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June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

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June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

I just signed my son up for camp in June. (One of his Christmas presents) He will be 10 at the time of camp, and has never gone away to a camp before. I am a little nervous. Would love to know if there are any other 1 first-time campers with kids going around that same time, and maybe the kids could talk on email a couple of times before camp...just so they have a name to look for. Thanks for any and all replies.

Also, has anyone flown their children to space camp alone, and then parents pick them up when camp is over?

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1. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

We're considering Space Camp for our son. Do the parents just hang around town for the week or do you think the majority drop off and leave. We're still considering, our son has never camped before

Birmingham, Alabama
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2. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

Lauri - I don't think flying him there alone would be the best way. I doubt that the space center has people to pick them up at the airport and take them back. That's a lot of responsibility. He would be basically navigating an airport on his own at 10. I wouldn't put my kids through that. Since you are in Arkansas, I would think driving would be the best alternative.

angie - I am only an hour and a half away, so I don't know what those from further away would do. One alternative that should be interesting for you would be to stay at one of our beautiful state parks that is within an hour or so of the space camp - Lake Guntersville State Park is the closest and Joe Wheeler State Park is a little further away. Both have a lodge or cabins for rent.

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Lake Guntersville State Park
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Joe Wheeler State Park
Joe Wheeler State Park
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Rogersville, AL
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Athens, Alabama
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3. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

Space Camp has been getting unescorted minors to and from the airport for years with no problems. It's a scenario handled by many large camps all over the world. You pay the airline the added expense of dealing with an unescorted minor and they will be responsible for the child from gate to gate and during any plane transfers. The airline will only release the minor to a person you designate to meet them at the gate at the destination. Hundreds of Space Camp kids get to camp this way every year and not a one has been lost. I know it's scary to parents but it does work and works well. There's nothing wrong with coming with your child though and some do just that. There's a Marriott right next door to camp and many other hotels within a short drive.

Huntsville, Alabama
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4. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

I used to travel quite a bit for work and during the summer, every trip to the airport I used to see at least two Space Camp employees/volunteers there to meet the kids, get their luggage and get them onto the transportation to the camp.

It appears to be an extremely well run program and having lived in the area for just over 9 years, I have never heard/read any stories about issues with the kids traveling on their own and getting met as such! I wish they would have had space camp when I was a kid!!

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5. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

My 9 year old daughter went to space camp as her first sleep away camp a few years ago and it was great. She flew by herself and a space camp rep in a NASA suit was there at her gate to pick her up (and they brought her back to the gate at the end). They keep the kids really busy and they learn a lot.

This summer, my 10 year old twins are going. They are going to the same session, so they will fly together unescorted.

I feel competely confident in space camp and the unescorted pickups.

Huntsville, AL
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6. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

Uniformed Space Camp staff are assigned to pick up children who fly into Huntsville at the gate they arrive at. The Huntsville airport staff is very used to this and will assist helping the children if for some reason the staff isn't there. If parents choose to stay in the area there are many activities to do especially in the summer time.

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7. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

It is perfectly understandable that you are nervous about sending your child away to camp in another state. Be assured that Space Camp has an excellent program in place for unaccompanied children flying in. There are uniformed staff members at the airport that collect the children at the gate, help them get their luggage and get them on the Space Camp bus. From the moment your child is handed over to the airline personnel at your home airport your child is accompanied by an adult. Once they arrive at Huntsville Airport they are never out of the supervision of a Space Camp employee, who has gone through rigorous training to take care of your child.

There are things you can do to help your child prepare for their first time away at camp (homesickness is not uncommon). Space Camp even has a handbook on preparing for camp. Here's the link: http://www.spacecamp.com/forms/MBK04.pdf

Page 4 talks about homesickness and things you can do to prevent it and what to do if it happens. First on the list is have a friend sign up for the same week. You can even request they share a room and be on the same team.

Remember, Space Camp is only a phone call away. Just call with any questions or concerns. They'll be happy to help.

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8. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

My son attended when he was 10 and he is now 16 and still talks about how great it was. A lot of the parents seem stay in town and see the sights. Especially if their children are on the younger side, but if you decide to fly him out he will be fine. The supervision of the kids is incredible. He will have a wonderful time. My son is still in contact with his "team" from camp.

9. Re: June 6-11, 2010 Space Camp

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