Stowe Running Camp 2021 Update

Hello Everyone,

This is camp director Fran Cusick with an update on Stowe 2021. First, I hope everyone reading this is doing great. The world is starting to emerge from our Covid-created cocoon into some semblance of normal life, which is fantastic after a long period of living under some very difficult conditions. In regards to Stowe, I have a few updates:

-As of June 20th, we have 35 athletes signed up for camp…a solid number, but one we would like to increase significantly in the next couple weeks. Based on what people have told me, I’m thinking that we will end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 athletes, which I think will be excellent. BUT, if you are sitting there reading this and you haven’t signed up yet, what are you doing?? Go to this link: https://stowerunningcamp.com/register/ and sign up right away! And while you’re at it, make sure that your sister/brother/friend etc. signs up as well!

-We have a new Facebook page, located here: https://www.facebook.com/stowerunningcamp2021. I know any person under the age of 30 here is rolling their eyes at the mere mention of Facebook, but it’s a helpful tool. Sadly we are unable to access our last Facebook page, so we created this new one to help spread the word about camp. Please check it out and “Like” the page.

That is about it for now, if anyone has any questions or thoughts please send them to me at fcusick13@gmail.com. I am really looking forward to camp this year; see you all soon!

-Coach Fran Cusick

Stowe Running Camp 2021 Will Be Held At Castleton University!

Hello Everyone,

This is Camp Director Fran Cusick with a very important announcement: Stowe Running Camp 2021 will be held at Castleton University in Castleton, Vermont! The dates will be Sunday August 1st to Friday August 6th. We are very excited for this new partnership. Castleton will be a great location for our camp. It is in a great location running wise, with plenty of trails, including a cross country course that should be perfect for our tempo loop, as well as a rail trail. Castleton is also a prestigious university with all the amenities of a typical college campus: a great cafeteria, dorms, a pool and plenty of fields for Spikeball, volleyball, capture the flag, and all kinds of other fun games. Castleton has hosted many other camps over the years so they are well-suited to handle all our needs.

We think that this will be a superb location for our camp and could not be happier to be carrying on the Stowe Running Camp tradition in this exciting new location!

So, now that we have a location, our registration is live! Here is the link to signup. A couple reminders on registration:

-Tuition is 585 dollars for 5 nights and 6 days.

-All of our payments will be done through PayPal. If you are having any technical issues, please contact me at fcusick13@gmail.com.

-There are two payment options: you can pay the full tuition right up front, or you can put down a 200 dollar, non-refundable deposit and then pay the balance by Sunday, July 25th.

-There are discounts available for the camp tuition. We offer:

  1. Sibling Discount: 10% off for all children of the same family
  2. Team Discount 1: 5% off for at 5-9 campers of the same team.
  3. Team Discount 2: 10% off for 10 or more campers on the same team

Finally, I will be as forthright as possible: getting this camp up and running again took a substantial amount of work. I want to especially thank Kevin Greene for doing much of the legwork in making the partnership with Castleton happen. HOWEVER, we are starting the marketing for this camp at a very late date! So please, tell your friends, teammates, rivals from other schools and anyone you know who is even tangentially involved about this camp. In 2019, we had the most kids we’ve ever had and it would be great to continue that trend two years later.

Thanks for reading! Now go signup!

-Coach Cusick

Stowe Running Camp 2021 Is On!!

Hello Everyone,

I write to you with some very good news, as of 4/20/2021 Stowe Running Camp 2021 is on! The dates will be the same as usual, Sunday August 1st to Friday August 6th. We will have more details in the coming days, as there are still a few things we have to finalize. Please note that registration for camp is not yet active.

In the meantime, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell your friends, teammates, rivals, heck, even your straight up enemies about this camp. We do not have a lot of time to market it and we want to make this a great experience for everyone. If you have any questions, please contact camp direct Fran Cusick at fcusick13@gmail.com.

Thanks, and check back here for some more details within the next week.

