New England Dive Center At the family-owned New England Dive Center, certified instructors pursue a mission of expanding scuba-diving know-how to the whole world, training underwater explorers with a curriculum of beginning to advanced diving classes. Several open-water courses survey safety, equipment, and diving etiquette to put students on the path toward PADI, TDI, or SDI certification, and an underwater photography seminar illustrates how to capture lucid footage of marine life and document mermaids' dance recitals. Group vacations shepherd divers to the lush corals of the Florida Keys, Cozumel, and the Grand Bahamas, and local events explore the quarries and shipwrecks hidden within New England's own waters. The full-service repair shop also stocks rental and retail equipment, supplying divers with high-end fins, masks, and tanks from brands such as Atomic Aquatics and XS Scuba.
Westfield Water Sports and Wilderness Experiences?a kayak, SUP, camping, and scuba gear shop as well as a camping store and adventure emporium?dispatches a staff of certifiable adventure-seekers to lead sojourners into the great outdoors with scuba classes, kayak classes, dive and non-dive world travel, and rock-climbing excursions. An all-around outdoorsman, camp director T. Scott Cook leans on his doctorate of Leadership Development in Adventure Education to develop nature excursions, including far-flung trips where groups snorkel in the Cayman Islands or evolve gills in the Galapagos. Back home, the summer camp?s elaborate ropes course builds teamwork between coworkers, and caving adventures allow guests to delve into mysterious depths or apartment swap with a black bear.
Star Hill is expansive, but its staff strives to keep the environment unintimidating. Beneath the white dome lies 105,000 square feet of fields, courts, and tracks, which host sporting clinics and league games throughout the year. Alongside, the main facility's 30,000 square feet house a 25-yard swimming and diving pool, a fitness center with top-of-the-line cardio and weight machines and free weights, and group fitness rooms. Personal training for kids and adults can focus on anything from getting in shape to targeted sports fitness or even triathlon training. After a run around the quarter-mile track, a skip on the treadmill, or taking in a field-hockey game, members can take advantage of the arcade or enjoy dinner at the caf? on the outdoor patio.
At The Scuba Shack, the staff’s family-oriented lessons encourage divers to take social rather than solo ventures into the blue beyond. Each instructor carries an impressive résumé of underwater travels—the head trainer has been diving for more than 20 years and others have logged more than 1,000 dives. Captaining PADI-certification courses and specialty seminars—which cover topics such as night diving, photography, and fish identification—they take groups on open-water excursions to area lakes and Clear Spring Scuba Park. They prioritize educating their charges with safe and enjoyable teachings, rather than monotonous quizzes on whether the bends is a serious health issue or a 1980s punk band. With trips to dive sites in Fiji and Mexico, they introduce divers to the visual wonder of reefs and aquatic wildlife throughout the world.
Greenwood Trails Camp?s owner and director Owen Langbart firmly believes that all kids?especially today?s generation of cell-phone addicts and video gamers?need the quintessential camp experience. With more than 100 wooded acres at the foothills of the Berkshires and a staff of friendly counselors that specializes in orienting first-time campers, his one-, two-, four-, and six-week camps aim to do just that. Winding paths and hiking trails lead young guests aged 7?16 to the many amenities that cover the grounds, including a larger-than-Olympic-size swimming pool, a rock climbing wall, a water trampoline, a batting cage, and a pottery studio. These same paths lead to the cozy cabins that house up to 12 campers and two counselors with all of the comforts of home: electricity, bathrooms, showers with hot and cold running water, and an old man in a recliner who won?t let go of the remote even if he falls asleep.
Regardless of age, Greenwood Trails lets campers choose the activities in which they?d like to take part in daily, such as pottery, archery, go-karts, or outdoor cooking. Participants also engage in cabin activities that encourage bonding among bunkmates, such as swimming together in the lake or joining in an untieable human knot.
At YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea, 500 acres of forest encircle placid Harmon Pond?and during the Wa Wa Splash and Dash Duathlon, athletes make the most of the terrain. At the race's start, they swim the 400 yards across the pond. Next, they run 3 miles through the forest, earning extra points for running up and over trees. When they finally reach the finish line, they stop for festivities featuring refreshments, a raffle, and an awards ceremony.