Day 2: Monday Funday

The day began with a pleasant jaunt through the trails at Weissner Woods located up the hill from the Round Hearth. We were all more the wiser with our trail running experience. The campers got some breakfast, then set off to gain experience in another area: speed development. Regis College assistant coach Kevin Greene led the campers through a series of drills and a 30 meter fly session where the runners worked on developing their top end speed. A quick core and plank series was also led by Leah Miller.

After food refreshments, we headed to Foster’s Swimming Hole to cool off and enjoy swimming and each other’s company. The Olympic Games continued with our first event: the water balloon toss. Team Nepal splashed their way to a gold medal victory. The next event was a full team event: the clothing relay. Each team had a series of articles of clothing that they had to put on, run across a field, and then take off and pass to their teammate. The United States thoroughly dominated the event, but the comedic highlight was seeing 13 year old Makayla attempt to run across a field in size 14 shoes.

Camp Director Fran Cusick gave a speech discussing how and why to do a tempo run. Campers learned the art of running “comfortably hard” and how critical it is to a runner’s training plan to prepare for the next day’s workout. Later in the evening, counselors hosted an optional seminar on the options of running collegiality.

This was a great day as campers began to get over their first day awkwardness and the seeds of emerging friendships were sown.

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Stowe Running Camp 2016 Day 1: Settling Into Stowe

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Campers arrived excited and nervous for the week ahead, only to be greeted by the warm and welcoming faces of their fellow campers and staff. The first day of camp was kicked off with an introductory meeting followed by a run at the Trapp Family Lodge. Campers split into groups to explore the lodge’s vast trail network, running among pastures with cows, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and streams.

Upon arrival back at the Round Hearth, campers were greeted by co-director Dan Flynn and his new assistant, highly-qualified and experienced 5-year-old son, Luke. Dan delivered an inspiring speech about resilience and fortitude in running.

In light of Dan’s encouragement, campers prepared to take on a challenge of their own! Dinner was followed by the commencement of Stowe Running Camp’s very own Olympic Games. After splitting up into groups of 6, teams created their own flags to represent their chosen country. Combining creative talents, new friends worked together to draw a unique design. It was a fun night of team building followed by some socialization at the Round Hearth.

Then it was off to bed for the campers!

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Elisabeth Olson Testimonial

Recent Wilmington High School graduate Elisabeth Olson has been going to Stowe for the past two years and offered up a heartfelt depiction of her time at camp. Read it below:

What makes Stowe Running Camp enjoyable, and the reason why I continue to return, is the instant community that is built as soon as you walk through the doors of the Round Hearth. The genuine smiles and the kind hearts you are greeted with on the first day, and every morning after, all share the same passion: running. No matter your skill level, you are taken in and made welcome by the directors, counselors, and

campers because at the end of the day, we all have some relationship to running, and that’s all that really matters.

On a more personal note, being surrounded by dedicated runners and learning about the aspects of training and running really inspired me to set goals for myself, ultimately sparking my love for the sport. It was the following cross country season when I started to stray from “just going through the motions.” I actually became someone who put their heart into every race, striving to be better. Stowe Running Camp gave me the confidence to become serious in my running, showing me that running is much more than just a sport. It helped bring a purpose and a sense of community to running, even outside the realms of camp. After my week in Stowe I looked forward to keeping in touch with runners from other schools, some I would see at meets later in the season.

I love Stowe Running Camp because it brings together two of my most favorite things: the mountains of Vermont and the sport of running. This summer will be my third year at camp and I already cannot wait to begin packing!

 

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There is Still Time to Sign Up for Stowe Running Camp 2016!!

Hi everyone, hope you all are enjoying your summer vacations! Not sure if you watched but the Olympic Trials have been going on this week and there have been some highly dramatic moments. In particular, the women’s 800 meter final was a devastating one, as Alysia Montano fell and Brenda Martinez was tripped, costing both of them a chance to get to Rio. Overall though it’s been pretty inspiring to watch!

Speaking of inspiration, I wanted to put out a reminder that there is still time to sign up for Stowe Running Camp! We still have spots open and would love to add a few more runners to the mix over the next few weeks. I’ve been involved in Stowe Running Camp for the past five years and last year we had our highest numbers that I’ve seen. We don’t quite have those numbers again this year, but if you are reading this and attending; please talk to your friends! Read through previous blogs about why attending Stowe is awesome and please ask me if you have any questions. It is a wonderful week that I look forward to every year and the more people we can bring into the mix the better.

I’ll post a few more blogs as we get closer to August 7th. Happy running!

-Coach Cusick

 

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Why You Should Attend Stowe Running Camp Reason 4: It Allows You to Grow Your Passion As A Runner

 

To the uninformed, the idea of running camp is baffling. “Why would you go to a running camp?” the naysayers will exclaim, “What do you do all day, run?” While I never got a chance to go to running camp in high school, spending the past five summers as a part of the Stowe Running Camp community has cemented the importance of going to camp. And one of the things that I keep coming back to is this: it gives you a chance to grow your passion as a runner.

If you’re the type of person who would even consider going to running camp, clearly there is something about running that you like. Going to a place like Stowe gives you a chance to explore what exactly that passion is. I I make no claims that you’re going to come here and walk away as a better runner. Running is about gradual progression; no one run, day, or week makes the difference but rather it is the cumulative effect of months of this kind of work combining to make you a better runner.

