Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Mr. Williamson's Goals for the Space Center's Future circa 2002. How Are We Doing Today? The Flight Director's Quandary: Good Story Telling or Let Them Make All the Right Decisions. Staff Bickering: How to Keep Peace on those Long Long Weeks of Camp. Lots of Pictures. The Imaginarium.

Waiting in the lobby for the arrival of another set of campers. I'm tired. Someone is talking to me.
I can't tell if I'm listening. Some of those weeks were tough. Most weeks throughout June and July had One 3 Day Overnight Camp. One Overnight Camp and a dozen or more private missions.  We were always fully booked out. Good days....

Jennifer Remy and Lorraine Houston Teach an Awesome Class to the Staff and Volunteers
July 5, 2002

Hello Troops,
I want to report an overwhelming success for the Rangers, Voyagers, and Pioneers that attended today's 5 hour class session taught by Jennifer Remy and Lorraine Houston. Our staff were placed in the same simulation our campers are doing for camp this summer. I was unable to stay but did talk to them at the conclusion of the experience. All of them remarked how "Awesome" it was. They mentioned that the simulation really made you think because there were no Techno-garble solutions we sometimes give them in the simulators or you see on Star Trek. They each mentioned that if the second session doesn't fill up they will all come back and do it all over again.

The 64 Campers Arrive for their 3 Day, Two Night Overnight Camp.

If you need 5 class hours and want a fantastic experience go to the egroup poll and vote for the next session. 22 is the maximum number so don't delay.

Thanks Jennifer and Lorraine for making this EdVenture available to our own staff.

All the Best my friends - and I'll see many of you on Monday for 48 Hour Camp number 3. We will go over the hump on this one Hard to believe the summer for us is almost 1/2 over!

Mr. Williamson

Space Center Journal. This is the Busiest Time of the Summer with 64 Kids in Every Camp. All the People Who Need to be Thanked.  Why I stand by the Garbage Cans. My Future Goals for the Space Center.
People Mentioned:  Jennifer Remy, Lorraine Houston, Josh Webb, Chris Call, James Porter, Bill Schuler, Aleta Clegg, Mark Daymont

July 7, 2002

Hello Troops,
Monday is peaking around the corner holding a placard reading,"Vacation over! Camp Today!"

I hope I speak for everyone when I say this last week of vacation was welcome and needed. Having a week off in the middle of camp season is necessary to renew and recharge the batteries. 

We are entering the busiest time of the summer. The next four weeks will bring three more 48 hour camps and a Day Camp - not to mention several overnight camps. We will be finished on July 31st. The Center will be closed for 3 weeks starting August 1st. The school year begins on August 14th for teachers. Students start the next week. Everyone - enjoy your summer! We will be all be back to school soon enough and then you'll wonder where the summer went.

I want to thank all of you for a fantastic 48 hour camp number 2. The camp went without a problem. It was a joint Space Center/ Astrocamp program. The results of the camp were posted several days ago. 

Check, these campers have everything they need: Sleeping bags, pillows, Change of clothing, Swimsuits, Towels and a great positive attitude.

1. The food was delicious (Thanks Bill Schuller and Aleta Clegg)
2. Thanks Josh Webb for the clean school and restrooms and helping Bill and Aleta clean
the cafeteria.
3. Thanks Mark Daymont, James Porter, and Chris Call for excellent, exciting missions! Our overall scores are good. The kids are being challenged.
4. Thanks Jennifer Remy and Lorraine Houston. Good reviews on the class. Education mixed with simulation - a real EdVenture! Both Lorraine and Jennifer understand the importance of their activity because the class is the only thing all 64 campers participate in. 
5. A real pat on the back to our outstanding Green Shirts, Rangers, Voyagers, and Pioneers. You all work hard and make the camp fun for the campers and me. Please don't hesitate to say hello. I know I look busy most of the time but always have time to stop and shake your hand. 

Some kids were smart enough to bring their own phasers. The Voyager never had enough good working phasers for
every kid.

Many of you notice that at meal times I stand by the garbage cans and watch the kids get their food and eat. I do that to be available if any of the campers have questions but more importantly I can gage the mood of the camp and workers while I watch and listen. Smiling, happy, faces is what I've been seeing. I also stand there amazed at what we've all done collectively. We've taken a few rooms in an old school, built between 1940 and 1956 and created one of the most exciting, educational, EdVentures in the world. Who would imagine that a school like Central, in the middle of tiny Pleasant Grove, Utah
would have 5 simulators, 2 starlabs, a staff of dedicated professionals and a volunteer organization of nearly 100 ranging in age from 10 to adults.
We are unique - and perhaps never will be duplicated but regardless - we are here and all of you have played a part in its success. Take a minute sometime and just walk around and the ships and classes. Watch the kids interact with the staff and teachers. Watch the simulators in action. You 
will agree with me that this is amazing. 

