Ah, Friday. The final day at Stowe Running Camp. A day jam-packed with activity and yet over in the blink of an eye. Before we know it the campers are packed up and whisked out the doors of the Round Heart for the final time, back into their own lives. It is one of the great paradoxes of camp: just when you feel like you’re getting the hang of it, the whole thing is over and you are left only with memories, a few photographs hurriedly taken on your phone, and a countdown clock in your head until next year when the process will be renewed. It always goes by in a blur. It is such an unexpected departure and there never seems to be enough time to say a proper goodbye. Friendships that have been forged quickly are now put on hiatus for a year. The experience of being at running camp is certainly a strange one: you spend every waking moment with a group of people every day for six days, and then suddenly it’s over and you don’t see them again for quite some time.
On this day, the campers rose at 7 AM for a pancake breakfast. It was a tough wake-up: lingering soreness and exhaustion the previous day’s long run and dance/lip sync, combined with the relatively relaxed bedtime of the previous night, not to mention the accumulated fatigue of six days spent at the Round Hearth, all conspired to make the campers very reticent to leave the warmth of their beds. Nevertheless, they trudged down for their last meal at the Round Hearth then jumped on the bus to the Trapp Family Lodge. Once on the bus, the tiredness and bleary eyes of the early morning were forgotten and the campers were soon laughing and signing excitedly as we headed to our final group activity.
Over the years, SRC has tried various final day activities. The true culminating event of the week, at least in this author’s opinion, is the long run. But on Friday, we have always sought out a fun way to end things. In past years, we have tried the “Hit Your Pace” game we did mid-week this year and the last couple years we have done scavenger hunts, but this year we decided to try something different. First, we played a series of field-day-esque games. We started with a potentially disastrous game: a three legged race. We used the ropes that were given out earlier in the week for Coach Saretsky’s presentation on Active Isolated Stretching and prayed that no one would sprain an ankle. Thankfully, no one did and Josh and Avery walked away the winners. Next, we did a wheelbarrow race, followed by a crab walk relay and a water balloon toss. Finally, we wrapped up this portion of the day with a tug of war tournament.
Next up, we gave the students a unique challenge: film and edit a movie representing an unwritten “rule” of running. The genesis of this idea came for a planned but ultimately scrapped speech by camp director Fran Cusick called “The 12 Rules of Running.” The counselors had been furtively filming a video called “Don’t Be a Mileage Maniac” all week and thought it’d be fun to get the campers in on the action. Though they had limited time to tackle this task, the kids took it on with aplomb and came up with some very creative videos that were shown later at the awards ceremony. The kids spread out all over the Round Hearth and even recruited some of the other guests at the Trapp Family lodge to take part in their videos.
Once time was up, some campers elected to run back to the Round Hearth while others jumped onto the bus. The return to the Round Hearth saw some quick showers and frantic packing. The campers were given their Stowe Running Camp t-shirts (this year’s color was green) and before we knew it we were on to the awards ceremony. Director Fran Cusick addressed the camp, pointing out how lucky we were that the predicted rain never really came to fruition and addressing how close-knit this group had become. Then we began watching the videos from earlier in the day. Some of the highlights included a hysterical “Why you should wear short-shorts” video put together by Ricky, Bobby, Avery, Devyn, and Amanda. Then, the counselors handed out several paper plate awards for campers that stood out over the week for both running and non-running activities.
Then, we showed the rest of the videos and headed out to the lawn to take every iteration of pictures possible and say our final goodbyes. And just like that, everyone was in cars driving back home. Hard to believe the week ended so fast, but we will be back next year.
Stay tuned for more blog posts, videos, pictures, and information about next year’s camp!
Written by: Fran Cusick, Lilly Wells
P.S.: Here is the counselor’s video, called “Don’t Be a Mileage Maniac”