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
--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
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
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