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Cub Scouts soar into aviationCub Scouts soar into aviation

Surrounded by general aviation aircraft and flight simulators, more than 160 Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., Cub Scouts participated in a five-day camp to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math concepts at AOPA’s Frederick, Maryland, campus.

Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters

  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Framed by a Beechcraft Sierra, Cub Scouts in Expedition Galactic day camp learned about science, technology, engineering, and math concepts by studying a replica of "Star Wars" robot R2-D2 assembled by Patrick Coajou, right, at AOPA's National Aviation Community Center in Frederick, Maryland. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Surrounded by general aviation aircraft and flight simulators, more than 160 Cub Scouts learned about hyperspace and propulsion, NASA history, and robotics in a five-day Expedition Galactic camp that combined scouting skills with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts at AOPA's National Aviation Community Center. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Outfitted as Darth Vader, Cub Scout camp organizer LeMoyne Fletcher addresses some of the more than 160 scouts who learned about hyperspace and propulsion, NASA history, and robotics in a five-day camp at AOPA's National Aviation Community Center. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    A helicopter is refueled behind them as Cub Scouts participate in a day camp that combined scouting skills with STEM concepts at AOPA's National Aviation Community Center. Photo by David Tulis
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Cub Scout Ryan Hill, 7, throws a paper airplane during a five-day camp that combined scouting skills with STEM concepts. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Jack Banks, outfitted as "Star Wars" character Obi-Wan Kenobi, supervises Cub Scouts piloting flight simulators during a day camp that combined traditional scouting skills with STEM concepts. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Cub Scouts ask questions while studying Patrick Coajou's replica of "Star Wars" robot R2-D2. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Cub Scouts walk past a Cessna 172 on the ramp outside AOPA's National Aviation Community Center during a day camp that combined traditional scouting skills with aviation and STEM concepts. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Dory LeCroy, outfitted as Rey, a Jakku scavenger from the new "Star Wars" movie, helps Cub Scouts in a day camp that covered STEM concepts. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    A replica of "Star Wars" robot R2-D2 assembled by Patrick Coajou takes a bow during a Cub Scouts day camp at AOPA's National Aviation Community Center. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Cub Scouts participate in their Expedition Galactic day camp in Frederick, Maryland. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Scouts participate in camp at AOPA headquarters
    Cub Scout Gabriel Gonzalez, 7, throws a paper airplane during a five-day aviation and STEM camp. Photo by David Tulis.

Counselors outfitted themselves as Star Wars characters Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rey while an R2-D2 robot entertained youths attending Expedition Galactic camp amid aircraft and helicopters at AOPA’s National Aviation Community Center.

Camp organizer LeMoyne Fletcher appeared foreboding as he supervised the energy-packed Cub Scouts from behind his dark helmet, glowing red sword, and illuminated chest plate. Meanwhile, a smiling Dory LeCroy, outfitted in a tan tunic as Rey from the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, pleasantly ushered the youths into groups for their daily activities.

A dozen scouts were transfixed near a Beechcraft Sierra as robotic tinkerer Pat Coajou’s familiar white, blue, and silver droid scooted and chirped across the hangar floor under its own power, its electric head clicking, whirring, and turning in circles. Interestingly, Coajou said R2-D2 is partly made from recycled aviation pieces including reading light housings from a British Vickers Viscount turboprop airliner.

Seven-year-olds Jacob Ashmore, Gabriel Gonzalez, and Ryan Hill battled with paper airplanes while other Cub Scouts took control of Redbird Jay flight simulators. The scouts and their more than 50 counselors and volunteers surrounded themselves with aviation in addition to traditional arts and crafts, archery, and good citizenship camp activities.

“Concentrating on STEM concepts at different stations allows us to focus on flight dynamics and propulsion,” said Fletcher as a pack of future engineers and aviators challenged him to a light saber battle in AOPA’s hangar.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Youth

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