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

Sunday, July 12, 2020

My Sanctuary in a Land Time has Nearly Forgotten. Reality's Edge at Canyon Grove Academy is Busy Busy During this Covid Season. Imaginarium Theater.

Hello Troops,
     The Troubadour's office staff worldwide took a few weeks off to enjoy this unforgettable summer filled with Covid twists and turns.  I retreated to my cottage in Deadwood, South Dakota, a place almost untouched by the virus.  Masks were seen in the tourist haunts and the Spearfish Walmart but other than that one would hardly know there was a worldwide pandemic.  
     South Dakota is a wonderland that travels within the quantum sphere - neither here nor there.  We know an outside world exists, and while we demonstrate the finest western down home hospitality, we sure do appreciate the fact that people find their way out after spending all their dollars in our beautiful Black Hills. 
The Williamson Deadwood Cottage (Left).  The view of downtown Deadwood from the Cottage's Deck (right)

A typical quiet late summer afternoon from the Cottage.

   My family has spiced the Black Hills with character and culture for well over one century.   That tradition continues to this day.  Take my Uncle Marvin and Aunt Dolores for example.  They live on Playhouse Road outside of Keystone just off the Iron Mountain Road which winds through the granite spikes of the Black Hills to Mr. Rushmore.  Marvin was a rodeo circuit rider back in his youth , then worked construction before retiring.  Dolores was a nuclear medicine technician at the Rapid City hospital.  Today Marvin tends a large garden, raises horses, plays gin rummy with the local cowboys, and passes the ponderosa pine scented afternoons making arrowheads from his front porch. 
     Aunt Dolores has a workshop a stone's throw from their cabin.  She weaves her own wool on a loom, makes doll clothes which sell worldwide, needle works traditional samplers, and hand makes beautiful bowls made entirely of pine needles (seen in the photo). 

     Responsibilities brought me back to Utah but I'll be returning to close on a new property I purchased in Deadwood.  The Cottage is joined by a new home I call "Creekside" a half block from Deadwood's rodeo grounds and American Legion Baseball field.  Creekside will be a blessing for the aging Williamson's, it has very few steps and walk in showers.  Whitewood Creek flows directly across Crescent Avenue in front of the house making for pleasant evenings.  


     Creekside is less than 200 steps from the front doors of Cadillac Jacks, Deadwood's finest hotel / casino.  They have unlimited soda and hot chocolate machines for those cross creek adventures.  One of Deadwood's two gas stations / connivence stores is next to Cadillac Jacks for my Diet Dews etc.  I'll enjoy Creekside very much.  
     Both Creekside and the Cottage are open to you fellow faithful Troubadours if you find yourself needing sanctuary in a land time has nearly forgotten.  There aren't many perks in the space centering business, but there are a few.  


Reality's Edge at Canyon Grove is Busy Busy Busy

     Bradyn Lystrup came by The Fortress of Solitude (my home in Pleasant Grove) this week to see how the remodel is going. We sat down for good catch up.  He reports all is going well at Reality's Edge.  The three simulators are busy busy busy with private missions.  Several staff and volunteers from the Christa McAuliffe Space Center work at Reality's Edge this summer while construction continues at the CMSC and Central School.  
     Bradyn is doing a fantastic job as director of Reality's Edge. He knows the business inside and out from his time growing up at the CMSEC as both a volunteer, supervisor, and Voyager Flight Director.  I'm happy at least one of the Space EdVenture Centers is open during this strange summer.  The CMSC is under construction. Renaissance Space Academy is closed for the summer as Renaissance Academy is being remodeled.  Telos Discovery Space Center is running missions for the school's students only and The Lion's Gate Center is closed for the summer due to Covid.  
     I was pleased as punch to learn that my old old Voyager Mission "The Grand PooPah" was resurrected again for a telling at Reality's Edge a week or so back.  Bradyn sent a few photos of himself decked out as the Grand PooPah himself.  Self Respect is something a Space EdVentures director can't afford as you can see in these photos :)

      Good Job Bradyn and team at Reality's Edge for keeping the Space EdVentures program alive and well during the infamous summer of 2020.  
Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videos from Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Monday Evening, I'm at My Desk. There is an Overnight Camp Going On Around Me. 48 Campers Instead of our 45 Max. What Will We Do? Another in the Ten Years Ago This Week Section.

48 Campers!  Time to bark out lots of orders and get off my tosh and fix it.

It's Monday. What Are We Doing Here!?

MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010

Hello Troops,
It's Monday evening. So what am I doing at the Space Center at 9:35 P.M.? Why, running an Overnight Camp. Why else?

The Space Center's working schedule is all Topsy Turvy in the summer time. Without school schedules to work around we can offer our camps throughout the week.

This summer I organized the schedule so we could have one overnight camp and one EdVenture camp (3 day camp) per week with numerous private missions running whenever we aren't running camps. It keeps us busy, and busy is a good thing. Being busy means a steady flow of income and the summer season is where the Space Center makes most of its yearly operating budget. Remember, the Center doesn't receive a yearly budget (except for my salary) from the District. We must raise our operating budget ourselves.

Tonight's camp started messed up. The camp register showed 43 campers. By the time everyone was signed in we had 48! Our normal max. for all camps is 45. We were over our max by three. Four campers arrived one month too early. Their Confirmation Forms said July 14-15. Of course, I didn't look at the month on their forms, I only saw the 14-15. I assumed they had the correct forms and that Mrs. Clegg forgot to put them into the computer when she enrolled them. It wasn't until she pointed out the fact that the word "July" was on the paper and not "June" did I realize their mistake and mine for not catching it when the camp started.

