The 3rd Annual BBNT U15 Camp was a huge success!
Pictures and trip accounts from the kids are at the bottom!
Day 1 We drove out to Soldier Mountain and set up camp. Our first workout was a 4 mile run along Soldier Creek. I advised the kids take the first run easy to save themselves for the rest of the camp, but of course they TOOK OFF!
In the afternoon we had our "intro to rollerskiing session." Everyone KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK! Our first timers were particularly impressive - looking like long time skiers!
Day 2 Started with a rollerski along the soldier mountain road. On the drive in the day before we'd had to push out way through a herd of cattle, and as we started putting on our rollerskis we saw them coming up in our direction - 1000 cattle staring us down. So it was off to the races! 11km of skiing is a great day for anyone - particularly when you've only skied a handful of times!
The forest service manager came by in the afternoon and told us that they had accidentally reserved the campground that we were staying in - and in exchange offered us free camping in a different campground. Initially we were a little bummed. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The new campground was along the Big Smokey Creek, in a spectacular valley.
Our afternoon run was a cruiser along Big Smokey Creek to a Hot Springs - they were fantastic! The run back included fording the creek (river) in several spots.
Day 3 was a hike up Smokey 2. We started by our campground from the first day and headed right up. The trail was pretty relentlessly steep, but I guess that's how you get nearly 5000 ft in just over 5 miles! Some highlights were glissading down the snow patches, some spectacular wildflowers, and a stunning view of the Camas Prairie and Smokey mountains.
The drive back introduced one last piece of excitement as one of the tires blew out on the van... It took a bit to figure out how to change it on the van, but we got it changed and only got back home about an hour behind schedule!
Here is a description of the camp in the kid's words:
“This was an enjoyable camp. I made so many new memories and got closer to everyone. I am excited for next year”- Cicily
“We had a great training camp: my favorite part was the rollerski on Wednesday. First off we got chased by cows and it was really good terrain. It was rolling so we didn’t have to go on just flats. Also, the view was excellent the whole time.”- Mac Wirth
“I had so much fun rollerskiing and cooking food. It was truly a great experience”- Jasper
“I can to U15 camp because I wanted to do more rollerskiing and meet everyone. My favorite part was the run to the hot springs from our campsite”
“Soldier Mountain is a spectacular summer training area. There is plenty of space for everyone to explore, train and relax. The runs and hikes are turned from average to exciting with ample stream crossings. To top it all off the roads are rolling and perfect for rollerskiing. The u15 camp is amazing and I would recommend it to people looking for an awesome training trip.”- Logan Wendel
“My favorite part of the u15 camp was the runs we went on. I especially liked these because you could get to know your teammates and improve your speed and fitness.”
“I like u15 camp because when we’re running I can tell that everyone is struggling but they keep going because they want to get better”- Nate
“The run was the most special workout of u15 camp. Running uphill and mountains we were fooled by the promise of hot springs. But near the end after everyone’s legs were tired and sore, crossing waste deep rivers was the only way back to the campsite. Letting the dog go first, maneuvering the white river water was a challenge but one of the most amazing parts of the trip.”- Brodey
“We summited a peak today and it was my very first! The hike was definitely a little hard but the view was worth it. The sight of the surrounding peaks was a photo to never forget.”- Zach