List that all first-timers should probably read...

Going to camp soon? Have questions about camp? Post them here for those that have gone to answer.

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List that all first-timers should probably read...

Post by p51 »

I've posted this list on my website here:
But I thought it would be good to post it here as well, a few random pointers I have for a first-timer at AC...
What do suggest doing or not doing?
-Hang with your team. I can't stress that enough. I was lucky to be with a great group where we all seemed to be on the same page from the start, but the other team in our session didn't click together like we seemed to. They didn't even all eat meals together and we acted like a giant family. Also, try to sit with as many different people on your team as you can. There were a couple of people I just never got to talking with all that much as there didn't seem to be enough time. I felt bad about that, as they were all great people. Don't misunderstand, we all got along, but some of us just didn't spend as much time with each individual as we'd have liked because 3 days just isn't enough time to do that. We got along so well, we all did the Redstone tour after camp was done and hung around as a group until the last of us had to leave!
-Avoid buying anything at the gift shop until at least the second day. I bought some stuff the day before camp started that I think I wouldn't have had I waited.
-Take photos whenever you can. I took oddles of shots but still didn't think to take shots I now wish I had (such as the model rocket launch, didn't take one shot).
-Make sure you get the names of people on your team and contact info for each, so you can swap photos with them later! More importantly, make sure you can ID people by name from the photos. Our team had someone who scanned the team photo right after camp and put everyone's name over them so we all would remember and compiled their e-mails for each before we parted ways. I'm so glad he did that (thanks again, Mark!).
-When you get back, tell people what you've done and the fun you had. Be proud of being an astronaut! You'll be surprised how many people will start to think about going, too!
What would I bring (or am glad I had)?
-Shorts with cargo pockets on the side. It's really hot in Huntsville into the late summer. That's all I wore and they came in really handy as a water bottle fit well into one side.
-A shirt you want to be seen in photos wearing at camp. They give you a camp shirt at the start but nobody wanted to wear the same shirt for three days straight. Most of us wore them the first and last days. I had a 40th anniversary of the Apollo program shirt (which got a lot of compliments from the staff) which I wore on the second day. Another person wore a "you're never too young for space camp" shirt which I thought was great.
-Water bottle (see above). I had a nice metal one, but a plastic bottled water bottle I bought in Atlanta worked great. There are plenty of places to fill it at Camp. Again, it's very hot, so hydrating is a big thing.
-Small notebook. They gave us a huge office-style notebook but I brought my own small metal-cover organizer which came in really handy, which was a little bigger than a 5X7 picture frame. There are things you need to take notes for (like all the burn equations I had to do in mission control for the ISS).
-Something for 'white noise' at night. It's really quiet in the HAB and neither me nor my roomie slept well for that reason.
-A good camera. I brought my Canon EOS, which isn't small but gets great shots (all the shots on this page were taken with it). Sure, I had to lug it around but it was worth it to get great photos.
-A bag to carry everything in. I had a blue military helmet bag covered in NASA patches (all from NASA facilities I've been to or launches I've personally seen) and it came in really handy. There was always a place to put it aside, even when I piloted the orbiter. The gift shop sells a neat (and not too expensive) Space Camp backpack, if you want something official for that.
-A couple of sharpie markers and small set of colored pencils/pens. This is for the mission patch design. I didn't think to bring a sharpie but our trainer had one.
Space Academy: 2012, 2013 and 2014
Advanced Space Academy: 2016 and 2018

Undefeated for winning mission patch designs!
Official Space Camp Ambassador
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