22-23 February 2014: Space Camp

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We had an excellent turn out for our Space Camp with 24 Cubs, 10 adults, 4 young leaders and a 4-year-old!

We stayed in the very luxurious Centenary Lodge at Youlbury (ensuite bathrooms for every Cub room!) and made the most of the fantastic facilities. Camp began on Saturday morning with the Cubs forming into crews (Pioneer, Apollo, Sputnik and Vostok), receiving their log books and then completing their four NASA training bases - communication, code breaking, space bridge and asteroid field. They were then awarded with their crew badges and refueled before beginning their programme of astronomy training.

Over the course of the afternoon they learnt about the planets in the solar system, forming a giant human model outdoors and then drawing diagrams (as well as hearing the fantastic solar system song for the first, but most definitely not the last, time). They also found out about some of the work which is carried out at RAL, just down the road from where we were staying. They learnt about the differences between stars and planets and played a game to test what they had learnt. They found out about constellations and made some of their own (which glow in the dark!) They learnt about how to find the pole star and how it can be used for navigation. And they find out all about the features of the moon. We also made silvery flying saucers out of tennis balls and CDs and the Cubs carried out research in their groups into topics of their choice. On Saturday evening we had a camp fire, with toasted marshmallows. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to look at the moon, but just as the camp fire finished the sky cleared enough that we were able to spot the plough and find the pole star.

The Cubs were all thoroughly worn out and actually went to sleep fairly quickly, with the leaders following not too far behind! Sunday morning was a bit grey and drizzly but we didn't let that spoil our fun! After breakfast and inspection of quarters we did a bit of flight training, with a zip line and a 3-G swing. We then returned to base for a quick refuelling before competing in a rocket firing competition. After lunch the Cubs finished off their UFOs, wrote some wonderful poetry and completed their final exams. The parents then arrived and were given eight presentations about space and an excellent rendition of the solar system song. The winning crew, Sputnik, each received a "Wonders of the Solar System" DVD and every Cub received their Astronomer badge, a completed log book and some glow stickers.