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AFSVA offers aviation, space camps for teens

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- Thanks to the Air Force Services Activity, teens are getting the opportunity to explore careers as aviators or astronauts through 2017 summer camps.

A Teen Aviation Camp is set for June 24-30, 2017, at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and a Space Camp is planned for July 30 to Aug. 4 at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

“We’re pleased to bring these camps to our youth,” said Jon Grammer, the AFSVA director of programs. “These camps provide our teens many possibilities and potential career paths.”

The deadline to apply for the Teen Aviation Camp is May 5 and selections will be announced May 19, said Kevin Hansen, an AFSVA youth programs specialist.

“It’s an extremely competitive camp,” Hansen said. “There are 36 slots available, and 150 youth apply on average. It’s the best opportunity for teens in grades 9 and 10 to experience what life is like at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Several camp attendees have gone on to enroll at the U.S. Air Force Academy, other service academies or ROTC programs.”

”In addition to learning about aviation, we will also be taking advantage of other unique opportunities available in the Colorado Springs area such as taking a whitewater rafting trip and touring the U.S. Olympic Training Center,” Hansen said. “One of the most exciting elements of this camp is to actually fly in a Cessna with an instructor.”

Those who want to explore outer space can apply for Space Camp which will be held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The camp has 80 openings divided into five categories: Space Academy (ages 12-14); Robotics Academy (ages 12-14); Aviation Challenge Mach II (ages 12-14); Aviation Challenge Pilot Track (ages 15-18); and Scuba Diving Mission Specialist Track (ages 15-18).

“Youth who want to understand what it would be like to work in space exploration, robotics or who may even aspire to be the next (Col.) Eileen Collins, the first female commander of the Space Shuttle, can get first-hand experience at Space Camp,” Hansen said.

The deadline to apply for this camp is May 18 and selections will be announced June 1.