Before each model posed for our annual Swimsuit Issue, we asked them to share their craziest summer story with us. Every one of them declined, however, citing something embarrassing and/or incriminating they’d rather not see in print. It was then that we knew we had found the right group of people for an entertaining and carefree summer day at Montage Mountain Waterpark.
Thankfully, they were much less inhibited when it came to showing off their bodies. Five women and three men posed for us this year, and while each person had their own unique traits to show off, what linked them together was their sense of fun and adventure – whether they admitted it or not.
Aside from a bit of mid-day rain, the skies were clear and the sun was beating down during our photo shoot, but thankfully we had a wave pool, a lazy river, and even some showers to cool off in. What you see in the following pages was only a small part of our day, so dive into theweekender.com for tons of extra photos – some are even sexier than what you’ll find here.
On Thursday, July 17, tell us what you think of the issue in person during Adult Swim Night at Montage, starting at 5 p.m. Some of our models will be present handing out copies, and there will be live entertainment, food and drink specials, contests, and giveaways all night long. If you’re in need of a staycation, this is your perfect opportunity. Just be sure to call off work on Friday.
“I work for Victoria’s Secret, and it sounds stupid, but I actually really enjoy my job,” Angel began. “It’s fun, and I work with some of the greatest girls. That makes a big difference.”
It’s natural, then, that she would want to try modeling herself, always keeping busy with something.
“I hate just sitting home and doing nothing. I would love to just take days and go to amusement parks or go to the beach and see different sights, meet some new people,” she continued.
“I would absolutely love to go to every single amusement park. I absolutely love rollercoasters.”
When the laidback 21-year-old isn’t hanging out by the pool, she’s volunteering at a summer camp just down the street from her home in Dunmore for the third year in a row.
“I love kids. It’s always the same kids now, so I’m used to them. They’re like my little babies, even though they’re all getting so big! But I really enjoy it.”
Eddie may be a University of Scranton graduate with a bachelor’s in biology who is pursuing his masters in health administration before heading off to medical school, but he also likes to work out, hunt, fish, and party – “a lot.”
“I’m kind of a redneck at home,” he explained. “The story always starts with, ‘Yeah, one night when I was drinking…’
“I like to be outside. I like to work outside, do landscaping and construction.”
And like any “redneck,” he’s close with his family and is anticipating a few comments from his folks once the Swimsuit Issue hits stands.
“My parents make fun of me. They get to pick on me. ‘Oh, my son’s a model.’ That’s what my family likes to do,” he noted with a laugh.
“It’s a little awkward, I guess, at first because I just don’t know what I’m doing. But it’s fun. It’s a good experience – not many people can just say that they modeled for something.”
Jillian Soprano and Dominique Kozuch
Dominique and Jillian have been close friends since their freshmen year at Marywood University. They lived in the same building, shared similar musical tastes, and even dated the same guy – at different times, of course.
“We like hockey, we like drinking – drinking a lot,” Dominique, of Jermyn, emphasized. “Shenanigans in parking lots.
“The night before one game, I am eating an appetizer, slowly sipping on a martini, this one’s already three deep in, buying me my next rounds and telling me to basically throw them down my throat before the hockey game.”
“I’m a bad influence,” Soprano admitted.
The pair can’t stop laughing as they recall the frequent games they’ve attended together, concerts like Brand New and The Postal Service, and the boys they’ve left behind.
“We can’t bring boys to shows. They end up being our exes,” Dominique joked.
“Remember the time we had boyfriends and then we went out together and then they broke up with us? Weird.”
Both 23, the ladies have been Models of the Week in the Weekender before, with Dominique winning Model of the Year two years ago, and while both claim to be “boring,” it’s clear they’re anything but when Jillian, of Dallas, described the time she went skydiving.
“I actually wasn’t afraid at all. It was the most calming experience I’ve ever had. It seems weird, but it was. It was like a walk in the park,” she stated confidently.
“I looked at the guy and I was like, ‘I’m not nervous yet. My nerves haven’t kicked in. Is something wrong with me?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, we’ll up the ante. How about we backflip out of the plane?’ I was like, “All right!’ So we did a backflip out of the plane. It was awesome.”
India enjoys both science and art, interests she has incorporated into many facets of her life – particularly in school.
Her major is in marine biology, and she’s studying to become a vet for sea turtles. For years, she has volunteered at an aquarium and participated in its scuba diving trips in the Florida Keys.
Her minor is in art. Working for the clothing store White House | Black Market, she illustrates fashion designs as well as logos and signs for the shop, drawing whenever she isn’t swimming, longboarding, tanning, or hiking, trekking in a different spot almost every weekend.
“I want to do something in science, but I have that minor in art that I can do maybe architecture or design, interior decorating on the side,” the 19-year-old Moosic resident said.
Modeling is just another interest she found time to pursue with the Weekender.
“I think it’s fun. I like getting all ready. I like doing my makeup. It’s nice to be noticed. It is, and I don’t mean that in a conceited way,” India shared.
“I feel like if you have the look for it, then you might as well go for it.”
Tyler’s sister is a photographer and his mother was a model, but he hasn’t had any experience modeling other than “playing around with the camera.”
“I just figured it would be cool. I’ve never done it before,” he said.
This is mainly just for fun, though. The 19-year-old Moosic native is a pre-med student studying to become an orthodontist.
“It’s like a perfect career,” he described, despite the 10 years it will take him to finish school.
“I wanted to do dentistry, and then I did orthodontistry. They make more, the job is good, you’re secure, so I want to open up my own practice hopefully.”
Tyler is constantly active, always running, hiking, swimming, kayaking, and often traveling to the Caribbean, where he’ll be next month.
“We do a lot of stuff. We go zip-lining. We go to Mayan ruins. We climb. I don’t know how you just go to the resorts and sit there all day. I can’t do that. We have fun there,” he enthused, always going wherever the wind takes him.
“I never have a plan. I figure out what I’m doing while I’m going on the way to do it. My friends are so random.”
After serving as a bartender at Weekender’s Model of the Year Party last year, Mary thought it would be fun to give it a try herself. She’s since been a Model of the Week and featured in the Girls of NEPA calendar.
“I’d rather be on the other side,” the 24-year-old from Old Forge noted. “I love it. I think it’s so much fun.”
Growing up around a lake, she enjoys the water, particularly kayaking, along with lying out in the sun, bike riding, and hanging out with friends – “nothing too crazy.”
“I like to be outside,” she said, eager for her upcoming trip to California.
“My sister lives in Lake Tahoe, so we’re going to go out there, do a lot of activities, probably go hiking, kayaking. She wants to rent jet skis out. I’ll be there for the Fourth of July, so that will be a s—t show, needless to say. I’m excited.”
If there’s one thing you don’t have to ask Joel, it’s, “Do you even lift?”
The 20-year-old Scranton resident showed off his toned chest and arms during his first physique bodybuilding show last month. A fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and anyone with a “classic” figure, he doesn’t use steroids and focuses only on natural bodybuilding.
“It was something fun for me. There’s always room for improvement, so you can always go forward. You’re never satisfied. Once you reach your goal, you make a new one, so it’s always fun. There’s always something new. There’s always more you can get,” Joel explained. “I just enjoy the challenge.”
He has never taken part in a professional photo shoot before, and while he enjoys hanging out with friends around a fire, fishing, and staying cool in the pool, he admits he would be much more comfortable at the moment back at the gym.
“The one thing I really enjoy doing in life is going to the gym. For two hours, you’re just free; your mind’s free. I don’t think about anything; the stress is gone. It’s my little escape, I guess.”