Space Camp is back!
500 campers started camp on Monday.
Space Camp is planning to operate at 50% of its pre-pandemic capacity. Many campers and counselors that were supposed to participate last year, are participating this year instead. In 2020, the camp only operated at 20% capacity, from the end of June until August.
“It kind of came as a surprise, if I’m being honest because I had submitted the application a year and a half ago,” said Samantha Menikheim, working now as a Mission Specialist for her group.
Students from all over the country are traveling to Huntsville for this hands-on experience.
“There was one kid I was talking to when we got here from Texas, and that was kind of cool, getting to talk to people all over the place,” said Menikheim.
A year ago, the camp only held students from a 500-mile radius.
William Alsobrook is currently working as ISS Commander of his group. He said attending Space Camp is the most normalcy he’s felt since the pandemic began.
“My family and I have wanted me to do this for years,” said Alsobrook.
After a quiet year, Robin Soprano, the Vice President of Space Camp, said it's overwhelming to welcome so many students to Space Camp.
“Just to hear the sounds of voices and laughter, it’s just heartwarming,” said Soprano.
Space Camp, Aviation Challenge, and US Cyber Camp, all returning programs.
“We had to revamp some of our activities, but it’s been amazing to be able to offer that same experience,” said Soprano.
The camp usually runs for 50 weeks. Before the pandemic, hundreds of new campers would come in from all over the world. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center said they’re still trying to determine whether international students will be able to attend programs in the Fall.