From the Centre: Ice melts at Creston community complex as spring activities get started

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A sure sign of spring is the disappearance of ice around the community and nowhere else is it more evident than in the curling and hockey arena. While the Creston Curling Centre finished a great season that saw some great spiels and an increase in young players, they swept the last of the season away on schedule, March 23.

The Creston Valley Thunder Cats were the rising stars as they conquered a couple series and as we prepped to go the distance. While not meant to be this go-around, the valley enjoyed some fantastic games and the John Bucyk Arena was jam-packed with supporters.

But as the sands of time pass through the hourglass, so does the melting ice pass through the drain. This year, for some reason, the ice came out quite easily; in the arena, the bond seemed to break a bit sooner, allowing the tractor to break up and remove the solid chunks into the snow melt pit. We always try slight modifications to the process each year to see what speeds things up, but it all ties to how quickly the ice can break loose from the concrete floor which is also the most important piece in a stable consistent ice surface through the season, having that solid bond between the two.

The curling ice, on the other hand, is all arm-strong removal. The plant is shut down, the surface starts the slow melt and after a few days, the bond is broken and the ice is rotten to the point you can break it up with long two-by-twos. Following that, I noticed the curling centre had a crew of about seven fellows working together in the process of hosing and using a plywood squeegee to force all the water, ice and old paint to the north into the header trench to eventually wind its way into the sump pit.

It was really quick this year, which is all the better as we will start warming the place up and setting up the Creston Valley Home and Garden Trade Show booths for tomorrow and Saturday. What better way to spend a few hours than to wander around and socialize while seeing some pretty interesting stuff! Organized and run by the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, there will probably be lots of things to fiddle with and, more than likely, many opportunities to enter your name in a draw or two. We will be there as well with information to hand out or to answer questions — either way, stop in and say hi!

We had a great spring break; one of our successes was our Break into Spring Kids Camp where we had capacity crowds both weeks. It’s always interesting to see youths running around the place with life-size cutouts of zombies or creating weird stuff with Jell-O; generally any camp with Lisa as Fearless Leader and Tim as the Trusty Sidekick results in the participants having a pretty memorable time. The only thing I noticed: Is it me or are kids getting louder with each new generation?

Also during that time, you may have noticed more advanced youths in the pool or wandering around on the deck with clipboards on a mission — these were the participants in National Lifeguard, an intense 48-hour program that is the final step to pass before obtaining lifeguard certification. Covering everything from lifesaving to legal obligations and topped with a rigorous physical demand component, I have nothing but respect for the people that manage to successfully complete the course — it’s a tough one!

See you at the home and garden show!

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.