June 9, 2008

Dick Beardsley's High School Running Camp, Craig, Alaska

I flew from Austin, Texas to Salt Lake City to Seattle to Ketchikan, Alaska to Craig, Alaska! What a trip and what fun we all had!

How, you might wonder did we ever come up with the idea of putting on a high school running camp in Craig, Alaska? In May of 2007, I was the invited guest to speak at the Prince of Wales Island Marathon in Craig. It's a small race with big time fun! Dave "Roadkill" Johnson is a member of the running club there and works for the US Forest Service. Dave had heard about our high school running camp in the small rural community of Corning, Iowa and thought "why not here in Craig" Between Dave and our camp director, Jan Seeley, they pulled it off! The major cost would be our airfare for myself, Jan, and our other coaches, (Bill Wenmark, Joe Henderson, Mike Dunlap, and Mary Cordt) we come from all across the country. Dave did a fantastic job of getting business owners in Craig and Ketchikan to come up with funds so we would not have to charge an arm and a leg to the kids so they could come to the camp.

We had around 50 kids from mainly SE Alaska, but one young runner came all the way from Anchorage. We had a GREAT camp with plenty of wonderful food, fresh salmon, halibut, and lots of other great items. We had volunteers from the community pitch in to make the food and dish it out to the kids, talk about a community effort!

Saturday evening we all went to the Craig High School for the "Monthly Grind" it's a community talent show where anyone can perform. I was notified when I got to Craig that I was scheduled to sing and play the guitar! Roadkill got me a guitar, but all my music and songs I have written over the years were back home in Austin. I know my "LUCKY" song by heart, but I thought "I need to sing more then just one song" so Saturday afternoon I slipped off to my Bed and Breakfast and wrote a song for the folks of Craig, Alaska. It went off quite nicely! Some of the kids from our camp even got up and performed! We all had a fun fun time!

That's what is so nice about small communities, everyone pitches in to make things happen! To Dave "Roadkill" Johnson and the entire community of Craig and Ketchikan, Alaska, thanks for making our high school running camp such a success! Can't wait for next year!

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