-Camp Director Fran Cusick

Stowe Running Camp 2021 Update: Status Is Currently Uncertain

Hi Everyone,

Unfortunately, at this time the status of Stowe Running Camp 2021 is uncertain. I wish I had better news or more clarity on what this summer would look like. If we do have camp, the dates will be Sunday August 1st to Friday August 6th 2021. However, we do not know if our host site (Vermont Technical College) will be allowing visitors onto campus. As soon as we find out this information, I will be sure to post here, on Facebook, and on Instagram. If anyone has any questions or thoughts, please email me at fcusick13@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

-Camp Director Fran Cusick

Stowe Running Camp 2020: Cancelled

To The Stowe Running Camp Community,

It is with great sadness that I announce the cancellation of Stowe Running Camp for 2020. We really wanted to make camp happen this year, but it was an uphill climb due to COVID-19. Though our staff had some ideas about how to make camp doable under the conditions, our host school Vermont Tech let us know recently that they would not be allowing outside groups onto campus this summer. This is a very reasonable decision by them and, though it’s disappointing, in my opinion it is the right move. As fun as camp is and as great as it would have been to pull it off, at this time we need to prioritize people’s health above all other things

Prior to getting this news from VTC, I did have a lot of doubts as to whether we could successfully provide the type of environment that Stowe running campers are used to while maintaining appropriate social distancing protocols. To say the least, it would have been challenging. At the end of the day, there was just no good way to ensure that the camp would be fully safe for all involved. Without a vaccine in place, the only way to be sure that campers and staff did not have the virus would have been to quarantine every camper and staff member prior to arrival for a 10-14 day period, obviously not a realistic option. Even if we did that, we would still run the risk of a camper or staff member being infected on a run, on a trip to Ben and Jerry’s, from a cafeteria worker, etc. And if even one person was infected, they could spread it to multiple others, which would have been a terrible situation for all.

For now, everyone who has already signed up will be refunded via check. I will get those out within the next couple weeks. For those who are looking for another summer running camp option, please reach out and I can recommend a few that are still open…though I am of the opinion that overnight camps will be difficult to pull off in this environment. 

I am well aware of just how disappointing and upsetting this news will be to so many of our campers, and all I can do is say how sorry I am. The week of Stowe Running Camp is my favorite week of the year and the reality that we will not be playing Spikeball, going on runs, or singing loud, off-key songs on a crowded and noisy bus has not yet sunk in. 

We will contemplate some type of virtual activity or meeting to at least maintain contact over the summer. In the meantime, I hope you are all staying fit and healthy. We will revamp camp for next summer and I am hoping it will be our best year ever.

Keep in touch. 

-Camp Director Fran Cusick

Stowe Running Camp Spotlight #1 Lily Robinson

Welcome to the first edition of our Stowe Running Camp Spotlight Series! We will use this feature to highlight the accomplishments of current and former Stowe Running campers, counselors, and alumni.

Today’s featured athlete is Lily Robinson. Lily is a member of the cross country and track team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This previous indoor season she was a member of the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team after running a time of 17:32 in the 5k and placing 6th at the A10 League Meet. During the cross country season at UMass, Lily was a consistent presence in the Minutewomen’s top 7. In addition to her running prowess, Lily pens a column for UMass’ student newspaper, The Daily Collegian, which you can read here. She attended Stowe Running Camp for three summers and is well known for loving long runs, being in touch with nature, and her artistic creativity (the posters she made for the Stowe games are legendary). 

We sat down with her to discuss her journey as a runner. The interview was conducted by Camp Director Fran Cusick, who coached Lily in high school. 

img_3176

Picture: Lily competing at the 2017 Eastern Massachusetts Division 3 Championship Meet….it was one of the coldest cross country meets in recent history. 

BIOGRAPHY

Name: Lily Robinson

Hometown: Tewksbury, Massachusetts

High School: “Homeschooled” but competed for Tewksbury HS

College: Umass Amherst

Age/Grade: 19/Academic Senior

PR’s

5k (track): 17:32.01

3k: 10:14.17

Mile: 5:14.85

Lily 6

Picture: Lily with teammate Sarah Conant at her first collegiate cross country race at Franklin Park in Boston. 

Stowe Running Camp Questions

How Many Years Have You Attended Stowe Running Camp?

I have gone for three years. 

How did you hear about Stowe Running Camp?

Camp director Fran Cusick was my high school coach. 

