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Additional Item Purchases When Registering For Camp

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:55 am
by blachwk
I have a few questions on additional item purchases when registering for camp.

Has anyone purchased the clothing package? If so, is it worth the value and are the items good quality and/or have nice logos, etc?

Secondly if you sign up for the flight suit ahead of time, is it a new one or is it one you are issued that was previously used? I purchased mine in 1996 via the gift shop prior to leaving, so wasn't sure how this option worked now.

Finally, are the mission patches something everyone is offered? How does that work?

Link for reference is the following:
http://www.spacecamp.com/help/registration/additionalpurchases

Re: Additional Item Purchases When Registering For Camp

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:32 am
by Vincent
blachwk wrote:if you sign up for the flight suit ahead of time, is it a new one or is it one you are issued that was previously used? I purchased mine in 1996 via the gift shop prior to leaving, so wasn't sure how this option worked now.

If you buy the flight suit, you get a brand new one.

Re: Additional Item Purchases When Registering For Camp

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:38 pm
by p51
I’ll hit your questions from observations on adult programs since 2012 (the most recent was the week-long program in October of last year):
Has anyone purchased the clothing package? If so, is it worth the value and are the items good quality and/or have nice logos, etc?
If you’re hitting an adult program, you’re very limited to what stock they have on hand. They apparently only order new stuff in the Spring, as I’ve only been there in the Fall and lots of stuff is out of stock or severely limited by size. I’ve seen people order the clothing package only to be told their size isn’t available.
Itmes in the gift shop vary wildly to quality and ‘cool’ factor. That varies on a person-by-person basis. Don’t go nuts when you first get there, I’ve seen people buy a lot of stuff that, by the end of camp, they’d wished they’d hadn’t.
Secondly if you sign up for the flight suit ahead of time, is it a new one or is it one you are issued that was previously used? I purchased mine in 1996 via the gift shop prior to leaving, so wasn't sure how this option worked now.
You get a new suit if you buy one. I STRONGLY recommend you buy a flight suit as soon as you get there if you want one at all, before you start camp on the first day (if possible, if you’re flying in the previous day, get to the gift shop before it closes the day before). Also, get one of the custom-made nametapes for it, as they’re only five bucks, takes minutes to make, and is a great deal. You’ve been to Space Camp before, so you can wear it right-side-up (it’s a tradition to wear them upside-down for first-timers until they graduate).
If you buy a flight suit, you’ll want it to be the one you did missions in, otherwise it won’t mean quite as much. I treasure my own, bought second-hand online before I went the first time, as I’ve flown all my missions while wearing it.
Finally, are the mission patches something everyone is offered? How does that work?
That will depend on if you have someone on your team who designs a neat patch and is willing to make them when you’re all done. The short programs, as I understand, don’t have a ‘prefab’ patch option. I’ve only ever seen that once for the week-long “train with an astronaut” camp I attended last year. The 3 and 4-day programs don’t offer that.
My first three times at camp, I designed the winning patch against the other teams (last year, there was only the one team) and I volunteered to make the patches and sell them at cost to my teammates afterward. Each time, it was an unholy nightmare and I didn’t repeat the offer the last time.
In short, expect not to later have a mission patch for your team, unless you’re willing to make them yourself (which is a HUGE amount of time and effort).

Re: Additional Item Purchases When Registering For Camp

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:30 pm
by SpaceCanada
You can usually purchase the clothing package at camp as well, once you know if they have everything in your size and you know you like the items in the package. (At least this was the case in 2015.)

I also echo purchasing your flight suit before camp or your first day to wear on some of your missions. But only do so if you can foresee yourself wearing it after camp somehow. Otherwise, the ones you borrow are sufficient. I guess it depends on what sentimental value a flight suit may hold for you. I consider mine quite valuable.

Making team patches after the fact on your own really isn't that difficult if you find the right embroidery patch company. They take your sketch and turn it into a patch easily. Someone would just have to collect orders and contac information from the full team ahead of time. The only catch is that you typically have to order fifty patches minimum for the individual patch cost to be reasonable.

