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.
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. Customers can stop in to purchase new gear from brands such as Dakine, Ride, Lib Tech, Gnu, Dragon, Grenade, Celsius, and more.
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.
In 2003, the teaching staffs behind the Butler-Fearon and the O?Connor-Kennedy Schools realized something: though both academies nurtured the physical, mental, and competitive skills of scores of young Irish dancers, they could form a more robust program by combining forces. Once united, the team of Rose Fearon, Vincent O?Connor, and Kathleen O?Connor?each a certified Irish dance adjudicator?implemented a revised curriculum reaching students from both American coasts to the solid-ice skyscrapers of Ontario. Today, Butler-Fearon-O'Connor trains everyone from girls buckling their jig shoes for the first time to experienced adults, many of whom?such as 2011 world champion Emily Penner?have danced competitively at home or across the pond and landed spots on touring companies for shows such as Riverdance.
Focusing on perfecting traditional form and technique, classes are kept as small as possible, ensuring personalized attention from one of the school's 10 experienced, decorated instructors. Students also learn stamina, flexibility, and presentation, with an emphasis on avoiding motions that tend to draw judges' ire, such as clumsy arm placement and badgering the audience. Many locations also host more casual classes for adults and groups such as Girl Scout troops.
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.