Camp keeps kids in motion

Buff Buddies, an award-winning gym designed for kids to play in all year, hosts a summer camp that started in June and runs until the end of this month. The camp is unique because it’s entirely flexible; kids can drop in for an hour, several hours, a day or the entire week. The longer a child stays at Buff Buddies, the more cost-effective it becomes.

The kids’ gym is open to children ages 5 and up, and because the kids stay active, younger children and older children play with their own age groups to keep the play safe and fair for all.

David Cain founded Buff Buddies in 2004 with the intention of making exercise fun and engaging for children of all ages. He started with a bag of balls and playing outside in parks, then moved into a large gym, filling it full of fun equipment.

Buff Buddies is located on the campus of the former Foothill Intermediate School on Cornishon Avenue. There are two large rooms, each with a variety of equipment, a large bounce house and a fort-building room in which kids can make obstacle courses and forts out of foam materials. Buff Buddies also has access to two fields where kids can play dodge ball, soccer, flag football, water balloon tossing and other games.

“The main idea behind Buff Buddies is that the kids are constantly moving, exercising. The whole place is designed so that [the children are] pushing and pulling their own weight,” said Cain.

Dax Gutshall, 9, has been attending Buff Buddies for several years. “The whole point of it is to have fun,” Dax said. “We get to say, ‘What am I going to do today?’ There’s so much to do.”

Because the economy has been so hard on small businesses and families, Cain offers a Summer Camp Heroes sponsorship program. The program allows a person or business to sponsor children to attend camp for a week. Cain will produce and air a 30-second television commercial with the sponsored kids thanking the business for sending them to camp. He plans to air it on local cable, he said.

Linda Taix, who owns Taix Workout Studio in La Cañada, chose to sponsor 10 children for a week of fun at Buff Buddies last year because she believes in the program and in Cain’s approach.

“Buff Buddies is original and well structured and David has a passion for kids and fitness. He’s put so much thought and money into it. I wish I could have gone to a place like that when I was younger,” Taix said.

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