by Katie Wolpert
Our wilderness Running Camp was built on the idea of inspiring youth to have adventurous spirits, to have the competence and ability to explore their world on foot, and to understand the positive impact that simple movement can have on their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. We use our time together to take care of the world around us and develop caring relationships with the team of people with whom we share our days.
So much of this is similar to our regular camps and our regular instructors ensure the quality of the program and bring a high degree of familiarity with our Seneca Creek Back Country back yard. However to cover the running-specific issues we hire special running coaches for the week. We are excited to announce this year’s coaching team: Eric and Robin Grossman.
Eric Grossman embraces all that our Wilderness Running Camp stands for. In fact, Eric helped us build the foundations of this camp when the idea first came up over 10 years ago. A high school state champion in the 3200m in Kentucky, Eric went on to compete in NCAA Division 1 track and cross country for Brown University. Post-collegiately he spent time racing on the roads, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and leading an orienteering club in Louisville, KY.
While doing all these activities, Eric earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Evolutionary Ecology, a master’s degree in Science Teaching, and a doctoral degree in Teaching and Learning. Eric met his wife Robin when they were both working as outdoor educators at the Center for Environmental Education in Louisville. Robin was earning her master’s degree in Environmental Education and Management.
Now the parents of three kids — the oldest is in college, the youngest is 8 — Robin supported Eric through a career as a sponsored ultra-runner. In 2008, at age 40, Eric won the national title at the 50 mile trail championships. Robin started running in 2004 after a lifetime of outdoor adventures and athletic endeavors. She grew up in Ashland, KY and practiced gymnastics and cheerleading. After graduating from college she served for two years as an AmeriCorps service member, developing service learning projects for students and teachers in her community. Her most recent major project was to “Run the Year” in 2018. She successfully logged her 2018th mile on December 29th to reach her goal.
Eric and Robin have decades of experience guiding and teaching young people and they embody the spirit of being lifelong explorers and athletes. Eric is now exploring the world of Bikepacking. He has ridden his bike across the United States and last summer took his 16 year-old daughter on an 800 mile bikepacking journey along the St. Lawrence River.