — who pay the bills — must be satisfied that your camp is absolutely sanitary."

Many camps also began to show Hollywood movies at night, tapping into young people's growing appetite for commercial culture. But others balked at it, holding the line against "the tidal wave of jazz and crowded hall and movie and cabaret," as one director wrote.

Pop-culture restrictions

Into the present, some camps still try to insulate kids from popular culture by barring smartphones and blocking the Internet. But they're fighting a losing battle. Camps now offer film-making, Web design, and "field trips" to amusement parks and malls. And many of their activities — like cooking competitions — are ripped straight from reality TV.

Most of all, though, camps advertise skills that will allegedly help kids succeed in the so-called real world. By the 1990s, the rising cost of college — and the increased competition for admission — made families ever-more anxious about their children's future. Why waste a summer at a general-interest camp, when you could be gaining "aptitudes" and "experiences" that will separate you from the pack?

That seems like a great way to deny kids their childhood. There will be plenty of time, later in life, to plot and strategize about moving up in the world. Trust me, I'm an adult. I do that all the time.

But when I was a kid, I didn't.

The last camp I attended proclaimed itself "the camp with the pioneer spirit." That meant sleeping outside, running around barefoot, and, yes, participating in "Indian" ceremonies. You developed important life skills--including cooperation and compromise — but you didn't have to stand out from the tribe. It was about getting along, not getting ahead.

And I'll always be grateful for that.

Jonathan Zimmerman teaches education and history at New York University. He is the author of "Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory" (Yale University Press).

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, Summer Camps

Recap of 1st Week of Stone Mountain Adventures 2013 Teens Summer Camp.

Posted by Jud Millar

Mon, Jul 1, 2013

It is hard to believe that our first week of summer camp fun has already ended. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! All the campers have settled nicely into their perspective cabins, and have spent some quality time with their bunkmates establishing a mutual understanding and living arrangement. When it’s time for lights out, we always hear a fair share of laughter coming from all the cabins and stories of late night talks in the morning at breakfast.

            Our first week was packed with thrilling summer camp activities! The Wakemasters have hit up Raystown Lake and have already set their personal goals for the session. “I’m going to clear the wake” or “I’m going to land that jump” are only a few examples of how motivated and determined our kids really are. Windsurf and sail has been a very popular activity so far. Who wouldn’t love relaxing and getting a tan on top of a windsurf board. The rock climbing extravaganzas have also begun and the campers are having an absolute blast conquering each rock placed in front of them. On another note, rumors from the barn have spread and all of the Horsemasters have picked their perspective horses to care for. Riding lessons have begun and all the horse chicks are looking forward to their first trail ride in the upcoming week. Basketball knockout games, arts and craft, tennis, softball and of course ultimate frisbee have all been a huge success thus far this session. And of course the campers are always ready for a cool dip in the lake after a hot sweaty intense game. The only way to describe the first week at SMA summer camp is action packed!

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, Summer Camp PA, 1st week of camp, Summer update, SMA Summer Camp

Watch and learn how to navigate the Allegrippis Trail at SMA Teen Camp

Posted by Jud Millar

Wed, Apr 17, 2013

At Stone Mountain Adventures we ride the Allegrippis Trails everyday.  Here are a few new sweet videos on YouTube about the Allegrippis Trails that are worth checking out!

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, Mountain Biking, mountain biking summer camp

Top 10 Reasons to Choose a Teen Summer Camp for your Teens this Summer

Posted by Jud Millar

Thu, Apr 11, 2013

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, choosing a teen summer camp

SMA Earns a Feature in the Good Life Section of The Centre Daily Times

Posted by Jud Millar

Sun, Apr 7, 2013

Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp was recently featured in the "Good Life" section of the Centre Daily Times under the "Living Local" heading. Jud and Anne were interviewed a few weeks ago by reporter Chris Rosenblum with Nabil K. Mark coming to camp to take photos.

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, Centre Daily Times

Top 10 Common Mistake about Teen Summer Camp: What are they Truly are?

Posted by Jud Millar

Thu, Mar 21, 2013

Teen Summer Camps are often referenced in the media and compared to other things such as a concert tour or professioanl training camp.  In the following article that was originally posted by the Summer Camp Culture Blog we take a look many of these comparisons.

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, summer camp in the media

Seth Rogen to play Teen Summer Camp Crush on "The Mindy Project"

Posted by Jud Millar

Fri, Mar 1, 2013

An upcoming episode of The Mindy Project will feature Seth Rogen as the latest in a long line of famous guest stars to play the love interest of Dr. Mindy Lahiri. Other famous guest stars who have appeared on the show include Ed Helms, B.J. Novak, and Seth Meyers. Rogen will be playing Mindy Kaling’s summer camp crush on an upcoming episode of her Fox comedy The Mindy Project, according to media reports.

Rogen, who attended summer camp as a kid at Camp Miriam in British Columbia (he’s featured in the camp’s 2009 promo video), will be playing Sam, the kid Mindy Lahiri shared her first kiss with at Jewish teen summer camp, in an episode titled “The One That Got Away.”  

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Topics: Summer camp, camp, summer camp in the media, Fox, Seth Rogen, camp crush, the Mindy Project, Summer camp on TV

SMA camp counselor Sarah Bademan dance at THON - 2-day Dance Marathon.

Posted by Jud Millar

Thu, Feb 28, 2013

SMA camp counselor Sarah Bademan '12 has been involvedSarah Bademan at Campwith THON for the past three years while a student at Penn State University. The PSU Dance Marathon, commonly referred to as THON is:
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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, camp, THON, camp counselor

The Complete Sessions of SMA 2012 Summer Teen Camp Slide Show is Live!

Posted by Jud Millar

Wed, Oct 31, 2012

Session Slideshows -On the last night of each session we gather in the barn and watch the session slideshow. All Session we take pictures of campers and staff on activities (rock climbing, wakeboarding, art studio, etc.), doing community service, evening activities (Jud Games, yea!) and hanging around camp with friends. We gather the best of these photos, add a summer soundtrack and put together a slideshow that really captures the crazy, silly, amazing, magical moments of each session.

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Topics: Summer camp, Teen summer camp, teenage summer camp, Reflection packets, camp, slideshow

2012 SMA Teen Summer Camp Camper & Staff Reflection Packets are done!

Posted by Jud Millar

Fri, Oct 12, 2012

As many of you know, at the end of each session at Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp we ask campers & staff to take some time to “reflect” in writing on their experiences, accomplishments, challenges, friendships & memories. We then collect all these writings and type them up into one giant document and include cabin photos. We call these the “Reflection Packets”.

This years Camper & Staff Reflection packets for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Session are done!  They were sent in the mail last week and many of you should have received them already.  International campers, yours should be arriving soon.

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Topics: Summer camp, Reflection packets, camp

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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