With the Season of Thanks upon us, we are reflecting on our gratitude for all who made the eighth year of the Juneau Trail and Road Runners’ Lynn Canal Running Camp a success. Forty high schoolers from all over Alaska and the country (Juneau, Skagway, Petersburg, Gustavus, Sitka, Palmer, Anchorage, Seattle, Vermont, Massachusetts and Minnesota) explored Juneau’s muddy trails and towering peaks while learning the values of community, friendship and teamwork.
Campers worked together to complete “Olympic” challenges that involved not only physical ability, but on-the-spot creative thinking (have you ever peeled a banana without your hands?). Runners participated in a variety of workshops throughout the week, including anatomy, injury prevention, yoga, steeplechase, first aid, physical therapy, Native Youth Olympics, choral strengthening and mental inspiration. Lynn Canal would like to thank all of our workshop leaders from around the community who shared their time to help teach and inspire our devoted young runners: Jamie Bursell, Jenny Strumfeld, Meghan Desloover, Annie Albrecht, Kyle Worl and Guy Thibodeau.
A special thank you to Juneau Trail and Road Runners, especially to treasurer Brian Laurent, for being an integral part of camp’s success and putting up with our incessant requests, emails, texts and bombardment of receipts after camp! This camp would not be possible without seed funding provided more than eight years ago by the John Caouette Memorial Fund and the Juneau Community Foundation for ongoing support for this unique and holistic running experience. Other major funders supporting operations, stipends and scholarships include: Valley Medical Care, Juneau Emergency Medical Associates, John Bursell, Sandi Pahlke, White Pass & Yukon Railroad Route, RMC Engineering, Juneau Physical Therapy, MRV Architects, JM Walsh & Co., and many other local citizens.
Rainbow Foods, Nugget Alaskan Outfitter, Foggy Mountain Shop and Coppa, provided a variety of camp essentials, from fresh food to awards to local delicacies. Jessica Schalkowski and the U.S. Forest Service, along with the CBJ Parks and Recreation Department were gracious collaborators, exposing 40 aspiring runners to brand new trails and adventures. Thank you to Eagle River United Methodist Camp for hosting us yet again, especially Tracy and Sergei for enduring camp shenanigans and exuberancy.
Thank you to the McTague, Mead, Davies, Bathija and Hamburger-Otsea families for transporting and housing out-of-town campers. Maddie Hall, Elizabeth Ramseth, Morgan (Mo) Michels, Kaleb Korta, Andre Bunton, Zack Bursell and Jesse Miller joined us as energetic and dedicated camp counselors. Chef Greg (Gary, Craig) Smith yet again artfully and successfully executed the feeding of 50 ravenous endurance athletes, with support Mary Aparezuk and daughter Talia in making pizza dough for all! John Nagel, Geoff Roes, Bob Marshall, Paul DeSlover, Justin Jones, Guy Thibodeau and many other local Juneauites provided support and safety in guiding campers on our nationally acclaimed trails.
Juneau is constantly referred to as one of the top trail running destination in the world. Our campers and staff agree (totally not biased!). LCRC is grateful to all those who maintain and improve these trails, and to the many people from our community who joined us to ensure the health, enthusiasm and support for next generation of runners. If we missed thanking you personally, please know that camp would not be possible without you, and we hope to have your continued support for Lynn Canal Running Camp and the next generation of cross country runners!
Merry Ellefson, Hilary Young and Tristan Knutson-Lombardo,
Lynn Canal Running Camp Directors