What we can promise you at Stowe is a group of people who care. Not everyone will care about running in the exact same way that you do, but all are there for a specific reason. And being in a place like that, with an entire army of people who share a similar mind set, is empowering. Whether you’re the best runner on an apathetic team or a middle of the pack runner who is doing everything they can to get better at the sport or even someone who has only run for a few months but has found that it allows them to express themselves, you’re going to find a connection at Stowe. It might be a counselor, one of our guest speakers, or a peer, but I promise you, you’ll find some connection and that connection will help clarify and focus your own passion for the sport.

So ultimately, while I can’t promise that your week at Stowe will improve your 5k by 2 minutes, I can promise that it will provide you with an opportunity to grow your love of the sport. And ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Go sign up today!

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Reason 3 Why You Should Attend Stowe Running Camp: The Camaraderie and Sense of Community.

 

Running camp, and camps in general, are something of an odd experience. You come into a place with a group of people that you don’t know at all and then spend a week straight living with them…and then you don’t see them again, possibly for another year. Most college teams and some high school teams as well will often take a preseason trip where they will spend a week or a few days together to become a more tight-knit group or what-have you. But running camp isn’t like that either per-se; that group of people isn’t collectively building to anything outside of the one week at camp. When the week is over, we’ll all take a picture together, say some tearful goodbyes, and then everyone goes their separate ways. You’ll see some people from camp here and there at various meets over the course of the year and stop to chat with them, but the every-day connection can only exist within that one magical week. And that’s one of the things that I enjoy so much about Stowe Running Camp: before your eyes you see a group of people come together, do some great things, and then in the blink of an eye it’s all over.

One of the things I love most about running camp is seeing different, unique people come together as one. Typically, the first day of camp is a little bit awkward. People huddle in little groups and it’s a bit quieter as people are feeling out their surroundings and coming to grips with the fact that, yes, this place is going to be their home for the next six days. As the days go on, the awkwardness starts to lift and people start to get out of their comfort zone, and by the last day the people at camp become a sort of surrogate family. No matter how many times I see it, that part of camp never gets old.

Buddhist monks create these intricate sand paintings called mandalas. They spend hours, days, even weeks building them. Then, after it has been completed, they ritualistically dismantle the entire thing, pack it up, and throw the sand into a river. To them, it symbolizes the ephemeral and transitory nature of life in general. To me, running camp is a lot like those mandalas: the experience itself is very intricate and amazing and you meet all these new people…and then, seemingly before you knew it, the week is over. But…you know that, for however brief a period of time, you were part of something special.

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Reason 2 Why You Should Attend Stowe Running Camp: It’s A Great Value

 

Reason 2 Why You Should Attend Stowe Running Camp: It’s A Great Value.

Oftentimes I find the best experiences are hard to fully describe with words, as to do so almost robs them of their magic. So I don’t know that I can fully do justice to the great experiences that so many kids have had over the years at SRC. But I can say with sincerity that the kids who come here get great value out of the camp. Year after year, we get consistently good reviews on everything from the camp curriculum to the guest speakers to the food (people love the food).

That being said, there is an elephant in the room when it comes to running camp that I wanted to address directly: the price. Stowe Running Camp costs 625 dollars per campers. If you have a sibling, you get a 10 percent discount. If you have 5 teammates come with you, you get a 5% discount, if you have 10 teammates you get a 10 percent discount. Clearly, no matter how many teammates you roll in with, you (or your parents) are going to be laying down a fair amount of money to attend the camp. The sentiment of “Why would I pay money to do something (run) I could do on my own at home?” is one of the biggest reasons why kids don’t attend running camp. I sympathize with this idea and I certainly wouldn’t expect someone to spend their life savings attending a running camp. However, I think when you break down the value of the experience here you’ll see how the price is actually quite reasonable.

Let’s start with what you get at Stowe. All campers get a pair of running shoes or spikes. We’ve leaned more towards trainers in recent years because those are a bit less specific than spikes. Last year for instance, we got the Saucony Kinvara 4’s, which on the market cost 100 dollars. Second, each camper gets the legendary Stowe Running Camp t-shirt. Last year it was from Athletics East. It was a high quality, polyester shirt that retails for 20 dollars. So right there you are looking at 120 dollars of stuff that you’re bringing home with you.  

The other thing that many do not think about are the meals. As mentioned repeatedly in the comments, the food is fantastic. One of the funnier comments we’ve received n the post-Stowe evaluations was the one that said Sue (our chef) was “the greatest woman in the world.” But when you think of the values of the meal, the cost comes out something like this:

Assume each meal costs 10 dollars. We’re looking at a total of

Sunday: 1

Monday: 3

Tuesday: 3

Wednesday: 3

Thursday: 3

Friday: 1

That’s 14 meals. If we say each one costs 10 dollars, we’re looking at another 140 dollars. So now we’re saying the shoes and t-shirt cost about 120 dollars and the meals are 140 dollars, which makes the price effectively 260 dollars cheaper. I know it’s an odd way to look at it (like those races that offer a “free” t-shirt when you’ve paid 100 bucks to sign up!) but that’s not often something that people think about.

Getting beyond the meals and shoes though, we have the experience of camp itself. I’m having a hard time not saying the words “it’s priceless” but I think if you talk to the high school runners who have been to camp, or the coaches who regularly come back, you’ll find the same adjectives used to describe Stowe. We do our best to create a camp where kids can come and learn about running but most importantly have fun. You can’t put a price on that kind of value.

Thanks for reading, I’ll try to post another blog within the next couple days.

-Coach Cusick

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