Are you a young person who loves to run, sees a need for change in your environment and community, wants inspiration to put your ideas in motion, but don’t know exactly where to start? Enter the Footprints Running Camp.
Founded by Dakota Jones and taking place for the first time in the summer of 2021, Footprints aimed to bring together 10 of the most curious minds and enthusiastic trail runners for a week of running, idea sharing, and community in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Footprints just released a film chronicling the first year of their camp, directed by James Q Martin.
To attend the camp, prospective applicants from ages 18 to 24 (the upper age limit is flexible) submitted their community issue and project idea, which could be in the realm of climate change, environmental protection, land management, equitable access to food, carbon emissions, and more.
Upon acceptance and arrival at the camp, participants spent the week splitting their time between running or hiking in the morning and seminars by expert mentors in the afternoon, also leaving time for reflection, discussion, and brainstorming about how to put their ideas into action in the evenings.
Jones had long been conscious of his environmental impact on the world, and had taken care with lowering his individual footprint. But he wanted to take it a step further through Footprints.
“I wanted to make this impact larger. I wanted to find a way to empower collective action. The trail running community is incredibly powerful … I felt there was a way we could use what’s great about running to protect the places where we run. Footprints takes everyone on their own level,” said Jones.
In the film, one of the participants spoke to the impact the camp has had on her life.
“I’ve had a really hard past year, and to see myself here now, is amazing. I never thought I’d be this excited about life and what I can do to change the world,” said a camper named Grace in the film.
Call for Comments
- What things do you see in your community you’d like to change, but need a boost to get things going?
- Have you been a part of anything like the Footprints Running Camp before?