Fit For Life Bootcamp?s seasoned instructors replace drill-sergeant screams with encouraging mantras in their one-hour indoor classes that welcome clients of all fitness levels. During sessions, trainers round out weightlifting sessions, resistance drills, and core workouts with cardio routines such as light running and obstacle courses. They switch up class routines regularly to ensure courses are never the same from day to day, leading wild-card days that incorporate hiking, crawling, and high-stakes Uno games played with 50-pound cards. In addition to bolstering workouts with nutrition guidance, trainers work to cultivate an atmosphere of positive camaraderie designed to push campers further toward their weight-loss goals.
When the climbers of Planet Granite say that community anchors everything they do, they have a history of outreach to back it up. After Castle Rock State Park appeared on California’s closure list, Planet Granite’s team quickly organized a fundraiser to save the sanctuary. They pledged $10,000 in matching funds, threw an auction, scheduled guest speakers, and obtained support from companies such as REI. In one night, they raised $20,725.
This kind of response has typified Planet Granite’s team since opening its first facility in 1994. One of the first climbing gyms in the country, Planet Granite has expanded to three gyms in Belmont, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale. The diverse array of climbing resources at each location led Popsugar to name the gym conglomerate one of the top five in San Francisco in 2011. At the Sunnyvale location, members scale 25,000 square feet of climbable surfaces that ascend from low bouldering terrains to 60-foot walls.
In keeping with their commitment to community, the staff tailors instruction and climbing routes to every ability level and affinity for hand sweatiness. They also supervise each gyms’ fully equipped fitness centers, ranging from CrossFit to yoga, which provides a peaceful counterbalance to the full-body workout of rock climbing.
With a Masters Degree in Education from Notre Dame De Namur University, many years of classroom experience, and four years of tutoring under her belt, Christina Stenstrom aims to inspire and empower young women. Established in 2008, her summer camps center on helping young ladies express themselves artistically. During sessions, girls paint, draw, sing, and act but they'll also learn about marketing, branding, and making commercials. Over the course of the week, they will take what they've learned to pitch ideas to their instructor and eventually take over the world.
Though they come from different backgrounds, the three chefs behind Kids Culinary Adventures have all seen the positive impact that cooking has on children. Chef Brian Allen honed his cooking technique at California Culinary Academy's Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality Management program, but he's been comfortable in the kitchen since childhood, when he would cook and bake with his father, mother, and grandfather. Chef Danielle Nunes also grew up in the kitchen, learning many of her grandmother's secret family recipes and discovering her passion for multicultural dishes. Pastry chef Caitlin Allen fine-tuned her baking skills at Walt Disney World's Yacht and Beach Bakery. Now, they coordinate private cooking classes, camps, and themed culinary-focused birthday parties for children of all ages.
Many of their programs combine the culinary arts with lessons in math, reading, science, and visual arts. During private custom cooking classes, they work with individuals and groups to coordinate custom menus based on Italian, Mexican, or Asian recipes. Calibrated for kids as young as 3 years, their classes encourage proper nutrition and creative meal preparation, and teach kitchen cleanliness with visual aids such as "kitchen cooties," a culinary toolbox, and teddy bears carved out of soap. In multi-day camps, chefs teach academics and professional skills that help children execute DIY culinary tasks such as building a themed holiday menu, baking and decorating a cake, or mastering tools such as grills or woks.
There’s a world where monsters are storming a castle and one person is trapped within the walls. Nearby, in another world, a wizard dances on the shore of a beach. As distant as these worlds—and an infinite number of other worlds—might seem, they both came into being at Digital Monkey School. Founded by Greg Orduyan in 2006, Digital Monkey offers all-ages classes on creating 3-D, 2-D, and animated art on a computer. A veteran of the video-game industry for more than 15 years, Orduyan was a central figure in the design of such PS2 staples as Frequency—a predecessor to Guitar Hero—and Silent Hill 2. Elementary-aged children and older can sign up for the digital-painting course, where they learn to apply lessons from traditional painting when working with a stylus and tablet, and an introduction to video-game development, which covers basic programming and financial planning in gold-coin-based economies.
Where as many people prefer to chat with others during lunchtime, patrons of Yoga at Change look forward to quieting their minds. These 30-minute meditation sessions occur three times a week, and like the rest of the non-profit's curriculum, strive to inject some introspection into otherwise bustling days. Though "yoga" is in the studio's title, meditation figures heavily in many of its class and workshop offerings?Slow Flow yoga mixes it with Hatha poses, and Integral lessons combine chanting, meditation, and restful movements. Mothers can also channel meditative energy during Mom Baby Yoga and Yoga with Babysitting, specialty classes that allow them to engage in relaxing postures and meditation while staying connected to their little ones, who spend the sessions stretching out with their parent, sleeping, or playing.
The holistic philosophy of Yoga at Change is that all people have the right to spiritual insight, a healthy body, and a peaceful mind. The instructors strive to accomplish this through a blend of self-reflection, breath, and physical balance. The staff believes that there are several roads to wellness, and that all of them should be accessible, regardless of the client's skill level. They schedule several discounted or free demonstrations, and also offer a scholarship program to fund yoga practice for those in need of financial aid. Students attend classes based on their desired intensity?gentle, moderate, or vigorous. They can also register for workshops that address a slew of alternative health topics, which in the past have included treating lower back pain.