The seasoned outdoors enthusiasts at Oak Creek Sporting Club shepherd guests through enjoyable outings of clay shooting on scenic courses, well-equipped stands, and stunning heartland-prairie vistas. The meticulously groomed grounds and more than 20 automated shooting stations in the sporting-clay course replicate countless natural shots encountered in the field, from migrating geese gracefully landing in a pond, to ceramic dishes haphazardly frisbeed into the sunset. During a two-person two-hour outing, a guide with more than five years of shooting experience carts visitors through the beautiful upland fields and ponds of Oak Creek, helping patrons lock on to soaring targets at shooting stations at the course or stands. The 5-stand challenges shotgunning skills with new computerized Promatic target machines, which hurl disks in a variety of shots, including outgoing, incoming, springing teal, left crossing, right crossing, and teleporting.
In 1962, founder and director Milton C. Anderson’s original incarnation of The Young Americans was as a show choir that went on to perform on renowned stages, such as the one on The Ed Sullivan Show. As he saw more and more schools cutting funding for their performing arts programs, he began holding workshops for school-age children in 1992. Today, these courses have spread across the country and into Europe, Australia, and Japan.
The Young Americans World Tour Summer Camp has become a fixture in the Omaha area at the Midland University, and earned a feature on The Morning Blend in 2011. During both day and overnight camps, aspiring performers immerse themselves in arts-laden workshops and classes, rather than spending their summer days frying eggs on the sidewalk. The Premier Day Camp gives kids a general overview of the performing arts, while the two overnight camps focus on Hollywood and Broadway performing. All camps culminate in a final performance, during which campers can amaze their family, friends, and imaginary family and friends with their newly honed skills.
Until the mid '90s, a ball hit at River Wilds Golf Club could travel thousands of yards—that is, if it happened to fall into a cockpit at the adjacent Blair Airport. But then the airport moved away, and the course, originally opened in 1944 as a private club, expanded from 9 to 18 holes and became public. The tarmac hazards are no longer there, but the course still challenges players with trees, bunkers, and a meandering creek. The par 72 championship course spreads to a full length of 6,562 yards from the back tees, with an additional two sets to accommodate all skill levels.
To ready themselves for this challenge, players can practice on a range with an 80-yard tee line, the longest in both Nebraska and Iowa. The natural grass tee boxes are rotated daily to keep the sod fresh and prevent emotional attachment with any particular divot.
Course at a Glance:
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Stalking through the prairie grass, a guide leads his labrador retriever and a hunter into a stretch of foothills. They hear a rustling ahead, prompting them to pause. Peering through the brush, they see a bird with red plumage around its eye, a green head, and a white ring around its neck—the distinguishing marks of a pheasant. The hunter readies his gun, the labrador poises, and both wait for the guide's signal.
The hunting guides at Pheasant Bonanza lead hunters through experiences like these and ready them for similar outings with sport shooting. The sporting-clay course, for example, supplies beginning through advanced shooters with 20 stations whose targets simulate the movements of animals such as quail and rabbits. To further sharpen hunters' aim, the guides also oversee trap, skeet, five-stand, and snooker ranges. This diversity of shooting scenarios prepares clients for guided hunting trips—which include the retrieval and tracking service of trained labradors or german shorthaired pointers—on Pheasant Bonanza's grounds. Spanning hundreds of acres in the Loess Hills, the grounds sustain game such as pheasant, waterfowl, whitetail deer, wild turkey, and rogue Yahtzee dice.
The lodge accommodates guests on extended trips, surrounding them with rustic touches such as a stone fireplace, knotty-pine paneling, and furniture upholstered in hunters' orange. Further services range from expert advice at the pro shop to Pheasant Bonanza's boarding, training, and breeding programs for hunting dogs.