Ice skating is a wonderful winter time activity. Everyone has watched ice skaters and envied their grace and ability. In many places, as New York’s Time Square, ice skating is a very important part of the season.
Finding a Skating Rink
The team should locate a nearby skating rink. Skating rinks are usually open most of the winter, but it’s best to check.
Under certain circumstances, the team can ask the skating rink to donate the use of the rink to the Scouts. Scout will advertise the skating party and thereby help the skating rink attract customers.
Discovery Scouts can begin learning how to ice skate. This is an activity which will require at least one experienced assistant per Scout.
Ice skates can often be borrowed or rented from the skating rink. Choose skates that fit and are not too big.
The best way to begin is to put objects on the ice and ask each Scout to pick them up. This helps build balance before moving on the ice. Later, the objects can be lined up and the Scouts can skate through them.
Games are more likely to keep their attention, so Scouts can play tag and if they want to skate out a bit from parents, they can do so. Broomball, a game in which Scouts hit a ball back and forth on the ice, can be done without skates. Sturdy tennis shoes are required.
While parents may want to bundle a child up as much as possible to prevent injury, it will be difficult for the Scouts to move and feel the ice properly if they are bundled up too much, defeating the purpose of the lesson. Scouts may also become too warm as ice skating is a vigorous physical activity.
Encourage Scouts not to look at their feet but straight out ahead of them. As Scouts want to get out on the ice, parents can take them by the hand and move a few feet, then a few more. In no time, Scouts will want to venture a bit further with a bit less supervision.
Ups and Downs
With all such activities when anyone tries something new, they will fall sometimes. If the child is injured, they should obviously be removed immediately. However if it a small bruise or less, Scouts can be encouraged to continue to skate. We want our Scouts to be resourceful and part of that is understanding that a temporary problem is not a failure, only an opportunity to try again until they succeed.