Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
The Haunted Trail of Horror channels bone-chilling monsters, specters, and spirits confirmed by expert mediums into acres of spine-tingling woodlands. Located next to a cemetery, the trail plays out 18 different scenes that feature such haunts as headless zombies, evil clowns, and the vengeful ghosts of the ants that were slain in your childhood sandbox. Hazy fog and eerie webs drape the wooded path as visitors sneak past iconic movie haunts and cursed headstones. Upon approaching the haunted oaks, the Tunnel of Doom flashes black lights and strobe lights to warn guests of the ensuing spirits. The haunted experience is not intended for children, pregnant women, those with breathing problems, or those with evil-beagle familiars.
A collection of adrenaline-pumping ziplines whoosh through the forest on Markin Farms Zipline Adventures’ 80-acre farm. The multilevel platforms, built high in the trees, connect the course’s ziplines, which pass above bubbling creeks, over ponds, and through time. The scenic course includes challenge areas and ends with a double-zip setup, where two riders race to the finish directly above or below one another, overlooking the sparkling water. The farm also offers specialty zips that glide through the forest after twilight or just as the sun sets.
At Davis School of Martial Arts, Master Charles Platt and Master Jeri Carson and a team of certified instructors share decades upon decades of wisdom while teaching students four traditional forms of martial arts. One of these forms is traditional karate, wherein circular blocks are used to deflect and control attacks. Another, okinawan kobudo, uses weapons. Aikido, based on a philosophy of harmony and nonviolence, promotes flexibility and inner strength over raw physical force. And where aikido favors defense, aiki-jutsu's similar techniques tend toward offense. No matter the art, though, the staff layer their lessons atop the school’s unchanging pillars of manners, peace, drive, courage, and self-improvement.
A part of the National Trail Parks and Recreation District, Reid Park Golf Course serves as a public testing ground for golfers of all ages and abilities. The course comprises 36 holes in total—18 for the North Course, 18 for the South—all surrounded by thick cuts of rough and trees mature enough not to swat at the ball as it passes by. Golfers hoping to trim the double bogeys, triple bogeys, and frowny faces from their scorecard can consult with PGA pro Tim Grieser for game-improvement lessons.
The hale and hearty team of instructors at Eco Expedition Educators boast an array of titles and certifications, including wilderness EMT, combat veteran, firefighter, master scuba diver trainer, sail boat captain, and U.S. Coast Guard medic—and there are only four of them on staff.
When participants take classes at Eco Expedition Educators, they gain an in-depth understanding of how to get themselves out of Mother Nature's toughest scrapes. Each guided expedition introduces novices to sticky situations they might encounter when outdoors, then equips them with the knowledge needed to escape unscathed or at least survive long enough to whittle a cellphone out of tree bark.