Camp Courage USA?a nonprofit, independent Christian camp founded by Ronnie and Jennifer Hayes?emboldens children to learn individual strengths, foster social relationships, and paint a mural of fond memories against the canvas of the great outdoors. With a handpicked staff vigorously vetted for exemplary qualities in safety, fun, and water-balloon lobbing prowess, Camp Courage boasts a maximum camper-to-staff ratio of 8 to 1.
Climbing walls, ice baths, pools of mud, electric shocks?a Tough Mudder isn't your average event. Each 10- to 12-mile course contains 20 adrenaline-pumping obstacles designed to test participants' strength and endurance, just like most local DMV lines. Runners clamber on top of each other to scale the slick, sloping wall of Pyramid Scheme or squeal with shock as they plunge into the Arctic Enema, a plastic-lined dumpster filled with thousands of pounds of ice. They even endure shocks from a forest of live wires known as Electroshock Therapy.
But it's all worth it for the glass of beer at the end, plus the sense of camaraderie that develops among teammates. Many of those teammates go on to join the Mudder Legion, an organization for those who have participated in the event more than once. Tough Mudder also raises funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps injured veterans transition to civilian life.
While Trail of Fear is now Oklahoma's largest haunted attraction, Hauntworld.com reveals that the original format was a small, roadside hay maze operated by a father and son in 1998. Today, a three-story pyramid looms above the theme park's frightful environs and prowling actors. Creators Bob Wright Sr. and Bob Wright Jr. supervise a staff of more than 100?a vast increase from their first crew of approximately 15 people and a few rusty table fans?as they guide visitors through four nightmarish worlds. Though the majority of these helpers return to the job each season with fiendish devotion, their strategies for harvesting screams evolve every year to surprise even the most loyal fans.
Between the two locations there are five haunted attractions, including a maniacal ringmaster overseeing the disorienting maze and murderous clowns of Cirque de Morte, malformed test subjects rising from The Experiment's excavation and lab sites, and performers injecting dark humor into their classic sideshow acts at the Thunderbird Trail of Fear.
On the Halloween Midway, Boo House BBQ supplies fuel for brave souls in the form of burgers and brisket. Fairground games embrace macabre twists; past activities include a severed-head toss and live-zombie target practice. For younger children, Pumpkin Junction entertains with scary stories and magic tricks on select nights. A portion of Trail of Fear's proceeds go to benefit a specific charity every year, contributing thousands of dollars to community causes.
At TG Farms Pumpkin Patch, autumn’s shifting breezes not only herald a fresh crop of gourds, but also the start of the farm’s annual festivities. From morning until nightfall, families traipse through the patch in search of a pumpkin that will transform into their dream jack-o’-lantern or a car for their children to take to college, and navigate the twists and turns of a massive corn maze. On a calm pond, ducks await generous handfuls of feed, and a petting zoo lets wee ones commune with calves and goats. Back under a roof, the gift shop hosts decorative gourds, straw bales, and other fall decor.
Although autumn is the season when activity reaches a fever pitch, TG Farms is open to outdoor enthusiasts year-round. In spring, visitors learn how crops grow in the fields and flowers bloom in greenhouses. When the sun strengthens into summer, farmers peddle homegrown tomatoes and juicy watermelon. And in winter, when the last leaves have frozen over, families can pick out a fresh-cut Christmas tree or collect a jar of fresh snowman tears.
Safety comes first at New Heights Rock Climbing Gym. Before strapping in at the gym’s top-rope climbing course, all guests have to complete a training lesson that teaches them the skills needed to safely surmount the gym’s walls. Students learn how to tie weight-bearing knots, help friends safely ascend and descend the walls using belaying techniques, and recognize the difference between rocks and Styrofoam coolers that just look like rocks. Once instructors deem them ready, students can then latch onto the colorful rocks sprinkled throughout the climbing space, using their upper-arm strength and path-finding skills to surmount the vertical obstacle course. The angled bouldering course rises over padded mats, allowing guests to safely climb the inclines while working against gravity pulling down their own body weight. The gym opens its doors to parties of all sizes, with one designated instructor for every eight partygoers to ensure climbers stay safe and agile.
Exercisers at ZB CrossFit won?t find any workout machines on the gym floor. Instead, the facility?outfitted by the same company that sets up the Reebok CrossFit games?has the space and equipment for CrossFit classes, as well as a climbing wall. ZB CrossFit?s trainers have selected these high-energy fitness disciplines so that participants stay engaged and motivated. To round out healthy pursuits, an on-staff dietitian drafts nutrition plans that work best with each client?s workout regimen.