When a family of five wanted to go on a kayak tour, they assumed their daughter with Down's syndrome couldn't come along. But Shan-T co-owner Michelle Thorpe assured them she could, and invited her along in her own tandem kayak. Once on the water, the girl immediately took charge, joyfully taking over paddling. Michelle and her husband Mark had always searched for a way to conduct fun, physical, outdoor activities that would accommodate people with special needs, including their daughter with Asperger's and their niece who is autistic. Taking advantage of the therapeutic nature of the area's calm waters, Shan-T provides a way for just about everyone to commune with nature. The couple operates their tours intimately, using no more than 15 boats per group so that wilderness smells and the sounds of lapping waves are prevalent throughout their adventures.
The pair leads their tours through secluded, often shallow waterways and wildlife-rich areas aboard ocean-style kayaks with open tops for easy boarding and egress. They sometimes allow participants to use the boats as standup paddleboards on which participants can stretch their legs or reach up to scratch head itches with overhanging branches. On each tour, guides stress the fragility of the local ecosystem, highlighting issues such as baby fish growing up inside discarded soda cans and dolphins consuming floating plastic bags. In response, participants often pick up any refuse they see, with tours in the past becoming scavenger hunts to help clean the secluded waterways and to see who can find the most Gene Simmons solo albums. On many of these trips, kayakers have encountered manatees up close, sometimes when they brush up against the boats to scratch their backs and bellies.
After founding The Golf Boot Camp in California and Washington state in the ‘90s, Cathy Schmidt has since set up two locations in Florida—one at Timber Creek Golf Club in 2009 and more recently at Terra Ceia Bay Golf Club in 2012. At all of the locations, Cathy helps students improve their swings by leveraging a two-decade career, including stints on various professional tours and a certification as a LPGA Class A instructor.
Whether an individual lesson or a three-day intensive golf boot camp, all of The Golf Boot Camp's programs begin with an on-course evaluation to assess each student’s swing habits and allergies to fairway landing zones. Lessons utilize V1 video technology to capture every movement of the swing, using the data to provide corrective feedback that fits each golfer's unique physical capabilities. The goal of lessons is to satisfy five key components: a steady head, weight forward, flat left wrist (or right wrist for lefties), correct sweet-spot path, and control over the clubface.
Owner and operator Shawn can trace his family's roots in the local waterways back seven generations. His deep love of the water led him to launch Native Rentals, which conducts eco-friendly paddle tours, and create the Surfer Bus, a renovated school bus that brims with kayaks, surfboards, and any equipment needed for tours on the go. His eco-tours explore the Robinson Preserve, Neal Preserve, and the Anna Maria Sound aboard single or tandem kayaks, standup paddleboards, and bikes, all of which let guests test their muscles without the exorbitant fees of going through Poseidon's booking agent.
There are 27,000 PGA professionals eligible for the PGA Master Professional status?only 178 have attained the elite credential for mastering instruction. Among these distinguished golfers is Andr? Panet-Raymond?one of only about 100 PGA Master Professionals eligible to currently teach. To meet the Master level's requirements of maintaining "the highest degree of excellence for themselves and their operations," golf pros have to complete a Master's project in their chosen career path (from operations to instruction), in much the same way every college professor must learn to crochet their own tweed jacket before earning their PhD.
His classroom: the rolling greens of The River Club in Bradenton and the rolling greens of two golf courses in North Carolina. His students: everyone from advanced adults to young kids just learning to swing. In fact, U.S. Kids Golf named Panet-Raymond one of the Top 50 instructors in 2004, an honor he continues to uphold after teaching more than 40,000 lessons, which range from basic concepts for beginners to mental training for tour players.
With backgrounds as military and international-law-enforcement personnel, the instructors at Aegis Tactical know from experience that intense situations can challenge even the most experienced marksmen. That's why they teach a suite of classes and private lessons tailored to shooters of every experience level. NRA-sanctioned courses such as the FIRST Steps Pistol course, acquaint beginners with the basics of operating handguns. Alternatively, advanced training caters to law-enforcement and security personnel. Most courses take place at Aegis Tactical's outdoor training center, where instructors demonstrate proper attitude and firearms operations so students feel comfortable defending themselves, should aliens ever arrive.