It took a while for Cedar Lake Camp to come into its identity, changing hands three times in 20 years before the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles bought it in 1955. Since then, the staff has worked hard to establish it as a sanctuary of reflection, renewal, and recreation. The manmade lake clearly plays a central role in the retreat’s activities, from canoeing to swimming and fishing. The camp has also extended its recreational purview to include thrills such as ziplining, rope courses, and team-building activities. It rents its lodges out year-round to guests and bears looking for a place to hibernate, and often hosts summer camps for kids and families.
See the trees from the canopy and experience nature a whole new way with Action Tree Rope Climbing. At a spot near Big Bear Lake, certified instructors help guests scale trees' massive trunks using harnesses, ropes, and a series of knots. This safe way of climbing allows guests aged 12 and older to live out their dreams of becoming climbing squirrels as they gaze back down on the forest floor from 45 feet in the air. During tours, guides explain a little about the area, including conservation information and the location of the nearest fairy circles.
From its outpost just off Big Bear Lake's south shore, Massive Snowboards supplies peak-destined skiers and snowboarders with the gear they need to get down the area's slopes. The shop has been a Big Bear mainstay since 1999, a long tenure in the competitive on-mountain ski- and snowboard-gear-rental game. It attributes its run of success to a combination of knowledgeable salespeople and a deep selection of boards for rent. Mountaineers can also stop in the shop to purchase new gear from brands such as Dakine, Ride, Spy, and Giro.
The blue-and-red checkered floors of Ultimate Kickboxing & Fitness’s gym have withstood a lot of action, from swinging kettlebells to battle ropes and intense kickboxing classes. The instructors offer a variety of classes that focus on strengthening the body with full-body exercises that utilize boxing and kickboxing moves. Their classic cardio-kickboxing classes have students perform punching and kicking combinations including roundhouses and jabs to upbeat music. Power, Strength, and Rope Burn classes use simple rope exercises to help tighten and tone bodies, and 50/50 classes blend cardio and strength training to create a well-balanced workout.
The instructors at Redlands ATA Martial Arts have been training aspiring martial artists for more than 20 years—many of whom have gone on to become black belts and state champions. The seasoned and certified trainers lead students of all ages through proper tae kwon do techniques—including punches, kicks, and blocks—as well as life skills, such as perseverance and self-control. The instructors also work with local schools, helping introduce bully-prevention programs.
Since 1994, the instructors at Redlands Aikikai have taught martial and meditative arts to people of all ages, creating an environment in which students can also develop courage, compassion, character, and healthy habits. Their main program, aikido, shows students how to use an attacker's energy against himself by way of escapes, joint locks, strikes, and sweeps. Sometimes, the program incorporates swords and staffs into its training, though it always maintains a non-competitive approach.