Josh Felker honed his gun-handling skills during almost a decade in the US Army, both in Special Operations and as an Infantry Officer. In 2004, he left the Army to take care of his sons while his wife, a fellow soldier, was about to deploy. On his home turf, he founded LoneStar Handgun, to share his expertise on safely wielding firearms through an array of classes.
He and his fellow instructor, Russell King, focus primarily on handgun training. They can teach novices handgun shooting basics—along with safety and range etiquette—or teach more complex defensive maneuvers to experienced marksmen. Their academy also teaches techniques for safely using other weapons, such as rifles and shotguns. Security officers can garner re-certification on the premises, and bodyguards can jumpstart their careers with a 15-hour certification course, which is more impressive than successfully guarding a cardboard cutout of Christina Aguilera.
At Boerne Gymnastics Center, a staff of professional instructors, former competitive gymnasts, and a former Olympian unveils the world of gymnastic possibilities to students ages 5 and up. With five-hour daily sessions, Super Fun Combination Day Camp invites budding Mary Lou Rettons and Bart Conners to dabble in the various activities offered at Boerne, from purposeful tumbling to trampoline routines. Acrobatics training tasks nimble attendees with Voltron reenactments, and circus-arts instruction imparts the age-old wisdom of trapeze performance and juggling. An indoor climbing wall, arts-and-crafts activities, and various games mollify flickering attention spans as apprentices cartwheel from area to area. The fully equipped facility boasts parallel bars, cushioned floor-routine space, and pommel horses. Gymnastic rings challenge meat-sleeve strength and also double as tethered tokens of affection for classmate crushes.
At Helotes Family Dentistry, Dr. José Brigman wants to keep patients comfortable during treatments. When patients need a stronger distraction than the flat-screen TVs that are in every room, the staff provides electronic movie glasses and headphones during cleanings, fillings, and teeth-whitening treatments. The team also offers conscious sedation to especially anxious patients, which lets them stay alert and responsive while easing pretreatment jitters.
The crew of PADI-certified divers and master instructors at Canyon Lake Divers love exploring waters all over the world, whether it's plunging into the 8,240 acres of their namesake lake or arranging excursions to go spearfishing the Gulf of Mexico. They like to take people with them on their adventures, too, teaching PADI dive courses to get fellow adventurers trained and certified. On long trips or minor outings, they take care of all the details, from helping their patrons in and out of the water, to transporting and rinsing down tanks and other cumbersome equipment. They sell all the essential gear for any trip out of their brick and mortar location, carrying such brands as Genesis, Akona, and Sherwood.
. During 45-minute Kindermusik classes, tots stimulate their minds, bodies, and sense of play with diverse activities based on research demonstrating music's beneficial effect on childhood development. As pintsize hands bang out tunes on provided instruments, brains busy themselves with forming the connections necessary for multiple forms of intelligence, including spatial reasoning, interpersonal skills, and the ability to tell a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo from the synthesized parrot squawks on a Jimmy Buffet album.
The academy's roster of instructors dispenses private education on diverse instrumentation during 30-minute, one-on-one music lessons. Euphonic apprentices can open up their epiglottises in voice lessons, strum away on guitar, or prepare to marshal their army of G.I. Joes by beating some drum skins. Lessons are also available on the piano, as well as band and orchestral instruments. All students except drum and piano pupils must supply their own instruments for use during lessons, where they will learn a curriculum geared to their individual goals and interests. An extensive library of method books imparts the techniques to tackle any style of music and teaches students to read music, so that they're able to interpret the plotline of Mozart's romance novels.
Named San Antonio's Best Museum in the 2010 Nickelodeon Parents' Choice Awards, San Antonio Children's Museum has ushered more than two million guests through its educational wonderland since opening in 1995. Tykes can explore permanent exhibits such as Science City, with hands-on exhibits covering physics, engineering, and how to extract highlighter ink from lightning bugs. In PowerBall Hall, children man simple machines to send orbs up to a lofty cage until the chamber fills and unleashes a spherical torrent down upon the delighted little ones. Other exhibits impart lessons of financial responsibility and proper nutrition in a make-believe bank and market. Membership is calibrated for any permutation of the family unit, and grants amenities including unlimited visits for a year, a subscription to the museum newsletter “Spark!,” and access to more than 40 classes where kids can submit theses on baking-soda volcanoes for peer review.