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Last updated: May 11, 2004
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Cub Scout rocket build (5/11/2004)

Last nite I visited Cub Scout Pack 429's meeting to help them put together some rockets. There were about 35 kids there and another 40 or so parents, siblings, and friends. They had some other items on the agenda, and by the time we got started there were only 45 minutes left!

The other interesting part of this exercise was that the Pack leaders had already picked out the rockets, and no two were alike! There were a few simple 3FNCs (including an Alpha III and a Wizard), a few slightly more complex rockets like a Cosmic Cobra, a Patriot, and a Baby Bertha, and a couple of really tough ones, like a Python 4 ASRAAM, a Guardian, and a GBU-24 Paveway III. There were eight or nine rockets in all. Also, the leaders supplied construction materials--lots of plastic glue, hot glue and glue guns, but only one bottle of yellow glue. So we shared.

The good news with Cub Scout meetings is that parents are all supposed to be there, and they all help. I ended up circulating from table to table, helping them divide up the work so that tasks could be done in parallel (motor mount by one Scout, fins by another, body tube splices by a third, shock cord attachment by a fourth, etc.) It was pretty chaotic, but we got the simple rockets all done, and most of the complicated ones simplified and finished enough to be flyable as well (we omitted things like forward fins, the use of fin marking guides, and sanding. I know deep in our hearts we all like to build like that sometimes -). There was a lot of hot glue used, so it's not clear how many flights the rockets will be capable of, but they'll fly once, anyway.

Working with adults isn't that different from working with kids--most of them haven't put together a rocket either, so you still have to provide advice on which glue is used for what, what side of the fins is right side up, and the like.

All in all, it was an interesting change from the usual, "let's build 45 Generic E2X rockets" sort of exercise (I get to that Friday at Westwood -)

The rockets will be flown sometime in June, I think.

[Ted Cochran]

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