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Skating Merit Badge

Skating Merit Badge

Skating is not just a sport or a recreational activity; it’s an exhilarating exercise of balance, agility, and endurance. As the wheels (or blades) roll beneath your feet, the thrill that sweeps over you is one that is both unique and incomparable. It’s this sense of adventure and excitement that we’re here to discuss today, through the lens of the ‘Skating Merit Badge’.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the various facets of earning this special honor. Whether you’re gliding gracefully on ice, whizzing down the street on in-line skates, or maneuvering your board at the local skate park, each discipline presents its unique charm and challenges. Embarking on this journey is more than just learning the art of skating, it’s about determination, discipline, and an innate love for the sport.

From the initial stages of familiarizing yourself with the equipment to mastering the tricks and maneuvers, we will guide you through each milestone you need to achieve this merit badge.

Prepare yourself for a roller-coaster ride through the world of skating, all while learning and growing at your own pace. Because when it comes to skating, the journey is just as exciting as the destination!

Skating Merit Badge Requirements

1. Do the following:
(a) Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards associated with skating and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

(b) Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while skating, including hypothermia, frostbite, lacerations, abrasions, fractures, sprains, blisters, heat-related reactions, and shock.
2. Complete ALL of the requirements for ONE of the following options.

Ice Skating Option

(a) Do the following:
(1) Give general safety and courtesy rules for ice skating. Discuss preparations that must be taken when skating outdoors on natural ice. Explain how to make an ice rescue.
(2) Discuss the parts and functions of the different types of ice skates.
(3) Describe the proper way to carry ice skates.
(4) Describe how to store ice skates for long periods of time, such as seasonal storage.

(b) Do the following:
(1) Skate forward at least 40 feet and come to a complete stop. Use either a two-footed snowplow stop or a one-footed snowplow stop.
(2) After skating forward, glide forward on two feet, then on one foot, first right and then left.
(3) Starting from a T position, stroke forward around the test area, avoiding the use of toe points if wearing figure skates.

(c) Do the following:
(1) Glide backward on two feet for at least two times the skater’s height.
(2) Skate backward for at least 20 feet on two skates.
(3) After gaining forward speed, glide forward on two feet, making a turn of 180 degrees around a cone, first to the right and then to the left.

(d) Do the following:
(1) Perform forward crossovers in a figure-eight pattern.
(2) Explain to your counselor the safety considerations for running or participating in an ice skating race.
(3) Perform a hockey stop.

Roller Skating Option
(a) Do the following:
(1) Give general safety and etiquette rules for roller skating.
(2) Discuss the parts and functions of the roller skate.
(3) Describe five essential steps to good skate care.

(b) Do the following:
(1) Skate forward with smooth, linked strokes on two feet for at least 100 feet in both directions around the rink and demonstrate proper techniques for stopping.
(2) Skate forward and glide at least 15 feet on one skate, then on the other skate.

(c) Do the following:
(1) Perform the crosscut.
(2) Skate backward for at least 40 feet on two skates, then for at least 15 feet on one skate.
(3) Skate forward in a slalom pattern for at least 40 feet on two skates, then for at least 20 feet on one skate.
(4) Skate backward in a slalom pattern for at least 15 feet on two skates.

(d) Do the following:
(1) Shuttle skate once around the rink, bending twice along the way without stopping.
(2) Perform a widespread eagle.
(3) Perform a mohawk.
(4) Perform a series of two consecutive spins on skates, OR hop, skip, and jump on skates for at least 10 feet.

(e) Do the following:
(1) Race on a speed track, demonstrating proper technique in starting, cornering, passing, and pacing.
(2) Perform the limbo under a pole placed at least chest-high, OR shoot the duck under a waist-high pole and rise while still on one foot.
(3) Perform the stepover.
(4) While skating, dribble a basketball the length of the floor, then return to your starting position, OR push a hockey ball with a stick around the entire rink in both directions.

In-Line Skating Option
(a) Do the following:
(1) Give general and in-line skating safety rules and etiquette.
(2) Describe the parts and functions of the in-line skate.
(3) Describe the required and recommended safety equipment.
(4) Describe four essential steps to good skate care.

(b) Do the following:
(1) Skate forward with smooth, linked strokes on two feet for at least 100 feet.
(2) Skate forward and glide at least 15 feet on one skate, then on the other skate.
(3) Stop on command on flat pavement using the heel brake.

