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Parks and Recreation's Charlie S. Brown Water Sports Center is one of Lake Oswego's best-kept secrets

One of Lake Oswego's best kept secrets is open to the public: The Charlie S. Brown Water Sports Center on the Willamette River near Roehr Park and Oswego Pointe offers a full complement of Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department rowing and sculling classes for anyone age 13 and up. And for a limited time, get a $15 discount if you sign up for any lessons before June 1.

On the Water

Rowing/Sculling 1 and 2. First you need definitions: Rowing involves boats containing a team of two, four, or eight people, each of whom has one oar. Sculling involves one or two people in a boat, each of whom has two oars. The skills are interchangeable so just pick what you like best.

Classes at the Water Sports Center range from beginner to advanced and are conducted by coaching professionals and former Olympic athletes. Beginners start on dry land, using rowing machines ('ergometers'or 'ergs'), where they learn basic boating commands, how to handle oars and rules of the water. They learn the special skills required for getting long, skinny boats into the water and back out; how to get in and out of the boat without falling in the water (usually); and how to maneuver the boat with the oars and with a team ('crew'). Soon, like little ducks, they're out on the sheltered waters of the Willamette River, following instructions, learning river traffic patterns; and learning to be a cohesive crew. Each class session is five to six weeks of pure exhilaration. And did we mention that rowing/sculling provides an invigorating full body workout?

Morning classes run Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 3 to 26 from 5:45 to 7:15 a.m. Evening classes run Mondays and Wednesdays, May 2 to 25, 6:30 to 8 p.m. New sessions run each month through the summer. For ages 13 and up, $130.

Sculling 1 and 2 AM Lessons. All of the above, but rowers learn in one-person instructional boats. Ages 14 and up, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, May 2 to 27, 5:45 to 7:15 a.m. $180.

Mid-Morning and Weekend Sculling. For beginners and more experienced students who want to enjoy low river traffic and the river's tranquility while getting a full body workout. Ages 14 and up, Mondays and Wednesdays, May 2 to 25, 9:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday classes run from 8:45 to 10:15 a.m., beginning in June.

Youth Rowing Camps. Students learn the Olympic sport of rowing in a non-competitive and fun environment with world class coaches on a beautiful river. Learn or improve skills in coordination, focus as you build strength and make new friends from all over the area. You'll have a head start in the event you want to row during the school year and earn a letter. The first camp runs Monday, Wednesday, Friday, June 20 to July 8, 9 to 11 a.m. For ages 11 to 18, $180. (More summer camps run July 11 to Aug. 5 and Aug. 8 to Sept. 2).

Don't forget the $15 discount if you register for rowing or sculling classes or camps before June 1!

Kayak Short Tour and Lesson. Now for something completely different … except that it's also on the water. Explore the Tualatin River near Tualatin Community Park in touring kayaks and become a proficient paddler. The professional guide from NW Discoveries begins with a brief introduction/lesson to kayaking, so even the first timer is ready to get up close and personal with spring wildlife and calming waters. Ages 11 and up, Saturday, May 7, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. $ 46 includes kayak equipment and guide.

Junior Golf Clubs

Register now for Summer Junior Golf Clubs at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course because they're already filling up fast. Each weekly session includes a 30-minute, one topic lesson followed by nine holes of play on the course and a Junior Tournament and Skills Challenge.

Choose Tuesday Club if you're age 8 and above with one year of golf experience. Tuesdays, June 21 to August 30, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $180.

Thursday Club is for ages 10 and up with two years experience. June 23 to September 1, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $180.

Indoor Playground

Let the kids loose in a spacious playroom with lots of toys, climbing, sliding, and riding structures - and of course lots of socialization and interaction with other children. Parent/guardian required. Ages 0 to 6, Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, May 2 to June 17. (Mondays and Wednesdays from June 27 to Aug. 31). Daily drop in fee is $2, $1 for additional sibling, or purchase a 10-visit punch card for $15.

Get in Shape for Summer!

