Active Kids

10 reasons to choose AKA this Summer!

Currently -6 Fahrenheit in the Twin Cities .

Staying positive…

Thinking Summer!!

Rather than delaying the inevitable - usually this type of post is for Tax Time/Spring Time - I wanted to provide new and current family customers with why we feel AKA Summer Camps are for your kids! Check out what we’ve come up with below and if you have any other reasons for choosing AKA or Summer Camps in general, please feel free to chime in.

Thinking Summer… 10 reasons to choose AKA this Summer!

  1. Variety of Sports & Activities. That’s what we do. Each week promotes a different sport theme. Loaded with plenty of technical training, games and skills competitions, the goal is to get kids to learn and find greater passion for their favorite sports. Of course we add a variety of other games in the morning and afternoons to fill their day and week.
    Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bicycling, Canoeing, Cricket, Dodgeball, Fishing, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Ice Sports, Kickball, Lacrosse, Ninja, Pickleball, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball….what did we miss?!
    New this year…
    **More carved out time for more reading, board games, creative games, arts, crafts and special projects.
    **Elite Feature. Kids seeking more elite/advanced level training will indicate that before the week starts and we will group them in Elite Camper groups for that particular sport. More information once you register!

  2. Flexibility / Structure of AKA Summer Programming.
    Full summer or individual weeks registration acceptable.
    Aside from not providing drop in days or shortened week system, we are flexible with everything else. Need to drop off later or pickup early, easy. Need us to transport your kid to another program on Campus, not a problem. Prefer to select individual weeks instead of the full summer… that’s what we do! In full, AKA is a full day operation as doors open at 7:00am and close at 6:00pm.
    New this Year…
    ** Individual Week payments can be broken up with a payment plan. All that is required at the time of registration is the deposit.

  3. Field Trips - Everyone’s Favorite! Well next to Free Time
    See
    www.akasport.org/field-trips/

  4. Tax Breaks and Dependent Care (Childcare)
    Your kids are covered!
    AKASPORT Summer Camp programs qualify for all Childcare tax credits and Dependent care needs through your employer. Let us know if you need tax statements and we will be happy to provide.
    AKA Tax ID#03-0545137

  5. AKA Value - per hour/per day
    Less than $50 per day! And if you take advantage of full summer discounts… LESS THAN $36 PER DAY!

  6. Facilities
    Over 15 years, we have partnered with the best sports facilities, cities and community centers around. We are currently involved with the new (Adrenaline), the renovated (Hopkins Pavilion), the more educational and enriching (Centennial HS) and the largest in the world (National Sports Center).

  7. Healthy Living and Healthy Meals!
    Proud to be partnered with Healthy Bites and Lisa’s Catering delivering the healthiest lunches and healthy vibes to AKASPORT kids and families!

  8. AKA Staff - Teachers, Physical Education professionals, Professional Sports Coaches and Partners and the Coolest College and High School Coaches, Mentors and Leaders around.
    All education minded…we are proud of our 60-70% staff return rate each year.

  9. Leadership & Self Esteem!
    Sportsmanship, Confidence, Teamwork, Aptitude to Succeed, Routine, Personal Growth, Make Friends, Make Memories…Leadership and Self Esteem!
    For 15 years, AKASPORT proves that Sport is a leading vehicle to positive development! AKA Summer Camps fit the bill.

  10. Social Element - (Boss’s everyday plug)
    Sports are life for many of us. But it is the social element in sport that makes us well rounded as individuals, young and old. Rather than sit alone staring at the tv/computer or relying solely on electronic devices… get out and get social with AKASPORT and everyone involved!

  11. Bonus : Wearing Kids Out for 15 Years! ;) Full Day Workout.

    Don’t get me wrong, rest is vital and we encourage rest and reading throughout. But the best youth training is the most physically exhausting!

“I love this camp and have recommended it to a lot of people. It is the only time my kid is tired during the year.”
— One Happy Parent

From within the Silence

From within the Silence ... some long overdue Spring Cleaning!
@TopherSchulzMN

Don't read this until you've completed your day's Goal, planted a tree or completed a 2 mile hike... whichever comes first.  Happy Hump Day.

10 years ago, certainly before most people had smartphones and information was not a Siri away, I was taught, based on data marketing research, that Thursdays at 1:05pm was the best time to send out a newsletter or blog, if wanting to achieve maximum viewership.  I'm curious to know what data says these days but no matter, as my italicized sub heading to this new chapter for the #AKAWay blog offers, Don't read this until you are good and ready!

