Since 1966, Outdoor School has been supplementing Oregon’s public-education system with lessons on the environment, ecology, natural resources, and flora and fauna held in a camp setting. Friends of Outdoor School was recently founded to preserve this experience for youth and to make it available to all students regardless of their socio-economic statuses.
During day-camp courses, student leaders from local high schools work with middle-school students to explore the wonders of science through hands-on outdoor activities and traditional camp experiences. Students remain active from sun up to sun down, conducting field studies, engaging in recreational activities, preparing meals, and building campfires. The student leaders emerge from the experience with greater leadership abilities and both sets of students can bring their newfound knowledge to their science and math classes.
Portland Opera has always set its collective eyes on the horizon. Since filling the gaps left by touring troupes and sporadically performing local companies in 1964, it has endeavored to expand the art form on the stage and beyond. Twenty years after its inception, it became just the second company in the US to project English translations of foreign lyrics above the stage, enabling audiences to leave their Italian dictionaries at home. The company also pushes the boundaries of the shows themselves, staging world premiers of classic stories such as Wuthering Heights, commissioning the work Lucy's Lapses, and producing the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass's Orphée. Not to be contained within one performance space, it also established Portland Opera To Go, a touring division that performs works such as Cinderella and La Bohème at schools and community centers.
Ecdysiast, a modern pole-dancing studio that derives its name from ancient Rome, comingles the sleek techniques of modern fitness with the atavistic impulses of dance, resulting in a fun, social, and physical exhibition of the body’s beauty. A staff that includes certified personal trainers instructs a schedule of classes to accommodate most skill and fitness levels. During a one-hour class of fewer than seven, pupils position themselves before the studio’s floor-to-ceiling mirrors—cut at intervals with white, flowing drapery—to gaze at their reflection staring back at them as it sidles next to their own, individual, 16-foot golden-hued pole. The introductory Taster class dips newbie toes into the rippling waters of pole dancing with beginner moves, choreography, and floor work. At the instructor’s behest, students in the eight-week course will spin, climb, invert, and plane their bodies parallel to the ground in an act of self-levitation unattainable without the use of hundreds of helium balloons. The 90-minute party class packs similar routines and equal energy, but caters to the custom needs of the group, be they bachelorette, birthday, or a girls' night out.
The sleek, wooden rink that houses Gresham Skate World has buzzed with the whir of wheels since 1974, when the facility first swung open its doors to a community that now encompasses multiple generations of skaters. The rink provides safe, family-friendly entertainment seven days a week, offsetting standard open skates with a lineup of special events, ranging from all-night sessions to cosmic skating on weekends. To help celebrate special events or dodge bounty hunters, reserve one of Gresham Skate World's private rooms. The center's onsite skate shop stocks an assortment of accessories, and the snack bar fuels full days of axels and dips with hot dogs, nachos, and pizza.