How we got started:
About about 6 years ago, we took Colin to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. He was already interested in space, and the trip really got him excited about being an astronaut. After that trip, we watched the movie Space Camp, and Colin decided that one day, he would go to Space Camp.
This year was the first year he was old enough to go. So we started discussing it back in January. Was he really big enough to go? We had to consider his maturity and responsibility. We had to consider the cost, both monetarily and emotionally. We decided as a family that Space Camp was a Go! We signed him up!
Last Sunday, Colin arrived at Space Camp.
I didn't realize that the camp was actually divided up into tracks, so we decided that Colin would do the Robotics Track since he is on his school's robotics team. Not only would he already know about the program, but he would be able to learn more to help his team here.
Colin spent the week making new friends, completing a space mission, learning about the space program, and working in the Robotics Lab. He and I were both homesick. But all in all, we both agreed it was a great experience. For me, it was a humbling experience to let my child go and dive into "controlled" independence.
Here are a few pictures from is Space Camp DVD the camp gave us:
Colin in the Robotics Lab
What a cool picture!
Our future scientists, engineers, and astronauts walking to class.
Colin in the MAT (multi axis trainer)
More fun in the Robotics Lab
Working on teamwork and communication skills
Flight Engineer 2 working on his experiment
Swimming at the Aviation Camp
Colin practicing in the MMU (manned maneuvering unit)
After a great week, it was time for graduation. It was filled with many surprises (for Colin and his parents).
The trainees marched in by team and found their seats.
Astronaut Don Thomas addressing the crowd.
Team Gear receiving their graduation certicficates from Astronaut Don Thomas.
Colin's Robotics Team, Astro Tech, receiving their awards for Best Overall in Robotics. They received certificates, a patch, and have their names on the trophy to be displayed at The Space and Rocket Center.
I hate my camera, but I LOVE this moment!
Colin is receiving the Right Stuff Award from Astronaut Don Thomas!
Only one trainee from each graduating camp receives the award. They are nominated by the counselors and camp management chooses the winner.
Much to our surprise, Colin was the winner of this award.
After such a difficult (emotional week), it was an amazing moment to say the least.
Marching out from graduation (daddy giving a high five!).
Colin with Wesley, one of his counselors.
Colin next to the Robotics trophy.
Showing off his Right Stuff award
Needless to say, we are very proud of Colin. To be gone from his family for almost a week, to exhibit such strong, moral character traits, to be an amazing young man.....yes, we are proud of him.
I am glad to have him home!