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

 

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!