(c) Do the following:
(1) Perform the forward crossover.
(2) Perform a series of forward, linked swizzles for at least 40 feet.
(3) Skate backward for at least 40 feet in a series of linked, backward swizzles.
(4) From a strong pace, perform a lunge turn around an object predetermined by your counselor.
(5) Perform a mohawk.

(d) Do the following:
(1) Perform a series of at least four one-footed downhill slaloms on pavement with a gentle slope.
(2) Describe how to pass a pedestrian or another skater from behind.
(3) Describe at least three ways to avoid an unforeseen obstacle while skating.
(4) Describe two ways to get on and off a curb, and demonstrate at least one of these methods.

The Answer for Requirement Number 1a

Hazards associated with skating and the steps to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

Falling or TrippingAlways be aware of your surroundings. Observe the path ahead for obstacles.Use appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards. Ensure your skates are well-maintained and fit properly.Learn how to fall correctly – try to land on the fleshy parts of your body rather than on your hands or knees.Check for injuries, then stand up carefully, using your knees and hands to push yourself up.
Collisions with OthersKeep a safe distance from other skaters. Be particularly cautious in crowded areas.Follow the correct flow of traffic. Use signals to indicate changes in direction or speed.If a collision seems likely, try to turn or slow down to lessen the impact.Check if everyone involved is okay. Inform a responsible adult if anyone is hurt.
Strains and SprainsWarm up and stretch before you start skating.Maintain good physical condition. Strengthen the muscles supporting your knees, ankles, and wrists.Rest the affected area. Use an ice pack to reduce swelling.Seek medical attention if necessary. Follow the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method for initial treatment.
Heat Exhaustion or DehydrationMonitor the temperature and humidity. Stay hydrated.Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after skating. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather.If you feel dizzy, nauseated, or overly tired, stop skating, find shade, and drink water.Seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.
Frostbite or Hypothermia (in Ice Skating)Monitor the weather forecast. Dress appropriately for cold weather.Wear warm, layered clothing. Cover your ears, fingers, and face.Warm up by going indoors if you start to feel too cold or numb.Seek medical attention if you experience severe cold-related symptoms.

Remember, safety is the most important aspect of skating. These measures will help you enjoy your time on the skates while minimizing the risk of injury.

The Answer for Requirement Number 1b

First aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while skating:

Injury/IllnessFirst Aid
HypothermiaIf someone is suffering from hypothermia, move them to a warmer location if possible. Remove any wet clothing and cover them in warm blankets. Give them warm, sweet, non-alcoholic beverages if they are conscious. Seek medical help immediately.
FrostbiteWarm the affected areas gradually using body heat or warm (not hot) water. Do not rub the frostbitten area as it can cause more damage. Seek medical help as soon as possible.
LacerationsClean the wound with warm water and soap. Apply pressure with a clean cloth to stop bleeding. Cover the wound with a clean dressing or bandage. Seek medical help if the cut is deep, large, or uncontrollable bleeding persists.
AbrasionsRinse the wound with clean water. Clean around the wound with soap and a clean cloth. Apply an antibiotic ointment if available. Cover the wound with a clean bandage or dressing.
FracturesDo not move the person unless necessary. Stabilize the area if possible. Seek medical help immediately.
SprainsUse the RICE method: Rest the injured area, Ice it to reduce swelling, Compress it with a bandage, and Elevate the limb. Seek medical help if the pain or swelling is severe.
BlistersIf the blister is not painful, try not to pop it. If you must drain a painful blister, use a sterilized needle to make a small hole and gently squeeze out the fluid. Apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it with a bandage.
Heat-related reactionsMove the person to a cooler place, loosen tight clothing, and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Seek medical help if the person’s condition does not improve or if they refuse water, vomit, or begin to lose consciousness.
ShockLay the person down on their back and elevate the legs and feet slightly, unless this causes pain or further injury. Keep the person still and don’t let them eat or drink anything. Seek medical help immediately.

Remember, these first-aid tips are not a substitute for proper medical care. Always seek professional medical help when necessary.

Also Read: Snow Sports Merit Badge

The Answer for Requirement Number 2 Ice Skating Option

(a) Do the following:

(1) Safety and Courtesy Rules, Outdoor Skating Preparations, and Ice Rescue:

  • General Safety and Courtesy Rules for Ice Skating:
    • Always skate in the same direction as other skaters.
    • Avoid abruptly stopping in front of others.
    • Keep a safe distance from other skaters.
    • Do not skate in groups that obstruct others.
    • Don’t skate while wearing headphones.
    • Help others up if they fall and you can do so safely.
  • Preparations for Skating Outdoors on Natural Ice:
    • Ensure the ice is at least four inches thick before stepping onto it.
    • Check for signs of weak ice, such as cracks, fissures, or discolored spots.
    • Always skate with a buddy, never alone.
  • How to Make an Ice Rescue:
    • Do not go onto the ice yourself. Instead, use an object to reach the person like a rope, branch, or ladder.
    • Once they’ve grabbed the object, gently pull them to safety.
    • If you cannot reach them with an object, call for professional help immediately.

