Run Wild Trail Camp: Community, Adventure, and Belonging

Written by Run Wild Kids Camp co-directors Laura Cortez and Meredith Merkley to share their message of community, adventure and belonging. The camp runs June 1 – August 26, in Denver, Colorado.

Educator Mary McLeod Bethune once wisely advised that “We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.” The Run Wild Trail Camp (RWTC) is founded on the pillars of Community, Adventure, and Belonging for our youth and their families. Colorado is an active state with ample trails and public lands to explore, but due to multiple systemic roadblocks many marginalized communities and poverty-stricken areas have limited access to these lands. Racism within the trail running and environmental communities has made these beautiful parks and lands more challenging to enjoy for many of Denver’s youth.

The coronavirus disease pandemic has also exacerbated inequalities and disparities within the Denver community, especially in households with young children. Mental health in youth has suffered and opportunities for staying active and engaged within the community have been challenging to keep consistent. With more evidence-based guidance emerging about how to stay connected safely RWTC is excited to provide a fun and exciting opportunity for some of Denver’s youth to get outside and enjoy our wonderful community. RWTC aims to address four key areas during our summer camp sessions: positive social connection, healthy and safe physical activity, diversity in outdoor activities, and environmental sustainability.

Run Wild Kids Camp

Representation for marginalized youth is extremely important and Run Wild Trail Camp aims to promote diversity, inclusion, healthy activity and environmental awareness. This program includes weekly summer sessions that educate, engage and support the campers. A few of the camp’s themes include: An introduction to trail running, first aid and safety, wildlife and wildflowers, our environment and culture, emotional health and wellness, along with many others.

The camp will be held for eight through 11-year-olds within Denver’s Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods and will host a variety of expert members of the running and environmental conservation communities each week.

Trailtinos, Berkeley Park Running Company, Suffer Better, Rising Hearts, GrowHaus, Burgess Group at Compass Realty, and Rocky Mountain OrthoOne have partnered with RWTC to help build a thriving support net for these campers and their families. We all are excited for this upcoming summer and if you are interested in learning more, sponsoring, volunteering, or inquiring about camper registration please visit our website, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, or email us at

This past year has been filled with many challenges, but youth have always been a pillar of hope for our community. We are excited to be a part of encouraging, educating, and supporting them through RWTC.

Run Wild Kids Camp

[PRO TIP] Are you looking for a trail running camp near where you live? Check out our national director of trail running camps.

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