Happy 4th of July – New Location Announcement

Patriotic SkateboardHappy 4th of July!  Ramona Skatepark Champions have been busy since our inaugural season of skateboarding lessons ended in early June.  Thank you to the great group of kids and parents who committed to come out and learn and support the program!  Our first season was a great success, aside from being rained out a few times.  Summer session got waylaid, but we are fully engaged in the Fall session planning. You’ll find in the last paragraph, our first announcement related to Fall session.

What happened to summer session?  Our originally planned summer session of field trips down-the-hill to skateparks was voted down in the parent meeting in late May. We had gotten rained out several times, so the beginner kids had not been able to progress to the point that the parents were comfortable letting them loose in a skatepark, just yet.  It was also brought to our attention that some of the skateparks on the list might be in tough neighborhoods. (The danger of having an old woman planning your skateboarding adventures is that the old woman doesn’t know a lot about skateboarding…. she laughs to herself quietly, as she again asks herself how she got into this.)

The issue with changing formats so close to the start of the summer session is that we didn’t have any locations lined up for Summer.  We are learning it takes about a four to six weeks of negotiating with a landlord to get skateboarding approved on the premise, if you are lucky enough to get approval, at all.  We have faced so much discouragement on the road to building this program.  It has been a good lesson in faith and perseverance. On faith, I find it no coincidence that it was the church that finally came through for us in providing locations to launch this program and build it, in preparation for the build of the skatepark.

To build on that point, we want to take this moment to thank the Ramona Lutheran Church and School and the Grace Community Church for being the first two locations to approve skateboarding on premise. We were unable to take advantage of the Ramona Lutheran Church and School’s offer to allow us to use their basketball courts because of a shortage of coaches, but their support and their advocacy on our behalf was phenomenal and brought us back from deep discouragement at a crucial time.

Grace Community Church turned out to be a great location for us last season, and we hope and believe that they will continue to welcome us back for future lessons and events, but Summer was not available due to vacation and church schedules.  Further, it is only available to us one day per week, while we want to expand the program to more than one day per week. We want to attract the elusive teens, who already have some skills, and don’t need to start at the beginning, where we started last season with a great group elementary and middle school kids. When the teens showed up to see what we were doing, it was beneath their skill level and there were a lot of younger, beginning-level kids to trip over.

Fall session will be held at the New Life Assembly of God church, behind the Denny’s.  They have a nice big shaded basketball court that is available to us four days per week.  With this new availability, the Fall program will be two different groups, one for beginners of all ages on Tuesday and Thursday, and one for intermediate or advanced skateboarders on Wednesday and Saturday. More details will be announced as we put everything together.  In later posts, we’ll tell you how this program relates to the building of the skatepark.  HINT:  The success of this program is critical to the skatepark build.