Regardless, we were at 48 campers and 45 was our max. To solve the problem, I decided to have the Voyager, Phoenix, and Galileo tell 2.5 hour private missions instead of five hour missions. The Voyager can handle twelve for a private mission but not for a five hour mission. The three ships are telling their short missions now. At 10:20 P.M. the campers will switch ships and get to do another 2.5 hour mission. We used to do it years ago whenever we had more kids in the camp than planned for.

I can hear the Voyager crew on the other side of the door in front of my desk.
"Go Go Go Go!" a young boy's voice is commanding. The Voyager crew is crammed at the Stage Transporter Door waiting their turn to enter the Stage on the other side to do their "Away Team" experience. Orion Pirates are in the ship. They plan on making their "Last Stand" on the school's stage. Not as rustic as Little Big Horn but it will do the job.

I'm loving this cooler weather in Utah. It has been good for us, as long as it warms up by Friday. We are running our second EdVenture Camp this Thursday - Saturday. We go swimming Friday night. Highs in the 60's doesn't make for good outdoor swimming. The weather will cooperate. It should get into the 80's this Friday. Perfect for the pool.

Zac is running the Magellan for this camp. He is telling the Magellan's new story for the first time. Brittney and Nicole are his supervisors and hand holders to help him get through the parts he doesn't know.

I hear the Voyager crew again. They are returning from the Stage. From the excitement in their voices I can tell they were successfully able to defeat the invading Orion Pirates and keep their ship under their control. Those darn Orion Pirates. Mischief makers throughout the entire known galaxy!

I think I hear someone walking on the roof of the school. Kids sometimes get up there and walk around. Boy will they be in for a shock when I emerge from the hatchway in the light of the pale moon..........

Mr. Williamson

Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videos From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience.  

Imaginarium Theater June 14, 2020 from SpaceCampUtah's Imaginarium on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Report on the First Day of the 3 Day Overnight Space Camp. See the Latest Photos of the New Space Center Under Construction. Space / Astronomy News. Imaginarium Theater with Talkies!

Bradyn Lystrup and Spencer Dauwalter at the Voyager Flight and 2FX Stations

A Report on Day One of our 3 Day EdVenture Camp. First of the Summer Season.
Another in our 10 Years Ago Series. 
June 7, 2010
Hello Troops,
It's 9:20 P.M. by the clock above the Odyssey's emergency exit. We are a couple hours into our first EdVenture Camp for the 2010 Summer season. I'm yawning. I'm tired. I've been plugging away since 9:00 A.M. and have several more miles to go before I sleep. I'll be here a total of 50 hours before I go home, and that's just the start of the week with this 3 day camp! I still have full days of private missions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday along with another Overnight Camp Thursday night. Oh yes, its summer and that means I'm hear around 90 hours per week.

Day 1 of the 3 Day Overnight EdVenture Camp

I'm paid for 40 hours and gladly donate the other 50 hours to the Center. It isn't proper to direct a non profit organization so dependent on volunteer help without setting the example and volunteering myself. So, Space Center Volunteers, Mr. Williamson is right there in the bunkers with you fighting the good fight and doing what he can to make the Center a success. Volunteerism is the life blood of the Center and I'm convinced the best way to lead is by example.

But, I'm asking for your 'understanding' if you come in and I'm not myself. You might find me slumped back in my chair asleep in a very Peppermint Patty way, or you might find me catching a few winks in the library. I've got a pad right by the Odyssey Control Room door so I can lay there and still track the missions and the campers. You might find me wondering aimlessly through the school looking purposeful (but in reality - quite befuddled). Wish me a good day. If I don't respond then take me by the arm and lead me back to the library and tell me to lay down. I should be right as rain in a few minutes.

Bathroom Break before bedtime on the 3 Day Camp. I wonder if they'll sleep tonight so I can.

Today I spent most of the day pondering over the working schedule, climbing up and down the ladder in the Custodial Closet to get to the school's roof to check on air conditioning. I discovered the Gym's AC was working (the compressor was doing its job) but wasn't putting out the air. The custodian and I found the reason. The belt driving the fan was too lose to turn the fan to deliver the cooled air.

Campers happy with their mission so far

The camp started at 7:00 P.M. We've got 34 campers. They are in their first short rotation (a 3 hour mission). I'm listening to the Phoenix crew debate with the ship's engineer about the impulse engine. The Phoenix is always the loudest ship. The poor captain has come out three times. He claims it is too intense. We stop tonight at 10:30 P.M. for ice cream and then bed. 

EdVenture Camps lining up for their ice cream before bed

I've got just under an hour to go. I'm not sure I can make it. I think I'll take a walk through the school and then stretch out for a minute or two in the Library and listen to the Odyssey mission.

Mr. Williamson

James Porter Takes Us Behind the Scenes for a Space Center Construction Walkabout.

     Recently James did a walkabout of the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove.  He shared the photos on the CMSC Facebook Page. I'm reposting them here in the Troubadour, our Space EdVentures historical home. 

Space and Astronomy News from Telos Discovery Space Center

Imaginarium Theater with Talkies
The Best Videos From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience

Imaginarium Memes