Distance Camp

The Culver Distance Camp exists to inspire and teach distance runners to become faster, better educated and enthusiastically dedicated to the sports of cross-country and track.  Our purpose is to build up, and inspire the whole person- mentally, physically and spiritually.

You will love our beautiful 2000-acre campus and lake, our dedicated and professional staff of coaches from various parts of the country, Olympic and elite athletes, motivating speakers, diverse classes, training opportunities and the comradery that comes from an energetic setting of distance athletes who love running!

We look forward to seeing you in Culver!

Joe Mendelson, Camp Founder
Dana Neer, Camp Director

Registration will open February 1st! Check back soon!

Registration is open to high school athletes entering 9th – 12th in 2020.  Additionally, 2020 graduates preparing for their first year of college training is invited to attend our College Prep Camp.

Camp is open to the first 150 registered high school students and 25 graduates.  Registration usually fills up in 10 days so plan to register early!


1st Time Attendee – $350.00


Deduct $50.00 if you are a returning camper
Deduct $50.00 for a team discount (3 or more campers)
Returning campers who are also a part of a team attending camp can deduct both!


Culver Distance Camp
c/o Culver Academies
Attn:  Dana Neer
1300 Academy Rd. Box #88
Culver, IN  46511

Checks and money orders can be made out to: Culver Educational Foundation


Culver Distance Camp is open to any male or female High School athlete entering 9th through 12th grade.  Additionally, any 2019 graduate preparing for their first year of college training is invited to attend our College Prep Camp which is held simultaneously.  Distance runners who aspire to learn proper principles of training/racing, desire to be mentally tough in training and racing, and want to explore all aspects of training to move to the next level are invited to attend.

Our camp staff and guest speakers will share their knowledge of the physiology of distance running, psychological principles, goal setting principles, racing strategies, injury prevention and specific athlete issues. 

Activity sessions will include warm-up/cool-down/flexibility strategies, running enhancement drills, and core body training.   Discussions on alternate training, weight training, plyometric training will also take place.  Juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to hear more information and attend Q&A sessions on the college recruitment process and college training.

At Culver Distance Camp, we have fun too!  Ultimate Frisbee, canoeing, swimming, volleyball, road trip to the Indiana Dunes and evening socials are all activities that will keep you busy and having fun!

Culver Distance Camp is designed to accommodate each camper’s level and training phase.

The camp is held on the beautiful campus of Culver Academies where multiple wooded trails, rolling golf course, lakefront area, rural roads and hills provide exceptional training opportunities.

Meet The Speakers

2019 Camp Speakers

Billy Mills is the United States Olympic Champion in the 10,000 Meters at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, winning with a time of 28:24 (amazing 4:34 mile splits on a rain soaked cinder track).  Billy also served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corp, and is an  entrepreneur, humanitarian and member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe.

2018 Camp Speakers

Jim Ryun won the silver medal in the 1500 meters at the 1968 Olympic Games, and was the first high school athlete to run the mile in under 4 minutes (he accomplished this 5 times in high school).  His PR is 3:51.1.  Recently, ESPN named him the best high school athlete of all time.  Ryun participated in the 64, 68 and 72 Olympics.  He met his wife Anne when she asked for his autograph after he broke the world record in the mile.  Later, Ryun served in the US House of Representatives from 1996-2007.   Currently, Jim and Anne serve in numerous faith based humanitarian charities. 

2017 Camp Speakers

Edward Cheserek twice won the Footlocker high school national championship and was Gatorade Runner of the Year.  National HS 2-mile record of 8:39. University of Oregon 15-time individual national champion in cross country, indoor/outdoor track and 3 national team championships.  Most decorated collegiate athlete of all time.  Ed is majoring in business at Oregon.  5000-meter PR 13:18.7, Mile PR 3:56.4

Molly Seidel was the High School Gatorade Runner of the Year and a National Merit Scholar.  She won national titles in the indoor 3000 and 5000 meter events in 2016 and captured the 10,000 meter outdoor title in 2015.  She was also victorious at the 2015 xc championships.  Molly graduated from University of Notre Dame, majoring in Biological Anthropology.  She is returning this year to run indoor and outdoor track as a Notre Dame graduate student.  Her indoor 5000 meter PR is 15:15.

Jim Radcliffe is highly regarded as a communicator, teacher, author and trainer. Coach Radcliffe is one of the nation’s leading experts in strength and conditioning.  In his thirty second year at the University of Oregon, he directs year round participation and preparation of the school’s football, baseball and track and field programs.  In addition to his rigorous international speaking circuit, Coach Radcliffe is an amazing example of health and fitness.

2016 Camp Speakers

Bill Rodgers is a 4 time winner of the Boston Marathon, twice breaking American record- 2:09.27 (4:56 pace).  28 marathons under 2:15.  5k PR 13:42.  He was also a member of the 1976 US Olympic Team, and an inductee into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame as well as the  National Distance Hall of Fame.

A teacher at heart, Bill earned his Master’s Degree in Special Education from Boston College.  His is also the owner of the Bill Rogers Running Center in Boston.

Alex Banfich is one of the most successful athletes in Indiana high school history.  Winning a total of 9 state championships (3 CC, 3×1600 meters, 3×3200 meters), Alex also represented Indiana numerous times at the Footlocker Championships.  At Princeton University, Alex was team captain, All American and Academic All American, placing as high as 5th at Cross Country Nationals.

2015 Camp Speakers

Andy Powell is the University of Oregon Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach. Andy has coached some of the most respected runners in recent history—Elijah Greer, Galen Rupp, Andrew Wheating and Edward Cheserek. Andy coached Oregon to a back to back to back cross country national championship in 2007-08, track nationals in 2009, and numerous runner-up places, including seven straight PAC 12 track championships. He has coached 85 All-Americans. As a Stanford athlete, Andy was one of the nation’s top runners, just missing an Olympic bid. In high school, Andy ran 14:51 5K and 4:02 mile. Andy and wife Maurica love coaching at Oregon, and are proud parents of two boys.

Maurica Powell  is the University of Oregon Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach. Maurica has become one of the highest resected coaches in the nation, ensuring that all of her athletes receive extensive individual attention during their years at Oregon. Coach Powell lead her team to the 2012 national cross country title, and three national championships in track, along with numerous PAC 12 championships. She has coached 57 All-Americans. Her nurturing, whole person approach to each athlete she coaches is priority number one. Maurica was an All-American middle distance athlete at Stanford University, and volunteers to work with disadvantaged students in various social projects. She and her husband Andy have two sons.

2014 Camp Speakers

Adam Goucher Footlocker National Champion.  University of Colorado 11-time All-American, including four individual NCAA titles.  Professional Runner.  Olympic Athlete.  Eight US Championship titles. BS in Communications. Owner of Running the Edge.  Husband and father.  Wife Kara, professional runner training for 2014 World Championships.   

Amy Yoder Begley IHSAA State Champion.  University of Arkansas two-time NCAA Champion.     15-time All-American.  Nike Oregon Project.  Professional and Olympic Trials athlete.  Olympic athlete, 2008 Beijing.  Founder of Distance Divas.  CEO of Track is for Everybody Foundation.  Head women’s cross country coach and assistant track coach, University of Connecticut

Joe Mendelson – Founder, Culver Distance Camp
Dana Neer – Culver Academies, Director, Culver Distance Camp
Kyle Walsh – Indiana State, Coach
Jaqueline Hansen – Advocate, Coach, Educator.  Women’s Running Pioneer
John Foss – Indiana Wesleyan Coach
Mike Chastain – Culver Academies, XC and Track and Field Coach
Sandi Allen – Culver Academies, Nutrionist
Aaron Watson – Wabash College, Coach
Joe Piane – Retired and Hall of Fame Coach – Notre Dame
Zach Raber - Trine University

Former Speakers

Marc Bloom, Runners World Senior Editor

Suzy Favor Hamilton:  University of Wisconsin ‘91, 3-time Olympian, ’92, ’96, ‘00

Jaqueline Hansen:  Women’s running pioneer, advocate and educator. 1973 Boston Marathon Winner

Bob Kennedy:  Indiana University ’92, 2-time Olympian

Billy Mills:  University of Kansas ’62, 10,000 Meter 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist

Bob Schul:  Miami University, 5,000 Meter 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist

Frank Shorter:  Yale ’69, 1972 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist

Session Notes

Camp Details


June 14-17 2020

Daily Schedule

The schedule for each day will vary.  Here is an overview of what your day will look like:

7:00 AM Wake Up
7:15 AM Morning Lake Run and Plyometric Drills
7:45 AM Breakfast
9:00 – 9:45 AM Educational Session
10:00 – 10:45 AM Educational Session
11:00 – 11:45 AM Educational Session
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 3:45 PM Canoe/Swim/Sand Volleyball/Ropes Course/Giant Slip & Slide
4:00 - 5:15 PM Workout
6:00 PM Dinner
7:30 - 8:30 PM Sharing with our speakers
8:45 - 9:45 PM Social by the Lake @ Senior Ring
9:45 - 10:15 PM High School – Dorms – Counselor Recap day in dorms with runners
10:15 PM High School – Goodnight
9:45 - 10:30 PM Seniors and Graduates – Personal time with Speakers
11:00 PM  College – Goodnight


