Central Wisconsin Cross Country Camp
Train with American Record Holder and Home Town Legend!
Join us for the 2019 Central Wisconsin XC Camp held on the fabulous grounds of CWES in Amherst Junction, WI. Former American record-holder and NCAA Champion Coach Chris Solinsky will be the key note speaker and resident counselor for an unforgettable running camp experience. Camp Co-Directors & Stevens Point Area HS Coaches Kevin Hopp and Pat Leahy bring a wealth of experience to this great program. Both Hopp and Leahy coached Solinsky during his undergraduate days in Stevens Point.
A note from Coach Solinsky: "I am incredibly passionate about the sport of track and field and specifically distance running. My hope is to spread that passion to anyone that attends the camp while also sharing any variety of the experiences I have been lucky enough to have during my time in the sport. There have been many valuable experiences both positive and negative that lead to shape a love for the sport that have brought me from a kid that did not want to run to someone that has made a career in the sport and a lifelong runner. My aim is to impart some of the important lessons on those that attend the camp, while giving tips for training and developing a mental edge for competitions."
Our camps are open to any and all entrants, ages 12-18.
- Nike Running Camp T-shirt
- Low camper to coach ratio
- Training groups based fitness level and average pace
- Curriculum designed by American record holder Chris Solinsky
- View More Details ⟩
Co-Director Kevin Hopp
Coach Hopp has been coaching for 18 years. He has coached boys cross country at Stevens Point High School since 2003. During that time, his teams have won three Wisconsin State cross country titles and have been runner-up four times. He has also been named the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Coach of the Year twice.View Kevin's Bio ⟩
Coach Hopp was influential in the development of Wisconsin hometown legend Chris Solinsky. He very smartly identified Solinsky as a runner, not a high jumper and coached him to his first title of any kind, Wisconsin Valley Conference 1600 and 800 champion in the eighth grade.
Hopp has been running since the age of nine and continues to enjoy coaching, running and sharing his passion with others.
Co-Director Pat Leahy
Coach Pat Leahy is the assistant cross country coach at Stevens Point Area Senior High School. Leahy was Chris Solinsky's event coach in high school and was a guiding influence in Solinksy's development into a world-class runner.
Key Note Speaker & Resident Counselor Chris Solinsky
Former American record-holder and NCAA Champion Chris Solinsky joins the University of Florida coaching staff as assistant cross country and track & field coach.View Chris 's Bio ⟩
Solinsky joins the Gators' coaching staff after three seasons at College of William & Mary (2014-17), three years at University of Portland (2012-14), a record-breaking professional career with Nike, and a standout collegiate career for University of Wisconsin (2003-07), where he was a five-time NCAA champion and 14-time All-American. Solinsky also helped the Badgers to wins at the 2005 NCAA Cross Country Championship and 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Solinsky's professional running career was the envy of most, including eight years sponsored by Nike. He was a member of Team USA at the 2009 World Outdoor Championships, finishing 12th in the 5,000m, and was runner-up in the event at the 2009 U.S. Championships. In 2010, Solinsky ran 26:59.60 in the 10,000m, breaking the American record by more than 14 seconds and becoming the first man not born in Africa to ever break 27 minutes in the event. He has also broken major barriers in the 5,000m (12:55.53) and the mile (3:54.1), and ranks second all-time in U.S. history in both the 5,000m and 10,000m.
Solinsky ran for the Wisconsin Badgers as an undergraduate, helping the team win the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2005 and the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2007. He was a 14-time All-American and a five-time NCAA Champion, winning each of his last three years indoors (2005 and 2006 3,000m; 2007 5,000m) and his last two outdoors (2006 and 2007 5,000m). Solinsky won four individual Big Ten titles, and helped Wisconsin sweep the Big Ten team championships in every season all four years.
This camp is centered around a strength-oriented approach to running, while consistently touching on speed or speed drills to improve or maintain running efficiency. Chris Solinsky has a belief that a successful distance athlete is one that finds a volume that not only challenges them, but also one that they can do consistently. If there is one secret in distance running it is that there are no secrets, but the key to success is safely pushing the limit consistently over time - this is what allows athletes to become so aerobically strong and to compete with the best!Show Less See More Camp Details
Coach Solinsky's belief of always touching on speed throughout the year comes from his mentor, Jerry Schumacher. He always said an athlete should be 2-3 weeks away from racing no matter where they are in the training phase and to do this you must touch on speed throughout. The idea is during the early phases of training to do a speed session of intervals once a week or once every other week and to use speed mechanic drills do develop better form for efficiency and better overall sprint mechanics. The emphasis is not on improving speed, but to improve form and maintain natural speed during much of the training phase until the point of the season when speed becomes more prominent in the training.
