Registration Is Up and Running!

Dear Stowe Running Camp Community,

I hope you are all holding up reasonably well under the trying circumstances forced upon us by this wretched virus. This has not been an easy time, with lost seasons, lost jobs, and lost moments being the order of the day. We will eventually emerge from our Coronavirus induced cocoons and venture forth into what will hopefully be a safer world. 

At any rate, registration for Stowe Running Camp 2020 at Vermont Technical College is set and  ready to go. You can sign up here: Stowe Running Camp Registration Page. I wanted to take a minute to explain the registration process as clearly as I can to avoid any confusion:

-Our tuition is 585 dollars for the full week of camp. 

-We require an initial deposit of 200 dollars. The deposit is non-refundable if your child cannot attend the camp for person reasons (injury, illness, etc.). However, in the event that the camp needs to be cancelled everyone will be refunded their tuition in full (see below). 

-You can pay the full tuition right when you register, or you can pay the 200 dollar deposit and then pay the rest of the deposit back up until the first day of camp (many parents pay on the first day of camp)

-Our payment runs through Pay Pal. You can use an existing Pay Pal Account, create one, or simply pay with a debit or credit card. 

I have mentioned this before but I want to say it again just to alleviate any fears: It is our sincere hope that by August the current situation will be much improved and we will be able to hold the camp. HOWEVER, in the event of a camp cancellation due to COVID-19, all of your money will be refunded, no exceptions.

We understand that this is a very confusing situation. In a perfect world, camp would go on as usual, but this situation is so unprecedented that we all need to be flexible in dealing with it. If we do have to cancel, we plan on making that decision by July 1st.

Please let me know if you have any questions, stay safe!

-Camp Director Fran Cusick

Stowe Running Camp Post Long Run

Stowe Running Camp 2020 Will Take Place at Vermont Technical College!!

Hello Stowe Running Campers/Parents/Fans,

This is camp director Fran Cusick with an exciting announcement: we have officially found a new location for Stowe Running Camp 2020! The camp will be hosted at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont. After searching far and wide, we were very luck to have VTC welcome us onto their campus! 

Below is some information in a Q&A format: 

When and where will Stowe Running Camp be held?

Sunday August 2nd to Friday August 7th at Vermont Technical College, 124 Admin Dr, Randolph Center, VT 05061.

What is tuition going to be?

Tuition will be the same as last year, 585 dollars per camper. For siblings, there will be a 10% discount (applied to both siblings). For teams, there will be a 10% discount for teams with 10 or more people. There will be a 5% discount for teams with between 5-9 people.

We will follow the same process we have used in the past in that we will require a 200 dollar deposit and then the balance will need to be paid by the first day of camp.  

How do I sign up?

Like Bernie Sanders, I am once again asking for your patience. We are building the website you are currently reading into a registration page, which takes some time. I should have registration ready to go by the end of this week (the 15th)

Will you be changing the name?

At this time, the camp will continue to be called Stowe Running Camp. Stowe has been in place since the 1970s (I am trying to gather historical data on this…if anyone reading this attended Stowe prior to 2010 please email me!) and has a rich tradition and history that we want to honor. 

Also, we couldn’t come up with a good name.

How Will Camp Be Different at VTC vs. The Round Hearth

I really don’t know at this point. One thing I do know is that we will still be able to go to Ben and Jerry’s! And we will have significantly more space for Spikeball. Other than that, we are still working out the details. It will undoubtedly be a different feel but I am confident that this will be a great experience for everyone. 

The Elephant in the Room (Coronavirus)

Obviously the corona virus is running roughshod over the nation right now. It is far too early to tell but if we are forced to cancel, you will get a refund. Let’s hope by August we have gotten this thing under control. In the meantime, stay safe and for the love of all that is good wash your hands!

Conclusion

I want to thank everyone who has reached out with messages of support. I really do appreciate it! I also want to thank Vermont Technical College for being so accommodating…it was a real challenge to find a new location and I will admit that things were looking grim just a few weeks ago. But thanks to a suggestion from former Stowe Running Camper and Randolph native Haddie Lary, we were able to find VTC and the rest is history.

Please reach out to me via email at fcusick13@gmail.com with any questions at all. In the meantime, check this site for info on the camp or follow us on Facebook (@StoweRunningCamp) or on Instagram (stowe.running.camp) for updates.

-Coach Cusick

A VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT STOWE RUNNING CAMP 2020

Hello to Everyone Reading This,

This is camp director Fran Cusick. I have some unfortunate news regarding Stowe Running Camp 2020. I found out recently that the property where we have hosted Stowe Running Camp for decades, The Round Hearth, is going to be unable to accommodate us this year for camp. In effect, due to circumstances beyond our control, Stowe Running Camp 2020 will need to take place at a different location.  

This is not great news. The Round Hearth and the Stowe community have been a great host to our camp for decades. Though it was in some ways an unconventional spot for a running camp and many a camper has looked upon the building with skeptical eyes, in my view it provided us with exactly what we needed. 

