Working at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1994 World Cup are a few of the sporting events on camp director Shelly Watkins's resumé, which she draws on to run a summer camp for kids of all ages. A mother herself, she believes in giving each child individual attention, recognition, and respect, rewarding campers with high-fives and compliments for jobs well done. Together with assistant camp director Cortney Spiegel, she runs fun-packed day camps focused on arts, sports, field trips, and specialty programs. Professional counselors work with pintsize Pacinos in the Lights, Camera, Action class to make short films; kick off Nerf-themed sports events in the Nerf Extravaganza class; or venture out to bowling, movies, rollerblading, and laser tag during the Mega Adventure Field Trip. Shelly and her friendly crew also lead precamp and aftercamp activities for early-morning and evening supervision, and junior camp for campers aged 4¬–7 or 10-year-olds having their pre-preteen life crisis.
Putt N Glow Recreation Center illuminates group entertainment under an assemblage of black lights and glow-in-the-dark fixtures. The 18-hole indoor mini-golf course sets putting foursomes on a par-threatening voyage through scores of neon obstacles scattered about pitch-black greens, such as a rotating ferris wheel and a troposphere-slicing airplane propeller. Warm up club-toting biceps with a 30-minute session of either air hockey or ping-pong. Like on the mini-golf course, dimly lit fluorescence accompanies paddlers as they deflect disks and ping-pong balls back-and-forth like a hot potato or a room-temperature porcupine.
Though it may be the decorative centerpiece of a miniature golf course, there is nothing miniature about the waterfall at Lake Nepessing Golfland. The perpetually gushing rock formation looms above the emerald putting circuit, casting a mist into the air that cools down golfers as they attempt pressure-packed putts or handle golf balls fresh from the microwave. In addition to its Lilliputian links, the family fun center helps golfers groom their swings with a lighted driving range that offers both grass and artificial turf hitting areas. A staff of instructors roams the driving bays, doling out instruction and video-based swing analysis.
The thrum of humming engines fills Lake Nepessing Golfland’s grounds, emanating from the center’s outdoor go-kart track. The track is lighted for after-sunset racing, and guests can choose to drive solo or ride along friends, family, or adopted mannequins in a tandem kart.
The PGA-certified instructors at Boyne Golf Academy use advanced technological tools such as radar and form-analysis software to improve the strokes of students of all levels. Pupils receive one-on-one attention during the hands-on practice session, which focuses on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each golfer’s swing mechanics. The V1 Pro swing-analysis software provides club kids with visual feedback on their slicing or hooking tendencies, and the Sam PuttLab employs ultrasound to determine the gender of each golfer’s putter. As the ball's postswing sojourn commences, the Doppler-based TrackMan radar system relays a 3-D real-time view and provides data on the dimpled orb’s trajectory. Although this Groupon is only valid for lessons, King Par Superstore is jam-packed with golf equipment and apparel and performs professional club fittings to ensure that wrists and 9-irons get along instead of attacking each other with golf clubs.
The lost city of Atlantis is rumored to contain vast treasures, though glow-in-the-dark mini golf isn't one of them. But at Play Atlantis, a nine-hole indoor course unfolds among Atlantis-themed murals and 3-D props depicting underwater figures, such as Poseidon and sharks. The course unfolds in an atmosphere of black lights and upbeat background music, which also surround the fun center's multilevel laser tag arena. There, inside labyrinthine corridors, laser fire and neon lights pierce through thick clouds of fog imported from London.
Natural lighting replaces black lights at Play Atlantis's other attractions. The inflatable area's custom bounce houses, slides, and obstacle courses give kids space to hop around, crawl, and explore among the inflatable castles and coliseums. Outside, families can zip around the go-kart track or participate in some friendly competition on Play Atlantis's 18-hole mini-golf course.
Putting requires intense concentration, which is especially difficult when you have an elephant watching over your shoulder. At Sport-N-Fun, miniature golfers putt their way through three 18-hole courses adorned with statues of exotic wildlife such as gorillas and giraffes. These distractions are one of the many obstacles on the terrain, where bank shots and undulating hills stand between players and holes-in-one.
Sport-N-Fun's other exhilarating activities likewise vie for visitors' attention. Thrill-seekers zip around the curves and down the straightaways of the Go-Kart track, or leap skyward while securely harnessed on the bungee trampoline. In seven batting cages, machines pitch balls toward batters at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour, offering a range for different skill levels. Inside, classic games blip and bleep as players smash buttons at the arcade. Amidst all the action, GG's Pizza renews energy with servings of pizza and fountain drinks.