Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 3 in Camp. The EdVenture Continues.

EdVenture Camp 2

We are on day 3 of our second EdVenture Camp. The natives were quiet during the night except for two small disturbances. I was woken by a young man walking through the Briefing Room. He walked by my camp (a pad, my two pillows, my blanket, flashlight, alarm clock and whistle) and straight into the hallway.
RULE VIOLATION: No one is allowed to leave their sleeping areas without permission. He didn’t stop to ask me to use the school’s restrooms. I waited to review the rules when he returned. He came back several minutes later.
“Stop,” I said. “Come here.” He stumbled to my camp like a drunk after one too many.
“Remember to tell me if you need to use the restroom during the night. You’re not allowed to wander through the halls of the school.” With that said I dismissed him to return to bed.
“My mission, I’m worried about my mission,” he replied in an odd tone. The statement alone was harmless. I hear it all the time. He can’t sleep because he is in the middle of a tough mission and its weighing on his mind. The odd thing about what he said was in its delivery. Most boys will look at me when they talk. They also appear alert. This boy’s head was darting back and forth like a caged animal. He was agitated and couldn’t stay still.
“Go back to bed,” I said. He moved toward the Voyager's door. A moment later I heard a yelp. I jumped up and found him at hopping on one foot near the Voyager’s Control Room door.
“Did you fall?” I asked.
“I stepped on something but I don’t know....... but I stepped on something and I......... I don’t know what it was.” He was stammering. His odd behavior could be diagnosed as a stroke or sleep walking. I ruled out a stroke. The kid was 11. He had to be sleeping walking. I helped him to a bench and looked at his foot. He stepped on something but I couldn’t find what it was with a flashlight search.
“Are you awake or asleep?” I asked him. I know it was a stupid question but I was tired. I was also curious what a sleepwalker would say when asked.
“I’m not sure because my mission is Ghost Ship and I don’t know what to do because we are in trouble and .....” The stammering continued.
“Can you walk?” I asked.
He hobbled. That was good enough. “Go to bed.” I said again. This time I followed him with the flashlight. He walked onto the Bridge, found his area collapsed onto the pad, covered himself and was out.
I returned to my camp.

All was quiet again. Everyone, including the chaperons, were asleep except for me. “The calm before the storm,” I thought to myself. The silence was broken by coughing from the Odyssey's bunks. There was also the constant sound of the forced air conditioning over head.

A moment later I heard feet shuffling across the carpet. Someone was approaching. I sat up. At the foot of my pad I saw one of the 14 year old campers. He look foreboding in the faint light from the green EXIT sign over my head . For a moment I thought it was Ye Old Grim Reaper come to carry my soul away. The thought passed when I recognized the unruly hair. It was one of the campers.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I filled the Happy Bucket,” he replied. The Happy Bucket is a gray cleaning bucket given to children when they shows signs of imminent explosion (vomiting). They carry the bucket with them until the eruption subsides or the feeling passes.
“Bring me the bucket,” I said. He went to fetch it. “I got back up and waited. He returned a moment later. I took the bucket. It sloshed. He had indeed made a good deposit. I wanted to say “Good Boy." He deserved recognition for getting it all in the bucket and not on the carpet, floor, shoes, sleeping bags etc. (all of which has happened in the past). I let the moment pass and told him to wait while I cleaned it out.

I’m good with body fluids. They don’t bother me. I can even deal with blood - but not my own. Cleaning and sanitizing the bucket took a few minutes. In no time he was back to bed and all was well. I returned to my camp. It was nearing 2:00 A.M. I dozed off, waking up several times during the night to the various sounds of an old school. Mixed in were the melodies of children dreaming of starship adventures in places far away.

Wednesday Morning.

The kids are up and fed. Mrs. Houston and Mrs. Powell have them in the last two hours of their class session. It’s 9:05 A.M. One of our younger sixth grade volunteers just emerged from the Phoenix. He slept there last night. The staff go on duty at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday then is a happy day for them. They get to sleep in.

It’s spitting with rain. I’m not sure the campers will be able to launch their rockets. I could worry about that but won’t. It is the responsibility of Sheila and Lorraine and I really like that. I’ve enough on my plate. Its good to share the load with a great staff that are more than capable of dealing with hiccups in the schedule.

OK, now I’ve got to get back to work. There is a growing list of things to do and they won’t disappear without my attention. I’m good with that. I call it job security. I’ll update the Blog throughout the week to give you readers the taste and feel of summer life at the Space Center.

Mr. Williamson
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