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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Best Guard. Your Questions. Your Comments on the New Center

Hello Troops,

It was 3:35 P.M.  I was standing outside of Shelley Elementary wearing my hunter orange vest. I stand outside every afternoon and monitor the mad rush of hundreds of students pouring out of the school and homeward bound.

"Mr. Guard," one dark haired fourth grader said while tapping me on the shoulder.

"What can I do for you?" I asked.  I recognized him from the lunchroom.  He can't remember my name, and I can't remember his.  I call him Bud.  He calls me Mr. Guard.

"You're the best Guard at our school."  His compliment seemed sincere.
"And I know why you said that."  I was sure I knew what he was thinking.  "You like my ultra cool safety vest with this embroidered Space Center Logo, Don't you?  I'll bet you want me to give you this ultra cool vest?  Well, it ain't gonna happen?"

Bud's friend began pulling on his arm to get him to move toward the waiting car.
"You're just friendly and cool," he answered before running off. 

My pride prompted me to stand a bit straighter.  I directed my gaze at the waiting cars and wondered if anyone knew that I had just been proclaimed the 'Best Guard' at Shelley Elementary.   I stuck my chest out with pride, cleared my throat, and wished a few passing third graders a good night.   

"I'm the first one out!" A young 2nd grader ran by screaming at the top of his lungs, I don't know how he came to that conclusion.  The dismissal bell rang 5 minutes earlier; the front lawn was covered with kids. 

You've got to love what kids say.

"Mr. Williamson?!"  I heard someone say with an older voice.  I turned around.  One of the Space Center's most awesome campers and soon to be volunteer stood in front of me.  Dakota attended Shelley when he was in elementary school.  He was there to give something to the principal. 

We spoke for a few minutes, before he had to go.  We both agreed how much we missed the ole Space Center.

For twenty-two years, thousands and thousands of children attended the Space Center.  Many of them returned for camps and classes.  Its easy to forget most of them, but campers like Dakota are never forgotten. 

Just seeing him reminded me of the importance of doing whatever possible to resurrect the Space Center so hundreds of thousands of new campers can have the same experience Dakota had. 

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, and if you happen to be a Shelley Elementary at 3:30 P.M.,  stop and watch the Best Guard at the school in action.

Mr. W.

 Your Questions

Nathan Wrote:
As I read the blog, it seemed like many people were under the pretense that the new (Dream) Space Center would run 9 ships: The Galileo, the four small and the four large. Would the Phoenix and Magellan be discontinued as part of the program?

We would keep the names, but the ships at Central would be discontinued. 

Jakob Wrote:
I have been reading the blog and have learned about the proposed new building. Me and my friends LOVE coming to the space center, but we live in Cache Valley and can't come often. Is there anything we could do to help besides volunteering (like raising money, etc.)?
Live Long and Prosper,
Keep reading The Troubadour for opportunities to help us as we work toward a new Space Center.  Spread the word.  The Space Center will come back!
Mr. Schuller wrote
Here is the link for the Evergeen Aviation Museum in Oregon. They have a pretty extensive education and volunteer program (take a close look at their aviation ambassador program).

Your Thoughts on the New Space Center

Matt L. Wrote:
I'm going to go back to our original design for a new building that we drew up a year or two back. I really like the idea of having a central medical center that is shared by all the simulators that also coordinates all of the away missions. It would have TV's showing cameras of the away mission areas and have communication with all the control rooms.
As for the simulators needing to be different, we discussed giving each a square room and then each Set Director is given freedom to customize the ship as they see fit, keeping in mind that the simulators have to have X number of stations in them.
One of the things I would also love to see would be a shared engineering room. This room would contain all of the activity panels that would be used in 'manually' fixing the ship. If we did it right, we could make the panels nearly maintenance free, and any required maintenance would be very easy. Since the medical center would be shared, the engineering room would probably have to be on a separate floor, accessible from the bridge of each ship.

Away from the simulators, I also really liked the idea of having a waiting room/lounge near the entrance that parents could wait and watch/listen to the crews on the simulators.

And don't forgot, we want spots to put iPads/iPods, as it will be very easy to link those up to the rest of the ship controls.

Staff Member 14 Wrote
I love it! The designs are great and I think the flexible space is great for away missions. But, I think we should still have overnight missions. Those are one of my favorite types, as a camper and as a volenteer. We are still doing camps right? If we are, we need to remember a place for the campers to sleep. I think we could just set up cots in the flexible space like we did before.

Unknown Wrote:
#1-I know that this is more of an after thought but I think that there need to be someway that flight directors can communicate with other staff members. As a volunteer it was hard to run from ship to ship asking questions.

#2-I think that there needs to be hallways separated from the main hallways for staff to get to the "stage" area. As a volunteer I would have to hide from crew on away mission when I was in hallways trying to get from place to place.

#3-I know that there is storage but is more by the class rooms I think that there needs to be closer to the general area of the simulators to put costumes, props, and to store crew uniforms and phasers when not in use.

#4-(Question) would there still be summer camps at the new space center?

#5- I know many staff members are leaving for lds missions, college, and such and new staff members need to be trained. And I think that would need to happen sooner rather then later.

Caitlynn Wrote
One of the biggest issues I have had with overnight camps is the food provided because the donuts always made me quite sick and the fruit was never ripe (no offense, I am very picky with my food). I love all the ideas flying around relating to the physical side of things and all I can think of is the food. :)

Unknown Wrote
I just thought that I would share some thoughts that came to me when I was reading the blog,
9 Simulators!?!?!?!
9 Simulators would be great!!! IF we could make them work... 
These are the things I thought that should be noted when designing the center:
1.  They each need to be built in a different design so each simulator is a different ship, they should all fill different
2.  They need to be spread out, the sound problem is a big problem, crews will panic if the ship next to them is blowing up, with there crews screaming at the screens trying to get away from the Borg Cubes...
3.  The thing I LOVED about the voyager is how it was built, it made me fill like it was a real Federation ship.  Cant we build like a basement or something?
4.  I think the halls are going to be very, very full all the time!  So lets try to keep the ships away from the main halls, for example, the small hall leading to the stage and the voyagers entrance.  This will help with the sound and will make it easier to get into the ships.
5.  And last, do we have enough room?

Issac Wrote:

I thought a programing class would be GREAT!  I know .HTML and a small bit of java, if you want, I would be more than willing to help teach some classes.
Other rooms and comments,
I think we should go with the flexible space, just put in a room for away teams, or engineering etc.
And I think some more floors would be not only really nice, but needed!  If we can afford it, I think that's the first thing that should be on the list...
Also, I'm working on my "blueprints" for the new space center, is there a deadline for when we need to send them in by?
I really realized how much I'm going to miss the space center reading the blog... A new space center would be really cool, but I still am going to miss the origanal simulators...
thanks for all you do!

Adam Wrote:
I think the laser tag would be a great idea. I think the crew uniforms should have sensors like laser tag vests, but still look like Star Trek uniforms. I think it will help the crew get into it more, it's much more realistic than having someone say,
"You, right wing officer. You're dead." It just brings you more into the future if you find out you're dead yourself.

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