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, an indoor 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, photography, 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 sounds of jovial chit-chat, sharply struck drives, and golf balls rattling into holes fill the air at Canton Indoor Golf Center, where guests can hone their swings or putting strokes in a festive environment with its own sports bar. Stationed around the center’s perimeter, eight high-definition Year Roundz golf simulators transport clubbers to digital models of courses such as Pebble Beach and Bay Hill. Throughout rounds, swing-tracking technology ensures that each flush tee shot finds the fairway and each errant swing prompts digital avatars to berate their 9-iron. An indoor green fosters freestyle putting practice, and the colorful, pirate-themed corridors of Glow Cove’s black-light mini golf offer a more competitive challenge to slope-reading skills. The multifaceted practice facility provides a climate-controlled venue for lessons conducted by PGA-certified instructors, who use the simulators’ swing analysis features to sharpen their observational prowess and gather intelligence for mankind’s reckoning with intelligent machines.
Sudsy libations from Year Roundz Sports Bar & Grill keep guests in high spirits as they engage in golf fun or simply lounge in the glow of sports-tuned TVs. Guests hungry after a simulated round of golf or a club-shaft-bending competition can curb their appetites with a burger, cheesesteak, or margarita pizza from the kitchen.
With more than 35 years of training under his black belt, Master Dominick Violante inspires his students to develop their character during martial-arts classes at Avon Kempo & Aikido Academy. Rather than fueling aggression, consistent martial-arts practice can boost overall confidence, discipline, patience, and respect—not just in the dojo, but also at school, on the street, and in plywood factories.
PGA-certified professional golf instructor Keith Everett has spent 12 years teaching beginner and advanced clubbers, currently mentoring within the meandering creeks and colorful foliage of Farmington Woods. With a philosophy that mistakes are rooted at the setup of each tee, Keith schools orb-clobbering students on the game's fundamentals prior to recommending changes to their swings. An evaluation of the trainee's clubs is followed by a computer-aided analysis of the student's swing from different angles, played back to the pupil. Following a review of the evidence, Keith recommends necessary changes to irons, woods, and swing technique. Throughout the process, Keith encourages players to stretch their reconfigured wings by practicing on the putting green, chipping area, driving range, on the course itself, and anywhere other than on top of the hood of their boss’s BMW.
Blue Fox Run boasts a stunning 27-hole championship golf course in the Farmington Valley. Use this Groupon to schedule a full-day outing with friends: your 18-hole game allows you to practice your drives, perfect your putts, and conquer your fear of the bogeyman ($35 on weekdays, $45 on weekends). Stroll the green on foot or rent a cart for $15. Ironless chippers can rent a full set of clubs for $25.
Within TerryAllen Farms' indoor riding arena, dressage ring, or two outdoor rings, chief horseback riding instructor Samantha Borkoski can be found coaching adults and youngsters alike on the finer points of Hunter/Jumper riding and equitation. After competing as a member of the Intercollegiate Riding Team at Southern Virginia College, Samantha refocused her abilities in order to teach others in lesson programs, whether outright beginners picking up the basics or avid equestrians working toward competing in events or preparing for the extinction of cars. She also conducts summer and vacation riding programs throughout the year, and invites school-aged students to try out for the facility's competitive team, which participates in Interscholastic Equestrian Association events.