The nonprofit Asphalt Green keeps children, teens, and adults in shape with an array of fitness, swim, and sports activities and programs. Members enjoy full access to a 15,000-square-foot duplex fitness center lined with Precor and Technogym equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals with built-in TV screens. In the gym's weightlifting area, patrons can take a breather between reps as they gaze at picturesque views from the gym’s adjoining roof deck. Swimmers of all abilities glide through the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, once home to Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal and currently the home of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Those opting for fitness classes can choose from 80 different sessions weekly—from Zumba and Pilates to martial arts to swimming. The gym also offers training programs and seminars for triathletes, a variety of community outreach programs including adaptive swim for veterans, and kid-focused summer and sport camps to keep young ones from making bad decisions, such as using chewing gum to plug up holes in dams. Patrons can also take advantage of the center’s babysitting services, which are open to children ages 6 months to 6 years.
The instructors of Brooklyn Fitness & Swimming are at home on almost any terrain—land, water, and the air between a court and a basketball hoop. They channel this versatility while coaching students of all ages in the fundamentals of fitness. Children can learn to swim at the Sportspark swimming pool, or improve their athletic performance during sports training. Sessions for adults range from boot camps led by ex-military personnel to interval training on the beach, as well as private, custom workouts. Regardless of their specialty, teachers back up their expertise with certifications and backgrounds in exercise-related fields.
The scuba pros at Village Divers get students off land and into the water with a catalogue of scuba classes and certifications and a cache of rental equipment. Their Open Water Diver scuba-certification course transforms guppies into scuba-certified guppies with classroom and onsite pool training. They can coordinate diving events for full Open Water certification, or they can issue referrals for students to complete their certification at another location. The instructors also delve further into the underwater arts with advanced courses in technical diving, underwater photography, and wreck diving—often taking trips out to the sunken ships of Wreck Alley and the abandoned castles of local fishbowls.
The University at Buffalo's Division I NCAA teams rally students for football at UB Stadium, basketball in the Alumni Arena, and a slew of other sports across their campus. Additionally, the Recreation & Intramural Services staff aim to supplement students' brain workouts and textbook bench presses with programs to keep their bodies running just as strong—and welcome community members to do the same. Exercise equipment fills indoor recreational facilities at the Alumni Arena and Clark Hall for those who prefer solo workout sessions, and group classes, such as biking and boot camp, get attendees into shape as they enjoy a communal atmosphere.
A lot has changed since Camp Vacamas’ founding in 1924—for one, the camp is now co-ed—but its number one mission persists: to empower young people. Spread across 230 wooded acres, the camp offers ample opportunity for children to develop relationships with nature and one another, whether going an on overnight trip, swimming in the private 50-acre lake, or while biking through Pennsylvania Dutch country. Parents can enroll their children and teens in one of several programs, including two- or three-week sleep-away camps, day camps, day trips, and overnight retreats. No matter the program, campers will be exposed to a wealth of learning experiences pertaining to social skills, confidence, making new friends, and best practices for roasting marshmallows.
Just 30 minutes from the George Washington Bridge lies a summer oasis for kids, where fresh air abounds and activities keep them wholesomely entertained all day. Since 1979, Day Camp In The Park has provided area youngsters with outlets for sports and artistic expression during the summer, when school is out and kids can?t satisfy their math and science cravings. On Lake Tiorati, kids learn how to row and sail, and a multitude of sports fields and courts provide access to just about any game played with a ball. Above all, the camp strives to give kids the chance to reach goals and come home with new achievements, whether by learning new strokes in the pool or remembering all their lines in a play.