I have spoken at length with the counselors and we are firmly committed to keeping Stowe Running Camp alive…that said, it is going to look a lot different. We are going to be in a new location, most likely not in Stowe and possibly not even in Vermont. We are going to need to rename the camp (I am happily accepting suggestions). We will need to find new running routes, new traditions, a new website, a new registration process. In short, it will be a lot of work. However, I believe very strongly in the value that this camp provides and I am not ready to give up on it anytime soon! I am confident that we will be able to find a new site and rebuild the camp to make it even better than before.

A few questions you may have:

Will it be held on the same dates?

Yes, I am committed to keeping the camp on the same dates, August 2nd to 7th 2020. There is a SLIGHT possibility that we would move it up a day, but it would 100% be in that date range. 

How much will the camp cost?

My plan is  to keep camp tuition at the same price as last year’s camp, which was 585 dollars. 

What locations are you looking at?

We are scouring New England as you read this to find the best spot. I hope to have this finalized within the next month. 

What if I have already signed up?

Your credit card was not charged. Once we get the new system up and running, you will need to register again. I know this is annoying and I’m sorry. 

I wish I could provide more clarity on this, but the truth is that I simply don’t know what this will look like. I only ask that you be patient and bear with us as we go through this transitional year. Last year, we had our highest turnout ever, with 86 campers. I would be very surprised if we got that many this year. However, for those of you who came and loved it, I hope you will consider coming back.The experience is undoubtedly going to be a little different, but I know we can make it work.

Please reach out to me via email at fcusick13@gmail.com with any questions. I will do my best to expedite this process and get some more solid plans in place within the next month to five weeks. 

Thanks for reading, long live Stowe Running Camp.

-Fran Cusick

 

Stowe Running Camp 2019: Day 4

The campers woke up a bit tired and sore from our Tuesday tempo run; however, there was no loss of enthusiasm as we headed to the Trapp Family Lodge for our first activity of the day. The campers got back into their running groups and hit the trails of the “Trapp House.” Despite the considerably hilly nature of this route, good times were had by all and everyone emerged healthy and happy to head back to the Round Hearth for breakfast.

Post-breakfast featured some down time followed by more of our tournaments, including Spikeball, Cornhole, and Kan Jam. Spikeball emerged as a camp and fan favorite, as it’s fast paced play and teamwork are entertaining to watch. Get this game on ESPN! Camp director Fran Cusick gave a brief speech about tomorrow’s long run, explaining to the campers about why this particular run is such an important staple of a distance runner’s arsenal. 

After this, we had a lighter lunch in preparation of our afternoon pool workout. Before this, though, the camp was delighted to welcome back frequent Stowe guest and 2012 Olympian Ruben Sanca. Ruben has been speaking at Stowe Running Camp since 2012 and talked to the campers about the importance of hard work and goal setting. He also answered some questions and told some humorous stories, including his infamous workout in the snow which left him unable to walk after 20 plus grueling miles.

 

After Ruben’s speech, the campers headed to The Swimming Hole for two sessions: one group would participate in aqua-jogging in the pool, another group would tackle yoga on the lawn outside the pool. Both groups took to their respective tasks with aplomb and despite the challenges that each endeavor presented, approached it with an impressive level of enthusiasm. It was especially impressive on the yoga front, as several campers claimed to have “achieved a Zen-like state.” Whether they truly reached this mythical state of being or were simply asleep is a matter of debate; however, it can’t be argued that both groups had a great time and learned some important tools to help supplement their running. Kudos to the second group (the young-guns) for continuing with their yoga despite the rain. 

Once back at the Round Hearth, our primary activity of the day was the Mr. and Mrs. Stowe pageant. This is always an entertaining spectacle and this year did not disappoint as we saw and listened to some uniquely talented individuals. Tyler S. stole the show by drawing a map of the United States from hand, prompting one camper to exclaim “wow, he knows every line.” On the girls end, Sierra F. took home the crown while displaying some impressive hula-hoop/macarena skills. 

All in all, it was a fun albeit busy day and the campers hit the hay tired but excited to attack the long run the next morning. 

Stowe Running Camp 2019: Day 3

What is tired, sore, but smiling with flushed faces?

That would be SRC 2019 campers after their tempo Tuesday workout!

Tuesday at camp is tempo day. Campers travel to the nearby “quiet” path to run 2-3 miles at tempo pace. The quiet path is a grass loop approximately a half mile in length that winds around cornfields. Campers took this opportunity to dress in their very best with several American flag shorts and Hawaiian shirts blessing the trails. Feeling accomplished from a hard effort run, campers ice bathed in the local creek to help their legs recover.

Following a hearty refueling lunch at the Round Hearth, campers boarded the bus to travel to a swimming spot new to Stowe Running Camp— Bingham Falls. This local gem has many spots for ice bathing, jumping in, and swimming along the river. The water was a bit chilly, but no doubt refreshing after a tiring morning!

