Well, let's see. What are some of the things a local rink does for its regular skaters.
- Comp ice on the sly when they know there are family issues
- Junior coaching programs that might include free ice or guaranteed future employment
- Discounts on ice, shows, or classes
- Personal, knowledgeable help with scheduling and coaching issues
- Being, just in general, your home away from home
Or do you just complain about this system that you are barely a part of?
What you will find when you make an effort to be an active positive part of the life of an ice rink (or your place of worship, or your children's school, or your local park council) is that you will suddenly like the place better.
For one thing, you've invested the most important asset you have: your time. In fundraising, this the holy grail. Get your donors to invest time, and not just dollars, and they become your best contributors as well as your best marketers. When you give your precious time (and I use the term precious without sarcasm), it becomes important to you that your decision be justified. So you'll start seeing the positives, and not just the negatives.
It will also get you out of the echo chamber, where all you hear are the complaints from one class of people-- the parents. It will put you in contact with the hockey or speed skating program, the skating school parents (who make up the bulk of volunteers, as a rule), the management, the office staff. You'll start thinking of them as people, and we all have a default position that people are basically good. When they're just "the office staff" it's easy to trash them. When they're Jane and Mark and Alicia, you start to care about them.
It works in the other direction too. You'll morph from That Mom to Mary and you'll find that your experience improves exponentially.
Every time you feel like complaining, stop and ask instead. Ask the Skating Director, not "how can you change this thing that drives me crazy, yesterday," but "why is it done this way." There might be a really good reason, and it might be that it makes someone's life easier.
I'm not going to stop you from complaining. Heck, if you stop, I'll have to stop. But take an interim step-- help out. Ask. Engage.
With apologies to JFK, ask not what your rink can do for you. Ask what you can do for your rink.