(2) Parts and Functions of Different Types of Ice Skates:

BootOffers support and protection for the foot and ankle.
BladeAllows for gliding across the ice. Its slight curve enables turning.
Toe PickLocated on figure skates; assists in performing certain jumps and maneuvers.
HeelProvides balance and stability.

(3) Proper Way to Carry Ice Skates

The best way to carry ice skates is by holding them together at the heels with the blades facing away from your body. Use the laces to tie the skates together for easier carrying.

(4) Storing Ice Skates for Long Periods

For seasonal storage, first, make sure the skates are thoroughly dry to prevent rusting. Loosen or remove the laces and pull the tongue up to allow air circulation. Store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Some people also use blade guards or soakers to protect the blades during storage.

(b) Do the following:

(1) Skate Forward and Stop

To perform this task, push off with one foot and glide forward for at least 40 feet. Then, come to a complete stop using either a two-footed snowplow stop (both skates angled inward to form an inverted V shape), or a one-footed snowplow stop (one skate remains straight while the other angles inward to slow and stop).

(2) Glide Forward

Start by pushing off and skating forward, maintaining balance on both feet. Then, shift your weight to glide on one foot. First, balance on your right foot and glide, then repeat on the left foot.

(3) Stroke Forward From a T Position

Begin in a T position (one foot pointing forward, the other trailing at a right angle). Use this positioning to push off and stroke forward around the test area. If you’re wearing figure skates, remember to avoid using your toe picks for propulsion. Instead, use the inside edges of the blades for a smooth, graceful stride.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Repeat these drills to build your skill and confidence on the ice. Don’t be discouraged by falls; they are part of the learning process. Just make sure to protect yourself with appropriate safety gear.

(c) Do the following:

(1) Glide Backward on Two Feet

To accomplish this, face forward but move backward, pushing off with the front part of your blades. Maintain your balance and control your direction while gliding backward for a distance of at least two times your height.

(2) Skate Backward

Similar to the first task, but this time, push off with more force to skate backward actively for at least 20 feet. Keep your knees slightly bent, your body leaning forward, and your eyes looking in the direction you’re moving to maintain balance and control.

(3) Glide Forward and Turn

Start by gaining forward speed. Then, glide on two feet and perform a 180-degree turn around a cone. First, turn to the right: rotate your right shoulder and hip in the direction you want to go and allow your skates to follow in a smooth arc. Then repeat the process turning to the left.

These moves require a degree of practice and precision. It’s important to be patient with yourself and remember that control and balance are more important than speed. Always be sure to wear your protective gear to avoid injuries while practicing.

(d) Do the following:

(1) Perform Forward Crossovers in a Figure-Eight Pattern

To execute this maneuver, start by skating a circle to the right. As you approach the top of the circle, cross your left foot over your right and push off the inside edge of your right foot. Repeat this step, alternating between your feet as you complete the figure-eight pattern. The key is to maintain your balance while smoothly transferring weight from one foot to the other.

(2) Safety Considerations for Ice Skating Races

  • Wear proper protective gear including a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
  • Ensure the race area is well maintained and free from hazards such as cracks, debris, or uneven ice.
  • Warm up and stretch before the race to prevent injuries.
  • Abide by the race rules and respect other participants.
  • Hydrate properly before, during, and after the race.
  • Ensure medical assistance is available during the race.

(3) Perform a Hockey Stop

This is a fast, efficient way to stop inice skating. To do this, skate forward, then quickly rotate your feet so they’re perpendicular to your direction of travel. Dig the inside edges of your blades into the ice and bend your knees slightly to control the stop. Practice this move slowly at first, then increase your speed as you become more comfortable.

Remember, mastering these maneuvers requires practice and patience. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you gain more confidence and control. Safety should always be your priority when performing these tasks.

I'm a Mechanical Engineer and lifelong Eagle Scout. My passion for scouting guides my writing, aiming to inspire fellow Scouts on their path. Thanks for reading, and best wishes on your journey to Eagle!