5…4…3…2…1…BLAST OFF!

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On a chilly recent Monday morning, 73 sixth graders, and 8 chaperones loaded up 2 stage coach buses, and headed to Huntsville, AL. We were well all on our way to blast off to Space Camp! Some for the first time, and some for the millionth time…either way, the buzz of excitement was in the air.

We knew that we had a busy 3 days ahead of us, filled with missions, simulations, and friendly competitions. On the way we stopped,  and ate well at Chick Fil-A and a local mall food court. On the bus, movies were shown and students played cards (we had students to bring NO electronics, so that we could get the full space experience).  Students were fully engaged in real conversation, a good book, or just a plain ol’ bus nap!

While I sat at the front of the bus, and making sure as trip leader all was taken care of, I truly began to reflect on the importance of class trips; and how much it means to students. Every year, no matter how many times us as adults has taken a class on a trip, it is such a different experience with each group. Each class has their own personality and connection with what the trip will bring.

In the end, I continue to realize time after time that it is moments like these that students remember the most 5, 10, or even 20 years from now! They remember the time their teachers took them 3 days away to enjoy an overnight space adventure, in another state. The friendships and bonding that happens between us all is priceless. Even teachers attested to knowing students in a different light that they see every single day in the classroom. I can’t thank enough the 7 chaperones that went along with me. They made the trip flawless and attainable. They are the REAL MVPs! 

As the end drew near and Day 3 with graduation came, all were tired, but had smiles on our faces. It was worth the time spent! While I could never include the thousands of pictures taken, I’ve shared a few below. Check out my scrolling Twitter feed as well, on the side of my blog page for many more special moments captured. You can also check out: #MVSpace/#MVMiddle/#MVPSchool. 

If you want a further glance to what our 3 days included, (and why we were so tired by the end!) Here is our itinerary below:

Day One – Monday, February 27, 2017
7:00 a.m. – Students load buses at Founders Campus parking lot (outside Fellowship Hall)
7:30 a.m. – Buses depart Mount Vernon – Travel time 4 1/2 hours, plus food stops
8:00 a.m. – Stop for biscuits/breakfast once out of city traffic between 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Stop for lunch outside of Huntsville, AL – students bring $10
(1:30 p.m.) (12:30 p.m. CST) – Registration at Space Camp
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Program Starts and Orientation
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Team Photo
(2:30 p.m.) – Mission Prebrief
(3:00 p.m.) – Missing Training
(4:00 p.m.) – Astronaut Training Simulator
(5:00 p.m.) – Dinner
(5:45 p.m.) – Story of Space, Part 1
(6:30 p.m.) – Model Rocket Construction
(7:30 p.m.) – Astronaut Training Simulator
(8:30 p.m.) – Prep for Bed
(9:00 p.m.) – Lights Out and Bedtime


Day Two – Tuesday, February 28, 2017
7:30 a.m.- 8:00 a.m. Wake Up and Prep for Day

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Breakfast

8:45 a.m.- 9:30 a.m. Story of Space, Part 2

9:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. Spaceshot, G-Force, and Mars Climbing Wall  Simulators

10:30 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. Museum Exhibits

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Mission

12:00 p.m.- 12:30 p.m. Mission Debrief

12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Lunch

1:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Rocket Launch

2:15 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. Gift Shop

3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Concessions

3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. IMAX Movie

4:30 p.m.- 5:15 p.m. Mission Patch

5:15 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Dinner

6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. Space Station Presentation

7:00 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. “ISS: Science on Orbit” Exhibit

7:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. Space Bowl

8:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Prep for Bed

9:00 p.m. Light Out & Bedtime

————————————————————————–
Day Three – Wednesday, March 1, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.  Wake Up & Prep for the Day
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Load Luggage
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Breakfast
9:15 a.m. 9:30 a.m. – Team Time
9:30 a.m.- 10:00 a.m. Prep for Graduation
10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. GRADUATION

A great time happened, and we are truly grateful to Space Camp for another awesome year.

Now we are all off to a well deserved and highly anticipated spring break!

Happy Trails and blessings to all.

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