Free ice time for Coon Rapids’ Junior Cardinal Camp

Sixteen hours of free ice time will again be provided by the city of Coon Rapids for the Coon Rapids Youth Hockey Association to run its 2012-2013 Junior Cardinal Camp at the Coon Rapids Ice Center.

The Coon Rapids City Council has approved free ice time worth close to $2,800.

The city’s partnership with the youth hockey association in this program began in 2008 when the Junior Cardinal Camp was launched in an effort to encourage youth in the community to learn how to skate and play hockey.

Through the 30-45 minute recruitment camps, participants can use hockey association equipment for skating and hockey instruction that serves as an introduction to the sport, according to Craig Scott, ice center manager.

“In 2011, over 90 new families registered for the camps resulting in more than 50 new registrations at the mite and under-eight entry levels,” Scott said.

“Every year it has been a rousing success.”

According to Mayor Tim Howe, the camp is a great program in which young participants become new hockey players.

“It is very effective,” Howe said. “We are seeing more and more young kids taking up the game.

“These youngsters get a taste of the game that they can enjoy for a lifetime.”

The loss of ice time revenue should be partially offset by an increase in mite and under eight player participation allowing the association to field a full range of entry level teams, Scott told the council.

“In future years each returning player would continue to contribute to CRYHA,” he said.

According to the Coon Rapids Youth Hockey Association website, the Junior Cardinal Camp was developed to make it affordable to start playing hockey with the intent to generate interest for new boys and girls hockey players in Coon Rapids.

The 2012 learn to play hockey camp is limited to the first 80 registrants that need equipment from the association. The cost is $25 and is for all beginner players ages four through 10.

Equipment (skates, knee pads, breezers, socks, gloves, shoulder pads and helmet with mask) will be given out a week prior to the camp on a consignment basis, the website states.

Equipment will be turned in on the last day of the camp unless the player registers for another program.

Two sessions are planned, both taking place in October. Session one is on Tuesdays and Saturdays, Oct. 2, 6, 9, 13, 16 and 20 from 5 to 5:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and 12:30 to 1:15 on Saturdays.

Session two is Thursdays and Saturdays, Oct. 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20 from 5 to 5:45 p.m. on Thursdays and 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays.

Contact Wendall Ball at [email protected] or 763-458-5608 or go to the association website at