Last winter (2014) a few of us got together to work on building a skating rink. We decided to situate it in a big field just outside our community centre. But we had one problem. We weren’t allowed to make a skating rink there because of city laws. But since we are homeschoolers we just decided to go ahead with it, like the time we made fires in the park for one of my mother’s summer camps.
One cold day in December, we headed out to the the big field and started to pack down the snow for our skating rink. We had discussed ways to make it and had come to the conclusion that it would be the easiest and most discreet to pack the snow down instead of using tarps to hold the water better.
We stamped and shovelled for two hours, and then got tired and went in for some hot chocolate. The next week, it snowed a lot and we had to do the same work, because the snow covered up our progress. It went on like that for quite a while. During these weeks, we tried to find a way to get a steady flow of water over to the area where we were building our skating rink. We asked everyone in the community to bring their hoses from home, and we finally found enough. One week it didn’t snow as much and we managed to spray some water onto the surface, but the snow just absorbed it. We felt a bit annoyed seeing all our work come to nothing.
When we came back the next week, the snow was harder than the week before, so we kept at it. Finally, after many weeks of hard work, spraying water onto icy snow, we had a very bumpy surface. We were all getting tired of working on the skating rink by now, especially Eric, an adult in our community who was working the hardest of us all. But after a few months of spraying thin layers of water, we had a beautiful surface that we could actually skate on.
The next week, I found myself playing shinny hockey, a non organized game of hockey). That game kind of destroyed the ice when people found air pockets and they broke inward, but is was worth it. We got to skate on the ice quite a number of times and we even got to play a mini tournament on it. Luckily, the city didn’t seem to notice that we had built a skating rink.
The sad thing is that a few weeks later the temperature warmed up, and we couldn’t skate on our rink any more.
I would like to make another skating rink this winter, but this time I would like to use the other method – putting down the tarps to hold the water better. It would take less time to make the skating rink, and therefore we would be able to skate on it for longer. There is always the concern that the city might come and fine us, but I don’t think they really enforce that law. So please join us this year in making a new skating rink.