With its rambling network of woodland and prairie trails, idyllic waterfront views and easy, comfortable accommodations, it is no wonder that Camp Casey Conference Center makes the perfect runners retreat. Donna Jornlin, head cross-country coach for Roosevelt High School, has been coming to Camp Casey Conference Center for running retreats since the 1970s and continues to bring her team for two retreats every summer.
“I bring the top 10 Varsity girls in June for a leadership camp and more intense training,” Jornlin said. “We rent the Alumni House, cook together, train, play games, walk the beach and explore the fort. The entire group comes in late August for running and socializing as the season begins.”
The Roosevelt team uses the Alumni House and barracks for accommodations and takes advantage of the gym and pool for recreation. They also use Camp Casey food service and enjoy the recent improvements to the mess hall and food offerings.
“The setting is extraordinary. I’ve always loved the bluff run, and the wildlife,” Jornlin said. “Before I began coaching, we’d come for New Year’s and stay in the Firehouse, when my daughters were young. Casey holds a lot of great memories for me and I saw it as a place to do the same for my athletes.”
After a long run, there are evening campfires (with S’mores of course), swimming and ice cream. The team makes a ferry trip to Port Townsend for a run at Fort Worden. Casey’s close location and variety of activities has made it an exciting place for the student athletes to return to over the years.
“Several girls have been a couple times and really look forward to being there. They even got up at 7 a.m. our last morning so we could run the fort loop one last time!” Jornlin said. “The moms who chaperone also ask to return each year because it’s so peaceful. A bit of history, combined with such a unique setting and a great place to run, make Casey a real treasure,” Jornlin said. “I’m happy to promote it and hope it never changes.”