Aviation Summer Camp: Exploring New Dimensions
The ASCEND summer camp is a weeklong day camp that immerses teenagers
in all aspects of aviation for personal enjoyment and possible career opportunities. We have successfully inspired dozens
of teens to seek further exposure/training in aviation related areas.
the six-day camp, teens obtain "Hands-on" experiences that bring the practical aspects of flight to life. Teens
are exposed to the various fields of aviation through field trips, guest speakers, tours, projects and access to a variety
of aircraft and pilots.
At the end of our camp, all students are provided a right seat
flight in a single engine general aviation aircraft under the EAA Young Eagles Program.
The total cost of our program requires that we seek and acquire
a grant(s) in the amount of $10,000 to support our annual camps held each June. We are looking for organizations & individuals
alike to join our current donors, like Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, who care about giving our teens career, community and
education experiences to inspire them and their futures.
The ASCEND program is open
to youth ages 13-17. They must apply, provide a short essay of why they'd like to attend, and submit a guardian signed application
prior to the camp start date. We ask for a small tuition ($225) to insure genuine interest but offer to waive any fees- for
need- by offering scholarships for those applicants that cannot afford the fee.
Volunteers of the EAA Chapter 1083 (Experimental Aircraft Association), based at the Rowan County Airport in Salisbury,
NC provide the camp. EAA Chapter 1083 Education Coordinator Jana Brown provides leadership and curriculum. The curriculum
is based on AOPA's PATH to Aviation, a handbook that highlights the connection between aviation and classroom topics (physics,
aerodynamics, mathematics, mechanics, etc.)
is to expose them not just to being a pilot, but also to all other elements of aviation such as maintenance, crew, air traffic
control, military, medical (med-evac), hobbies, etc. We have provided our campers with backpacks, windbreakers, flight planning
tools to use in classes, binders, and pens, "ASCEND" logo T-shirts in various colors for each
days wear, graduation T-shirts, transportation(chartered tour bus for field trip), any and all admission fees, snacks, drinks,
prepared lunches, and other miscellaneous items throughout the week. We feel that the apparel worn by our campers in non-camper
environments is part of our recruitment/advertising for new students for upcoming camps and serves well to bind them as a
group during their week with us. We also provide Staff shirts to camp leaders, presenters, and interns.
We use a five part interactive approach to inspire teens to all elements of aviation:
Projects have been designed to provide basic understanding of language
of aviation, parts of the airplane, how the airplane flies, four forces of flight, weight and gravity, weather, instruments
and gauges, traffic patterns, flight simulator, fabric covering, and riveting.
Access to Aircraft and Pilots
helicopter from Wake Forest University Medical Center
NC Hwy Patrol Helicopters
Jet Aircraft and tours by their crews
Aerobatic Flight demonstrations (Chapter member)
Many Private Light Aircraft
Variety of Homebuilt Aircraft
Hangar tours (Food Lion corporate hangar)
Guest Speakers and Experts from aviation:
Aviation Field Trips and Tours:
NC Transportation Museum
Charlotte Aviation Museum
TIMCO Aircraft Maintenance Facility
Community College (aviation curriculum)
Flight in a Single Engine Aircraft:
last day of our camp, all students are provided a right seat flight in a single engine general aviation aircraft under the
EAA Young Eagles Program. This has been the highlight event for teens and allows all the week's learning and theory to come
alive in actual flight. We also provide a voucher for a free discovery flight to all campers at a flight school of their choice
to encourage them to pursue their interest in aviation after the camp.
Of the students who have attended
our camp over the past three years:
18 have confirmed and are pursuing aviation in some form.
1 student has graduated from Embry Riddle University
with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and is Employed with GE Aerospace.
1 student is at NC
State in the Aeronautical Engineering program
2 students are at Greensboro Technical Community College pursuing
careers in Aviation
1 student who is a senior this year is planning to attend NC State to major in aeronautics
Many others are working towards becoming pilots by
taking ground school or flight lessons
Almost half of our campers have returned the following year to work as interns to assist the next group
of campers. Some have returned for 2 years.
One female camper "Zahra" attended with no prior knowledge or interest
in anything aviation. In her words, she was attending to get out of summer chores for a week. After the camp, she was so energized
that she used her voucher for her first flight lesson. She was able to perform her first solo flight
on her 16th birthday. Six months later, she passed her FAA Flight Test and became an FAA approved Private Pilot.
That same year, she returned to the ASCEND program as an instructor and as a Pilot in Command, she was able to fly campers
under the EAA Young Eagles Program. She has since extended her training to acquire and IFR (instrument flight rules) rating.
She has flown a significant number of hours in various aircraft and is currently in her freshman year
at Embry Riddle University to study Aeronautical Engineering (2013-2014). This provides one example that the ASCEND program
can inspire teens to further their education and pursue a career in aviation.
Click HERE for a short video from a previous year's camp
There are many
ways your donations can help. Email us for more information. Thanks for your support!