Hope you are all doing swimmingly, ready for 2018 to turn blue and green, not brown and 6 feet deep in white.  This month's blog is my Spring Cleaning edition...seeking to trim the fat as well as provide some insight on what works.  Don't hesitate to comment below!


Winter & Spring BOOKS finished/reread/in the process
Born to Run/Outliers/E-Myth Revisited/The Social Animal.  (Kudos to Herr Ripps, Smokey and Senior Vogel for their recommendations!)  Eager to hear what you are reading or what books the AKA world should read next!  Let me know in the comments below!


From Within the Silence
Not to get too deep or go too extreme into the subconscious mind discussion (though I cannot speak more highly of regular meditation!) but I want to acknowledge a trip I took this past Winter and the impact it made on what seemed like the longest Winter in years.  Here is what it did for me and can do for you! 

Cactus to Clouds Trail, Palm Springs, CA.  Forced to stop a couple thousand feet short but we'll get it sometime soon.  (Aerial Tram back down in blue)  Pick any spot on the line and pure bliss!

Cactus to Clouds Trail, Palm Springs, CA.  Forced to stop a couple thousand feet short but we'll get it sometime soon.  (Aerial Tram back down in blue)  Pick any spot on the line and pure bliss!

Only a 48 hour trip.  I packed my running shoes, a pair of shorts and my toothbrush, (Travelin' Light) and flew out to visit my brother Greg who was attending a conference in Palm Springs, California.

Tuesday - 5:30am MSP depart, landed/satellite work/beered/ate/slept
Wednesday - Up at 4:00am, started ascending (520 feet above sea level) the #CactustoClouds hike at 4:30am and reached close to 8,500/9,000 feet in 6.5 hours. Got turned around because of icy conditions so we did not make it to the San Jacinto Peak (10,834 feet). #NextyearGoals!
Thursday - 4:30am Palm Springs depart, back in MSP at 11:00am.
Okay...52 hours...NBD

From the Palm Springs Notes: 

To find a peace of mind, in the middle of a Minnesota Winter, book a 48 hour trip!  I'm not talking about a 7 day family trip to Orlando or Cancun, I'm talking you, yes, you workaholic/moms/dads/college students...we're talking 1 or 2 people max...booking a cheap flight to some mountain or out in nowhere National Park and get out there...for 48 hours...when the stress of MN grey and cold/Nuclear Media/Mass Shootings/Sports Hot & COLD/work piling up, yes, call me an #EscapeArtist/GRIND hits heavy...take a trip to the stillness and seek the pure silence and nothingness of the air, my God what it does for the mind (and body)!

You wouldn't believe how quiet it was on this trail.  You have no excuse to not do this for yourself..... all I can hope is that everyone tries this out annually, to some affect, and get to that place of no interruption. From within the Silence!


Hard work matters ... period .. deploy it on what matters to you .. parenting, work, your company your friends etc. Your Actions have to map to your ambitions. Kudos to @GaryVee , content #CRUSHIT master, who got me hooked!!

Motivation 2.018... Since Fall, I have thankfully found a go-to morning routine with motivational videos and speeches on YouTube.  A perfect alternative to my typical Jam band alarm clock or when in need of background work tunes/banter, I encourage you to try some out if you're looking for that extra boost.  Many repeat the same messages of "Just Do", "Surround yourself with positive people" and so forth and so forth but some really catch you at the right time and inspire you.  Try out @GaryVee youtube vids (right) or Jack Canfield's positive Law of Attraction. Certainly helped (earbuds) get me through all the shoveling this winter.  Highly suggested and I am always open to hear what videos you are motivated by!


earth day 2018.jpg


Earth Day... this place is Incredible. 
Please continue to do everything in your power to keep our Blue Planet intact and teach these kids of all that it is worth.  Thank you!


The Summer Staff, AKA Renegades I like to say, are in place!  There are 57 of us now in place, spread across 5 schools for the Spring AKA Afterschool programs and multiple sites for the 13th Annual AKA All Sports Summer.


AKA Tykes notice!  As we re-engage in AKA Tykes programming (ages 3-5), I want the AKA philosophy to be clear.  As found on the AKA Afterschool page ...

Our (AKA) youth programs generally start,only, by the time kids are through kindergarten as our philosophy in childhood development is that kids before the age of 6 should learn in unstructured, parent guided activities.  However, we understand the culture of today and the demand for more active programming for younger ages.  We are more than happy to assist and provide such All Sports programming yet we ask that you as parents take part in these AKA Tykes activities with your children.  We invite and strongly encourage you to participate in the entire class if you are interested and able.

