Name: Crysta Swarts
Hometown: originally Parkersburg, WV, currently Seattle, WA
Education: BA English & secondary education, James Madison University; Certificate in Education in Environment & Community, IslandWood; M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction, University of Washington
Most fun part about working at SMA: My job involves playing ultimate frisbee in the front yard, meeting parents and families, and joking around with campers during Power Hour. The most fun part about working at SMA is that most of the time, it doesn’t feel like work!
Most rewarding part about working at SMA: Year after year, as campers return, you can really see the growth – not just what they accomplish in a week, or a session, but how they are becoming strong and capable individuals over the course of years. The best is watching the older campers step up and take leadership roles around camp, and then remembering them as a shy twelve-year-old only a few years before!
Why do you love leading activities at SMA? With canoeing it is great to see campers learn new strokes and successfully navigate the Little Juniata River. With arts & crafts campers are exploring their creative side through different mediums and I love connecting with the campers on that level. When the kids are wakeboarding, they’re trying to find that perfect blend of skill and fearlessness to accomplish whatever goal they may have set. Helping them refine their skills to get them clearing the wake landing that back flip with smiles on their faces? There really is nothing better than that.
Name: Kelly Collins
Hometown: Granville, Ohio
Education: Associates Degree in Ecotourism and Adventure Travel
Most fun and rewarding part about working at SMA: Everything about SMA is fun; from waking campers up in the morning to crew to activities to meal time and especially evening activities… it’s all so awesome! I also think the service projects we do are great for staff campers alike. To me the most rewarding aspect of my job is challenging kids into achieving much more than they thought possible.
Why do you love teaching rock climbing? Rock climbing is a mental and physical challenge for everybody no matter your level of experience. Rock climbing is very important to me and having the opportunity to share my passion with people is a great gift, especially when others become interested and get involved.
Name: Kelly Christie
Hometown: Indiana, Pennsylvania
Education: Bachelor of Science Secondary Education The Pennsylvania State University
Most fun and rewarding thing about working at SMA: I love dressing up silly, spending time in the outdoors, and driving the power boat. Getting to know all of the campers and forming a family unit through everything we experience together is extremely rewarding.
Why do you love teaching wakeboarding? There really is nothing better than seeing campers get on the wakeboard for the first time, they feel such a sense of accomplishment. Also seeing veterans attempting new tricks / flips because the look on their faces says it all.