Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Dad, May 23, 2010.
DS is attending SAME Camp in June. Any information on what to expect? Any advice?
Can't offer any advice. But I have seen (throughout this year) a few people post that they were attending, so hopefully someone can offer you some insight.
I can't help with any advice, but I found the schedule of each day's events. It looks like quite a busy week. The concrete beam construction activity sounds very challenging.
http://posts.same.org/camps/documents/USAFA/Schedule E&C 2010.pdf
More on SAME
Thanks for the schedule. I'd seen it on the SAME website. I was just wondering if anyone else had been to the SAME camp before. It would be great for the freshmen and sophomore high schoolers to do before SS. They get to see the campus from a different point of view. SAME covers each camper's airfare and half of the camp fee. Something to think about for next year. FYI: SAME- Society of American Military Engineers.
I attended the S.A.M.E./ USAFA camp last June (as a rising Senior). It was definitely an amazing opportunity. Before attending, I was considering engineering as a career field; after the week I was sure. Now, you asked for what to expect. This will probably be pretty disorganized, but I'll just write about the camp as memories come back to me :
If your son is flying into COS, there will be a small group to meet him at the bottom of the escalators (by baggage claim) with a table and a sign that says something along the lines of "S.A.M.E/ USAFA Camp". The organizers have a list of flight times, so after a certain number of participants arrive, they put you in white vans and drive up to the academy. You stay in USAFA's FERL (Field Engineering and Readiness Lab) area for the week.
Upon arriving at the FERL area (I think it's technically in Jack's Valley), you check in at a big warehouse which is used for various other group activities throughout the week, and is also the lightning shelter. In the warehouse, you'll receive safety equipment, a shirt, and a name tag. You're also divided into "flights". Last year, there were flights A through F, with each flight having about 10 participants and 2 adult mentors. The adult mentors were amazing. They were each successful adults (less than age 30) in different aspects of engineering. One of my flight's mentors was an Environmental engineer in the Public Health Service who had previously assisted South American villages with water treatment while in the Peace Corps. My flight's other mentor was a Civil Engineer for a defense contract company. Both were amazing assets who added a real life perspective to engineering. Each flight was also under the supervision of a USAFA or Coast Guard Academy engineering student.
For the week, each flight is assigned a big canvas military tent (sort of like this: http://www.armytents.com/tents/tent-gpm.html). Each person is given one of these http://images.cabelas.com/is/image/cabelas/s7_517175_imageset_tsta?$main-Medium$, as well as a footlocker and a sleeping bag. The girls and female mentors from all flights sleep in a separate tent (last year, there were about 2-3 girls per flight). The sleeping bags we were issued were sort of nasty, so bring your own. Make sure it's WARM, the nights were chilly. Your son might also want earplugs. The night wind slaps the tent against the wooden frame, and the academy cadets do GE right over a hill from the tents. Mortars at 4am are LOUD .
Stealth is right, the week is very busy. The camp participants do an abbreviated version of the cadet FERL (http://www.usafa.edu/df/dfce/ferl/index.cfm). For each activity, the flights earn points depending on how well they accomplish the tasks. At the end, total points decide which flight wins. For the week (except for down time), you do everything with your assigned flight. Between activities, you do have some time to relax. Most people played ultimate frisbee or volleyball during the down time, but a lot played basketball and cornhole in the warehouse. Thunderstorms tended to roll in around 1pm everyday, and during the storms we'd play games in the warehouse.
The FERL area has full bathrooms with running water and open showers. Make sure your son brings shower shoes. The area also has an indoor kitchen and a covered outdoor dining area. The food was actually pretty good.
If your son wants to exercise, he'll have time. My flight had a lot of runners, so we went for some evening group runs. Other camp participants got up early to run or exercise.
The camp focused mainly on civil engineering, but there was some exposure to mechanical and environmental engineering. We also spent a morning touring USAFA's engineering labs. The tours were hands on and very interesting. The Astronautical laboratory and faculty pushed my interest in that direction for a major. That day we also ate lunch in Mitchell hall (while the basics were elsewhere). We did see the basics form up for lunch (it was day 5 of BCT for the class of 2013). I guess I'll be the one getting stared at in 24 days .
I checked out the schedule that Stealth posted (http://posts.same.org/camps/documents/USAFA/Schedule E&C 2010.pdf) and it is almost identical to last year's schedule. We did some really cool engineering activities. Some of my favorites last year were catapult construction, water treatment testing (each flight builds a way to treat a few gallons of filthy water with supplied materials, the cleanest water at the end wins), sprinkler system construction, and the engineering reaction course.
As some last advice, I'd say pack only what you need. It gets cool at night and hot (80+) during the days. Last year we were told to pack work boots. I brought them, but only wore my tennis shoes. You do receive a shirt from the camp, so you don't need excessive amounts of clothing. Fit everything into a bag you can carry; you'll need to carry it over dirt and stairs.
Your son should also bring some money for souvenirs. We ate lunch at the academy visitors center one day and many participants bought lots of USAFA stuff while we were there (my flight bough USAFA headbands for the team volleyball tournament ). Finally, here is the facebook group with pictures from last year's camp (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Color...neering-Construction-Camp/129195799672?ref=ts). If you have any more questions, just ask. I know I posted a novel, but I'm sure I left things out.
That is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks for the links and the detailed info.
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