Building a strong community bond is as important to Salem Sabres’ owner, Rhonda Alexander, as is forming an elite basketball squad. For the team's first season in the American Basketball Association, Rhonda recruited young players who shared her enthusiasm for the sport, but also a passion for helping others. Between practices and games against Pacific Northwest Division foes, Sabres players take time to host community events and volunteer at local schools, performing in anti-bullying skits, playing pickup games with the students, and giving kids expert tips on how to spell "horse" both on and off the court.
Stoneworks Climbing Gym's climbers while away their days on the gym's vast top-rope, lead, and bouldering walls. The walls soar to the ceiling and bear holds with multicolored tape to delineate each climbing route, which start at 5.6 and vary in difficulty. The diverse set of routes and climbing difficulties have made Stoneworks an ideal gym for climbing the past 20 years and for competitions, such as the annual Boulder Joust.
Avid climbers themselves, the route setters and staff at Stoneworks are also guides, leading teams of beginner and skilled climbers into the mountains of Oregon for outdoor climbing. They also equip members with the skills needed to scale their routes in both group and private lessons that focus on technique, sport climbing, and vertical Twister. Kids are welcome to join the junior climbing team or summer camps.
Safari Sam's virtual jungle of kid-friendly entertainment is densely packed, thoughtfully designed, and well maintained. The enormous jungle gym is built big and strong so parents can play along with their kids. The Black Diamond Challenge Course challenges older kids with more physically demanding obstacles. The indoor miniature golf course is well designed, with glow-in-the-dark paint on jungle-like details on the kid-friendly obstacles, including palm trees and Aztec-like temples. Gonzo's game room is an old-fashioned redemption arcade with more than 75 games in which kids can win prizes, from key chains and stuffed animals to glow-in-the-dark senses of superiority.
At Natural High Rafting, they lead guided rafting and fishing trips on more than 12 of Oregon’s scenic and coastal rivers, including the Deschutes and Clackamas. The fishing trips also seek out fish by species, often encountering monsters such as steelhead, trout, and coho and chinook salmon.
Willamette Sailing Club's docks stretch out into the Willamette River, where novice nautical voyagers gain their sea legs on a fleet of small sailboats. Classes of up to 30 spend two hours on the banks with a U.S. Sailing–certified coach as students learn how sails work, the necessary knots, and important terminology, such as "port," "starboard," and "boat." The coach will also cover how to rig and de-rig a boat, as delicate a procedure as rigging a casino game or school-board election. The club curates a fleet of Laser, Opti, and 420 sailboats for the use of its sailing classes.
On the screen before the trainee, an officer is down in the doorway, while down the hall within the scenario, an assailant shields himself behind a hostage. This is just one of the 160 high-definition real-world tactical scenarios—in addition to 180 virtual-range options—that play on the single-screen Threat Alley and 300-degree Threat Arena platforms, immersing marksmen in the kind of training used by law enforcement, the military, and special operatives. Using modified firearms that eschew ammo for an infrared laser and a CO2 system to produce recoil, each computerized simulator calibrates shooters' virtual shots, producing a recap for up to five shooters per round. The tactical scenarios also supply guests with return-fire belts, which deliver a small shock when either "hit" by virtual enemy fire or when one falls for, "Hey, what's that over there?"
Beyond overseeing their simulated tactical training and virtual ranges, Threat Dynamics' instructors—possessing a mix of military, law-enforcement, and NRA-certification backgrounds—lead classes in both armed and unarmed self-defense.
Monty Hawkins has been a coach for over two decades, extending a career on the pitch that began when he was just a kid. From starring as a teenaged phenom at Gladstone High School, captaining Oregon State’s first Division I soccer squad, and earning his professional stripes as a member of Germany’s TSG Tübingen, , Monty ascended through the athletic ranks faster than a rock climber riding a mountain goat. Today, he passes on his expertise to the next generation as co-owner of Tualatin Indoor Soccer. At the arena, stadium lights cast a blinding radiance across the freshly re-turfed, 186’x86’ field surrounded by 10-foot walls and glass, while up to 80 fans track the action in year-round adult and youth leagues. Monty also helps youngsters gear up for the spotlight at kids’ classes that promote not only athleticism, but also fun and friendship.