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.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On to the Finish and A Call for Assistance

Hello Troops,
We’ve entered the Olympic Stadium and see the end of the Marathon in sight. Thousands are on their feet cheering us on to the end of the season. We are exhausted. We are dehydrated. We stink for lack of bathing but we are still in the race regardless of the many obstacles hurdled down on us by the Fates high atop Mr. Olympus.

A week and a half and we wrap up this summer season. It has been difficult but because of sheer determination and an unwillingness to stay down when hit we are still going. What amazing things we can accomplish with that kind of CAN DO attitude.

Yes we have the best volunteer force in Utah County. Yes we are all above average in something. Yes, we sometimes back out of our parking places and not notice there is a car next to us and then we accidentally hit it and then feel really stupid. Yes we can get on each other’s nerves and YES the campers can drive us into such a state only shock therapy can bring us back from the abyss into a state where we can recognize our loved ones, BUT despite all this we are doing so well and I’m proud of my staff and volunteers.

And now a note to our campers.

Campers, you really have been good this summer. I may tease you and claim you drive us crazy and yes, to be honest ,some of you do - but may I add that the vast majority of you have been wonderful and a delight to have with us as our guests.

Do you realize what goes into keeping you happy at our camps? Do you realize how exhausted our staff are and yet they do an excellent job running your missions and classes? Do you realize that our simulators are elaborate pieces of electronics and equipment and that they go down on a regular basis? Take our last camp for instance. The Odyssey’s core computer was crashing regularly, yet Emily and Christine did a remarkable job hiding its effects from the crew and moving forward bringing you to mission completion.

Did you know the Magellan’s Core Computer completely died on the last rotation of our three day camp. If this were Disneyland the simulator would be closed for repairs. That’s Disneyland, we can’t do that at the Space Center. We buckle down, grit our teeth and get to work problem solving.

Applause for Alex Anderson for dropping everything at home and driving to the Space Center to work on a solution. Applause for Matt Long for dropping everything, walking away from his class and helping. A Standing Ovation to Brittney VanDeBoss, Maren Hale and Warren Nuila for moving the story along outside of the simulator by creating elaborate story elements the campers experienced in the school’s corridors. They saw the crash occurring around them and refused to ‘Go Down with the Ship’.
Applause to Kyle Herring and Todd Hadley of Juicy Development for driving to the Space Center to assist in the solution.

Well, the problem was solved and the mission proceeded. It wasn’t the best mission but it still wasn’t that bad. We pulled it off. Now that’s Space Center Guts.

On a more personal note........

I’ve not been well for the last three weeks. My acid reflux and everything associated with it had me to the point where I was anxiously engaged in an Ebay search for a new esophagus (useless - I could only find used. Nothing new). I’m feeling better now after several visits to the doctor and a lovely throat scope carried out at my local Surgery (butcher) Center.

That, added to very little sleep, made me a bit difficult at times and a tadd ‘out of it’. Thanks to everyone for helping and chalking up my temper to a middle age crisis.

OK, enough of that.

Troops, we are facing a serious problem at the Space Center. We need help with our computer programs. The Odyssey and Magellan need new controls, or perhaps a serious review of the current ones to see where the problems lie. Our young programmers are doing their best but.......
Out there somewhere I’m sure there is someone that knows how to solve our problems in a way where the Space Center could still stay afloat financially. If you are that person please contact me.

Now, I end this epistle with a big thank you to all for everything.

It’s back to the race and to the finish.

Mr. Williamson
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