Building a strong community bond is as important to Salem Sabres’ owner, Rhonda Alexander, as is forming an elite basketball squad. For the team's first season in the American Basketball Association, Rhonda recruited young players who shared her enthusiasm for the sport, but also a passion for helping others. Between practices and games against Pacific Northwest Division foes, Sabres players take time to host community events and volunteer at local schools, performing in anti-bullying skits, playing pickup games with the students, and giving kids expert tips on how to spell "horse" both on and off the court.
Stoneworks Climbing Gym's climbers while away their days on the gym's vast top-rope, lead, and bouldering walls. The walls soar to the ceiling and bear holds with multicolored tape to delineate each climbing route, which start at 5.6 and vary in difficulty. The diverse set of routes and climbing difficulties have made Stoneworks an ideal gym for climbing the past 20 years and for competitions, such as the annual Boulder Joust.
Avid climbers themselves, the route setters and staff at Stoneworks are also guides, leading teams of beginner and skilled climbers into the mountains of Oregon for outdoor climbing. They also equip members with the skills needed to scale their routes in both group and private lessons that focus on technique, sport climbing, and vertical Twister. Kids are welcome to join the junior climbing team or summer camps.
Since he caught his first steelhead at age 6, Kyle Miller has dedicated his career to becoming an expert on Oregon's river systems. Today, he shares his knowledge with clients by organizing fully equipped quests for salmon and trout in the Alsea, Columbia, Siletz, and Santiam Rivers as well as crabbing trips on the coastal waters.
Safari Sam's virtual jungle of kid-friendly entertainment is densely packed, thoughtfully designed, and well maintained. The enormous jungle gym is built big and strong so parents can play along with their kids. The Black Diamond Challenge Course challenges older kids with more physically demanding obstacles. The indoor miniature golf course is well designed, with glow-in-the-dark paint on jungle-like details on the kid-friendly obstacles, including palm trees and Aztec-like temples. Gonzo's game room is an old-fashioned redemption arcade with more than 75 games in which kids can win prizes, from key chains and stuffed animals to glow-in-the-dark senses of superiority.
A USHPA-certified advanced and tandem instructor, John of Oregon Hang Gliding School has taken to the skies on hang gliders since 1990 and taught the sport to newcomers since 1997. He also advises the curriculum for a university engineering program laying out pointers in a systematic way, and discouraging the use of protractors as weapons. Under John’s guidance, students begin with introductory lessons and ground school before advancing along the path to earning individual pilot ratings.
Willamette Sailing Club's docks stretch out into the Willamette River, where novice nautical voyagers gain their sea legs on a fleet of small sailboats. Classes of up to 30 spend two hours on the banks with a U.S. Sailing–certified coach as students learn how sails work, the necessary knots, and important terminology, such as "port," "starboard," and "boat." The coach will also cover how to rig and de-rig a boat, as delicate a procedure as rigging a casino game or school-board election. The club curates a fleet of Laser, Opti, and 420 sailboats for the use of its sailing classes.