Sign ins are complete. The five person Galile crew wait near the bathrooms for orders. Every camp started
with a 2.5 hour mission. They've got their name tag/ rank advancement tags.

Where to we want to go in the future? I have a wish list - yes I do. 

1. I'd like the Center to have a real dorm for the kids to sleep in complete with 
2. I'd like to have a permanent planetarium so we don't have to inflate the Starlabs
twice a day
3. I'd like to have a full sized classroom for instruction so we wouldn't need to use
the briefing room for our classes. 
4. I'd like to have a new simulator for kids aged 7 to 9. With that ship I'd like to 
open a few classes and camps for that age level. 
5. I'd love to see Central Elementary continue to improve until the school's reputation
equals or overshadows the Space Center.
Imagine people knowing about the Space Center because of Central and not the other way around. 

Well, those are a few of the things on my wish list. 

Time to move on and get some things ready for the camp tomorrow.

All the Best!
Mr. Williamson

The Magellan crew all lined up waiting to enter the Discovery Room for their briefing.

Mrs. Clegg takes a few minutes to chat with the staff (down the hallway in the lobby).  She's just put the
groceries away for the camp.  In a bit she'll start cooking supper.

Space Center Journal. 
64 In the EdVentures 3 Day Camp. Two Versions of Canada: One Fun, One Not So Fun. When Should You Sacrifice "Fun" for Correct Decision Making on the Crew's Part - the Age Old Dilemma. We found the Perfect Version of Mercy Strike After Many Attempts.  Boy is it HOT!  

July 14, 2002

Hello Troops,
Last week we did a 48 hour camp from Monday to Wednesday and an overnight mission on Friday. In addition to those there were private missions scheduled on Thursday and Saturday. A busy week. 

The Voyager Crew was briefed in the school's computer lab

Monday's 48 hour camp went well. It was one of those rare camps where I had three good rotations. Usually you get one, maybe two, but to have all three is something to write about. The camp had 64 kids ranging in age from 10 to 14. You know, when a camp goes as well as that one there isn't much else to say. I did learn one thing though; my Voyager mission (the Canada) has two versions. There is a time in the story when the 
students must decide if they want to go around a nebula or through it. If they choose to go around the nebula (the correct choice if it were real) then they do version 1. Version 1 is a more traditional story with plenty of action but no scary bits. If they choose to go through the nebula then they of course get version 2. Version 2 is quite a bit more "Freaky". You see, the nebula has a certain type of radiation that causes the human 
brain to "misfire" so to speak. This results in hallucinations. This aspect of the story for many kids is the best part of the mission. Well, I'm used to most students choosing to go 
through the nebula - that was true until the second rotation. The captain during that rotation decided to go around the nebula fearing the radiation would have a detrimental effect on his crew. They did a fantastic job in the mission and had fun but I noticed that their reviews were a bit lower than others. I also heard that those kids were disappointed they didn't get the strange hallucinations after talking to the other two groups. 

The Galileo Captain already barking orders before the mission starts.
This is the original Galileo with the felt walls.  Amazing you could get five kids and those huge
IMac computers in one tiny wooden box.

Should I lead the crews to into poor decision making just so they can get the fun parts of the mission? No, we can't do that. The group that made the correct decision was 
praised but again they felt they missed a fun part of the story. This is an example of the strange work we are in. They learn from mistakes and are praised for good decisions. Can you have a fun mission if you have a captain that makes all the correct decisions and a crew that runs the ship perfectly? Maybe, but it takes a lot more work on the staff's part. This could make an interesting topic of discussion.

With 48 hour camp number three finished we are in the downhill part of the summer. Waiting is 48 hour camps four and five and day camp 2. Of course let's not forget the overnight missions. 

The Phoenix Crew waiting for their mission briefing in the Briefing Room.
Look at all those spare Imacs in the back of the room waiting to be dropped into any ship at a moment's notice.
We were always on top of things. You had to be with five simulators and 64 campers.

