Inspiration takes off at AMC Museum Aviation Summer Camp

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

This summer, children between the ages of 9-15 were given the unique opportunity to explore the world of aviation during the 2023 Air Mobility Command Museum Aviation Summer Camp at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The camp focuses on teaching Air Force history and demonstrating how Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mechanics concepts impact aviation.

“[Participants] will learn the history of aviation, fly in a Cessna 172 [Skyhawk], build model airplanes and explore Dover Air Force Base,” said Michael Hurlburt, AMC Museum operations manager.

The AMC Aviation Summer Camp is celebrating its 20th season and will run for six weeks during the summer. Each week-long course includes hands-on activities and workshops led by experienced educators and volunteers that focus on STEAM concepts.

“[For example,] on the last day, the kids are going to build model rockets and learn about them from a scientist physically working on the Artemis project, a NASA project trying to put people on Mars,” said Hurlbert. “They’re going to launch and learn about rockets from an actual rocket scientist!”

In addition to STEAM aviation concepts, the camp teaches Air Force history, starting back when it was the Army Air Corps. Campers learn about the evolution of air power through engaging lessons and interactions with veterans and active duty Airmen from Dover AFB.

Elijah Smith, an 11 year-old camp participant, has attended the AMC Aviation Summer Camp three times as of this year. “I like seeing the planes that have been to all the places told about in stories,” explains Smith. “The planes are really interesting, although some of them would look a lot better [painted] green.”

This year, the camp sold out all 144 slots in a record 44 days from the start of open enrollment. Twenty-four of those spots were funded by the Dover AFB Rated Diversity Improvement program, which empowers diverse individuals to achieve their full potential as future Airmen.

“The RDI program provided learning opportunities to a few children that would have not had the chance otherwise,” said Tech. Sgt. Charles Crespo, Dover AFB RDI manager. “Sponsoring these young students gives them the chance to learn about different aviation careers available.”

This camp not only provides opportunities for children to learn, it also has the potential to ignite lifelong passions.

“The AMC Museum Aviation Summer Camp promotes critical thinking and learning, while having fun,” said John Taylor, AMC Museum director. “It’s an opportunity to inspire the next generation of aviators, engineers and maybe even future Airmen.”