Happy Space Campers get Coast Guard visit

Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To the enthusiastic delight of summer campers at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska a U.S. Coast Guard Blackhawk Rescue helicopter touched down in their parking lot last week. According to camp director Summer Lazenby the idea for the landing started about a month ago at the Aviation Flight Show in Kenai, "Someone remarked that it would be great to have a Rescue chopper land at the Learning Center, so I went over and talked with one of the pilots and he said actually it could happen with a phone call and explained that they treat it as a training mission, so we coordinated times and dates and here they are," said Lazenby.

Branderlyn Gage, a 15-year-old Challenger camper from Kotzebue got to sit in the pilot's seat and visit with the Rescue Pilot, "It was really interesting because I'm hoping to have a career in commercial aviation, but I'd also like to be the guy who jumps out of the helicopter on a rescue mission, that really sounds exciting to me," said Branderlyn. The camp concluded on Friday but according to Lazenby the Challenger has scheduled a girl's camp this week and a co-ed non-residential camp that still has a few spaces available. "We also have Tuesday/Thursday day camps for kids from 6-9 years of age, but the end of summer is fast approaching and it's been a great one," said Lazenby. To find out more about summer camp registration at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska go to www.akchallenger.org or call 283-2000 and ask for Summer.

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