My Experience as a Trail Runner, Yoga Teacher and Kid-at-Heart at the Annual ARE Trail Running Camp

by Samara D. Anderson

Since 2014, when I first became a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, I have been spending a long weekend in July at Camp Dippikill in the Adirondacks with a group of amazing ARE staff adult campers who follow the same principle as I – “Having Fun, Running, Playing and Attending Camp Is Not Just for Kids.” Despite the time and effort it takes to create and teach 5 therapeutic yoga and mindful running classes to 40 runners, it actually feels like a getaway for me. A chance to escape the rigors of being an attorney managing complex technical projects for the State of Vermont and reconnect with the healing qualities of nature, being mindful and spending time with genuinely incredible human beings.

Despite it being called “Trail Running Camp” many campers come with a much broader “Summer Adult Fun” agenda: to relax, commune with nature and others, attend healing yoga classes, and trail run on cool and shaded trails (unless the heat and humidity is off the charts as it was this past summer). For two full days and two half days campers and staff can choose to participate in a plethora of activities: getting up early or sleeping late, a variety of lengths, paces and terrains of trail running or hiking, morning yoga focused on activating the body in mindful ways, swimming or boating in the pristine lake waters, restorative yoga focused on complete relaxation and activation of our body’s healing abilities, mindful running, camp fires with live music and smores, nutrition seminars, core workouts, a variety of healing arts, including massages, acupuncture, and Kinesiology taping, and attend a variety of running-related workshops and clinics. It is truly a choose your own adventure! Nothing is required and everyone sinks into a relaxed schedule that fits their needs.

One of my favorite parts of trail running camp is attending the Saturday evening “Camp Skits,” which always prove to be creative, fun and hilarious to both watch and participate in! I always await a moment of inspiration to create a skit and have done a variety of creative options in the past, including: told a “Moth” story about my passion for chickens, partner acro-yoga, an Angry Yoga skit and a funny skit titled “Yoga for Daily Life.”

Overall, being in a camp environment as an adult reconnects me with that inner child that likes to run and play and laugh, just for the fun of it. Not for a specific time, achievement or accolades. It is where I reconnect to a part of myself that, for the most part, lies dormant and suppressed in my professional life as an attorney (even though it comes out when I am teaching yoga). Teaching therapeutic yoga to runners at trail running camp has become such a part of my life that I plan to attend a year in advance and during that time stay connected to all of the meaningful connections I have made with other kids at heart ☺

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Samara Anderson, Certified Yoga Instructor

You can contact her at anderson_samara@yahoo.com or text to cell 518-466-4222.


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