[Photos courtesy of Eric Huss and Lori Mahan]
SARATOGA SPRINGS – This past week Eric Huss flew three American Ninja Warriors, Jamie Rahn, Brian Arnold, and Jake Murray to his home in Saratoga Springs to host a week of camps for kids in the area. Selling out immediately and a wait-list of over 300 kids, Huss knew that his mission, to create a space “where kids could just be kids” was about to get even more fun.
Huss turned his prohibition era garage into a ninja gym because he was just trying to be a great dad. His kids love the show and compete in ninja type style competitions for fun. While in Colorado last year, Huss was able to meet and speak with these American ninjas and pick their brains about the obstacle courses. From there, he created his own.
Saratoga was taken by surprise to see the Warriors waiting in line for breakfast the other day, whispering excitedly to each other as they realized what was going on. They were in the area for only a week and in that short amount of time they threw a fundraiser and helped local kids dream of being a ninja come true.
“This camp is basically just 12 kids playing. There are only three rules; Have fun, no parents, no arguing,” Huss explained.
“There are plans to open a bigger space. An actual business,” Huss revealed.
On Monday night the ninjas and Huss threw a fundraiser for the Franklin Community Center where about 100 kids showed up with their families. For two and a half hours, the guys sat and signed things for kids, met with them, and about $300 was raised for the center.
“We wanted to do something for the kids that were unable to meet the guys and were on the wait lists,” Huss said.
Five free entries were given to kids who were the first to answer specific questions on the Ninja Garage Facebook page and they were then able to participate in the camp.
Safety and fun are Huss’ number one goals as a father and as the operator of his gym. The camp itself is structured with the ninjas showing the kids how to successfully use specific obstacles such as the quintuple steps and variations of that, plus different techniques to successfully complete those. They also help them with balance and precision work, upper body strength, and the warp wall, which is a huge obstacle on the show that Huss has recreated in his own garage. Huss receives no money for his gym. Instead, all of the entry fees went toward the ninjas who flew in to run the camps.
Open gym is held weekly, for more information check out www.facebook.com/SaratogaNinjaGarage/.