I mean come on... how can you say No.  Have fun and keep it light...they're not Tykes for long!

I mean come on... how can you say No.  Have fun and keep it light...they're not Tykes for long!

The bottom line is this. 

Kids, (Humans!), have limited time in this world to discover life as worry free, agenda free and Free of Structure!  I highly encourage families to wait to enroll until they have completed kindergarten, however again, I understand the demand for active programming in today's fast moving society. 

We at AKASPORT are here to keep sports fun and combat the current stress of the Youth Sports culture.


And finally, in this Spring Cleaning edition...

"What is Success? 
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even on life has breathed easier because you have lived; 

That is to have succeeded"

- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Find your passion and Commit your entire Life to a Dream!  And as my Ishayan Meditation teachers, Uma and Srikari encourage from within the silence, "Enjoy, explore, take nothing seriously.  It's all going to work out perfectly."

Thanks for stopping by. 
Now keeping getting after those Goals and keep those kids busy!

ATB, CS

The Numbers tell the story...

Earlier this month, AKASPORT held its first official fundraiser with the AKA Spaghetti Scholarship Dinner (February 4) (thanks Renee Beaman, AKA Events!).  AKASPORT has created FUNDraisers for over a decade with programs, camps and Community Appreciation Events with great success, but make no doubt about it, it is time to get more serious and create truly positive FUNDraisers.

Dean Downs, AKA DJ Deanomite, and some happy dancers at the AKA Spaghetti Scholarship Dinner Event - 2016

Dean Downs, AKA DJ Deanomite, and some happy dancers at the AKA Spaghetti Scholarship Dinner Event - 2016

The first step in creating FUNDraisers is establishing the why and the what are we raising money for.  Quite simply, we have a mission to providing Active programs for more kids and families whether they can or cannot afford such programming.

So to prove my point with numbers and to hopefully grab people's attention, prior to the event, I gathered select statistics from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (see below).  Have a look and feel free to add comments or other glaring statistics you think are relevant to our cause.  

Charlie and Jackson taking aim with Mr. Jack and the AKA Archery Week - 2015

Charlie and Jackson taking aim with Mr. Jack and the AKA Archery Week - 2015

Selected bullets from the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (2010-2015 studies)

Physical Activity

  • (2010)  Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, videogames, computer).Think what that number is up to now with the greater abundance of smart phones, tablets and greater sensationalism of video games!!7
  • (2011)  Nearly one-third of high school students play video or computer games for 3 or more hours on an average school day.24
  • (2015/2016) Only about one in five homes have parks within a half-mile, and about the same number have a fitness or recreation center within that distance. Coon Rapids has 48 parks and 40 miles of trails…Bikes!!5
  • (2014)  28.0% of Americans, or 80.2 million people, aged six and older are physically inactive.23

Nutrition statistics
I don’t even touch this one...leave that to the the Nutrition experts and to Geri and Healthy Bites.  My take on Nutrition is to cut down on sugar and don't eat after 8:00pm if possible.

Obesity

  • (2011)  Recent reports project that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese.12
  • (2015) For children with disabilities, obesity rates are approximately 38% higher than for children without disabilities. It gets worse for the adult population where obesity rates for adults with disabilities are approximately 57% higher than for adults without disabilities.15
  • (2010) Nearly 45% of children living in poverty are overweight or obese compared with 22% of children living in households with incomes four times the poverty level.16
  • Obesity among children in the United States has remained flat - at around 17% - in 2003-2004 and 2011-2012.25
  • Between 2003 and 2012, obesity among children between 2 and 5 years of age has declined from 14% to 8% - a 43% decrease in just under a decade.25
  • Obesity rates in children 6 to 11 years old have decreased from 18.8% in 2003-2004 to 17.7% in 2011-2012; obesity rates for children 12 to 19 years old have increased from 17.4% to 20.5% in the same time period.25

Human and Financial Costs of Inactivity > Obesity

  • (2012)  Obesity-related illness, including chronic disease, disability, and death, is estimated to carry an annual cost of $190.2 billion.17
  • (2010)  Projections estimate that by 2018, obesity will cost the U.S. 21 percent of our total healthcare costs - $344 billion annually.18
  • (2009)  The medical care costs of obesity in the United States are staggering. In 2008 dollars, these costs totaled about $147 billion.26
AKASPORT working out on the floor at Target Center with MN Lynx Basketball Staff - 2013

AKASPORT working out on the floor at Target Center with MN Lynx Basketball Staff - 2013