A little back story for how this came about. When I was younger I remember finding out there was a local RC Club holding regular meetings in town. Now, I was only 10 or 11 at the time but none the less wanted my parents to take me to one of these meetings. So the day came and my parents drove me to the meeting site, they patiently waited in the parking lot as I went in. Before the meeting started a couple members said hi and asked my name and that was about it as they started and ended their meeting. I attended a couple more meetings and it was much the same. Never really being welcomed and introduced to the hobby!
So I will say it now, don't you think for a minute kids don't remember first impressions!
I have told myself over the years that when the time was right and if the opportunity presented itself I would make every effort to help introduce kids to the RC Hobby!
Now, some 30 years later, that's exactly what we are doing here at the Rend Lake RC Club in Southern Illinois!
So, in last months (May) blog post we announced Rend Lake College and its President Terry Wilkerson had given the club great news back in October 2016 that a new RC Flying Field would be constructed on the East side of campus! Which has led to a great new working relationship with the college.
During this meeting, the topic of how the college does summer camps for kids every year came up and President Wilkerson asked if we could make an RC Camp happen. And just like that, the opportunity had presented itself!
With it settled the Club would do a camp, the real work began. Lots of reading on AMA website led to calling our AMA District VI Vice President Randy Cameron. And from that conversation the AMA TAG Grant was pursued. It was written for two Apprentice S airplanes and two buddy box setups that would be used for the clubs open houses and of course RC kids Camps. In late March the club received the news it had been awarded $500 for the TAG grant to cover radios and a couple spare batteries. And since it wasn't enough to cover getting the Apprentices also, AMA District Vice President Randy Cameron stopped in Mt. Vernon to personally present the Rend Lake RC Club two Apprentice airplanes fulling the needs for the kids camp and Open Houses. AMA also sent a box full of goodies to go to the camp. In it was the rubber band balsa Streaks, Plate gliders, Model Aviation Magazines and much more!
This past week, June 5th-8th, RC Kids Camp took place. What and exciting four days it was! Here is a break down of what we did for the first RC Kids Camp.
Day 1 - All materials were gathered to build the Flite Test Sparrow Glider. With nine (9) kids in the camp, this took a little over two(2) hours to complete. We also were explaining during the build about control surfaces and effects of their movements. And once the gliders were complete we had a lesson on CG and balancing. That left just enough time to go outside and practice throwing the gliders and adjusting elevators and CG.
Day 2 - We picked up where we left off and finished adjusting the gliders. With that complete we started our build of the Balsa Streak rubber band planes from AMA. Kids assembled their planes and the club members assisted the kids adding the dihedral to the wings and CA them in place. Gliders and Streaks complete we headed off to and indoor sports complex for some distance and longest flight contest.
Day 3 - Today we started on actual RC. The kids were split into two groups. One group went to the indoor sports complex where they were taught to fly the Blade Inductrix. First by sight, then by monitor, and last flying with goggles. The other group stayed at the flying field where they received a lesson on control surfaces and stick movements on the radio. Once complete we went into flying the clubs trainers by buddy box systems. They were given control on strait passes to learn level flight, their second time up was working on coordinated turns, and their last time up was flying a complete circuit.
Day 4 - Was nothing but lots of flying! We tried to get every kids as many flights as possible in the 3 hour camp time frame. Before the kids were picked up, each received their "First RC Flight Certificate".
The clubs first ever kids camp was a huge success and look forward to next year. The key to it all was the members who volunteered their time to help! Without them, this camp would be hard to pull off! So a big Thank You to the following Rend Lake RC Club Members: Dave Black, Bob Trober, Phil Bean, Cliff Christensen, Al Jones, and Mike Williams.
To see all pictures taken during the week of RC Kids Camp, click the link below:
2017 RC Kids Camp Pictures