It can be overwhelming to be a new hockey parent. They need HOW much gear? It goes on in what order? How long is the stick supposed to be? Even worse, it seems that everyone in the locker room is a pro at this - they must have all been parents of NHL players in a former life, right?
Relax - its not as complicated as it seems. First, visit the USA Hockey help center for new parents at: http://www.usahockey.com/newparents
Next, visit the DCYHA help page - click the tab at the top that reads MORE +, then RESOURCES, then FAQ. This should have most of the information you're looking for!
Couple of things some people don't know and forget to mention:
1. Your child needs a practice jersey and socks at least until their real jerseys and game socks arrive. Lots of kids wear their DCYHA game jerseys and socks to every practice, but if you dont' have them yet.... You can borrow from older players, buy a basic plain color online or locally (which actually goes a long way towards saving their game socks from wear and tear during the year!), you can wear anything from home that works (Mickey Mouse hockey jerseys, one of Dad's long sleeve t-shirts, etc), or we do have practice jerseys in the "cage" that could be borrowed in a pinch for the first month. Socks aren't the ones that go on their feet, either! They go over the shin pads, and are needed for everything to work correctly!
2. Everyone is very nice here! Our hockey family is welcoming and wants your child to have the same experience our kids had on their first day - so please, ask for help! We ALL had a first day, so we know how it feels.
3. Safety isn't optional - your child CANNOT go on the ice without all the gear. If you get to the rink and are missing something, we may be able to find you a piece to borrow for that practice. Again - speak up! No one can help if you don't say that you need help!
We want you to love hockey, and we want your child to love hockey, so if you're feeling nervous: Read Up, Reach Out, and Relax.