Jasper Country Airport (KRZL) in Rensselaer, Indiana, hosted its first-ever Kids Camp July 15-19, 2019.
According to Ray Seif, airport manager, the camp was made possible by a grant from the Indian Trails Vocational Cooperative and was aimed at attracting youngsters to aviation.
The week-long camp, open to 8th through 12th graders, was attended by 10 local students who learned about airports, aircraft, aviation careers, aviation maintenance, air traffic control, drones, and aircraft design.
Guest speakers included officials from Purdue University discussing women in aviation and the Purdue Air Race Team; Lutheran Air, an air ambulance operator and crew; retired controllers discussing ATC jobs; officials from the Purdue extension office discussing drone use in agriculture; Excel Air Services Owner A&P IA discussing aircraft maintenance; and Republic Air representative discussing careers and allowing students to get some fun stick time on the LIFT Lab’s computer based simulators.
Campers also toured Purdue University Airport’s control tower, in addition to touring Purdue University’s flight, maintenance, and unmanned aerial systems programs at the Purdue Airport Campus.
Participants learned about aircraft design and were able to design their own foam glider from various wing and tail shapes. They also were able to get hands-on experience flying small quad copters.
“If that wasn’t enough, those who wanted to experience flight were given an opportunity to fly in a vintage, open cockpit biplane, making for a memorable experience,” Seif reports.
The biplanes were selling rides at Jasper County Airport for a limited time, he adds.
“Thanks to the generosity of GoBiplaneRides.com and Biplanerides1.com, who gave a substantial discount to camp participants, we were able to cover the discounted rides under the grant,” he says.
“Camp participants were able to partake in all of these amazing, fun, and educational activities with no out of pocket expenses,” he says. “Several of them are now seriously considering careers in aviation.”