With Spring Break for public and private schools coming up on April 14 and April 21, the Mount Vernon Rec Center at 2017 Belle View Blvd. in Alexandria offers spring break camps, spring classes in ice skating and ice hockey and many opportunities to have fun. For details, call 703-768-3224 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/mtvernon/.
ICE SKATING CLASSES
The Mount Vernon Ice Rink is the only publicly-owned indoor ice arena in Fairfax County that’s opened year-round. “We offer a wide variety of different types of classes from the beginning skater to the more advanced,” said skating instructor Emme Porter. “We have classes for hockey skaters and figure skaters.”
“For little kids, it’s an introduction to ice skating. They are going to learn the basics, how to fall down and get up and how to march,” said Porter. “For the advanced skaters, we have eight different levels, 1-8, and the skills progressively build upon each set of classes.”
She adds: “It’s a great way to stay healthy and fit without actually having to do a formal workout.”
They offer classes for tots, such as Snowplow Sam 1, 2, 3, (3-6 years), Mom or Dad and Me (3-5 years) and Homeschool Snowplow Sam 1, 2 (3-6 years). Classes for children include Basic 1, 2, 3, 4 for ages 6-13 years old. Classes for adults include Adult 1, 2, 3 for ages 14-adults. There’s also adult introductory skating and basic eight. Students learn everything from falling to getting up properly to one-footed spins, three-turns, swizzles and waltz jumps.
For example, six, 30-minute adult introductory ice skating classes are $111 in-county ($126 out-county).
There are five different types of hockey classes — from basic to hockey 1, 2, 3, and introductory skating for hockey. For example, six, 30-minute classes of Hockey 3 cost $111 (in-county) or $126 (out-county). Hockey 3, for example, focuses on developing proper backward striding techniques, backward crossovers on a circle and down the ice and backward stops all with hockey stick in the proper position.
In the class called Hockey Power Skating, “It’s kind of a cardio blast for hockey players,” said ice skating director Carl Kirtley. “We work on power turns, frontward and backward skating. It really does duplicate a fast hockey game setting itself.”
The 45-minute drop-in sessions focus on explosive acceleration, backward speed and quickness. The instructors run you through drills targeting specific hockey maneuvers. Classes meet on Fridays, beginning March 28, at 7 p.m. The cost is $11 (in-county) and $13 (out-county). No pre-registration required. For more information contact Carl Kirtley at email@example.com.
To coincide with Spring Break, Mount Vernon offers Spring R.O.C.S. Camp the weeks of April 14 and April 21, starting at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday for ages 6-12. It stands for “Recenters Offer Cool Stuff” for Spring Break.
“It’s a basic camp that gives a synopsis of the entire rec center, including arts and crafts, swimming, ice skating, movies, bowling, baseball games, pizza parties, laser tag, field trips to Shadow Land, Nats Games and Mystics Basketball games,” said Camp Director Mike Richards. “We have plenty of opportunities for fun. They get to go ice skating and swimming. We usually have arts and crafts, and kids really love that.” For example, five, seven-hour classes are $225 (in-county) and $240 (out-county)
TECHNOLOGY & GAME DESIGN CAMP
Mount Vernon Rec Center also offers Technology & Game Design Camp for ages 8-11 where children don’t just play videogames, but learn how to create them. The camps run the weeks of April 14 and April 21.
“It’s generally a lot of fun,” said Richards. “They get to learn new skills and meet new kids. They make games using templates; they can do things with that template like running games, or jumping over obstacles.”
Campers will learn the principles behind making 2D arcade and platform games using Multimedia Fusion and Adobe Photoshop as well as build custom characters and produce their own music and sound effects to import into games. The camp offers half-day and full-day options. The cost for five, seven-hour classes is $495 (in-county) and $510 (out-county). The half-day option is $295 (in-county) and $310 (out-county) for three hours per day.