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Last updated: May 9, 2004
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Scout outreach report (5/7/2004)

I arrived at the Long Lake Regional Park entrance at about 5, and several parents helped me unload the gear. We set up a twelve-pad rack at the farthest end of pretty decent-sized field, in order to allow for the wind (10-12 mph but slowly diminishing). The cub scouts had previously built Generic E2Xs with hot glue (the extra weight came in handy--it kept the altitude down), and they were in pretty good shape--just a few fin cans that needed slight twisting to clear the launch lug, and one needing supplemental masking tape. There were about 70 rockets to fly, using A8-3 motors.

I gave a brief safety talk, and demonstrated a few launches to get the rod tilt right while showing different motor sizes and recovery systems

--Two stomp rockets, launched on a B6 and a C6

--The Silver Comet, on it's 41st flight, using a C11-3

--A Skywinder on a C5-3.

We set up a Westwood-Elementary-style production line of wadding installation, motor installation, and igniter installation stations staffed by parents/adult scout leaders. We racked twelve rockets, and the kids lined up to push the button. There were only a few misfires during the evening, and only one rocket was eaten by the woods lining one side of the field--it went a bit too far sideways after launch.  Most of them went straight and true and had good parachute deployments. None drifted beyond the field. One of the racks struck me as particularly spectacular, with 12 perfect flights and recoveries.

Cub scouts are LOUD when they cheer!

After about 6 racks, the rockets had all flown and been recovered, and I concluded the evening with a flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia on a C5-3, which glided very well in the glow of the sunset.

With all those parents, we had the range broken down and back in my truck in no time!

Mark Bundick likes to cite the rule of tens--it takes 10 kids launching a rocket to get 1 to be interested enough to do it again, and it takes ten of those to get one interested enough to buy another, and ten of those before one gets hooked on the hobby, and ten of those before one joins a club, and so on....I figure that must be pessimistic; otherwise I'll need to have 10,000 kids launch in order to get one new MASA member.

Certainly last night I got the impression that the rule might be more like the rule of fives! I can deal with that; that's only 625 kids -)

[Ted Cochran]

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