The afternoon centered around many Stowe Games competitions including Bonk, a classic Stowe game where you try to move a wooden ball in the middle by rolling marbles down a ramp set in the corner of the board.

The tempo challenge of the day may have been over, but another ambitious challenge still awaited many campers— the infamous Vermonster challenge. While many campers look forward to the Ben and Jerry’s trip to get a nice milkshake or try out a new flavor (any Pucker Up sorbet takers?), others prepare for 20 scoops of ice cream, four toppings, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. This absurd mixture, so large it is served in a bucket, is called a Vermonster. Shoutout to the Littleton + Kate team that conquered that mountain this year. Campers savored their ice cream, spending time looking around at the factory’s fun facts and attractions as well. Unfortunately the rain prevented the annual flavor graveyard viewing this year, but it could not hamper the good cheer and ice cream joy!

P.S. Check us out on Instagram @stowe.running.camp to catch a few pictures from this week of fun!

Stowe Running Camp 2019: Day 2

After the early morning wake up call, campers woke up for their first early morning run at Stowe. Each running group decided whether to go up to the Weisner woods or the popular bike path. Camp director Cusick took a group up to the woods, getting them lost along the way, but luckily later finding their way back. Everyone came back from their run feeling strong and hungry! The Round Hearth greeted us with a delicious breakfast of pancakes, fruit, tater tots, and eggs, quickly devoured by the campers.

After some free time, Rebecca Schubert, an experienced long distance hiker and nutritionist came to speak to the campers about what diets can entail peak performances and the importance of a healthy sleep and hydration routine. The campers found it beneficial and asked many intriguing questions.

Director Cusick gave a knowledgeable talk about how to correctly run a tempo run, which helped inform campers on how to pick a tempo time with the help of their counselors.

Then, the greatly anticipated game of Capture the Flag finally came around. The camp got split into age groups, the older kids went to work on strides first while the younglings played the game. At the stride area, counselors helped identify form weaknesses in the runners, giving them helpful advice on how to improve. They worked on form, stride cadence, knee driving, and relaxing the body. Did you know its easier to run if you smile? The groups later swapped activities to enjoy both stations.

The rest of the night was filled with free time. Most of the campers could be found outside practicing for their Stowe games competition including games like spike-ball, can jam, corn-hole, and nukem. Other campers walked down to the river to get a refreshing ice bath, before coming back to enjoy a great dinner of shepherds pie and a dessert of triple chocolate chip cookies.

Then the big game of the night came round, Family Feud! We started with twelve teams and in the first rounds, quickly eliminated six. The finalists passionately defended their answers, eventually with one team coming out on top: The Telemarketers! Campers then played board games and hung out before (most of them) went to bed early to rest up for Tempo Tuesday!

See if you can figure out some of these popular Family Feud Questions! Answers will be included in the next blog post!

  1. Where do kids spend most of their time these days?
  2. What are reasons why people would be running?
  3. Reasons why people are late?

Stowe Running Camp 2019: Day 1

It’d been 355 days since the wooden benches and spike ball sets of Stowe had felt the familiarity of their favorite running camp participants. During the year, SRC (Stowe Running Camp) campers had occupied themselves with running, school, traveling, family time, and other pursuits. Really just filling the days before the next week they would spend in Stowe.

Nevertheless, as soon as the campers walked through the doors of the Round Hearth today, they picked up the same pool sticks, volleyball balls, and hooks (ask a camper about the famous Hook Game) and were immediately right back where they left off last year. Campers returned for their second, third, or fourth year at camp and some counselors are even approaching a decade long stint at the Round Hearth. First year campers were quickly welcomed and included in games of Nukem, Frisbee, and other yard games. Hugs and instant smiles were exchanged and campers were soon shuffling off their helpful, but suddenly forgotten parents.

After campers settled into their bunks, they readied for their first run in the beautiful hills of Stowe. All 85 campers (SRC’s biggest crowd in the history) then went for their first run at the local Stowe High School. There they found muddy trails, ran along rocky ridges, and galloped through fern filled fields. A relaxing (but hilly!) run was followed by an energizing hip/strength circuit (thanks to our strength coordinators Rachel Sessa and Meghan Davis).

The ritual ringing of the dinner bell attracted all campers to enjoy a refueling meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Following dinner was the beginning of the annual Stowe Games. The theme this year is professions. This year’s creative bunch came up with names ranging from heart surgeons to running coaches to lifeguards to marriage counselors to telemarketers! Groups developed skits and posters to represent their teams and then performed them in front of the entire camp. The skit winner— team McDonald’s Worker— put on a particularly humorous performance featuring Makayla, Grace M., Shaun, Mike, Cody, Ellie, and Julliet!

The first place poster award went to the Lifeguards team of Lily, Garret, Annie, Tyler, Matthew, Sarah H., and Lauren!

The campers are now headed off to bed to rest up for Monday Madness tomorrow!