On six wind-swept acres of sprawling green grass and leafy trees, two half-acre ponds shimmer and occasionally ripple as rainbow trout pierce the surface in search of tiny winged dinners. The scenery is pleasant, but the trout are the stars of the show at Burd’s Family Fishing resort where anglers of all kinds cast lines into well-stocked ponds in hopes of big catches. The staff provides all equipment including a rod and bait, allowing new fisherman to try out the sport without investing in expensive gear and a “Gone Fishing” garage door cover. They also clean the incandescent fish for free and bag them on ice for easy transport. Rod-reelers need only pay admission and a fee per hooked trout. Visitors can also take a respite from angling to picnic among the pastoral landscape and tranquil ponds by bringing their own lunch.
The instructors at High Speed Hockey mould skilled hockey players through focused drills that aim to help them improve their skating, puck handling, and goaltending. The centre’s centrepiece is the Woodway Blade skating treadmill, a piece of equipment that, just like a running treadmill, can be adjusted for speed and incline to help skaters develop an efficient and explosive skating stride. While players glide on the ice-like belt, a video monitoring system provides feedback to help them identify the inefficiencies in their mechanics and works one-on-one with skaters to correct their stride.
Since outright speed is of little value if the player can’t score, instructors also lead shooting sessions to impart proper grip, release, and follow-through techniques. Meanwhile, net minders can practice their own unique set of skills during goalie training, which helps build net awareness, puck-tracking abilities, and the mental toughness necessary to face the most challenging shooter.
At Gymalaya, trainers introduce kids ages 18 months to 10 years to the fun and challenging elements of gymnastics. Two studios maintain kid-friendly workout zones marked by brightly coloured walls and equipment scaled down to accommodate tiny hands, huge imaginations, and average acrophobia. The gym's noncompetitive environment emphasizes fun; although more advanced classes teach difficult skills such as back handsprings and round-offs, all teachers maintain a focus on building strength and confidence.
Head coach Robert Bethea founded Arroyo Volleyball Club as a way to grow the sport of volleyball and nurture young bump-set-spikers into confident and healthy individuals. The nonprofit organization deploys a professional cast of coaches—all certified through the USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation Program—to locations throughout Durham, where they conduct practices, summer camps, and tournaments and invite all players to participate regardless of their experience level or whether they have springs implanted in their fingertips.
To ensure each student receives personal attention, the club strives for a 6:1 player-to-coach ratio and never lets it exceed 12:1. Instructors encourage each athlete to improve physical fitness and partake in Arroyo's team-based learning dynamic, which instills the lifelong virtues of responsibility, discipline, and always joining spontaneous massage trains.
At Puck’s Farm, visitors can bond with 180 acres of the natural environment by learning about harvest-time chores and activities or scheduling weddings and events year-round on the open grounds. Guests of the farm can meet its animal residents, including emus, llamas, and a farm cat, which is much friendlier than a farm puma. For an even more interactive experience with fauna, Puck’s offers pony rides and the opportunity to milk cows and churn butter. Wooded trails traverse the expanse and present one of the many places on the farm where guests can delight in the changing of the seasons. Fall, for example, offers a variety of seasonal activities: visitors can get lost in corn mazes, pick ripened pumpkins, ride in horse-drawn wagons, and stroll through trails speckled with changing leaves. Autumn months also see pigs and goats building their nests for the winter ahead. An onsite snack bar serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries enables guests to refuel for full days of farm activities.