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  1. #1

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    Earning money for skating, part deux

    So, I'm still brainstorming ways to help defray costs....

    I know this is walking a gray line, but could my daughter offer help to our friends and neighbors who are either 1) taking their young kids skating on public ice or 2) having a skating birthday party, and need extra hands on the ice who can skate and help manage party group, keep kids upright, etc?

    Sort of a Babysitting Skater Service? (Skater-Sitting Service?)

    Or is that a no-no?

  2. #2

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    It is probably a no go, but I would wager that you could get away with her "baby sitting" kids and taking them skating. The skating party might be a bit obvious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWarhol View Post
    It is probably a no go, but I would wager that you could get away with her "baby sitting" kids and taking them skating. The skating party might be a bit obvious.
    Got it. Thanks!

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    I used to do this at the rink I used to skate at. I would give birthday party kids a half hour lesson/guidance and got paid for it - just the basics to get them moving around. Then they would ask you do spins and thought it was so cool that you could. Just got paid cash - easy money!

    I did have one guy pay me $100 to basically babysit his kids which when I realised all he wanted to was sit in the café and read his paper I wasn't happy about. I still took the $100 (sucker!) but next time he was there I tried to ignore him. He ended up paying someone else. Lazy parent.

    I think your daughter just needs to talk to the rink to ask what they do and if they need anyone.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  5. #5

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    I think your daughter just needs to talk to the rink to ask what they do and if they need anyone.
    I'll ask them what they think. Basically, I was just going to let friends and neighbors know that she has a special babysitting skill line on her resume. She does some babysitting already.

    I used to hire a teen babysitter to go to parties with us--holiday parties, pool parties, etc.--because at one point, I had three little kids, and having a babysitter along with us meant either 1) my husband and I could enjoy the party in some limited fashion (e.g. actually serve ourselves from the buffet at some point without wondering where the toddler went to or 2) I could bring three kids to the pool and I could spend time with the non-swimmer while babysitter spent time with the okay swimmers.

    A few times, I've been at the rink and I've seen either non-skater parents trying to get little kids onto the ice or parents with more than one kid flailing around. I've offered to push them around while kid was holding the plastic skate aid. No one has ever offered me $100, though!

    So, I was thinking something more along those lines. Say, if my 7yo's friends are having an on-ice birthday party, I could say, "Hey, my daughter is a babysitter and a skater. If you'd like to hire a 'mother's helper' for your party, she's the one." Or send an email to our neighborhood saying, "If your kids want to try skating, but you don't want to get on the ice yourself, my daughter can help get them in skates and be on the ice with them if they need help."

    No real lessons or real coaching...more just "I'll get on the ice with them so you don't have to."

    I didn't know whether that crossed any USFS lines because she's on skates, getting paid, but not really coaching.

  6. #6

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    Looking after kids on the ice - the way I view it is not coaching as they are not learning to skate. They are just being watched to "make sure no-one gets hurt". Although last time I said that to a friend when she dropped her kids off for skating, I then clarified it with "Well they might get hurt. If we are not here when you get back we will be at the hospital". Sure enough guess where we ended up. Thankfully the staff at the rink knew me and had known what had happened so they were able to tell her where we were. This is before mobile phones were commonplace.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Although last time I said that to a friend when she dropped her kids off for skating, I then clarified it with "Well they might get hurt. If we are not here when you get back we will be at the hospital". Sure enough guess where we ended up. Thankfully the staff at the rink knew me and had known what had happened so they were able to tell her where we were. This is before mobile phones were commonplace.
    Oh no! Yes, they actually might get hurt. Still, it always baffles me when people put beginner skaters on the ice without a helmet. When friends come skating with us, I insist they bring at least bicycle helmets for the kids. Or course, a few times, it was the adult that fell and popped a shoulder out or smacked their tailbone.

    Mostly, I see injuries when people who can't skate insist on wearing hockey skates. I'm guessing because they think they are "more cool" than figure skates. When little kids are falling all over, I try to gently explain to the parents that the hockey skates have a shorter, rounder blade than the "regular" skates, and the kids would have an easier time at first with the figure skates. Mostly, it's the teen boys trying to navigate hockey skates on public ice who end up breaking arms or needing face stitches. I want to say, "Oh yeah? How cool are hockey skates, now?" But I don't.


    And I love trying to explain to my kids what life was like before cell phones. We were watching some 1980s movie the other day, and during one scene, my youngest said, "Why doesn't he just call the other guy and tell him where he is???"

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    The only problem with this comes in if there is an accident, and thus she doesn't have insurance.