The final training piece of Chris' philosophy is core and general strengthening. This last component makes a true athlete. His team practices in the weight room twice a week and supplements locker room lifting/core routines the other days of the week. During weight room sessions the weight equipment is utilized to strengthen running-specific movements to have the kids become endurance athletes rather than just runners. The supplemental locker room lift/core routines revolve around 30 minutes of either an upper body core strengthening routine or a post workout legs routine. They found that when runners do leg strengthening routines directly following workouts, recovery is faster and mechanics are better.
At camp, we will also touch on the psychology of running by bringing in an array of speakers to discuss the mental side of running. They will discuss some of the things they find/have found to bring success. We will bring in current athletes, former athletes, and coaches, so that the campers can get a diverse view of what success looks like and to arm themselves with different tools to have the strongest mental game. We will also have a counselor/athlete panel open for question-answer session so the kids can get all their questions answer regarding the college process, and their secrets.
Open to any and all registrants ages 12-18.
If five or more campers register together, each camper is eligible for a $30 discount. Please have a team contact reach out directly to the USSC office at 1-800-645-3226 to receive a discount code to identify your group. Campers may then register through the website at their convenience and apply the coupon code during check-out. Teams can stay together in 8 or 12 bed cabins to build team unity and bonding.
Check In: Campers check in on Sunday at 12:30 pm.
Check Out: Camp ends at 11:30 am on the last day, Thursday, July 25.
Airports: For those campers interested in flying to camp, the closest airport is the Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA). It is located 30 miles from CWES. the Madison Airport (MSN) is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes away and Milwaukee Airport is 2 hours from camp. We do not provide pick up or drop off from any of the airports.
Sample Daily Schedule
- 7:00 am Wake up call
- 7:30 am Meet with counselor for stretching and run description
- 8:00 am Easy run with group
- 9:30 am Breakfast/Shower
- 11:00 am Guest Speaker
- 12:00 pm Lunch
- 1:00 pm Sunset Beach water activities/free time
- 3:00 pm Afternoon run/Workout
- 4:30 pm Core Strengthening/Speed Development Drills
- 5:30 pm Dinner
- 7:00 pm Campfire/Evening games
- 10:00 pm Lights out
The Central Wisconsin Environmental Station (CWES) offers premier summer camp options. The Station is located 19 miles east of Stevens Point amid rolling hills and on Sunset Lake, with 200 acres of towering red and white pines, hardwoods, wetlands and lakes. Campers stay in Scandinavian-style log cabins and enjoy meals featuring local and organic food. Cabins sleep eight runners in each, with one cabin sleeping 12. Teams can be housed in the same cabin, single gender. The modern bathhouse and shower facility is located within the cabin loop.
Wireless access is available in the Sunset and Walker lodges.
CWES also provides plenty of opportunity for recreation with swimming and boating on Sunset Lake, fire pit for evening gathering, hiking trails, and team building activities.CWES is a 200-acre teaching and learning center located 17 miles east of Stevens Point, WI.
Camp Questions & Answers
When and where will the check-in and check-out take place for the Central Wisconsin Running Camp?
All campers check in to camp between 12:30 and 1:30 at CWES on Sunday, July 21st. Follow the signs on campus to registration. After a closing on Thursday, July 25th, check out takes place at 11:30 am, the last day of camp.
How are runners placed in their running groups?
The Staff has created a formula that determines running groups. Groups are based on a combination of recent mileage, season best 5k, long runs and an evaluation run. A change in groups can be accommodated if staff members leading those groups feel it is needed.
Can I come to camp alone or do I have to be a member of a team?
We welcome individual campers and teams. If you come to camp by yourself, we place you in a dorm room with another single camper, similar in age. It's a great place to meet new friends who share your enthusiasm for the sport and to have FUN!
How many miles do we run each day?
