A Marathon for Miniwanca!
I am running this marathon to raise money to send kids to the American Youth Foundation's Camp Miniwanca. The AYF is a nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to "inspire people to discover and develop their personal best, to seek balance in mental, physical, social and spiritual living and to make a positive difference in their communities and in the wider world." The organization fulfills its mission through programming at Camp Merrowvista in the the mountains of New Hampshire and at my beloved Camp Miniwanca on Michigan's beautiful coastline.
The stunning Camp Miniwanca sunset over Lake Michigan.
I first attended Camp Miniwanca in 2004 as a participant at the AYF's National Leadership Conference, a week-long teen leadership camp. That week has proven to be one of the most empowering, influential experiences of my life. Being surrounded by a truly inclusive, positive community of mentors and peers was monumental in uncovering my unique identity and gaining the confidence to be that person. Located on Michigan's beautiful west coast, the camp offered the opportunity to both challenge myself and relax amongst good people in a gorgeous setting. I formed many friendships during that week that remain to this day.
The 2011 Leaders-In-Training, Sean, and myself.
Since that incredible first week, I have returned to Miniwanca as a participant, staff member, or volunteer every year. In my varying roles at the camp's numerous programs, I've seen kids of all ages have similar experiences developing those amazingly close friendships, discovering a bit more about themselves, and thriving in the joy that is camp. Taking part in such community and witnessing such moments is continually inspiring and I'd like to spread the "Miniwanca Magic" with others.
My goal is to raise $2,500 for camper scholarships at Camp Miniwanca. I'm incredibly grateful for all I've gained from camp and I am hoping to enable others to have their own MIniwanca journey! There is a quote by W.H. Danforth that runs around the camp - "One enkindled spirit can set hundreds on fire." I'm hoping you will help me on my quest to make some sparks.
I truly appreciate any support and donations. I'm looking forwarding to writing some thank you notes, telling hilarious stories of my mile 22 misery, and sharing my climbing/belaying skills with some donors!
Thanks and be well,
I just completed the last long run of my training. I cruised through the run holding a steady 8:15 pace. Though a bit achy, I had a decent amount of energy left at the end. 26 miles seems totally doable after today's stellar run = I'm officially starting to feel hyped up for the race!
With 18 days left until the race, I've decided to bump up my online fundraising goal to $3,500. Everyone's generosity is both humbling and inspiring! I reached $2,500 far faster than anticipated thanks to this support. Feeding off the energy of a solid 20-miler and my stellar friends/family, I simply want to go even farther with this fundraiser and get more kids to camp!
Thanks and be well!
p.s. GO TRIBE!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has donated thus far. I'm humbled, grateful, and slightly overwhelmed at the inflow of support.
Race day is still over 3 weeks away. I'm going to keep raising money as I finish up my training and complete my 26.2 miles. That 5K is looking mighty tempting........