Scouts flock to WessmanAmanda Lumberg didn’t need her helmet on the ice Saturday. Under the watchful eye of instructors, the 9-year-old learned an important skill for skaters.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Amanda Lumberg didn’t need her helmet on the ice Saturday. Under the watchful eye of instructors, the 9-year-old learned an important skill for skaters.
“They taught her how to fall first of all,” said Amanda’s mother, Deb.
More than 100 Superior area Girl Scouts flocked to the ice at Wessman Arena to skate, chat and learn. The annual Girl Scout Skate was put on by the Superior Figure Skating Club. Play It Again Sports of Superior and Duluth provided skates for the girls at no cost.
“This is awesome,” said Mike Weinandt as he watched his daughter, Scout, glide onto the ice. “She likes to skate and have fun.”
Barb Schlais, co-leader of a Girl Scout troop based out of Great Lakes Elementary School, said she appreciated the fact that the event was held indoors and that girls were put into different skill level groups.
“It’s great they have coaches to help out,” said Cinamon Hofman as she watched her daughter, Chloe, navigate on skates.
The event benefits both organizations.
“They just love it,” said Schlais of the Girl Scout participants.
“It’s good [public relations],” said Lori Foley, a club board member. “The girls have a ball and it gives our girls a chance to show off their stuff.”
Chloe wore snow pants onto the ice to give her a little extra padding if she fell. A number of girls did tumble to the ground during the first session, for the younger scouts. That isn’t a bad thing, according to club members.
“It’s good to fall because it means they’re trying new things,” Foley said. “If they never fall, they’re not pushing themselves to the next level.”
Her daughter Marissa, a member of the club, offered a few tips for beginning skaters. Proper equipment is essential.
“Good-fitting skates are the biggest problem,” said Marissa, a junior at Superior High School. “If they don’t fit, it’s too hard to skate.”
Learning to skate is always going to be scary at first, so parents need to be supportive and give plenty of praise. Holding a new skater’s hands while standing behind them is a good way to give physical support as they test the ice.
And, Marissa added, “Always make sure they’re having fun.”
After the lesson, the girls enjoyed a free skate. Then they watched as members of the Superior Figure Skating Club performed.
“Wow!” Chloe said to one of her fellow scouts as SHS junior Jenny Ostrowski twirled on the ice. “Think you could do that?”
Having earned their participation patches, the girls stopped for hot chocolate and a cookie before facing the outdoor chill.
“You did great,” Lumberg told Amanda as the walked to the car.
The scout learned new techniques like the swivel and the rocking chair. She also improved her backward skating.
“We just want them on the ice to let them learn how fun it is to skate,” said Laurie Ostrowski, treasurer of the Superior Figure Skating Club. Those with figure skating dreams can also choose to join one of the club’s beginner classes, she said.
Aspiring skaters will have more opportunities to practice next week. Superior’s eight outdoor ice rinks open on Monday. Flooding will begin this week, according to Jamie Nelson, rink program coordinator for the city Parks and Recreation Department. But lights won’t be on and shacks won’t be open until Monday.
The rinks will be open from 4-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Each rink is closed one day a week for flooding.
A new ordinance this year requires children age 16 and younger to wear hockey helmets on the hockey rinks. No helmets are required on the figure skating rinks. If there are no figure skaters, Nelson said, youth will be allowed to play hockey – with helmets – on the figure skating rinks. But if a figure skater arrives, the hockey game has to move to the hockey rink.
“It’s all about enforcement,” Nelson said.
Attendance at the rinks ranges from no skaters to 60, she said, with the Red Barn in East End being the most popular site.
Indoor public skating is also provided at Wessman Arena on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus. Hours this week are noon to 1 p.m. today and Friday; 1-3 p.m. Sunday. Next week, the arena is open noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. The following week, public skate is from noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 28-29 and noon to 3 p.m. Dec. Jan. 1. Admission is $3 per person. Children age 3 and under and UWS students can skate for free. For more information, call the arena at 394-8361 or look it up online at www.uwsuper.edu/recreation/schedules/.
For information on the Superior Figure Skating Club, look it up online at www.superiorfsc.org.