It has been many years since the last Nordic ski camp was staged in northern Minnesota. Therefore, during the weekend of July 24 – 26, the Igor Legacy Camp coaching staff traveled to Lake Bemidji State Park to bring U12 and U14 athletes together for training sessions, to plays games, and make new “ski” friends. The 19 athletes and 10 coaches who attended were not disappointed with the camp venue. The park is the perfect playground any time of year; it offers visitors an awesome swimming beach and a large group camp area, along with great trails for hiking, biking, and rollerskiing. The athletes and coaches represented five different Nordic ski programs from across Wisconsin and Minnesota.
According to Bruce Manske, CXC Youth Development Coordinator,
“One of the reasons that the Igor Legacy Camps are successful is because young skiers, ages 9-14, from across the Midwest join together to work and play in an outdoor setting, make new friends, and to learn about Nordic skiing from each other.”
The Bemidji camp was the second of three Igor Legacy Camps scheduled this summer. The goals for each camp include promoting fun and fitness, learning movement patterns, and to create an enthusiasm for Nordic skiing as a life-long sport.
The Bemidji camp began Friday afternoon. First, skiers set up their tents within the Lavinia Group camp and settled into their surroundings on the northern shores of Lake Bemidji for the weekend. During the opening ceremony, each athlete collected a camp T-shirt, met the coaching staff, and reviewed the schedule ahead. Karen Manske, a master runner and skier, briefed the group on the benefits of running for skiers, before staging a 1-mile time trial, on an out and back course, on the Paul Bunyan Trail. After a refreshing dip in Lake Bemidji, the evening activities included gourmet chicken sandwiches and watermelon, an Igor Legacy presentation, along with a stimulating game of beach volleyball, a campfire, and S’mores.
Before breakfast the next day, Coach Kris Hanson lead the crew on a 4-kilometer trail run through the spruce and tamarack forest, which was followed by a balance and stretching regimen lead by Henry Walker. The morning workout included classic rollerskiing, plus a strength circuit. The rollerski was exciting for the coaches because it was many of the kids first time classic rollerskiing.
After lunch, Bruce Manske gave a short presentation on the importance of Nordic ski training levels and training hours. The afternoon activities included ski walking, striding, and bounding, along with a tour of the tamarack bog boardwalk. The athletes had to work for the evening meal. We followed the paved Paul Bunyan Trail nine miles into downtown Bemidji to visit the famous statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, and then feasted on Giovanni’s pizza buffet. Due to full bellies, the ride back to camp was a little slower, but the energy level remained high! Upon returning to camp, the athletes once again played beach volleyball before participating in a Teamwork presentation, a poetry challenge, and more S’mores around the campfire.
Sunday began with a pre-breakfast pole hike to the observation deck and stretching routine. The Sunday training session focused on skate rollerskiing. Athletes were divided into four groups, and completed four stations: V1 technique, V2 and Alternate, a free-skate stations, and the highlights of the morning, Coach Kris Hanson’s agility course. The skate rollerski session was fun and rewarding for both the athletes and the coaches.
During lunch, and as the skiers began to pack their gear for the trip home, a common theme was boasted by coaches and parents,
“It is amazing to see the progress and confidence of each skiers as they moved from station to station.
Not only did Igor Badamshin love skiing, he also was blessed with a gift for coaching young athletes. In traditional Igor style, the Igor Legacy Camps featured physical movement activities, meeting new people, and most importantly – having FUN! The Camp was purposely designed to engage youth, relatively new to Nordic skiing, in rollerskiing and technique activities, in addition to running, soccer, swimming, and strength training events.
The next Igor Legacy Camp is August 7-9 at the Wolverine Nordic Village in Ironwood, Michigan.
Registration is ONLINE:
For further information or details on the 2015 IGOR LEGACY CAMPS please feel free to contact Bruce Manske at firstname.lastname@example.org