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Last updated: July 22, 2002
Site hosted courtesy of the
Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

MASA summer picnic (7/22/2002)

A really hot time (again and again!)...

MASA members gathered on Saturday, July 20, at the Elk River & Rogers VFW post  for the 5th annual MASA summer picnic.  Just like the past two years, the weather was very hot and humid.  People started arriving around 3 pm to make use of the launch field before the picnic officially began.  The crowds started to grow around 5, and the grilling started not long after.  By one count, 51 people were present!  This makes it by far the biggest MASA picnic ever held, and almost twice as big as last year.  The event wound down as dusk approached.

The site was the VFW soccer complex where occasional MASA launches are held.  The VFW kindly let us use their grill, tables and chairs, and picnic shelter.  Many people brought their lawn chairs and shade canopies, setting them up on the grass.  There was rocket flying, eating, and a lot of socializing.

By coincidence, this day marked the 33rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.  (July 20, 1969).


Making use of the soccer fields, this was an official club launch, and people set up their equipment in a relaxed misfire alley style.  Using flight cards to record stats, the first launch took place not long after 3 pm and the last launch was around 8:30 pm.  70 recorded flights took to the skies.  While it was gusty during the early hours, the wind died down completely by about 7 pm.

Read the Launch report for the other side of this story.


As is traditional, the picnic also was the occasion of the MASA swap -n- sell meet.  A number of rocket items changed hands during the evening.

Lots of prizes!

Just after 7pm, club president Alan Estenson drew for the free "door" prizes.  Here's the rundown:  (name in parentheses is the person or business that donated the prize.)

"Next Generation Prizes" - this drawing was for ages 12 and under.  All prizes were donated by Ted and Ann Nolen except for the Big Bertha, which was donated by Todd Carpenter.  [Thanks!]

[apologies for misspelled names]

  • Estes Alpha III kits - Caitlin Bright, Dylan Berthiaume, Christian Vatsaas, Miranda Lawell, C[unreadable] Nolen
  • Estes Wizard kits - Kayla Dufner, Brian Fergus, Mikey Downham, Hannah Gibbens, Kyle Bright
  • Quest A6-4 2-engine packs - Amy Whitaker, Ingrid Vatsaas, Philip Gibbens, Seth Cochran, Travis Lawell, Moriah Cheney
  • Estes Big Bertha kit - Ian Galchatt

All ages prizes:

  • Seth Cochran - NAR ball cap (donated by MASA)

  • Kayla Dufner - Official Lockheed-Martin ball cap (donated by Rick Vatsaas)

  • Russ Durkee - Outdoor first aid kit (donated by Alan Estenson)

  • Dan Nolen - Rockets of the World [autographed!] (donated by Ted Cochran)

  • Moriah Cheney - pack of B6-4 engines (donated by MASA)

  • Renee Gibbens - pack of D12-5 engines (donated by MASA)

  • Glen Overby - Estes Comanche-3 rocket kit (donated by MASA)

  • Mike Erpelding - Estes Nemesis rocket kit (donated by MASA)

  • Hugh Hansen - Estes Nova Payloader rocket kit (donated by MASA)

  • Craig Hansen - KosRox Streadur rocket kit - ULTRA RARE!!! (donated by MASA)

  • Dave Fergus - pack of C11-3 engines (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Mark Thell - Custom Fiesta rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Philip Gibbens - Custom Venture rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Elliot Carpenter - Custom Ion Pulsar rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Art Gibbens - Estes Cosmic Cobra rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Rick Vatsaas - Quest Lightning rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Mikey Downham - Quest Nike Smoke rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Cheryl Vatsaas - Quest Quasar rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Cindy Whitaker - Edmonds Geminee boost glider kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Jeff Hove - ASP RAM B rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Debbie Lawell - ASP Micro Jayhawk rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Austin Whitaker - ASP Micro WAC Corporal rocket kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Tom Lawell - surprise bag, Droid Fighter kit (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Joel Henry - surprise bag, MicroMaxx set (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • David Whitaker - surprise bag, pack of Aerotech F21 motors (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Daryl Thayer - surprise bag, 8 assorted Estes motors (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

  • Ann Nolen - surprise bag, MicroMaxx set (donated by Hub Hobby Center)

Some of the rocket kit prizes were built and took to the air before the end of the evening!

A big "Thank You!" to:

  • Everyone who participated!
  • Art Gibbens for serving as Fabulous Grill Meister for the 3rd year in a row!
  • Rick Vatsaas for bringing condiments
  • Glen Overby, Ted & Ann Nolen for bringing beverages
  • The Lawell family for the water-rocket-melon
  • Ellison Lenz & Mike Erpelding for helping with the launch range
  • Everyone who helped set up and pick up.

(Alan Estenson)

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