SCIENTIST

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Rocketry and astronomy are becoming hip hobbies. The

hobby of rocketry is growing by leaps and bounds, and

earning a high-powered rocket license is not unusual for the

rocket enthusiast. Television channels now regularly broadcast

documentaries on the subject, and some traditional summer

camps now place rocketry among their offerings. It is

also a hobby that attracts the “out-of-the-box” thinker.

The sciences encourage children to think about how we

got here and how the earth was formed. Although the issues

are far greater than the young child can understand, it does

make them wonder; it pushes the child to ask larger questions

than they can answer. The sciences keep a child interested

and engaged.

This section has programs and information that will provide

guidance for those who want to become involved in

astronomy, rocketry, or other science hobbies.

ASTROCAMP (GUIDED DISCOVERIES)

Astronomy camp

Ann Commetti, Registrar

Kristi & Ross Turner, Directors

P.O. Box 3399

Idyllwild, CA 92549-3399

(800) 645-1423

www.guideddiscoveries.org

QUICK TAKE: This camp offers one- and two-week summer

programs for kids throughout the world who are future astronomers

or who dream about “space and the universe.” The

facility is also available to school groups for three-day programs

during the school year.

AGE REQUIREMENT: 8–14 for the one week program; 10–15 for

the two week program.

FEES: One week program, $750 + $25 for airport transport; two

week program, $1,500 + $25 for airport transport.

BACKGROUND: Astrocamp was founded in 1989 by Kristi and

Ross Turner, the founders of Catalina Sea Camps, which are

now part of Guided Discoveries. The Turners were teachers

who wanted to get kids excited about science and the environment.

They felt that the process of exploring created magic

and that the student’s discoveries would have life-long benefits.

The camp is located high in the San Gabriel Mountains in

California where kids can get a stellar view of the universe.

DESCRIPTION: The one-week program curriculum is very

structured, with no choices available. The two-week program

offers a curriculum filled with activity and course choices.

Qualified instructors, including teachers, astronomers, and

scientists, are the first part of the equation at Astrocamp.

Among the excellent courses are rocketry; the study of electricity

through the use of magnets; and hands-on-labs in astronomy,

physics, lights and lasers, weather and atmosphere,

geology, the solar system, and space technology. Adventure

activities include high and low ropes courses, the climbing

wall, bouldering, the human gyroscope, space ball, and Newton’s

chair. The Mission Lab guides students on simulated explorations

of a newly discovered planet in the solar system.

The thrill of discovery and teamwork are emphasized. This is

an outstanding experience.

OUR TAKE: This camp is committed to its goal of providing a

“life-enhancing” experience for those children who are avidly

interested in space exploration. The staff is employed yearround,

which is a definite plus, and they are trained to relate

to and teach kids about the universe. Another plus is that this

camp attracts kids with the same interests. This camp can

provide an amazing experience for kids who want to explore

space, the sky, the stars, and all that this implies.

OUR RECOMMENDATION: This is a great experience for children

who are independent and passionate in their pursuit of

astronomy. Being on top of a mountain, with telescopes and

other equipment studying the universe, is what this camp is

all about. The camp philosophy also emphasizes the social

aspect of camp through an important mix of programs.