Milton skates quickly past Back2Back staff member, Sammy Mathews, and teases over his shoulder. “I’m really good at this. Do you see how good I am, Sammy? Do you not know how to skate, Sammy?”
The children from Douglas Children’s Home are ice skating today.
“We want to continually encourage the children to say yes to new experiences, to try what’s unfamiliar, even if they may feel difficult at first,” explains Sammy.
The children, most of whom had never ice skated before, set about learning a new skill with excited fervor. For two hours, the children tested their abilities on shaky legs, but didn’t allow falling down to hinder the new, fun experience.
“We thought the children would be scared going into this,” explains Sammy. “It’s something they’ve never done before and it was cold, but most of them picked it up rather quickly.”
Sammy holds Christian’s hand as they move slowly around the large rink; other children from Douglas skate by them, some falling, but rising quickly to get going again. Milton skates past Sammy and Christian, but slows down and comes up to Christian.
“You’ve gotta bend your knees and lean over a little!” Milton demonstrates to Christian as he tries to help his friend gain confidence to set out on his own.
Over the course of the two hours, Milton and his friends grew more confident in their abilities and began to help others who were still shakily making their way around the rink.
Milton zooms around the rink one last time, feeling the cool air on his cheeks as he smiles to himself. He and the other children at Douglas are willing to say yes to new, hard things, and are finding the benefits rewarding.