The Eastern Regional Camp (REG) is always a highlight of the summer for coaches and athletes alike. This years gathering was special as it was hosted over the Fourth of July — featured an open rollerski race, real snow to ski on, and an incredibly focused group of athletes and coaches. We are so lucky to have the resource of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and owe a huge thank you to Anna Schulz for her vision and organization. While one component of the camp includes testing that can place athletes further on the US Ski Team pathway — the driving message was that this was a purposeful training camp with opportunities to work with new coaches and get to know athletes from other areas.
The first full day of camp included an open rollerski race that expanded the experience of a typical physical test. Not only were the REG athletes competing amongst themselves, but there were other skiers in the field. This included Elite skiers from the Green Racing Project and SMS T2 as well as local juniors and masters skiers. The course featured two bicycle ramps, one right out of the start and another in the stadium that skiers navigated each lap. While this wasn’t an agility race (or cross country cross “XCX”) the added benefit of the ramps challenges the the racers, while providing a fun component for skiers and spectators alike! You can read more about the event, including results on Fasterskier.
There is probably no better recovery session for a rollerski race than playing on real snow! It takes some serious planning and resources (hats off again to Craftsbury) to pull something like this off — but it’s a 10 out of 10 recommendation — and a lifetime memory for the athletes!
Day two started with an uphill run test that is used by the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. The course is a little longer than usual REG tests at two miles and features more undulating terrain. The camaraderie of the athletes was apparent from start to finish and again the focus was on making your own best effort.
For many years we have included an agility test as part of camp — however this year agility was incorporated as an educational and recovery session. Camp was split into four groups with each group having 15 minutes to play and learn from each other while the others skied easy on the rest of the loop. The course featured ramps, different cadenced slaloms, under gates, some grass skiing and two inflatable Cabot animals. Several coaches found this session especially rewarding as the skiers naturally shared techniques and identified areas for future work. Despite all the obstacles there wasn’t a skinned knee during any rollerski session — it really is impressive how comfortable our skiers have become throughout the last decade. #skilikeanamerican is alive and well in the East!
That evening the athletes were treated to a nutrition talk with Megan Chacosky focusing on energy systems and the next day they had a workshop where Chacosky showed them how to create their own energy drinks.
As we look back on the 2022 Eastern Regional Camp we can be proud of the work that was done and the lessons we all learned. A purposeful delegation of coaching roles provided increased collaboration and made for thoughtfully planned sessions. Read on below to learn about the many athlete take-aways. NENSA would like to thank all of the coaches who supported camp and we look forward to the RDG Camp happening at Craftsbury at the end of the month as well as the Eastern / Central U16 Camp at the beginning of August at the Green Mountain School. We are also very fortunate for the support of the National Nordic Foundation and the US Ski Team. The culture of cross country skiing is so strong right now.