Camp Courage USA—a nonprofit, independent Christian camp founded by Ronnie and Jennifer Hayes—emboldens children to learn individual strengths, foster social relationships, and paint a mural of fond memories against the canvas of the great outdoors. With a handpicked staff vigorously vetted for exemplary qualities in safety, fun, and water-balloon lobbing prowess, Camp Courage boasts a maximum camper-to-staff ratio of 8 to 1.
At TG Farms Pumpkin Patch, autumn’s shifting breezes not only herald a fresh crop of gourds, but also the start of the farm’s annual festivities. From morning until nightfall, families traipse through the patch in search of a pumpkin that will transform into their dream jack-o’-lantern or a car for their children to take to college, and navigate the twists and turns of a massive corn maze. On a calm pond, ducks await generous handfuls of feed, and a petting zoo lets wee ones commune with calves and goats. Back under a roof, the gift shop hosts decorative gourds, straw bales, and other fall decor.
Although autumn is the season when activity reaches a fever pitch, TG Farms is open to outdoor enthusiasts year-round. In spring, visitors learn how crops grow in the fields and flowers bloom in greenhouses. When the sun strengthens into summer, farmers peddle homegrown tomatoes and juicy watermelon. And in winter, when the last leaves have frozen over, families can pick out a fresh-cut Christmas tree or collect a jar of fresh snowman tears.
Safety comes first at New Heights Rock Climbing Gym. Before strapping in at the gym’s top-rope climbing course, all guests have to complete a training lesson that teaches them the skills needed to safely surmount the gym’s walls. Students learn how to tie weight-bearing knots, help friends safely ascend and descend the walls using belaying techniques, and recognize the difference between rocks and Styrofoam coolers that just look like rocks. Once instructors deem them ready, students can then latch onto the colorful rocks sprinkled throughout the climbing space, using their upper-arm strength and path-finding skills to surmount the vertical obstacle course. The angled bouldering course rises over padded mats, allowing guests to safely climb the inclines while working against gravity pulling down their own body weight. The gym opens its doors to parties of all sizes, with one designated instructor for every eight partygoers to ensure climbers stay safe and agile.