By Evan Simeone, Camp Counselor Workshop Attendee
By Evan Simeone, Camp Counselor Workshop
In early May I had the chance to experience a small sample of what my Mom Kris Fondran does with the Inline Certification Program (ICP) by attending a 1 day teaching workshop with her in Washington, DC USA. The workshop was held at the Anacostia Park Skating Pavillion and organized by former Olympic Speed skater Nathaniel Mills and ICP Examiner and Skater's Quest skate school owner Krista Schreffler with the goal of introducing the ICP teaching methodology and skating skill basics to a group of camp counselors for DC Inner City Excellence (DC-ICE). DC-ICE is a not-for-profit organization, inspired by Olympian Shani Davis and developed by Nathaniel Mills that promotes year round skating on ice and inline skating to inner city youth throughout the DC area. The workshop included the ICP Level 1 theory presentation, skating skills clinic, and small group peer teaching exercises. As a skater (ice figure) since the age of three, and a regular participant in my Mom’s summer skating camps when I was younger, the skating skills came quite easily. The challenge was to approach the skills as a teacher not a skater, which according to my Mom, is the whole point of the ICP!
The small group (peer teaching) exercises gave us the chance to immediately apply the theory we learned and made us think on our feet. This was really nerve racking and put us all into the “anxiety zone”! (See Mom, I was paying attention!) Although we were all seasoned skaters, on ice and inline skates, only a few had practical teaching experience and had taught skating prior to the workshop. Seeing the importance of correct modeling and being able to breaking down each skating skill into manageable bit sized pieces really made an impact.
Since the focus of the workshop was teaching children in a camp setting, we also covered a variety of ways to approach teaching children of varying ages and abilities. Krista reviewed class handling techniques, lead us in playing some basic games, and provided some motivational tips to help us succeed.
Although this wasn’t a full certification program, I feel the workshop provided a teaching framework for us to build upon. For me personally, it has given me the confidence and inspiration to help out with summer camp lessons this summer-something that my Mom has wanted me to do for years!
All and all, the workshop was very instructional, enlightening, and most of all fun. We had an amazing group of people and we all learned a lot.
A special thanks to DC-ICE for providing such cool counselors to work with and a great venue to skate in, to Krista and her family for awesome hospitality, and to my Mom for finally inviting me along!