One of the largest conservation organizations in New England, Mass Audubon cares for 34,000 acres of natural land in a network of more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries across the state. Its members receive free admission to these pacific preserves, where, alongside more than 150 endangered or threatened native species, they can breathe in Mother Nature’s perfume or have a good cry on her mossy bosom. During bird-migration season, alert gazes can capture some 300 species of sky surfer at Allens Pond on the South Coast, and visitors to Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm can re-enact Charlotte's Web with a motley band of sheep, cows, goats, and pigs.
During the day at World Sports Camp, professional head coaches and assistants of college-level athletes head up lessons in golf, basketball, tennis, and soccer. Campers also get the chance to participate in sports leagues with competitions throughout the week and a culminating championship. There is a 4:1 camper-to-instructor ratio, which helps to ensure that young athletes get the personal attention they require. Campers get to choose their level of involvement and which sports they want to focus on. Beginners and advanced mini-athletes alike will then play together, adhering to the rules of good sportsmanship and gravity. Check out a typical schedule for an overview of the daily activities.
Previously known as Mama Nirvana, Nirvana Yoga brims with daily classes for all skill levels, including open yoga, power Vinyasa, and calming basic sessions ideal for brand-new yogis. In the recently remodeled Easthampton studio, owner Ruth Anne Lundeberg draws on her background as a dancer, devoted student of Theravada Buddhism, and yoga practitioner with three decades of experience under her belt to helm a staff of seasoned instructors. The staff imparts yogic skills with a focus on safety that earned the studio the Best Place for Yoga title in the Valley Advocate?s 2013 readers' poll.
The whistles of flying paintballs and airsoft pellets fill the air whenever teams maneuver through Strategic Compound's 165 acres of wooded playing fields. In addition to towering trees, the terrain features a number of manmade structures, including bridges, bunkers, trenches, and a castle complete with crenellated ramparts. Trained referees monitor each showdown, ensuring that everyone enjoys a safe yet competitive experience. Strategic Compound also offers downloadable, smartphone-compatible software, which participants can use to pinpoint their exact location to give more accurate directions to teammates or lost pizza-delivery drivers.
Throughout summer and fall, Rolling Acres opens its gates to visitors young and old to enjoy adventures among its various attractions. Birthday parties, field trips, and family outings descend upon the farm to take part in seasonal activities, such as camps and water tag during the summer and hayrides in the fall.
Rolling Acres has also become known for its annual autumn corn mazes, which, in the past, have sent groups zigzagging through elephant-, lion-, and castle-shaped labyrinths. Nearby, bouncers can launch themselves skyward on a giant jumping pillow in attempt to touch the clouds or high-five a really tall imaginary friend.
Brand-new martial arts students begin with the blank slate of white belt. Learn where they go from there with Groupon?s look at martial arts belts.
There?s an old story about the evolution of the system of colored martial-arts belts: donning fresh white belts at first, trainees would let them darken over time with sweat and dirt, until, after years of increasing mastery, they turned almost black. If it sounds like a story that's too good to believe, it almost certainly is. Although the belt system is conceivably an ancient tradition handed down from sensei to sensei, its origins can be readily traced to the early 20th century. That?s when Dr. Jigoro Kano was developing a new form of physical education for Japanese public school students: judo, a safer version of the jujitsu fighting style. Facing an influx of new students, he devised a hierarchy of colored belts to illustrate their progress at a glance rather than having to ask each one to fight him every day.
How quickly athletes move up the ladder will depend on the teacher, the dojo, and the style, in addition to their skills. They may advance by taking a formal exam with practical, oral, and written sections; they may be asked to spar with students in the next level to prove their readiness; or they may be awarded a different color belt because the old one clashes with their eyes. And in any discipline, tying on a black belt doesn?t mean you?ve made it. Instead, one might think of it as being inducted into an advanced training program. In karate, for instance, there are 10 grades of black belts, some of which require up to 10 years of study to attain.