Memorable Miles on the Caribou Camp Road
The Caribou Road Run elective began in the summer of 1983, the year that Bill and I got married. As many of you know, the daily schedule at camp consists of morning instructional activities with your bunk and in the afternoon, following rest hour, there are 3 elective activities. Campers sign up for their individual electives each day during lunch. Electives are designed to allow campers to specialize in an area. They might have a team practice, play rehearsal, go for a swim, or try something new!
I was an avid runner back in those days and wanted to share this passion for running with the campers. Caribou has a beautiful mile long road that leads in and out of camp, so we had the perfect set up! I chose to offer it second period everyday and wondered if kids would actually sign up…? It was a hit right away! Tons of kids were signing up and the program was “off and running”! The Road Run always begins by circling up, stretching, and introducing ourselves to one another. We recite our names, where we are from and answer the question for the day. These questions such as, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor, favorite camp meal or family vacation were lots of fun to answer. The answers would range from interesting to crazy, yet were always insightful and entertaining. One devoted road runner alum was Henry Wolfson. He told the best and wildest stories about his vivid dreams and video games while we were running. Henry also consistently answered the warm up questions the same way. He never had a favorite ice cream, cereal or anything. He was very diplomatic.
Kids choose to run for all kinds of reasons…some are conditioning for other sports, some simply want to spend time with you and others may show up for the possibility of a slushie or popsicle when we finish. Whatever their motivation is, it always ends up being a good time filled with great conversation.
Many Caribou alumni like Adam Stein, Jamie Stein, Ben Zeckhauser, Jeremiah Blitz and Chase Gornbein trace their interest in running back to their Caribou Road Run summers. Bobby Lerman credits the Road Run as well and offers his own fitness elective in the afternoons at camp.
As I have aged and my knees have become a bit like used tires, I added Road Walk to the Caribou Road Run and Alex or ‘Rotman’ my son in-law has taken the lead with the Road Run. The funny thing is that when Alex was a camper I was not successful in persuading him to sign up for the Road Run. His afternoons were filled with Baseball and Basketball and he claimed that he would never run the road. Imagine my surprise and delight when he said that he was interested in taking the helm of the Road Run! He loves it now and recognizes not only the conditioning benefits, but most importantly the memorable conversations on the road and the valuable time spent with our incredible Caribou campers.