Gander Mountain Academy updates its lessons in gun safety, handling, and marksmanship with virtual shooting technology that was once only available to military and law-enforcement agencies. The ladies-only basic fundamentals class gives women a foundation in the mechanics of handguns and how to use them safely. Students start by winnowing down the right type of gun for their needs, be they self-defense, hunting, or reclaiming the garage from infestations of gremlins. Next, instructors with callused trigger fingers explain the safety rules of handguns, compare ammunition options, and demonstrate proper grip, stance, and trigger control.
Art Materials enables all levels of creative expression with artisanal supplies such as paints, brushes, and canvases. The Cotman watercolor compact set ($34.99) equips professional finger painters with a diverse color spectrum that houses shades such as burnt sienna and purple lake, perfect for filling the blank pages of the Strathmore Windpower watercolor paper pad ($33.79). Artists can also perfect their renditions of manga characters with the Derwent Master Steampunk set ($47.59). With writing utensils oft replacing swords in battle, customers can march to war with assortments of pencils, such as the Faber-Castell 9000 design-pencil set ($19.20), and brushes, including the Heritage Perfectly Imperfect brush pack ($15.75).
Held at rugged landscapes throughout the country, HARD CHARGE's races drench participants in mud, water, and sweat as they test their own strength, agility, and stamina against a series of tough obstacles. From the kickoff of the first heat, individuals and co-ed teams launch off to storm 30 challenges, which include crossing swift streams with no bridge but a single rope, navigating forests of hanging tires, scaling towers of hay bales and sand, and clambering over vertical cargo nets.
Competitors are separated into two levels, Charge for Fun and Charge for Glory. In the former level, racers navigate the course at their own pace, while the latter, which involves an additional $20 fee, chargers athletes to go all-out for a chance to appear in HARD CHARGE's upcoming televised series. In these heats, marshals watch over each obstacle, ensuring competitors successfully complete it without the help of guardian angels. However they complete the test, all participants gather to celebrate their personal achievement at a post-race party featuring music, food, and complimentary beer.