Ice cold: Not everyone flocks to the pool to keep cool

It may be hot enough to fry an egg outside but a Montgomery County, Maryland, park is as cold as ice.

The pavement sizzles underfoot just steps from the chilly air inside the Cabin John Ice Rink in Rockville.

The sighs are audible as some skaters hit the ice, finding relief from the hot weather. During the week, there are public skating sessions and summer camps that include skating as one of the activities.

Brian Borge, the facility manager, said that the Summer Fun Camp includes other activities in the park, but the emphasis is on skating.

“There are some lessons that are involved, so even if you’ve never put on skates before, we will definitely teach you how,” said Borge.

Brian borge, cabin john ice rink
Brian Borge is the facility manager at Cabin John Ice Rink, and he grew up playing hockey. He said camps bring kids in when the temperature soars, and the facility also offers its own camp where kids can learn to skate. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

The ice rink is part of Montgomery Parks, and those participating in outside camps get access to some time on the ice, too.

“When the heat index goes way up, they are looking for things to do inside; and this is the perfect place,” Borge said.

Borge grew up playing hockey, so he said he feels at home on the ice.

“I was a goaltender. I’m not that flexible anymore. I leave that to my young son,” he said.

Borge said he notices an increase of ice rink activity whenever the Washington Capitals have a good season.

“When the Caps were doing well, yes, there was definitely a lot of focus; and we hope that trend continues,” he said.

During a public session on Thursday, many of the skaters demonstrated some pretty serious skills. There were spins and jumps, along with stretches of graceful gliding up and down the length of the rink.

Eleanor Ashdown, who skates competitively, made it look easy.

“I’ve been skating for six and a half years, and I’ve spent the last three or four summers at Cabin John skating all summer,” said Ashdown.

Ashdown helps teach younger kids during some of the morning sessions. She said that when spills happen, she tells students, “All they have to do is get back up, and eventually they’ll learn how to become strong skaters.”

eleanor ashdown, cabin john ice rink
Eleanor Ashdown skates competitively and enjoys spending summers at Cabin John Ice Rink in Rockville. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

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