Submitted by Randy Lee
The Great Eastern Balloon Camp will begin on July 12, 2015 in Millersville, PA on the campus of Millersville University. In 2014, there were 20 youth for PA camp & 20 for Iowa camp. Camps were filled by June of 2014. In 2015, by end of March, we had 20 campers for both camps to be held in PA & Nevada. With such great interest, the BFA allowed us to expand each camp to 25 youth. Before the end of May of 2015, both camps were full.
The Great Eastern Balloon Camp’s staff is made up of volunteers from IN, NC, NJ, NY, PA, VA. Hats off to these guys and gals for taking their time to share their knowledge with the youth, that one day may become future pilots and/or dedicated crew members.
As noted above, this year there will be 25 youth attending the Great Eastern Balloon Camp with several states and a neighboring country represented. Here is the breakdown of where the youth will be traveling from. NC – 5, CT – 1, IL – 2, KY – 1, MD – 1, NJ – 2, NY – 6, RI – 1, VA – 2, VT – 1 and Canada – 1.
Of the 25 youth attending, 17 Campers are attending on Scholarships from eleven generous donors.
The Carolinas Balloon Association provided 2 scholarships and the Great Eastern Balloon Association – 3; the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest – 2; the Balloon Federation of America – 3; Blaser Swiss Lube – 1; the Greiner Packaging Corp – 1; RPS/IMC Balloon Insurance – 1; the Two Eagles Balloon Team – 1; Balloon Association of Greater Illinois – 1; John Piper – 1; and an Anonymous Donor – 1.
In looking over the schedule the camp has planned for the youth (see attached), one would may want to go to a weeklong balloon festival to get some rest. The youth will be covering many topics associated with ballooning and have time to make long lasting friendships with the volunteers and other youth. The BFA has given tentative approval for continuing education credits for those attending. Participants will also be allowed to obtain student pilot certificates at camp and log instructional time.
We hope that Katherine and John have a great time and learn from this very unique educational experience. We look forward to getting feedback and photos of their experiences after they return home.