Re: Additional Item Purchases When Registering For Camp

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:01 pm
by blachwk
Thank you Vincent, P51, and SpaceCanada for writing in response to my questions. It definitely helped me in my decision on what to do. My daughter and I are now officially signed up for a 4 day family camp as I am writing this reply. She has an interest in science and space, so I'm excited to be sharing this experience with her. Who knows, she may just want to do the other camps by herself one day! As for myself, when I was her age, I was not lucky enough to be flown to the AL or FL camps for my parents weren't keen on flying their son outside of the state so I was lucky enough to go with my high school class back in the day.

I agree with you P51, having a flight suit you wear through the program is special. The gift shop was one of the first places I scoped out upon arrival in May of 1996. If memory serves me right, the previous older campers scooped up a majority of the larger sizes of flight suits and t-shirts from their week. A few classmates and I were told to check back later to see what inventory would get replenished. The larger sized items were back on the shelves just before we were leaving to head back home. Unfortunately it wasn't the flight suit I wore during my time there, but is still special to me to this day. My personal goal is to return back to attend the Adult Space Camp in Huntsville, AL along with any other additional Space Camp opportunities so would like to keep the same flight suit throughout those future adventures. Unfortunately the light blue suit I have from my previous visit is a little short from my high school days since I'm taller now as compared to back then so moving around comfortably would be an issue which is why I am going for a new suit.

We are arriving a day prior to the family camp, so I will make sure we hit the gift shop asap to see what selection there is.

Thanks again for your feedback, it's greatly appreciated!

Re: Additional Item Purchases When Registering For Camp

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:27 am
by Conan
I would agree with the others on the Flight Suit. I have gone through 3 in my many camps. I also have brought 6 nephews to Family Space Camps over the years. I always bought them a flight suit too. They aren't cheap but the feeling of belonging that it gave them was worth it and they cherish their suits now, even though they are all adults, some with children of their own. I am hopeful that they will return someday with their child and the child can wear the suit.
I got a larger one after I outgrew my first. Then they changed the color from baby blue to royal blue, so a couple of years ago I updated to that. (It was also beneficial because I had run out of room for patches on the original one which I am keeping and treasuring).
I have ordered 3 clothing packages over the years. They were all high quality and came in very handy the first few years because the Habitat was so cold at night. I ended up using my sweat suit for pajamas. I still bring them every time I come to camp.

Re: Additional Item Purchases When Registering For Camp

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:38 pm
by p51
The flight suit, you’ll find for many, is a work in progress. I can see photos of myself at camp and immediately know when they’re taken for the patches on my suit. I’ve changed it every year, usually from adding a new team patch. I still need to sew the ‘prefab’ patch from 2016. I’m at the point where I’m going to have to start combining patches to the same areas if I wish to keep adding them (that’s assuming I’ll be getting back there with some frequency as I know I won’t make it there this year, due to how much “Hoot Camp II” cost me for the week-long ‘train with an astronaut’ program this past October).
SpaceCanada wrote:Making team patches after the fact on your own really isn't that difficult if you find the right embroidery patch company. They take your sketch and turn it into a patch easily. Someone would just have to collect orders and contac information from the full team ahead of time. The only catch is that you typically have to order fifty patches minimum for the individual patch cost to be reasonable.
Making the patch isn't that tough, it's collecting the money and getting enough coin to make the minimum purchase. That's the part that gave my headaches each time!
Conan wrote:I have ordered 3 clothing packages over the years. They were all high quality and came in very handy the first few years because the Habitat was so cold at night. I ended up using my sweat suit for pajamas. I still bring them every time I come to camp.
I've gone to SC four times, three of them when it was quite hot outside (the first time, people thought I might be having a heart attack after the team photo, as I was no longer used to the heat-humidity of the south and I was sweating like I’d just run a marathon). I was born in Florida and lived there into my late 20s, but no longer am used to heat. I can’t stand hot weather.
Last year, it was relatively cool (but never cold as such) out even on some of the days before lunch. It was great and it was the first time I ever wore my SC jacket at camp. I always brought mine along, just in case, but never wore it before then.
All this said, I’ve heard complaints about the cold in the HAB for years. Not once have I ever felt cold in there. But again, I tend to run on the hot side so it’s got to be pretty cold for me to feel it at all.