Q:

What are the best camps for learning new skills?

I want to learn a new skill. Do you know any fun summer (and beyond) camps?

Jul 19, 2011
Outside
Outside Magazine
Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding    Photo:Extreme Control

A:

Say you want to hone your trail-running technique, master your asanas, ride singletrack gracefully, or learn how to kiteboard. Camp—the kind for adults—can be a great place to focus on a new skill. And these four all happen to be in dreamy locations.

Run Wild Trail Running and Wellness Retreat (August 18-21), is a four-day, non-competitive, trail-running and yoga retreat for women in the Colorado Rockies. The camp is led by Elinor Fish, a former editor at Trail Runner magazine and an accomplished ultra runner, and authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, who co-wrote Run Like a Mother. You'll get tips on sports conditioning, injury prevention, nutrition, race preparation, and pacing on technical terrain. To wind down, you’ll do daily yoga classes designed for runners, eat healthy food, and stay three nights at peaceful Vagabond Ranch in the Arapahoe National Forest, outside Granby. The retreat is $975 for a private room and $895 if you're willing to share. If you sign up with a friend you'll get 10 percent discount. Runwildretreats.com.

Dirt Divas instructor Jennifer Biondi loved mountain biking so much as a kid that she used to build stunts and charge the boys to use them. But even if you're an off road novice, Biondi will lead you through the fundamentals of technical trail riding. You'll get primers on bike-body coordination, braking, cornering, climbing, and descending. The instructors will properly fit your bike, plus give a course in bike maintenance, an essential skill when you're out by yourself. The course runs twice in August (5-7 and 12-14) and twice in September (16-18 and 23-25). Riders sleep at the luxurious, solar-powered Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge, otherwise known as The Bike Ranch, which sits on 160 acres of private land and abuts the Sawtooth National Forest on three sides. A session runs at $599 per person, and there's a co-ed version for bikers of varying abilities. Epicquest.com.
           
Hidden Costa Rica (March 17-25), an eight-night, nine-day yoga adventure to Costa Rica’s lush Tortuguero Region, won't just center you with seven guided yoga sessions—you’ll also whitewater raft the Pacuare River, zipline over Arenal Volcano, and hike through cloud forests. The camp was dreamed up by Leslie Ross, a three-time telemark free-skiing champion and the founder of both Babes in the Backcountry and Meta Yoga Studio. The camp is $2,598 per person. babesinthebackcountry.com.
           
Extreme Control Brazil (Dates TBD). Based in Tulum, Mexico, but gravitating more and more toward the endless beaches and sideshore winds of Cumbuco in northeastern Brazil, Extreme Control offers the best kitesurfing instruction in the world. Italian owner Marco Cristofanelli and his American partner Heather Froeming are offering a women’s specific clinic in Cumbuco sometime between September and November. The camp will focus on personal instruction, but you should also expect some “epic” downwind safaris, plus gorgeous accommodations. Previous experience is recommended. Co-ed instruction is available in Brazil or Tulum. Visit extremecontrol.net for pricing, dates, and details.

Filed To: Gear Girl, Travel

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