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Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Limited Super 17 Hour Overnight Camps and No Leadership Camp.

Greetings from Mr. Herring!
Subject: Super 17 Hour Overnighters and Teenager Leadership Camp
We have had several emails expressing disappointment about our age limitations for Super Overnight Camps and the disappearance of our Leadership Camp from the summer schedule. I want to apologize to our older campers that wanted to participate in a Leadership Camp or a Super 17 Hour Overnighter. First, let me tell you how hard it was for us to make this year's summer camp schedule. We knew we couldn't accommodate the demand for longer camps, especially the Super 17 Hour Overnighters and the Leadership Camps because of the following reasons:
• Most of the older students wishing to registering for the Super 17 Hour Overnight Camps have already done our mission "Canada". With so many students wanting to go, and with limited availability (remember we only allow 19 per camp), we thought it would be wise to give everyone the experience when they are young and allow them to attend only one.
• Super Overnighters and Leadership Camps are difficult to produce. In the past, I have spent at least one hundred hours to prepare a mission that will be run 2 times during a summer season (USS Canada for the 5th and 6th graders and Maelstrom for 7th and 8th grades). The Leadership camp is slightly different. I'm not preparing mission stories but I am scheduling camp activities—field trips, buses, food, classes, guest speakers, and mission schedules.
• In the past, I was a full-time employee of the Space Center. I am now part time and have a another job that demands a minimum of 40 hours per week. It is a better paying job with health benefits. I can't donate as many hours to the Center as I did in the past.
Because of limited time, I have decided that my volunteer hours at the Space Center will be used for:

A. Maintaining the Simulators of the Center.
B. Developing my new overnight story, "A Matter of Honor" for the Voyager, which will premier this summer on Overnight Missions.
C. Starting and directing the Space Center's new Community Outreach Program (fan club) called "The Explorers Club". Expect news on this club very soon. Trust me, you will love this club. There will be opportunities for more Super Overnighters and Leadership Camps for campers aged 10 through 17.
D. Raising money for the construction of a new Galileo and a refit of the USS Voyager.

As you can all see, with a full time job, personal life and my part time job at the Space Center I am already burning the candle at both ends! Thanks for your support and understanding. Thank you for your enthusiasm for the Center. I look forward to working with you in the new Explorers Club. Keep checking the Blog often for updates or, send your email address to the Space Center and you'll be notified when the Club will hold its first orientation meeting. Be sure to get your parent's permission before sending your email address!

All the best,
Mr. Herring

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