Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lake Placid Skate Camp Review 2012

All Lake Placid Posts here.

I attended one of the Lake Placid Adult Skate Camps this summer and I thought I would update my review of the camp.

Excellent. I only took group classes from two staff coaches and as always, they were well worth the $13 for a 25 minute group class. As one other adult said, "If in every group class I get a nugget of really good information, that's well worth the $13." Sometimes a single private can fix a problem that my regular coaches can't. I've been having a hinky problem with my CW mohawk and Mimi Wacholder fixed it in 10 minutes. I took some lessons from Todd Gilles, and he corrected an issue I was having. Dance Coach had tried to correct the same problem, but in this case hearing it expressed in a different way from a different coach, clicked. Yes, it was one of those moments where I slapped my forehead, "Oh, that's what Dance Coach means!"

I also took an hour a day from the Amazing Coach, who was a guest coach. I'll post some of the stuff I learned from her later.

Ice Quality
This year the ice was much improved,  exactly what you would expect to see in competition ice. But only for Monday and Tuesday. The ice for the first two days was dreamy, with regular ice cuts on stadium ice on an olympic sized rink (the 1980 rink) for several hours of adult freestyle a day. Group classes were on a hockey rink (the USA rink). For the first two days, the ice was superb.

Mid-week we lost the 1980 rink for two days (PROBABLY TO PREP THE RINK FOR THIS)and had to crowd  both freestyle and group classes onto the USA rink at the same time. When the 1980 rink was open again to the adults, the ice was being rebuilt for a show and it was in the ugly phase. Imagine an entire rink covered with ice like the lizard skin ice at the shortboards when the zam goes too fast and dumps too much water. But by the time of the exhibition Saturday afternoon, the ice was fine and no one's exhibition program was affected.

In addition, some group coaches teaching groups on the USA rink shared freestyle/group ice, would camp out at the center circle forcing the freestyle skaters to skate on 1/3 of the rink instead of the (revised) schedule 1/2 rink. Adults who needed full ice to practice programs went over to the crowded kid ice in the 1932 rink in order to practice. But that was high freestyle and not every adult felt comfortable skating on that.

Communications with Adult Skaters
If you are an adult skater planning to attend Lake Placid, you need to be aware that you and you alone appear to be responsible for staying on top of scheduling changes, because the ORDA office made no effort at all to let the adult skaters know of the major scheduling changes mentioned above  other than to stick the updated schedules in a box at the door of the ORDA office.  You need to go by the ORDA office everyday to see if there's a new schedule posted or check the rink schedule online.

Based on this year, and previous years, the blue schedule they give us at the check in on Sunday appears to be good only through Tuesday. Any day after that can have unexpected changes. So the blue schedule isn't a 'schedule' it's sort of a 'guideline'.  Changes usually start on Wednesday, so you have been warned! Check for yourself!

Dear ORDA management, there is no reason for this to occur. You have all our emails. Post changes to us by sending emails. What's hard about that? Or since the camp is scheduled months in advance, is there really any reason that the ice schedule needs to change at all?

In summary
Coaches, lessons worth it. When the ice is there, it was fantastic.

I was unimpressed by the handling of scheduling changes.

I  hope that the 2013 camps will see effective changes.  I like going. I like skating there. but I would prefer to see a more stable ice schedule. Still, next year, I'll give them another chance.


  1. Nice comprehensive review! Very glad you came home with great tips - to share! ;)

  2. thanks for the updated review! i hope someday i feel confident enough to attend the LP adult camp ... :)
    - brokenzamboni