The Backyard Rink This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   If you are a hockey player or a figure skater, have you ever dreamed of having your own ice rink? Well, recently I have had this privilege and would like to share my experience with you.

Every year the weekend before Thanksgiving, my family and I build the Bernstein Ice Rink. Not only do we construct the rink, but we also have time for family bonding. We begin by staking off the 50 by 40 foot area, tying strings for leveling purposes to ensure two inches of ice. Then we begin the actual labor by bolting two-by-eights together. We then bolt all four sides together, forming a rectangular shape, using corner braces.

Once the actual frame is built, we lay plastic down inside and staple it to the frame. This plastic will hold the water and form a mold for the ice surface. Next, using a garden hose, we fill it with water. While it is filling, we attach plywood to the frame so during the intense and fiercely competitive hockey games the puck will not scurry off the sheet of glass.

Following the manual labor, all that is left is for Mother Nature to cooperate and send us three days of below-freezing weather. As the glass surface takes shape and hardens, we grab our skates and race to the rink. After a few telephone calls to friends and family, the first official hockey game of the season is under way on the Bernstein Ice Rink. The competition is aggressive and strenuous, but fun.

Erecting the rink is arduous, but in the end it pays off with the opportunity for our family to come together. In a world where families have limited occasions to coalesce, building and skating on the rink allow my family and friends to come together, talk, listen to each other's problems, as well as work as a team to achieve a goal. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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