APU Nordic at Manitoba!
Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center’s 2022 Junior Team Camp at the Manitoba Cabin and Yurts was hugely successful. 24 COVID-free kids eagerly loaded the vans at the start of a challenging and rugged week and proved that their spirit and tenacity would prevail with a smile.
There are few places as great of an opportunity to create team culture as Manitoba. We have three rules at camp: don’t die, have fun, and shut the van doors! Those might be obvious guidelines to live our personal lives by, but it’s a different conversation altogether when we have a shared responsibility to those rules for everyone in your group and team. It’s one thing to head out for a casual run from camp, it’s another when your comfort level is challenged as you ford a couple creeks with the strength of your teammates. It’s nice to enjoy a sauna and dip in the ice cold creek, it’s something else to race your teammates barefoot in between. We lived a shared responsibility to keep a tight ship around us, which meant an early wake up for the breakfast making crew, and relentless washing in the tubs for the clean up crew.
This culture makes the difficult training throughout the week much more doable and beneficial. Beyond cooking, cleaning, and living without many conveniences, the kids were challenged with lots of roller skiing on the nearby path to the Johnson trailhead, high intensity intervals, and running deep into the mountains. With the help of their teammates, they proved that they could do things that they probably wouldn’t even attempt on their own. It’s a lot, for sure, but this is how we become stronger, as a team.
Thank you so much to the Alaska Huts Association and all those that make the Manitoba Cabin and Yurts such a special place!
-Eric Strabel, APU Junior Team Head Coach