I was delighted to learn that Skate Night at the Key Peninsula Civic Center is still rolling (pun intended) and I decided to join the rollicking crush of riotously noisy, well-behaved, fun-filled youngsters whose ages seemed to span kindergarten through eighth grade with a sprinkling of high school volunteers providing help, direction, order, and excitement, some wearing “referee” shirts to make clear their authority.
I joined a group of happily smiling Key Peninsula Middle School sixth-graders in the Whitmore Room taking a break from rolling around the gym, gave each of them a ball point and piece of paper and asked that they give me an idea of how they feel about Skate Night.
Chloe Downey said she comes to Skate Night “because it is so much fun and I like being with my friends and skate.”
Devin Sak-Bachini agrees: “I come to Skate Night to have fun and hang out with my friends.”
Said Lexani Perez, “I am here because all my friends are here and I have fun skating.”
Classmate Makayla Rijah Hansen agreed: “I am here because it’s a time to just hang out with my friends with no parents, which means no one can tell you ‘no.’”
And the volunteer high school monitors wouldn’t need to tell you “no.” They KNOW you’ll do the right thing.
In addition to wanting to spend time with her friends, Rebecca Reena Downs, “also wanted to learn how to skate.”
McKenzie Taylor Allen is “here to see my friends and skate. Also, some of my friends recently moved so this is one of the only times I can see them.”
Makayla Ann Crimi is “here because it is fun,” and like others “because it’s a good way to hang out with friends.”
Classmate Bella Starr Bryson mirrored the thoughts of classmates with, “I am here to have fun! And spend time with my friends.”
I was, indeed, as always, happy to be among these future leaders enjoying an evening of good clean fun and pretty demanding exercise. I’ve never heard a profane word, no arguments, no pushing, bullying or intimidating at these functions. The kids are there to enjoy one another’s company, skate, dance, chat, catch up, plan for the next activity and chomp up some tasty, modestly-priced healthy foods and beverages. And it’s safe!
Said Vaughn Elementary fourth-grader Mercedez Carter, “I am here because I get to see my friends a lot. It helps me skate, and it’s really fun! It happens every Friday.”
To learn details of how you can help or have your child be welcomed among peers for a night of clean, secure fun, call the KP Civic Center at 253-884-3456.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.