There is a skate park near to our house and my daughter has been going there for some time now. She's just learning to skate and there are kids of all skill levels at the park day and night. The park has areas for skate boards, roller blades, scooters and BMX bikes. Summer heat or Winter snow, the place is always packed with kids.
Kids come from all over to use the park. There are four year olds and high school seniors, and the occassional 40 year old with his kid.
The most amazing thing isn't the out of control jumps and flips, or the speed and the crashes. It's the environment. Boarders have a bad rep. They are frowned upon at retail establishments and in the malls. They are looked upon as degenerates and nayer-do-wells. But at Railbender Park they are supportive of each other. They laugh with each other and congratulate a nice move. But they never make fun or criticize. Sure, a few of the older kids will occassionally smoke, and there's the odd curse thrown around. But in general everyone is concerned with their own thing.
Madison always finds someone to chat with and learn a few things from. It's a comfortable environment and I feel safe letting her spend some time there. I suppose now my kid is going to be the slacker kd toting a board and wearing some funky looking shoes.