When I tell the kiddos how to write their trip reports I tell them that instead of just saying what happened they should tell a story. The U15 camp was all about going with the flow and never being afraid to try plan-b.

As most of you know, the U15 camp was slated to return to the Elks Flat Campground on the South Fork of the Boise River... Flooding and high water forced our hand to finding a new campground - and that turned into a huge bonus for us. While the South Fork was a beautiful location Soldier Mountain had a number of strengths that outweighed the beauty of the South Fork.

The first of those benefits was the excellent trails right from the campground. On our first and last day we headed out straight from the campground for ~1 hr runs.

On that first run I offered to take the group wanting more than just a 45 minute out and back to come with me on an "adventure" (this group hasn't yet learned that going on an "adventure" with me is always a foolish endeavor). This particular excursion took us through a freezing mountain stream, to the top of a ski area, and "Norwegian off-roading" through the woods.

The afternoon of our busy day-1 was the first time on rollerskis for a number of athletes. Getting on rollerskis for the first time in a season (or a lifetime) is a pretty challenging task. Everyone stepped up in a big-way, and pushed through even when the skills seemed to come more easily to other teammates.


Day 2 was another lesson in going on adventures with Wilson. The night before while looking at the map with the other coaches I spotted a high-point called Sydney Butte that wasn't too far from some hot springs. There was no trail to the top, but there were some old logging roads that went most of the way up...

We finished the camp with a run (believe it or not, there was another freezing creek crossing! - Are you sensing a theme?) and then we drove to the Pine/Featherville road for a final rollerski. The pavement and views were incredible, but cars that were in a hurry to get on vacation took some of the fun out of the experience (the kids were awesome about skiing single file and stepping off the road whenever someone yelled "car back" I've actually never seen a group do it so well - is this a skill that skiers lose as the spend more time on rollerskis?!?!)

All-in-all this was an incredibly successful trip. It's so fun to watch these kids pick up on the parts of the nordic-skier lifestyle that make it so fun for me. I can't wait to climb more mountains with these kiddos!

Check out the video recap below: