Everyone gets the urge to go out and live in the wild from time to time, and not just during tax season. Before you pack up your flint and compass, The Expedition School would like to give you a few lessons on traversing waters, hiking trails, and maintaining outdoor safety. It sponsors classes on paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking. The staff then leads expeditions to exciting destinations. Clients can sea kayak the fjords around Alaska and spot humpback whales on the open water, or surf crashing waves on the beaches of Costa Rica and hike up into the cloudforest near Arenal Volcano. While you're out in the wilds, The Expedition School's first-aid, water rescue, and CPR courses will mitigate any potential disasters, though medical support is also available to accompany groups on adventures.
Closer to home, The Expedition School is thoroughly committed to the community. They happily work with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and proudly keep 100% of their profits invested in Austin and the neighborhood. They even partner with Keep Austin Beautiful to help take care of their hometown. Because the staff believes that everyone deserves the chance to play in the great outdoors while gaining practical skills and confidence, they also offer programs for the visually and hearing impaired.
Austin Fit Magazine named RockBody Boot Camp its Best Boot Camp of 2011 and also lauded its owner, Brian Prinzo, as one of the city’s Top 10 Fittest Trainers in 2010. But for Brian and his staff of experienced trainers, it’s not about the accolades; it’s about helping others lose weight and reach their fitness goals. Classes eschew routine courses of treadmills and bench presses for a variety of challenging workouts that put participants through a mash-up of strength, core, cardio, and interval training designed to push them to their personal limits. Best of all, the workouts provide the motivation and accountability needed to help exercisers push past plateaus, and exercises can be tailored to accommodate many fitness levels and concerns, such as arthritis, body pain, and conjoined sweatbands.
While standing on the balcony of a hotel in London, Lady Bird Johnson and Ann Butler, the wife of Austin’s mayor, admired the green trail that follows the Thames. The scene inspired them to hatch a plan to beautify their own waterways. Over the next three decades, in partnership with local garden clubs, they planted trees and flowers along the polluted shores of Lady Bird Lake, undoing centuries of damage from the flooding of the Colorado River. Now the trail receives 1.5 million visitors each year and creates an oasis among Austin's skyscrapers and streets. The Trail Foundation implements improvements to the trail’s infrastructure and environment while honoring the vision of its founders. The foundation has built tree groves, landscape lighting, and a bathroom that reduces overall maintenance costs and blends into the natural environment without the use of an invisibility cloak.
When Felicity Coltman founded it in 1981, the Austin Chamber Music Center's goal was simpler than it is today, yet still ambitious: to create a summer chamber-music workshop for teens. Since then, not only have many alumni gone on to become professional musicians, but the center has expanded into an outreach organization whose concerts and instruction brings chamber music to Austin ears, instruments, and hearts. Adults of similar skill levels gather into small chamber-music groups, whereas youngsters meet with instructors on weekends, during the summer, or in school. Just two years after its founding, the center sent students on two European voyages and hosted musicians from Salzburg, starting an international exchange program that continues today.
In 1988, a unique performance series took form with the center’s Intimate Concerts, which take place in private homes so that audiences can experience the music in a personal way and help their cats learn to read sheet music. Led by artistic director Michelle Schumann the center now holds year-round concerts for a variety of musical tastes, with all programs including live program notes.
Camp Gladiator founder Ally Davidson?s childhood obsession with the outdoors and sports led her to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. After her 2008 win on the TV show American Gladiators, Ally decided to share her love of fitness with the world at large. Camp Gladiator reflects Ally's passion for fitness in its mission, which espouses their desire "to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible." During Camp Gladiator Total Transformation, participants lose weight and gain energy in a friendly, positive environment. Over four-weeks, trainers focus on accountability, competition, motivation, and fun at multiple locations. Results are tracked during fitness assessments, body composition tests, and a fitness calendar, while nutrition counseling helps to maximize those results. Click here to view before and after images.
Davidson also leads boot camps in 13 U.S. cities, with each hosting multiple training locales. The upbeat staff of certified personal trainers lead patrons of all ages and fitness levels through four-week outdoor boot camps, earning Camp Gladiator a Hot Spot title from Women's Health magazine's Fitness Awards in 2013, Best Boot Camp from Rare magazine in 2010, Best of Big D 2010?2013 from D magazine, and Best Outdoor Boot Camp 2012 from Austin Fit magazine.