The great outdoors: Local clubs offer various activities

05/17/2014 3:11 PM

06/25/2014 1:59 PM

If you’re looking for camaraderie to try a new summer activity or continue an old one, there are various clubs and get-together opportunities for like-minded folks in the Wichita area.

From kite-flying to disc golf to water sports to photography, check out these local clubs.

Disc golf

Wichita holds a place in the annals of disc golf history as the host city of the first world amateur world tournament. While you can try your hand at flying Frisbees into baskets at five area disc golf courses on your own at anytime during park hours, you can also join fellow fliers through the Air Capital Disc Golf Club, which has been around since 1989. Wichita has two 18-hole disc golf courses at Herman Hill Park and Oak Park, Derby has an 18-hole course at Stone Creek Park, and Haysville has two nine-hole courses at Old Oaks and Riggs Park. There’s no age limit for participants, said club member Jerry Sherwood. While the club has annual memberships available, anyone can play in the recreational division during club meet-ups. Club membership is $15 for the first year, $10 for renewals. For more information about the club and its events, go to its Facebook page or visit www.aircapitaldiscgolfclub.org.

Kite-flying

While there’s no formal kite-flying club yet, fellow fliers gather about 10 a.m. every Sunday at an open field near Coleman Middle School, near 13th and Woodlawn as long as the winds are blowing. A local club is in the works and anyone interested in joining may call local kite store, Wings of the Wind, 316-684-8383.

Photography

If you want to join fellow shutterbugs on photo shoots in downtown Wichita, Old Town and outdoors in the summer, check out the Wichita Area Camera Club. The group meets at 7:30 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at Douglas Photographic Imaging, 2300 E. Douglas. “There’s a lot of guys with experience who are willing to share advice,” said club member Gary Brownlee. There’s no cost to visit a club meeting, when photographers discuss upcoming photography jaunts. Photographers of all ages are welcome. For those interested, an annual club membership is $20. For more information, visit the club’s Facebook page or visit www.burnells.com/wacc.

Sailing

For more than 30 years, the Ninnescah Sailing Association, a local group that has a clubhouse at Cheney Reservoir, and the Midway-Kansas chapter of the American Red Cross have offered a 25-hour course on learning to sail. Classes start in June and continue through the summer, with weeknight classes meeting at the Red Cross, 1900 E. Douglas, and weekend sessions at Cheney Reservoir. Preregistration is required and the cost is $105. Participants must be at least 16 years old and able to swim 25 yards, be able to float or tread water for two minutes and put a lifejacket on in deep water. For more information about the Ninnescah Sailing Association and the sailing lessons, go to www.ninnescah.org.

The Walnut Valley Sailing Club, which is based at El Dorado Lake, also offers sailing lessons and special events. For more information go to www.wvsailing.com.

Water skiing

Whether you’re a veteran water-skier or wanting to learn to ski, check out the Wichita Water Ski Club. According to the group’s website, the club welcomes nonskiers too, who can help with driving boats, coordinating social activities and other duties. The club can even provide loaner equipment. The group also does competition skiing and show skiing, including performances during the Wichita River Festival. For more information, visit www.wichitawaterskiclub.com.

Audubon Society

You probably can’t get more outdoorsy than the Wichita Audubon Society, “an association of people who love and enjoy nature and work to preserve it,” according to the group’s website. In the summer, the group holds a number of activities at Chaplin Nature Center, near Arkansas City. Included on this summer’s calendar is an evening three-mile kayak float down the Arkansas River and some butterfly-related activities. Local memberships cost $20 for individuals, $25 for families, and $10 for students younger than 18. For more information, go to www.wichitaaudubon.org.

Running

Beer-based running groups are becoming popular around the country, and there are at least a couple of such groups in Wichita.

Joggers and Lagers meets the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Public at the Brickyard, 129 N. Rock Island Road, to go on about a three-mile run and then meet back at Brickyard for food and drinks. For more information, check the group’s Facebook page.

GoRun, a Wichita running store with two locations, sponsors a fun run every Thursday night 6-8 p.m. Some fun runs end at an ice cream store, while others at a bar and grill. For more information, go to www.gorunwichita.com or call 316-978-9690, for the west store, or 316-613-2479, for the east store.

For a regular running club, check out Run Wichita. The club, which offers annual memberships for individuals ($20) and families ($25), also lists group runs on its website, www.runwichita.org.

Biking

The Oz Bicycle Club, established in 1973, is one of the oldest bicycle clubs in the Midwest. The club, which has annual memberships for individuals ($15) and families ($20), meets the first Monday of the month at Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, 655 S. Lorraine. Group rides are listed on club’s calendar, found at www.ozbikeclub.com.

Lacrosse

Another growing sport in the Midwest is lacrosse. In Wichita, a men’s league meets in the summer, and the Wichita Wingmen are trying to create a summer high school league, as well. Anyone can practice, said group president, but to play in the games, you need to join the men’s league, said club president Dan Niemczyh. The club has limited loaner gear available, and club members can provide advice on purchasing gear, said Niemczyh. For more information, go to www.wichitalacrosse.com.

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