Get Hooked On Pickleball

Pickleball is billed as America's fastest growing sport—and with good reason. It can be played indoors or outdoors and it’s agreeable to all ages: the young because it fits their size, the millennials for the fast-paced, competitive nature, and the elders for a fun way to exercise.

Played as singles or doubles over a net just two inches lower than tennis with a solid paddle and a plastic ball, the court size—about 1/3 the size of a tennis court—is more compatible with youth and more appealing to adults.

Pickleball also offers the perfect game to introduce someone—especially small campers—to the game of tennis. The pickleball has a low bounce and the paddles are a slightly larger table tennis paddle. I often describe pickleball as “grown-up Ping Pong” and tell people that if they like Ping Pong, they will absolutely love pickleball.

It's an ideal sport for camp with a low startup cost and low maintenance that delivers tons of fun. Give it a try and you'll be hooked.

Dick Howell is National Senior Games age-group singles champion in pickleball as well as silver medalist in singles and bronze medalist in doubles at the World Senior Games. He is a member of the Ragsdale camping family where his wife, Jane, is owner-director of Heart O' the Hills Camp in Hunt, Texas.

Create Stained-Glass Look-Alikes

With just a short list of materials, your campers can create eye-catching stained glass. You probably have most of these items laying around camp already.


  • Wax paper
  • Crayons
  • Crayon sharpener
  • Scissors
  • Flat objects (glitter, dried leaves, pictures, cutouts, etc.)
  • An iron


1. Cut two pieces of wax paper to be the same size and shape.

2. Collect flat things that you want to encase in the wax paper.

3. Place one sheet of wax paper down, and arrange all your flat objects on it. Add crayon shavings as a colorful background and surrounding color.

4. Place the other piece of wax paper on top, and iron the artwork (make sure you iron on an appropriate surface). Iron until all the shavings are melted and the wax paper is stuck together.

5. Wait for it to cool, then trim the edges. Make a hole near the top to hang it.

Information courtesy of


YURT BUILDER 3D Puts Possibilities At Your Fingertips

Pacific Yurts introduces “YURT BUILDER 3D,” the newest addition to its website. It works like a virtual shopping cart for Pacific Yurts’ many options and amenities, an online visual tool that allows prospective buyers to choose their yurt’s size, color and accessories, then view their custom creation from any angle and even take a look inside. As they build their ideal yurt, a price quote is automatically generated, and for the final touch, the online visitor can place their yurt in one of several idyllic virtual settings. To begin designing your custom yurt, visit


Sky Ranch Christian Camps Acquires Horn Creek Conference Grounds

Dallas—Sixty-year-old Texas-based Sky Ranch Christian Camps acquired 65-year-old Horn Creek Conference Grounds in Westcliffe, Colo.  The new entity, Sky Ranch Horn Creek, will continue to offer youth camps, family camps, retreats and conferences.

Building on current programs at Horn Creek, Sky Ranch, as part of its Life Map plan, will offer leadership camps for Quest 10th grade and Sigma 11th grade at the new site.  The Sky Ranch Horn Creek location will also create much-needed additional space for Family Camp, in addition to the current 120 families served at Sky Ranch Ute Trail Family Camp near Lake City, Colo.

In the months ahead, Sky Ranch will focus on facility enhancements and finalizing curriculum mapping for campers and guests in preparation of the summer camp season at Horn Creek. For more information, visit


Trait Trader

Looking for an icebreaker to get your staff talking and working together? Try this:

You have just taken a job as a trait trader in the fictitious exchange, the Personality Market. You are a new executive, and it is very important to you that you do well in your new job. To do so, you must trade wisely and end the game with a trait that applies to you.

  1. In a moment, you will be given a piece of paper (trade slip) with a personality or character trait written on it (e.g., tall, creative, adventurous, quiet, etc.). Write your name on the slip.
  2. You must trade your slip with someone else. If your new trait also applies to you, write your name on that slip. If not, move to step three.
  3. Trade again. Your goal is to end up with a trait that applies to you and to have written your name on more slips than anyone else.
  4. When the facilitator calls out “exchange closed,” the game is over.
  5. You may stop trading before the exchange closes. Remember, your goal is to end up with a trait that applies to you and to have written your name on more slips than anyone else.

Materials Needed

  • Prize
  • Trait Slips (Consider: Over 5’8”, Born in the 1970s, Red Hair, Curly Hair, Athlete, Creative, Talkative, Adventurous, Quiet, Bossy, Demanding, Funny, Dare Devil, etc.). You design the slips based on your group. Remember to be sensitive to age, gender, etc.


Allow 12-15 minutes for the game and then call “exchange closed.” Next, ask everyone to turn their trait slip to the side that holds the names of the traders. Ask your first traders to say his or her name and to read his or her trait, stating whether or not it is true about them. Then ask the others in the group to raise their hands if the trader’s name appears on their trader slips. Count the hands. Move to the next trader and repeat. When done, award the prize to the trader with the most slips signed who has a trait that describes him or her on that final slip.

Information provided by Business Training Works, Inc. For more ideas, visit