Space Camp

What is Space Camp?

Space Camp is just what you think it is – it’s a camp experience where you learn and experience a ton of different aspects about life as an astronaut, working at NASA, and exploring places beyond Earth! Wisconsin 4-H Space Camp participants experience the Pathfinder Program. The Pathfinder Program is a 3 day experience where youth participate in a variety of simulated space activities, such as:

  • A Simulated Space Mission (including roles at mission control, on the ISS, in a space shuttle, and on the surface of the moon) with a team of other 4-Her’s.
  • A variety of Space Simulators such as the multi-axis trainer, five degrees of freedom chair, and the space shot.
  • Building and launching their own model rocket.
  • On-site meals and sleeping habitats simulating a real space training experience.
  • Learning all about space exploration and astronaut life in museum tours guided by a Space Camp expert.
  • A team quiz bowl where participants test their knowledge against others at the end of camp.

Those are just a few of the activities that youth will experience while at Space Camp. Every activity has an educational purpose with the goal of teaching kids all about space, STEM, and teamwork. All of these activities are done in a team with other 4-H youth and adults from across the state of Wisconsin. Speaking of 4-H, you might be wondering, why does Wisconsin 4-H go to Space Camp every year, when it’s something that anyone can do by going there themselves? Well, Wisconsin 4-H Space Camp is more than just Space Camp!

The Wisconsin 4-H Space Camp Experience

Wisconsin 4-H Space Camp is an educational experience where youth from across the state take a bus down to Huntsville, Alabama, for a 4 day journey. Youth get the opportunity to venture away from home to meet new friends, develop leadership and teamwork skills, and learn all about space. They are led by a team of trained Adult Advisors and Space Camp counselors. Counselors are former Space Camp participants who are outstanding leaders. Counselors lead a variety of activities on the buses and stops along the way that help keep youth engaged and help them meet new people. As a 4-H program, our goals for youth who go through Space Camp are:

  • To have the opportunity to learn in an exciting environment away from school.
  • To develop social skills by meeting new people and working as a team.
  • To have the opportunity to learn life skills in a situation that is unfamiliar to them.
  • To have the opportunity to develop leadership skills by participating in the Space Camp Counselor program.

Questions about Space Camp that you can’t find the answers to on this website? Feel free to contact Justin Lieck, Educational Programs Assistant at justin.lieck@wisc.edu or 608-263-5971.

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More Information and Adult Advisors

U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama

4-H Missions in Space program, known as Space Camp, is a fun-filled weekend for middle school youth at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center where participants:

  • Complete a simulated Space Shuttle mission
  • Experience training simulators
  • Tour the U.S. Space & Rocket Center
  • Learn about becoming an astronaut

Space Camp Participant Guide

A participant guide will be updated and posted online here when it is available for the next program year.

Delegate Requirements:

  • 4-H members in grades 6-8 with a maximum age of 15 at time of trip.
  • Must be currently enrolled and carry county approval through time of trip.
  • Enrollment in 4-H Aerospace project is not required.
  • May only attend Space Camp once as a delegate.

Cost:

Cost is approximately $625. This includes coach bus travel and participation fees at Space Camp.  Final costs are confirmed in February. Payment is due April 10th.

Expectations:

  • Attend/listen to participant orientation. You will have the option of participating in the orientation either in person or online through Zoom. The in person orientation will take place at a location to be determined in late March/early April of the program year. It will be a great opportunity to meet other Space Camp youth, adult advisors, camp counselors, and State 4-H Staff while having fun learning about the U.S. Space Program. Part (or all) of the orientation will be streamed online and through telephone by Zoom. More information to connect to the Zoom will be sent out closer to the orientation date through email. This orientation will also be recorded so that participants can listen at a later date if they are unable to join at that time.
  • Time spent on the bus from Huntsville, Alabama meeting other 4-H youth and engaging in fun bus activities.
  • Engage in activities at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
  • A ratio of 1 Adult Advisor per 10 youth are selected for the trip.
  • All adult leaders must be certified Wisconsin 4-H leaders over 21 years of age.
  • Adults interested in serving as an advisor can see information on how to apply at the Adult Advisor page.

Registration

Any youth in grades 6-8 may register to go to Space Camp. Many counties provide scholarship funding. Check with your local county office on how to apply for scholarship funding for Space Camp. The amount of participants depends on the number of busses and staff capacity, participation is typically limited to around 250 total participants.

Registration:

  • Register through 4-H Online for Space Camp. Registration will be open from November 1-December 20.
  • Delegates will be notified by the State 4-H Office by January 12 of the program year whether they are attending or wait-listed.
  • After registration closes, delegates will be sent a link to register for Space Camp through the Space Camp website. All delegates must register online for Space Camp prior to March 1st.

Counselor Information

Apply to be a Space Camp Counselor!

Who can apply?

Wisconsin 4-H Members in 8th, 9th, or 10th grade and 16 or younger at time of experience. Previous Space Camp Experience as a delegate is preferred, but not required.

What would I do?

The Wisconsin 4-H Space Camp Counselor Team develops leadership, communication skills and confidence by working together with a 4-H staff advisor.  They help campers enjoy and learn more during their experience by leading games and aerospace activities, mentoring new campers, and assisting adult leaders while having fun at orientation and at Space Camp in Huntsville AL.

When am I needed?

  • Training Zoom meetings in early January during the program year.
  • In person training workshop during early February during the program year.
  • A March Zoom training at a date TBD.
  • Face-to-face training workshop in late March, Saturday-Sunday ending with delegate orientation after training on Sunday.
  • Participation in the Space Camp program that year.

What’s the cost?

Costs are approximately $450. Contact your County 4-H program for possible financial assistance.

How can I apply?

The application will be available soon in both qualtrics and paper format. You may submit the application in either format. Applications will be due in the November ahead of the April travel dates.

What happens next?

A Selection Committee chooses a pool of candidates to attend the training workshop. You will receive notification around mid-December. The final team will be selected after the training workshop.

Questions?

Call 608-262-1557 or email amber.rehberg@wisc.edu.

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