By Emma Westendorf

Photo by Rachel (@noguidebook) on Unsplash

The weather is getting warmer and school is almost out. Everyone everywhere is looking for ways to get and stay active this summer. Look no further, a variety of sporting activities from around Skagit and Whatcom counties are coming your way. The Anacortes Parks and Recreation have numerous outdoor activities for kids and adults alike. Community sailing has starts up in July. This activity is an all-inclusive class to learn about how to sail.  Adult programming includes 18+ coed volleyball, softball, tennis, pickleball, and women’s basketball. Practices and games are held around the Anacortes area including elementary and middle school campuses.

Involvement numbers have gone up significantly since Covid guidelines have loosened, but the Anacortes Parks and Rec have met the capacity have people in the age groups of 1-6, 6-12, and adult (18+). Health and safety are the Park and Rec’s top priority for everyone involved in their programming. Covid protocols are in line with the state and county health departments’ rulings. These protocols include mandatory face coverings and social distancing for those who remain unvaccinated. For those individuals who have been fully vaccinated, face coverings are optional while participating in the Parks and Rec’s activities.

The most popular activities among young adults within the Anacortes Parks and Rec department are the hiking/biking trails, disk golf course, and the skate park. If you are a fan of the more structured events, Dustin South, Anacortes’s Recreation Manager says the most popular “structured activities for young adults include the Art Dash Fun Run and our Adult Softball League.” Any activity in the Parks and Rec program can be for beginners. South says that if you are willing to learn, try and stay active, that anything you sign up for can benefit you. Adults tend to jump into any sort that pulls their interest, but since Anacortes is surrounded by water, boating activities tend to be a favorite around the country. Many activities have been scheduled for this upcoming summer, including a few that the Parks and Rec department were deeming questionable. Visit the Anacortes Parks and Rec website for more information.

If you have a kid, younger sibling or know of a child wanting to get active this summer, the Anacortes youth camps and sports teams are the perfect place to work on important life skills, team building, and making new friends. Activities include youth track and field, art classes, girls’ and boys’ soccer, flag football, pee wee sports, and sports camps. Covid precautions apply to all activities. Activities for younger children that seem to be most popular are youth soccer, and other sports camps. Youth soccer seems to be most popular since the eye/foot coordination is easier to grasp at a younger age. Registration for all the activities listed above are now open on the Anacortes Parks and Rec website.

Rock climbing and bouldering have been activities that have been growing in popularity over the last couple of years. If climbing has bee something that intrigues you, like it does most college students now a days, look no further than Vital Climbing Gym in Bellingham. Vital has multiple classes and teams for both kids and adults who want more climbing experience or just want to better themselves physically and mentally. Adult climbing teams are a season commitment. Practices take place Monday and Wednesdays from 7:30-9pm. No matter what level you are, practices are adapted to everyone’s difficulty level.

The team practices go on for eight weeks and cost $230 for members. Vital also includes a yoga studio and weight gym to help you strengthen your body and mind to support your goals. Personal training is also available upon request. An hourly coaching session is $65 per hour. Personal training course for six weeks is $299 and $325 for an eight-week training course. Don’t want to climb alone? Group climbing sessions start at $299 for up to seven climbers. A party of eight to eleven climbers is $349. Bouldering is a common beginning activity for those who just want to get into climbing or test the waters and see if climbing is for them. Every other Wednesday Vital hosts bouldering clinics from 6-7pm. Prices are $17 for non-members and free for Vital members, but a free session is included in a Vital day pass. Covid policy at Vital follows state and Whatcom County guidelines. While guidelines will be changing in the near future to stay the most up to date as possible, masks are currently being required, as well as reserved 90-minute climbing sessions. People of all ages can safely climb at Vital! Celina Meza, Vital Bellingham location manager, says that kids as young as five-years-old, and as old as 70 show up to climb at the gym. Equipment needed includes athletic clothes and climbing shoes, but normal street shoes can work well too. Climbing shoes are optional, but highly recommended due to the added grip that they give to the climbing boulders.

You want to climb, but have kids to take car of? Never fret, kids are welcome to climb too! Teams are out there for youth climbers as well. Three teams are set up, each for different age groups. Team one is for ages 14+ and practice Monday and Wednesdays from 4:30-6. Team two is for ages 11-13 and practice Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-6. Team three is for ages 9-11 and practice Friday from 4:30-6. These teams are just as much of a commitment as the adult climbing teams. Pricing starts at $129 per month for team three, and $179 per month for teams one and two. Payment plans can be worked out between families and the gym if assistance is needed. Youth clinics are a great way to get your young one started in the climbing community. Youth clinics take place every other Monday from 4:30-5:30. Clinics are $34 and are open to all fitness levels. Kids can also be signed up for summer climbing camps.

4-day camps are Monday-Thursday starting at 9am and going until 1pm. Other activities included in the camp are slacklining and yoga. Prices start at $179 for members and go up to $195 for non-members. If your kid has a summer birthday, a climbing party is a great way for kids to get energy out and have a blast. Vital Climbing Gym’s kids’ parties start at $299 for up to seven climbers and go up to $349 for eight to eleven climbers. Parties include two hours of climbing, rental shoes, free espresso or tea for parents, party hosts for fun and safety, a private party room, and plates, napkins, cups, etc. Meza says that the teams at Vital aren’t specifically competition teams, but that if that’s something that your team wants to take part in, that coaches will support and help train you to climb at that level. Staff that help you out at Vital and train you to climb your very best are certified in a multitude of ways. All Vital yoga instructors have formal training, personal training coaches have backgrounds in kinesiology and competitive climbing, youth coaches have experience working in climbing and with youth specifically, and Vital’s route setters have gone through various mentorships. The staff at Vital is ready for you to go climb with them! They are dedicated to a safe and fun experience no matter the level that you walk in as.