There's still time to shape up for summer activities - and summer clothes. All you have to do is get moving!

Zumba! The cardio-Latin-dance-fitness-craze has gone global with exhilarating moves especially tailored to great music. Join Stacy's morning group on Mondays and Wednesdays, May 2 to June 8 from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. at the WEB. $93. (Mondays only, $46; Wednesdays only, $55).

Belly Dance. Everything old is new again when you learn this ancient dance form, where 'fun workout' is NOT an oxymoron! Beginner class leads you through specific body isolations, steps and rhythms, and shimmy. Intermediate class adds new movements, combinations, choreographies, basic veil dance techniques and more. Some beginner experience required. Classes are for ages 12 and up, Mondays, May 2 to June 20. Beginner class is 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Intermediate is 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., both at the WEB. $46.

Nia. Powerful movements from dance, martial arts, healing arts, yoga and more, choreographed to world music, combine to bring an inspired workout to get you moving in the morning. Choose twice a week, $102, on Tuesdays and Thursdays (May 3 to June 9) or once a week, $55, Tuesdays (May 3 to June 7) OR Thursdays (May 5 to June 9). Future sessions are also offered in July and August.

Nia Summer Drop-Ins are also available in increments of five times ($51), ten times ($97) and 15 times ($138). Drop-ins are valid May 3 to September 1 only.

Gymnastics

Acrobatics and Tumbling Intro. Young gymnasts learn the basics at their own pace in a floor only positive, progressive program.. Front rolls, back rolls, crabwalks, cartwheels, handsprings, front walkovers, back walkovers and flip flops are just some of the skills students learn. Classes are grouped by age and time, and are held at Tilton's Acrobatics and Tumbling studio on Borland Road.

Age 4 to 6, Wednesdays, May4 to 25, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. $56

Age 7 to 18, Mondays, May 9 to 30, 4 to 5 p.m. $46

Summer Intro Camps are offered in July and August.

Luscher Farm

Tomato Tips. Master Gardeners share their knowledge and secrets of growing America's favorite vegetable that is technically a fruit. This is your chance to pick their brains about different varieties, planting and transplanting, diseases, pests and the best support structures. Grow them well in summer and they'll give their deliciousness back to you all year! Saturday, May 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. $5.

Mother's Day Tea Party. Chef Laura Content invites children and mothers to a fun-filled and very special afternoon tea party. Learn how to make sweet and savory nibbles to share and sip on tea in the wonderful setting of the Luscher Farmhouse living room. Ages 6 and up, Sunday, May 8, 3 to 5 p.m. $28 per pair; $14 each additional child.

Weekend Arts

Draw Like a Master. Learn to use new tools and improve your skills. Use elements of design and unlock skills you never knew you had to create a masterpiece! Ages 5 to 12, Saturdays, May 7 to June 11, 10 to 11 a.m. $47.

Nature's Little Artist Club. Create artwork inspired by nature and the Great Outdoors. Collect bits of nature outside, then use drawing, painting and printmaking to turn into amazing art. Ages 5 to 12, Saturdays, May 7 to June 11, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. $50.

Beginning Sewing

Sewing is a life skill that always comes in handy and once you learn it, you know it! Heather Jenner leads the perfect class for those with little or no experience to learn the basics on fun and useful projects. Get help with shopping basics for patterns and materials and make a tote bag, an A-line skirt, or other items of your choice. Ages 14 and up, Wednesdays, May 4 to 25, 6;15 to 8:15 p.m. at the WEB. $68

Class registration information

Pre-registration is required for nearly all Parks and Recreation classes and activities. Class information is in the 'Discover Active Living' catalog, available at the West End Building, also online at www.lakeoswegoparks.org. You may register by Internet, by mail, drop-off during business hours at Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation, West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way, Lake Oswego, 97035; or fax 503-697-6579; phone 503-675-2549. Non residents generally pay more than fees shown. Scholarships are available for Lake Oswego residents; call 503-635-0282.