Favorite Memories from Stowe

I have a lot of good tempo runs at Stowe on the Quiet Path…I remember one year I had a great tempo run with Mckenzie Clark and Jackie Wells and I was really proud of myself for keeping up with them. It’s hard for me to pinpoint one specific memory. 

Lily Stowe

Picture: Lily with teammates/friends at Stowe Running Camp 2017.

Running in General

How did you get started in running? 

I feel like there are so many different answers to this…when I was a really little kid we used to have these Tuesday night community track meets in Tewksbury. I was wildly competitive. They gave out ribbons, I’m pretty sure all the way up to 6th place. I used to do every event there. 

This was when I was little, so my memories may not be entirely accurate. It seemed like the entire town would come out to these track meets. At the end of the night they would run the mile and everyone would be exhausted from doing all the different running and field events. So there would only be a couple people in it. And I have this memory of always beating the high schoolers, even though I’m pretty sure they just jogged it. But they’d always make a big show of pretending that we were really good and had been able to beat them for real, and at age 5 I didn’t question it. Funny side note, I dreaded turning 7 because I liked to run in the lane that corresponded with my age and it was a 6 lane track….If only that was still my greatest concern in life. 

Shortly after this, I was probably in 4th grade, I ended up doing a running camp called Noelle’s Running Clinic in Lowell along with my good friend McKenzie Clark. At the end of the camp, the director asked me to join her team, which was the Greater Lowell Road Runners youth program, coached by Joe Ferris. So I ended up staying on that team all the way up until the start of high school. A lot of the kids from GLRR would go on to be good runners at Tewksbury HS, like Makayla Paige, Devyn Veits, and McKenzie. It was a lot of fun. 

Lily GLRR

Picture: Lily in her Greater Lowell Road Runner days with teammates Makayla Paige and Devyn Veits. 

Do you prefer track or cross country?

Cross-Country forever but the indoor 5k puts up a good fight. Long, slow, and mind-numbing is the way to go (wish I could comment on the 10k but covid said ‘no’ to outdoor track)

What running accomplishment are you most proud of this school year? (Does not have to be running related)

I’d have to say I was pretty proud of myself for actually really loving indoor track this year. I’ve come a long way since freshman year of high school when I tried to quit before I started. It also felt good to train alongside kids I didn’t even begin to compare with in high school and actually keep up (most of the time).

Note from Coach Cusick: Lily hated the idea of indoor track so much that it took many long conversations to convince her to come out for the team. It didn’t help that she was a very good distance runner and frequently placed in the 2 mile, an event which involves a lot of time running around in circles. 

What was your best race in high school? What was your best race in college? 

There’s a couple from my HS. One of my cross country races freshman year, at All-States, I ran 19:24 which was a big PR at the time. The team also finished 3rd overall. And then states and regionals my junior year were really memorable as well. The D3 State meet in 2017 was one of the coldest days I can remember. I ended up running 19:15 and finishing 6th. And that was the day we beat Milton to win the D3 State Meet, which was very rare for us. But…incredibly, bone chillingly cold. 

In college, my indoor track season was a lot better than my cross season. I ended up running 17:32 in the 5k at New Englands and placed 6th overall. We won the league meet as a team too, which was awesome. 

What was your worst race in high school?

So many! Probably that 2 mile that you made me run at the Merrimack Valley League Meet my freshman year, outdoors that was just dreadful. I think I ran thirteen something. 

It was actually 12:49. Tough day. Sorry for putting you in that one, Lilith!

Yeah…rough times. 

Lily 7

Picture: Lily with teammates Rachel Sessa and Holly O’Leary in 2017. 

You raced at the infamous 2019 Northeast Regional XC Meet that was run on the roads due to course concerns. What was that experience like? 

Note: The D1 Northeast Regional meet was moved to the roads due to course concerns. This led to some controversy. 

That was probably the worst way that meet could have gone for me. I don’t remember the whole sequence of events, but we got there two days ahead of time. The day before the race, we were supposed to be able to sleep in, but I woke up to a text from my coach saying “Regionals is officially a road race! We’re going to get shoes.” So we went to the store to get shoes, I ended up wearing the Saucony Kinvaras, which is what I wear for training anyway. Nobody got the Vaporflys on our team. 