    But I know LOTS of skaters who do this sort of thing. Basically babysitting on ice.

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    The only problem with this comes in if there is an accident, and thus she doesn't have insurance.
    See, that's the part I was hesitant about. I know the younger skaters volunteer to help out on Learn to Skate, but I'm guessing the rink covers them if something happens.

  10. #10

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    Yes, the rink has insurance that covers Basics Skills instructors during group lessons/rink programs. I think the younger skater helpers are covered while they are working 'under the supervision of' an actual instructor.

    I don't think it's a problem to have a 'skating babysitter' with a group on a public session at a birthday party; however, I would only offer this to people you know, or have been referred by people you know. CYA. At some rinks, rink mgmt will set up that arrangement if the parent of the birthday kid requests it. Maybe your daughter should inquire with the rink mgmt and see if they can put her name on their list?

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    It sounds like a good idea, but I would check with the local rinks about their policies with non-employees using the facility for their own services. In my area there have been some conflicts about e.g. private fitness companies running boot-camp programs using the city facilities. The issue is that the boot-campers are paying the regular admission fee to the facilities - or sometimes not at all, if the program is using something like the running track which is open to anyone - but the fitness company is making money by charging for the instructor's services.

    This may partly be a liability issue - i.e. if someone gets hurt, is it the city liable, or the fitness company, or both - but it's also an issue of a private company using city-run facilities for their own gain. IOW the city is essentially subsidizing the private company's business - and of course the city has no control over e.g. quality of instruction or the content of the programs. The city also has its own programs in the facilities which I'm sure they would prefer people to take instead of the private companies' programs.

    I know you said your daughter would not be coaching, but even if she is just supervising the kids, there still might be a liability issue if she is being paid to supervise them. I think Debbie S has the right idea about bringing this to the rink mgmt first.
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  12. #12

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    I know you said your daughter would not be coaching, but even if she is just supervising the kids, there still might be a liability issue if she is being paid to supervise them. I think Debbie S has the right idea about bringing this to the rink mgmt first.
    Will do! Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    This may partly be a liability issue - i.e. if someone gets hurt, is it the city liable, or the fitness company, or both - but it's also an issue of a private company using city-run facilities for their own gain. IOW the city is essentially subsidizing the private company's business - and of course the city has no control over e.g. quality of instruction or the content of the programs. The city also has its own programs in the facilities which I'm sure they would prefer people to take instead of the private companies' programs.

    I know you said your daughter would not be coaching, but even if she is just supervising the kids, there still might be a liability issue if she is being paid to supervise them. I think Debbie S has the right idea about bringing this to the rink mgmt first.
    It is all about liability; you can't sue a minor (babysitter) but you can certainly sue the facility. In our area any slightly obvious coaching or babysitting will be questioned, the only thing that will slide through is the "helping hands" thing when the adult on the ice with the child states that the helper is under their supervision.

    Several boot camp programs were using our public parks, annoyingly so, taking over entire areas and telling off kids that wanted to play. They are now required to get rental permits and pay the fee like all the other organized sports and the instructor must show show proof of insurance.

  14. #14

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    the only thing that will slide through is the "helping hands" thing when the adult on the ice with the child states that the helper is under their supervision
    For "helping hands," do you mean something like my friend is having a skating birthday party for 20 seven-year-olds and will be on the ice; she asks my daughter to come along and pays her to help manage kids (on ice and off, i.e. passing out cake, etc.), pick up teary kids, helps tie skates, etc.

  15. #15

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    At the rink where I used to skate and teach, birthday parties were a big deal. When someone booked one at the rink it included having one end coned off and use of a room for the cake/food/presents etc. Anyone who booked one was given the option of having an instructor available for either a special lesson for the attendees or just on-ice supervision. Since the rink offered the service, it would have been a no-go for the party organizer to bring in their own person to fill that role.
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olipop View Post
    It is all about liability; you can't sue a minor (babysitter) but you can certainly sue the facility. In our area any slightly obvious coaching or babysitting will be questioned, the only thing that will slide through is the "helping hands" thing when the adult on the ice with the child states that the helper is under their supervision.

    Several boot camp programs were using our public parks, annoyingly so, taking over entire areas and telling off kids that wanted to play. They are now required to get rental permits and pay the fee like all the other organized sports and the instructor must show show proof of insurance.
    Most rinks have abundant signage that states that skating comes with inherent risks, that the ice is slippery, and one skates at one's own risk. I presume this is to prevent lawsuits against the rink if a kid falls down on the ice and hurts him/herself.

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