Space Camp must raise $1.5 million to survive the pandemic

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Editor’s take: As someone that attended a summer camp program each and every year during my childhood, I can attest to the special sort of bond that can materialize between fellow campers and staff members. To not have that opportunity would be unfortunate, and hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation needs your help. The organization, which oversees the Space Camp program for young people in Huntsville, Alabama, will have to close in October unless it meets its fundraising goal.

Space Camp, as it is most commonly known, uses the “excitement of U.S. and international space programs to stimulate young people’s interest in STEM studies.” Founded in 1982, the summer camp program currently offers attendees three specializations to choose from – space, aviation and robotics – during the week-long program.

According to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation, it takes $1,100 to send a child to space camp for a full week.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Space Camp attendance suffered greatly, resulting in decreased revenue and operating capital. Worse yet, the team had to recently shut down the program until April 2021, meaning a “devastating loss of two-thirds of our revenue.”

Simply put, without some outside help, the program will be forced to close permanently.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation has turned to GoFundMe for help and they’re off to a great start. In less than 24 hours, nearly 3,000 people have donated more than $300,000 towards the $1.5 million goal. With any luck, this goal gets smashed real soon and Space Camp can continue to be a place for learning and creating memories for generations to come.

Image credit: Rob Hainer, Joseph Sohm

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