Athletes will run twice a day. Once in the morning right from campus on nearby trails and roads and once in the afternoon, usually offsite. The morning run is more of a distance run and the afternoon session is an opportunity to work on specific training paces. Actual distances vary based on runner’s mileage and ability.
Can you accommodate special dietary needs?
Campers dine in the cafeteria which offers a variety of different meal options that are sure to accommodate most campers’ dietary needs. In the case that a camper possesses extreme dietary restrictions, please reach out to school’s Dining Services to make the proper accommodations.
Are the campers supervised throughout the camp?
Yes, campers are supervised by the coaches and staff. Staff members reside in the same dorms as the campers and provide supervision during instruction, dining times, evening activities, and in the dorm. All staff members complete criminal and sex offender background checks before working the camp.
How many campers are placed in a dorm and do you accommodate roommate requests?
Campers are housed in bunk style cabins. Each of the large cabins are broken into pods. Cabins hold between 8-22 campers, with 1-3 pods in each cabin. When you register for the camp, you have an option to submit a roommate request. If you would like to add a roommate request after registering for a camp, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We accommodate all roommate requests, made before 2 weeks before the start of camp. Campers who do not submit a roommate request will be placed in a cabin with other runners, similar age and same gender.
What happens if it starts to rain during camp?
All campers receive their full running program each day weather permitting. In the threat of severe weather, we will adjust our schedule for the outdoor training runs.
Does this camp have medical personnel on staff?
The camp has a staff member with advanced medical training who is always on-site and works under the direction of a licensed consulting physician. Additionally, all CWES staff have CPR, First Aid, and AED training. Waterfront activities are always staffed by certified lifeguards.
What are some of the evening activities that are planned for the campers?
Fun and exciting after evening activities are an important part of the camp experience and are carefully planned by the staff. Evening activities include challenge course, volleyball, campfires, Frisbee, free time and more.
Is swimming offered at camp?
We have access to beautiful Sunset Lake each day at camp for supervised swimming, canoeing, kayaking and more.
How and when will I receive my registration packet with important camp details?
Well before the start of your camp (at least 3 weeks), you will receive a Registration Packet which will include all the important details about camp: directions to camp, when to arrive, what to pack/ bring, camp address (for mail) and key camp phone numbers and the Medical/ Release form, etc.
Does the Health & Release Form need to be signed by a doctor?
Our Health & Release Form does not require a doctor’s signature. This form is required to be filled out accurately, signed by the parent (guardian), and brought with you to the first day of camp.
What is the cancellation policy?
Hopefully, you will not have to cancel, but if you must, please do so early so that those on the waiting list can be notified.
For those who have Cancellation Protection: Cancellation Protection entitles you to a full refund of camp fees (deposit or full payment) if you cancel for any reason before June 1st. Please note: $50 Cancellation Protection fee is non-refundable.
If you cancel after June 1st, 2019, we will issue you a camp voucher for all camp fees paid, valid through 2020. Your camp voucher is transferable to family and may be used for any Nike Running Camp.
For those who do not have Cancellation Protection: If you have to cancel, for any reason, we will issue you a Nike Running Camp voucher for all camp fees paid, valid through 2020. Your camp voucher is transferable to a family member and may be used for any Nike Running Camps. Cash refunds will be given only with the purchase of Cancellation Protection and who cancel on time.
Camp ReviewsSubmit a review
My son's already asking to go back!
July 28, 2018: He really enjoyed that there were activities to do outside of running that rounded out his camp experience. Is already asking to go back next year!
— Samantha A., Parent
My Daughter felt like she has really improved
July 31, 2018: Abri really felt like she was getting pushed in the workouts and learning new capabilities that she had within herself. i would like if there were more talk about nutrition, but other than that, wonderful camp!
— Scott B., Parent
I'll be back next year
August 6, 2018: I loved that it was a good balance between running and having fun! Loved the competition groups and waterfront time!
— Zella M., Camper
I learned a lot about myself and am inspired to meet my goals! The camp staff were very knowledgeable and effective teachers!
— Josh N., Camper 2017
Great mix of fun and hard work!
— Christian S., Camper 2017
Thanks Coach Chris!
Chris answered all my questions and was so pleasant to talk to. Loved the meet on Thursday morning and seeing all the campers cheer on everyone else.
— Deacon G., Camper 2017
The excitement about running and all the passion that was there among the people for this sport was really encouraging!!
— Havilah P., Camper 2017