Growing up we used to go back into the field behind my house and launch model rockets. It was always an exciting time as we watched with anticipation to see it shoot off into the air. Afterwards we would run and try to recover the rocket. At Camp Timberlake, one of our activities is model rocketry. It is a beloved activity at camp where boys get to build their own model rockets and launch them.
Boys start out building a bronze rocket and progress through our bar system (which is a way to track progress in activities) to the gold rocket. With each rocket, they assemble the pieces and design the outside of the rocket to their liking. They make and get to launch the rocket under supervision of our staff. Often campers get their first gold bar at camp in rocketry and this leads to a progression in other activities as they build confidence and grow.
There is something exhilarating about making and launching a rocket into the sky. It’s a great activity where a camper gets to make something on their own that they often would not do outside of camp. They get to see their hard work as their rocket launches high into the air and then deploys its parachute. When Thomas Williams, a current counselor, was asked about his experience in rocketry as a camper he said “rocketry provided a much needed pause in my day-to-day camp experience. After a day filled with fast excitement, Rocketry slows everything down and gave me a chance to breathe and do something that I loved. As a camper, my favorite part of Rocketry was being able to sit around a table and talk to my friends as we built flying machines. There is no satisfaction greater than seeing something that you built fly through the air.
Each time I stop by rocketry to see the boys working on their rockets, the activity area is always filled with stories and laughter. It is a joyful space where science is met with creativity. Each rocket is unique to the camper that created it with how they decorate it. It is a space where adventure is experienced and friends are made!