Run by Stanford University's coaches' education trainer Mike Legarza and boasting a camper return rate of 90%, Legarza Basketball Camp develops young dribblers in a structured environment of positive support and fundamental basketball instruction, valuing hard work and effort. Morning camps focus on shooting and ball handling, as orb-bouncers will learn the basics of scoring and protecting the basketball. Players will be divided into teams for the week and play one game per day with a tournament at the end of the week. Afternoon camps concentrate on gameplay, as youngsters will be introduced to gamesmanship and strategy, such as when to feed the ball to the 7-footer in the post and when to feed the ball to the siberian tiger spotting up for a three-pointer.
Shipman Swim School's recipe for a happily paddling child involves positivity, personal attention, and a couple of polar bears. The bears are part of a mural on the deck wall, frolicking with playful otters in a frothy sea. Combined with the soothing 92-degree heat of the indoor pool, the cheerful creatures encapsulate founder Stacy Shipman's commitment to creating a welcoming learning environment for students of all swimming backgrounds. The former competitive swimmer stresses safety and encouragement in her curriculum, imparting confidence to kids who might have previously avoided the deep end.
The school's instructors—all of whom are CPR- and first-aid-certified—lead students through a program that builds skills comfortably and gradually. During stage-1 group classes, instructors first acquaint kids with the water through face-immersion exercises, rather than challenging them to shake hands with their own reflections. As pupils progress through stages 2, 3, and 4, they learn kicks, gliding techniques, and strokes ranging from the basic freestyle to the butterfly. The teacher-to-student ratio never dips below 3:1––and most classes are made up of three students and two instructors––ensuring that each swimmer receives individual guidance. The staff also leads private lessons and Parent and Me sessions, which engage toddlers as young as six months in safe games, songs, and movements.
What started out as a simple consignment shop quickly evolved into something more. Today, more than 15 years later, Ricochet echoes some of its initial framework, as owner Jill Pillot specializes in selling "up-cycled" clothing that has been repurposed and reimagined. Inside the store, she also leads sewing classes to share her knowledge?bolstered by a degree in costume and fashion design?suited for all ages and abilities. Ricochet is also a proud supporter of local artists, frequently showcasing and selling wearable works of art made nearby at the local Art Factory.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning Center?s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them to firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chest. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids to feel more comfortable in the classroom. After-school or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
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.
SportZal's corrective fitness experts prime physiques for a slip-free season of soaring down slopes with their snow-sports preseason conditioning boot camp, which has readied skiing staff members at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows snow-sports schools. A body assessment and consultation first generates a custom program around athletes' goals. Up to eight students then augment mountaineering muscles with strength training, and flexibility drills teach arms to simultaneously steer and knit a sweater with ski poles. Training stages follow precedents set by the US Ski Team, boosting base strength before asking students to work at maximum power, and then easing into agility exercises. Limbs also unfurl into healing yoga poses to avoid such snowboarding strains as aching knees and back pain prompted by hugging yetis.