A group of kids in East Texas is diving into the exciting world of aviation. The Historic Aviation Memorial Museum (HAMM) in Tyler is hosting about nine kids this week for its annual Advanced Aviation Camp.
Children between the ages of 12 and 15 are learning about everything from basic aviation to flight planning to airport operations. The camp welcomes children from both near and far.
A few camp goers traveled from other states to Texas specifically for the firsthand look into aviation. For 15-year-old Cordell Scott, this is the third year he’s attended the camp.
“I originally decided to come to the camp to learn about avionics and things, and to be around a group of people who like the exact same things that I likes,” says Scott.
He and eight other boys make up this year’s camp class. But camp organizers say, despite the absence of girls this year, the camp welcomes any kids within the age group who are interested in learning about aviation.
Luis Thomas, the president of HAMM, says that aviation, unfortunately, isn’t typically an area of interest to young ones, but there’s reason that it should be.
“We need to introduce our young people to aviation, so that they will have a chance or look to something different than the desk jobs in an office, to going out and seeing the world and enjoying flight,” Thomas says. “That’s the whole point of what we’re doing here. To keep the young people interested in aviation.”
Thomas says they’re changing things up a bit this year due to this being at least the second year of camp for all attendees. He says in place of getting tours of the airport terminal, the boys will get more hands-on classroom experience, along with visits to the air traffic control towers and a flight simulator.
And later this week, the group will get to go on a plane ride around East Texas.
“What we do when the camp is over, I’m going to take them all on a ride in my airplane,” says Thomas. “That’s free, because that’s not a part of the camp. I’m just doing that as a person, and because I like to the young people up for rides on the plane. So, we’ll have that to look forward to.”