Holidays and hockey: Camp at Glacier Ice Arena keeps kids active

Nine-year-old Eric Walter runs a drill of Red Light, Green Light at the Glacier Ice Rank.

With school out for the Christmas break, there are plenty of opportunities for children to learn athletic skills.

A half-dozen boys ages 5-12 are participating in the Winter Break Beginner Hockey Camp this week at Glacier Ice Arena.

The hockey camp takes place from 9-11 a.m. through Thursday and the same hours again next week (Monday through Thursday). It is $50 per child.

Stephanie Siegrist has two boys, 8-year-old Mason and 6-year-old Tyler, in the camp.

“They’ve been wanting to play hockey,” the boys’ mother said. “This is great. It’s enough to see if they like it.

“It’s something new and it keeps them active.”

The boys often come to the free skating sessions with their dad, but hadn’t tried hockey until Monday.

“Mason has a friend that plays hockey,” she said. “His little brother follows suit.

“They were very excited for this. They were trying (equipment) on over and over all week.”

The children participated in drills such as puck handling, passing, tag, keep away and ‘cone attack.’

In ‘cone attack,’ the campers skate from one side of the rink to the other while trying to avoid cones sliding across the ice at them. The three camp instructors slid the cones at the children.

That was one of the Siegrist boys’ favorite exercise.

“My coaches were sliding cones at me,” Tyler said.

Tyler said he is enjoying the camp as well, but admitted hockey is harder than ice skating.

“It’s because of all the (protective) pads,” he said.

Mason plays street hockey in the cul-de-sac of his parent’s home, but wanted to try ice hockey.

“It’s pretty good,” Mason said. “I’m learning how to handle the puck.”

Glacier’s hockey director, Ray Johnson, is conducting the camp with the help of Andy Fox and junior Mavs player Jaden Koos.

“It’s good to help with the smaller kids,” Koos said. “They learn the basics to they can become better hockey players.

“We’re playing a bunch of games. It’s a good atmosphere.”

Koos, 15, started playing hockey two years ago, he said.

“This is a good start for them,” he said. “They can develop skills so when they’re older they can do work on other things.”

Another 21 boys and girls the same ages are in the City of Grand Junction’s ‘Kids Day Out’ program this week and next week at the Bookcliff Activity Center.

The children in the ‘Kids Day Out’ are participating in theme-based activities each day. On Monday, they had several different scavenger hunts.

“The first one we had a list and had to try to find things in a magazine,” 10-year-old Riley Wilson said. ‘We had a strong one and had to find the end of the string.

“It’s been pretty good.”

The children had a scavenger hunt for dye-colored ice cubes in the snow as well.

The Grand Junction Recreation Department is planning ‘Pioneer Day’ and Chef for the Day events in the program as well.

“One of the disappointing things is we were going on an ice fishing trip, but there wasn’t enough kids,” Wilson said.

A swimming camp was scheduled this week as well, but was canceled because of a lack of children.


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