Skatin’ and dancin’ at the park|Summer lessons prove fun and fruitful

Published 1:39 am Saturday, June 13, 2009

Staff Writer

CHOCOWINITY — The skate wheels were spinning and the children were dancing Friday afternoon at the Extreme Action Park outside of Chocowinity on U.S. Highway 17.
And “that’s what it’s all about,” as the popular skate-and-dance song, the Hokey Pokey, says. “It” being the week-long summer skate session that just concluded at the park. And “what it’s all about” for children aged 5 to 13 is learning how to skate in a fun-filled environment.
The family-owned and operated park has been holding periodic summers sessions for years, with the next camp slated for the week of August 17.
Camp coordinator Denise Vick said the sessions offer plenty of activities to keep the skaters busy throughout the week.
“It’s a very active camp because they are skating from the time they get here until the time they leave,” she said.
The fun starts at 9 a.m. each day with skate lessons. At the beginning of the week, the skaters are split up into different skill levels, ranging from beginners to experts, for the lessons.
After the early-morning lessons, the children get some down time with arts and crafts, followed by lunch, which is included in the price of the camp.
From lunch, the skaters get to go outside and play roller-skating games, such as Sharks and Minnows and the always-popular “Hokey Pokey.”
“Games that teach them to skate, when they don’t even know it,” Vick said.
Vick’s mother, Debbie Mutherspaw, is the lessons coordinator and co-owner of the park. Just as in any sport, she said, repetition is key to becoming a better skater.
To her, that’s where the importance of having a week-long camp comes in. And the lessons show immediate results, she said.
“The parents are amazed at what (their children) do in a week’s time,” Mutherspaw said.
The skaters’ parents got a glimpse of how far their children have come Friday afternoon. At the end of every week-long session, the skaters give a short demonstration to the parents showcasing different skills, including skating backwards.
“They’ve really come a long way,” Vick said right before the demonstration Friday.
Skater Abby Harbrige, 7, of Chocowinity, said the instructors, including Vick and her teenage children, and Mutherspaw, made learning how to skate fun.
“I think it (the camp) is really great. Now I really like to skate,” she said.