Every summer, as I welcome the campers and their parents to Camp KSC® check-in, I find myself wishing that Camp KSC had existed when I was a kid. If it had, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have grown up to become an astronaut. While any visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is inspiring, Camp KSC gives kids a chance to be an active part of NASA’s space program! Where else can a kid walk on the same gantry that the Apollo 11 astronauts crossed on their way to the Moon and touch a real Moon rock? Or meet an astronaut and stand within inches of spacecraft that have traveled millions of miles through the vast space that surrounds our beautiful planet? Where else can a kid train on simulators that let her travel from Earth to Mars and explore the Red Planet? Or can a kid take part in a real NASA science experiment and know the data he collects will help determine what plants will be grown on the International Space Station?
Educators love to quote the old adage, “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.” Camp KSC involves children ages 7-16 in activities that help them understand not only America’s space program, but also the value of teamwork, the rewards of perseverance and the joy of accomplishment. Focusing on age appropriate, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities that are both challenging and fun, Camp KSC allows campers to experience a wide variety of missions designed to appeal to all types of learners.
My first Camp KSC was in 2013, leading a team of 9 and 10-year-olds. Many of those campers – who are now in high school – still come to camp every year and nothing brings a smile to my face like hearing them call out, “Hi Miss Dee! I’m back!”
I hope they remember to say “Hi!” when they get to Mars.
To learn more about Camp KSC and how to enroll in the 2019 session, visit Camps & Education at KennedySpaceCenter.com!