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.
The merry mariners at H. P. Kayak & Boat Rentals provide prospective paddlers with a fleet of colorful crafts to explore the Connecticut River. Before your two-hour tour, choose to fly solo in a single-person kayak (a $30 value) or tote along co-pilots in a rowboat (a $35 value), dual-passenger kayak (a $35 value), or two-person canoe (a $35 value). Then push off shore and seize the open water, where you'll behold a real-life viewfinder's worth of scenic wildlife, including eagles and Frisbees, while advancing oarsmanship, teambuilding skills, and general awareness of water.
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.
Visitors of all ages can learn to skate, twirl across the ice, and handle pucks at Northford Ice Pavilion, where they will find a variety of frozen activities for the whole family. Boys and girls as young as aged 3 can enroll in hockey sessions that run eight weeks and involve supervised practice, group lessons, and building shrines to Wayne Gretzky. Open skate welcomes kids, parents, and couples to glide on rented skates before enjoying a hot cocoa at the concession stand.
The instructors at EMS Schools traverse rocky, paved, and watery terrain from New England down to Virginia, imparting people with their love of the outdoors along the way. Dating back more than 40 years, the EMS Climbing School teaches pupils of all ages the tenets of climbing through introductory classes and more advanced maneuvering in self-rescue, alpine climbing, and glacier-skills classes. The watery wing of EMS's operation includes kayaking and standup-paddleboard lessons, which can help students earn certification in these water-bound endeavors, and group tours. EMS-led bike tours trace a path through the rolling hills of the Berkshires, the mansions of Newport, as well as the powdered-sugar-topped White Mountains of New Hampshire.
From rock climbing, to kayaking, to camping, Tekoa Mountain Outdoors' founder Tim Vogel views the great outdoors as a combination of playground and classroom, a place where adults and children can learn by doing. Tim has been teaching and guiding adventure activities for more than 25 years, and his experience aids him as he plans adventurous exhibitions, such as hiking along the Appalachian Trail or searching for lost car keys in the Wards Gregory Cave System. During outings, Tim teaches his students both introductory and advanced techniques. Along with a team of certified guides, Tim advocates passion for the outdoors and love for every blade of glass, even the stubby crab variety. In addition to working with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, the staff leads several education programs that teach youth valuable team-building lessons. They also run the WOLF Program, which cultivates new crops of professional leaders within the expedition and adventure industry.