Session Topics    

“Developing your own routine and sustainable approach to running”

“The Purpose of Specific Training Workouts”

“Mentally and Physically Preparing for Hard Workouts as advanced runners”

“Senior Catching up for College Advising”

“College Training – The Next Step”

“Mentally and Physically Preparing for Hard Workouts as Young Developing Runners”

“How to get everything done for college your junior year”

“The Purpose of Specific Training Workouts”

“Your Next 2 Months Before College”

“What does it mean to be a Team Leader, vocally and by example?”

“How do I lead my team with consistency and dedication?”

“Financial Aid for College Students”

“Developing Race Strategies”

“History of Running”

“Injury Prevention and Effectiveness of Alternate Training”

“Advanced Racing Strategies”

“Establishing your nutritional habits for successful training and racing”

“What does it mean to be mentally tough: Goal Setting and Visualization”

“So now you’re on Campus- social life, dorms, nutrition, pitfalls and adjustment to college life”

“Improvement throughout Your Summer – Keeping a running journal and referring to it”

Gait Analysis

Sophomores attending camp will participate in a gait analysis.  Professionals will conduct these treadmill video analysis in the fitness center at a time assigned to the athlete.   The gait analysis is documented and sent via email to the athlete.  Gait analysis times will be assigned upon arrival at camp.

Drop Off and Pick Up

Campers will report to Sally Port on Sunday, June 10th.  Enter Culver Academies through the main entrance off SR 10 and continue toward the lake.  Signs will point you in the right direction!  All campers should arrive on campus between 10:00 and 11:30 a.m.   Our registration staff will get you checked in and help you to your dorm where you will meet your counselor and get settled in.

Parents are encouraged to attend the finale on Wednesday evening at 6:00 in Epply Auditorium.  Epply is located on the east end of the campus on Academy Road.  Signs will be posted.  Parents may come early to pack up your personal items.

Community Session

Parents and coaches are invited to attend the Monday evening session by the lake to hear our main speakers share their running experiences.  You will be able to meet the speakers and enjoy refreshments following the session.


Students who drive to the campus will park in the parking lot on the east side of the Hockey Rink.

What to Bring

Bring clothing & foot gear for at least 8 activity/training sessions, swim suit, sandals, sunscreen, toiletries, pillow, linens, blanket, towels, washcloths, fan, snacks, water bottle, string bag/backpack, pens, spending money, medications/list of medications.


Campers will stay in the student dorms.  You will need to bring bedding and will probably want a fan as the dorms are not air conditioned.


When you register, you will be asked for roommate requests.  We try to honor as many requests as possible, but sometimes your request may not be able to be met.  We encourage you to meet as many new runners as possible.  Most rooms accommodate 2 campers.  There are a limited number of three and four person rooms.

Fun Activities

There are many fun activities!  Not a lot of down time at CDC!  We will have volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, ice cream and snacks in the evening.  You will be canoeing, playing sand volleyball, and seniors and graduates will a special trip to the giant slip and slide.  You will be swimming in the lake and taking a day trip to the Indiana Dunes.  Evenings will wrap up with bon fires and games.

Meet The Staff

Jackson Bertoli, Indiana University
Jeff Brandt, Danville, Pennsylvania
Nico Composto, Montana
Leo Harris, Towanda, Pennsylvania
Dave Harrell, Mr. Everything
Dave Lawrence, Culver Academies
Jordan Ousley, Kokomo High School
John Polk, West Lafayette HS
Charlie Skoog, Eugene, Oregon
Ray Tetrault, Western HS
Anna Bearss, Indiana State University
Delany Bucker, Arizona State University
Heather Clagett, Lausanne Collegiate School
Nicole Hampshire, IUPUI
Elaina Lancioni, Bowling Green University
Joni Neer, Western High School
Robin Tetrault – Western High School
Jessica Zagmeister – Indiana State University


Contact Us

If you need additional information, please contact Dana Neer, Camp Director

Email: dana.neer@culver.org

Phone: 765-252-7030

Mail: Dana Neer
Culver Academies
1300 Academy Rd. Box #88
Culver, Indiana  46511

Camp Staff

Dana Neer
Camp Director