Many of us likely spent our summer on rollerskates, either on the sidewalks of our neighborhood or at the local rink, where backwards skate, couples' dances, and strob-light disco ruled.
But the resurgence of roller derby in the oughts of this century meant that small wheels and warm-weather would get another pair up: junior roller derby camp.
Now in its fourth year, the week-long camp, which is organized by the Derby Dolls, teaches girls ages 7 through 17 the intricacies and nuances of derby. If you've experienced a sometimes rough 'n tumble roller derby, you may have chuckled at the word "nuances" there, but skill is absolutely at the heart of team skating. Meaning the campers who roll out onto the Derby Dolls' famous Filipino Town track -- a banked track at that -- go on to learn about sportsmanship, courage, and bravado, and not simply how to push ahead of all the other skaters in the pack.
Camp opens on Monday, July 15 and there are three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Worried that your daughter has no previous derby experience? Fret not. This is stepping stone number one.
Yep, helmets and kneepads are essential. Yep, those fierce and awesome Derby Doll handles are part of the mad fun, too, so a little naming creativity may be in order.
Skater Moon, a past participant, gained much from the camp. Gina Soriano-Lightwood, Skater Moon's mom, said "Since starting roller derby, I have seen my daughter grow in confidence, tenacity, focus, and stamina."
Gosh, even adults can use a few lessons in those things, but imagine getting 'em at age 8 or 9, while wearing a rockin' helmet and boasting a really cool name. That is the skating experience we may have all longed for as kids.