The overnight mission went well. I had planned all day to do "Shadows" for the Voyager's overnighter but I learned as the campers were getting registered that there were some campers that had done all the overnight missions. That meant pulling out the Voyager's new mission "Mercy Strike." Mercy Strike is a lot like the Saladin mission - very political and therefore tough for the kids. Mercy Strike was in its third revision and not quite 
finished but it had to go on. I pulled my staff into a quick meeting and explained the changes to the story. There wasn't time to write them down. I knew it was going to be a challenging mission. I briefed the crew. We trained the crew. Mercy Strike (V3) started at 8:50 P.M. By 10:00 A.M. Saturday morning we knew we finally had the version the kids understood and the staff could do without exhausting acting and work. The mission had 
to be simplified and de-layered to its basic plot and it worked. The final version of Mercy Strike is ready for Monday's overnighter!

A special thanks to Jennifer and Lorraine for taking the time to do their class activity for our staff. They enjoyed it and earned class hours also. Everyone wins! 

A note to the oldest staff out there - Nate Bullock came by to see me this last week. He returned from his mission to Russia some time back and is entering UVSC on an academic scholarship. You can tell he is in excellent shape (he hits the gym on a regular basis) and is hoping to be picked up for the UVSC's baseball team. Nate reports he had a good time in Russia. He would like to get in contact with others of the original staff. Us old timers are going to host a staff reunion in December for all of the originals. Watch for upcoming news and announcements.

Wow, what temperatures! The mercury here in Northern Utah is rising to record setting levels. The temperatures in Pleasant Grove have averaged 103 - 106 degrees F. over the last few days. The school's halls are warm but the ships are cool. Well, maybe not the Voyager. It's air conditioner is 11 years old and struggles with the heat. In the late afternoon the bridge temperature hits 79 degrees with the thermostat set on 72. The 
kids are OK with it but the control room temperature moves into the low 80's. That makes it uncomfortable and hot. I'm holding out and not buying a new air conditioner because of the major upgrades the schools is scheduled for over the next few years. If we wait long enough the school district will air condition the entire school and I'll save myself several thousand dollars. 

Well troops, not much else to say. Be Good. 

Mr. Williamson

Making the Summer Successful. Staff Bickering and How to Avoid. Have You Thought of Being Kind? And Many Other Pointers on a Successful Summer for the Staff and Volunteers 

July 17, 2002

Hello Troops,
A few odd and end comments.
1. Please check the database and make sure all of your numbers add up. Been really busy this summer with camps and such and may have missed updating your hours. Check now or forever hold your piece.

2. Some of you still haven't turned in your Quarter 4 grades. I've been slack in letting you work. Please check the database. If you see "Quarter 3" listed then I still need those grades. Remember, you don't get them in you loose 50 points.

3. Dress code for camps. T-Shirt - black or navy blue pants.

4. Please remember manners and kindness towards each other. This isn't a big problem but I do see if from time to time. Teasing, even good natured teasing can get out of hand. There are over 100 volunteers in various levels of seniority. Our most senior
volunteers are expected to set the example of behavior and  discipline for the younger volunteers. See that you do. 

5. Smile and have a sense of humor! Once in awhile during a hectic camp there are clashes of personalities and "events" where one feels his or her territory is being infringed upon. I've discovered that most of these "events" are misunderstandings. 
A smile and laugh can go a long way in smoothing over the hiccups of lots of people working in a confined area. 

My request is to be good and kind to each other. Try communication instead of assumption. Talk before an issue becomes a problem.

6.  Never comment on a camp or campers during a camp or after a camp. I don't want to infringe on your freedom of speech but always be careful what you say. You don't know if someone may be around the corner listening.

The camp is done. The campers are examining their new rank advancement papers. We're all tired and
ready to go home, but wait - we can't. There is an overnight mission ready to start in three hours, not to
mention five private 2.5 hour missions ready to start now that the 3 day campers are leaving.

7. Be good ambassadors of the Center away from the Center. Our best advertising comes from happy campers and volunteers and staff that tell people about the Center and our programs. Even though we don't need the business (we are all booked up) we always need a good name and reputation in the communities we serve. Your
positive comments on the simulations and classes provide that. I would appreciate hearing comments both positive and negative you hear out there in the real world about the Center. Positive comments provide the pat on the back we all need. Negative 
comments point out problems that we may need to addressed. 

8. If I go any further you will most likely stop reading (even though you may have already). Enough for one post.

Thanks All!
Mr. Williamson

The Imaginarium

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