The race itself went horribly. If we had ended up running on the course, which I agree it was un-runnable, but if we did have it on that course it would have been to my advantage. It would have been so slow, which is exactly what I want from a cross country race. 

Education/School

Note: Lily attended Tewksbury public schools for one year (freshmen year of HS), but was home schooled for the remainder of her educational career.

What misconceptions do people have about homeschooling?

Everything! Every conception you have is probably wrong! People think you don’t have any friends, or that you are antisocial. People also think that your mom is your only teacher. It evolves over time. My mom taught me when I was younger, but as I got into middle school I took basically a patchwork of different classes at different locations. 

And then when I got to HS, I did one year at Tewksbury and then the next three years I did a variety of different classes. Some were online, some were at Middlesex Community College. I got enough credits in my junior and senior year that, even though 2019-2020 was my first year of college, I was academically a junior. 

So because of the credits you accumulated in HS, you are technically going into senior year. Can you talk a little bit about what your plans will be after graduation?

So, I’ll end up being at Umass for three years total. I’m finishing up my bachelor’s in journalism next year but, starting in the fall, I will also have a few graduate courses mixed in. Because I don’t quite feel ready to graduate, I applied for and was accepted to UMass’ accelerated master’s program in public policy. The way that works is that you start taking grad classes your senior year of undergrad and then your 5th, or in my case 3rd, year you finish up your grad courses and graduate with a master’s in a total of 5 years. It’s confusing to explain but basically you save a lot of time and money and get a lot of education. It’s a win-win. 

Random

What has been your favorite hobby/activity during social distancing?

Hmmm…All I have been doing is school work and running but writing for my school paper and the occasional word puzzle (NYT spelling bee in the am, Washington Post crossword in the pm) have found a nice little place in my schedule.

What is one food you could (or do) eat every day?

Peanut butter yogurt…sounds weird but it’s exactly what the name implies and it is amazing. Also, oatmeal but that’s too typical…although I make mine with pumpkin which i guess is a bit unique.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you began running? 

This isn’t really a single event but I’ve had a lot of seasons/years that just kinda didn’t go my way at all (particularly late freshman year of HS through sophomore year) and looking back on that more recently I realize how badly I have tended to handle poor races. Since then I have come to understand how one person’s reaction to a race impacts the experience of the entire team and it has made me a lot more conscious of how I compose myself when I am disappointed and has led me to enjoy my experiences more even when they aren’t what I wanted. 

One interesting thing to note is that at Stowe last year one of the counselors (I want to say Peyton McGovern but could have been Lilly Wells) talked about the ’20 minute’ rule where you get 20 minutes after a bad race/workout to feel upset and then you have to pull it together and get over it and be there for the rest of your team. I’ve altered it a bit to fit my unique sulking needs but I think about that a lot and it’s actually been really helpful to me.  

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

Were you getting desperate for questions here? (Note: No, it’s a good question!)

You know what I hate? Changing billboards. You catch a glimpse of something interesting and look back and, before you can register what it is, it changes. So you are waiting anxiously for it to change back, looking in the rear view mirror, praying, risking your life….and it DOESN’T change back in time. Then you have to go on driving, contemplating how you will literally never in your entire life know what was on that billboard for absolute certain and it is such an uncomfortable thought. IDK, maybe that’s just a me thing. 

What is a hot take you have that most people would disagree with? Why do you think this?

The Office is a terrible show. It is literally just a series of people being humiliated and then made to explain their humiliation while staring directly into a camera. Please don’t use this, though, I am wildly outnumbered in my opinion and don’t want to be ambushed by enemy thinkers the next time I leave my house.

Lily Umass

Thank you for taking the time with us Lily! Good luck with your quarantine training!

Stowe Running Camper Spotlight

Greetings everyone!

Hope you are all well. We are going to be highlighting some of our campers/alums/counselors over the next several weeks here on this site. We would love to showcase some of the amazing accomplishments, both running and non-running that you all have had. It will be both a good way to promote the camp and a fun and interesting avenue into some of your careers.

If you’re interested, please go to this form and follow the instructions: Camper Spotlight. We will look to start this by later this week or early next week. Thanks!

-Camp Director Fran Cusick

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