Dear Jud, Anne, Wyatt, and Molly – Thank you for the note! We are all doing well here in Westmont. I meant to write to you all soon after Jonathan came home from camp. I have never seen him so deeply affected by an experience in his life. First of all he was very depressed for about a week, just missing being there, missing his new friends and all of you. I totally understood that it must have been very difficult to leave such a situation. I think he just had such an amazing time he was quite “blown away” by it. He came home a different boy. I cannot tell you exactly how he is different, but he is. I can tell you that it had a very positive affect on him. He is more mature and sure of himself. His father and I are so happy that we found Stone Mountain Adventures. We only wish we had found you sooner so that he could have spent more years with you there.
Eileen & Edward Doherty; Westmont, NJ
Dear Jud and Anne – Thank you so much for the tremendous summer that you gave Lexi. She came home absolutely beaming from her second session experience. I think it is fair to say that the experience changed her life. You must have had a tremendous bunch that last session. She came home a different person than she left. Although her move to her new school has not been trouble free, her handling of the situation has been incredibly more mature. It was great because it left her with great memories of her summers as SMA. She thinks of you guys as family.
Scott Kalister, Parkland, FL
Anne & Jud: As I mentioned when I saw you in August, something really magical has happened to Jonathan on three consecutive summers when he attended Stone Mountain. He matured a year’s worth in just three weeks and tended to stay at the level for a year (when he again returned to Stone Mountain). I don’t exactly know what went on there but it certainly was a magic ticket for him and his development.
Myles Jaffe, Collegeville, PA
Dear Jud and Anne – We meant to send you this email right after we came home with Eva, but time slips away so quickly. We want to thank you and the staff for making Eva’s first summer at SMA wonderful. She had such a fabulous time. We are really grateful for the care, instruction and love you all shared with Eva. Eva made some wonderful friends and is keeping in touch with them. She looks forward to spending time with them next year. She will be a return camper for sure. Her riding instructor here in DC noted that Eva was riding better than ever. She commented that Eva’s leg, hands and seat are really much more solid! We appreciate all of you and SMA.
Donna Harshman and Tom Martin, Silver Spring, MD
Dear Anne & Jud:I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you all for the very excellent camp experience you provided for Sarah. I don’t know how you make the magic that creates the unforgettable experience, but certainly you do. Sarah couldn’t have been more averse to attending camp. When I picked her up three weeks later, she could hardly bring herself to leave. She talked to me for an hour and a half driving home about how she felt as though she was leaving “home,” about her experiences and about all the people she met and learned to love at SMA. I felt so happy that she had such an “amazing” experience.
I chose SMA for your philosophy of “respect and sharing,” the low number of campers and high ratio of counselors and because of the testimonials written by past campers describing their experiences. I wanted Sarah to have the feeling of “having the best summer of her life.” She definitely did and cannot wait for time to pass until she can return.
These days it is very rare for anything to live up to its billing. SMA is one of those rare places that does. Thank you so much and we will definitely see you next year.
Linda Robinson, Gaithersburg, MD
This summer was not only my first at SMA, but my first time at an overnight camp. I had no idea what to expect of the people, activities, and food here. I couldn’t imagine that I could enjoy, or even last 3.5 weeks away from my friends, family and comfortable lifestyle. After a few nights in Lower Boys, I could see the effect that this camp had on its campers. It opens people’s minds and souls and makes people feel like brothers after a relatively short time. No one is afraid to speak their minds and be themselves; a quality that is rare anywhere other than camp.
Over the past 3.5 weeks, I have met incredible people. I have been surrounded by diversity and kindness, and absorbed as much of it as I could. The activities (and especially the van rides) filled my days with excitement and my head with experience. This has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life, and the memories will last a lifetime.
Jake, 14, Wynnewood, PA
I had a wonderful time here during my first year at SMA. At first, I thought I would have a hard time meeting people and making friends, but I turned out to be seriously mistaken. This is one reason why having a small camp is awesome. I think it’s really cool how everyone here knows everyone else, not only by name but also by personality and characteristics. The activities to choose from here are amazing. They vary from arts and crafts to caving in the underground wonders. There is more than one thing for everyone. I don’t think anyone regretted coming here this summer.
Luca, 12, Greenwich, CT
This is my first year at SMA and it was amazing. At first when I came here, I thought it was going to be a rough time, getting to know different people and connecting with them. I was very wrong. The people here were great. From the campers to the counselors, everyone was great. I connected with everyone like they were family. The activities here were great. From lemonade to volleyball, it was all very fun. My favorite activities were Wakeboarding and the Yough. I have realized that I am not going home, I’m leaving home.
Andres, 13, Darien, CT
This was my first year at SMA and it was so much fun. I learned so much this year. Before I came to SMA I was really shy and never really talked a lot. But then after a couple days at SMA I became more talkative and really opened up. Also, I learned to get along with everyone in my bunk. In the beginning we had a couple of arguments but then we worked it all out and we became closer. When I arrived as SMA I was really scared because it was my first time going to sleep away camp. But, after I got up to the bunk and met a few counselors and Jud I felt at home. I realized I shouldn’t be scared and just have fun. Everyone was very welcoming. I hope I’ll be able to come back next year.
Katie, 14, Bethesda, MD
This was my first summer at SMA. I came here to do something new and try sleepaway camp. What I learned was that this place is a second home for me, and the memories I’ve made will stay with me forever. I’ve had a blast with all of my friends, the counselors, and especially with my bunkmates. I had so much fun learning how to wakeboard, waterski, kneeboard, rock climb, mountain bike and horseback ride! I will never forget this place and I am counting on coming back next year! SMA is the best!
Natalie, 14, Cabin John, MD
I left home apprehensive. My expectations weren’t high – all the other camps I had been to advertised perfection but ended up being…um…crap. But when I walked into my bunk with two helpful, fairly good looking counselors carrying my luggage, instead of judgmental, scrutinizing faces I was greeted by smiles and music blasting from a corner. I shed my armor because my instinct told me I was in a good place. In the next few days I learned to love new things. I loved the enthusiasm of the counselors.
I laughed here more than I have at any other place. I learned many new things, and had a blast doing it. I’ll always remember the overnights and learning how to waterski. Now, when I think of SMA, I think about rivers and corn and beauty. I think about drama and craziness and fun. But most of all, I think of happiness. Now, instead of going home, I feel like I’m leaving it.
Grace, 13, Philadelphia, PA
Coming to this camp was not my decision. I originally didn’t want to come, but I am very glad I did. SMA is one of the most amazing places I think I will ever find. There are so many wonderful people around you all the time. Everyone cares about you whether you believe it or not. People are always smiling and having fun. I have met and become friends with people here who I most likely would have never spoken to at school. Being here reminded me that there are still so many things out there that I haven’t experiences and that I’m still young. I never really liked who I was until now. Being here helped me so much and I can’t wait to come back. I never thought I could become so attached to so many people and one big place in just three weeks. But I have. I love SMA.
Sarah, 14, Gaithersburg, MD
My time here at SMA overnight adventure camp has been amazing and everything that I hoped it would be. This is my first time ever at sleep away camp and now I am 100% sure I chose the right place. I came here in search of new friends and of course adventure and that is what I got. The relationships I have made here I know will last. I feel closer to the people here that I’ve known for 3 ½ weeks than I do to many people I’ve known for 3 or more years. All in all, my time at SMA this summer was unforgettable and a blast.
Regan, 14, Baltimore, MD