Picture: Jess Minty addresses the crew.
The dew was still hanging in the air as campers climbed out of their bunk beds and made their way onto the the Round Hearth lawn. This would be the first morning run of the week. They rubbed tired eyes and adjusted to the chilly air while walking to the trail system known as Weissner Woods. Campers’ agility and awareness were tested by the frequent roots and mud puddles that dotted the trails. They were greeted back at camp by the smell of warm pancakes and scrambled eggs.
Another Stowe Running Camp adventure began mid morning when campers boarded the bus to travel to the Stowe Motel fields. Under the watchful eye of assistant director Kevin Greene, campers performed strides across the field. Kevin’s experience as a collegiate runner and college coach himself allowed him to provide helpful recommendations to students seeking to improve their form. Assistant director, Leah Miller, led students in yoga exercises centered around breathing and focus. Upon the conclusion of the stride analysis activity, students headed back to camp for their second Stowe Talk.
Tuesday’s Stowe Talk was given by a Stowe Running Camp favorite, Jess Minty. As a collegiate and professional runner, Jess Minty offered insight to campers on tempo runs. Campers may have been nervous for the upcoming Tempo Tuesday, but after a morning of yoga and listening to the advice of a professional runner, most were at ease. Jess Minty also offered her experience as a female athlete to the women of the camp. While Jess discussed everything from nutrition to self confidence, the male counselors discussed similar topics with the male counselors.
After a morning and afternoon filled with informative activities, campers turned to fun and games for the rest of the afternoon. The Stowe Down activities continued with a air hockey and pool tournament. Campers also had the opportunity to go on another run in the afternoon. This time many chose a slightly easier terrain, the Stowe bike path.
The arrival of dinner at 6:30, once again drew all the campers together into the central dining room at the Round Hearth. Meals at the Round Hearth are signified by the ringing of a loud bell. Upon hearing the bell, campers all filed into line, eagerly awaiting the scrumptious food that cook Sue had prepared for the evening. Monday’s meal was pulled pork, greek salad, corn, a hearty vegetarian chili, and of course, chocolate cake for dessert.
After dinner, campers got the best of both worlds with an informal counselor seminar and further Stowe Down activities. Counselor Rachel Maue and camp director Fran Cusick gathered students in the lounge room to discuss race strategy and how to approach different types of courses and race distances. Campers bonded with each other by discussing and comparing stories on some of the courses they considered most challenging. Among Massachusetts kids, Gardner and Northfield were agreed to be the hardest courses, while Vermont kids advocated for the Thetford course. Connecticutians tried to compare the measly hill at Wickham park to the more challenging courses in the North. At least campers agreed on the flattest race course: the track.
The Stowe Down activities for the night consisted of a lively game of Family Feud. Campers were forced to brainstorm answers for everything from the least common things to wear in the summer to the number of pants men own to items that would be found in a wrestler’s locker room. At the end of the night two teams emerged as the top runners. The Kardashians and Hannah Montana qualified for the final round. However, campers would have to wait until the next day to see the results of the finale. Campers headed up to bed to get some rest before Tempo Tuesday arrived.