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Last updated: April 19, 2008
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Pack 481 Outreach

On Saturday, February 21st Jeff Jones, Mike Erpelding & Neal Higgins ventured out to the Stearns Scout Camp to WOW and assist Pack 481 with their winter camp rocket adventure.
The pack had built a couple dozen Estes Quark kits and planned on flying them on 1/2A motors. We were there to give a brief rocket talk, assist them with there flights and WOW them them with some of our own. The field was small and then winds were gusting to 15mph or so. I set up the equipment near the cabin which would leave a lot of open room to the south for recovery (wishful thinking).

Around 1:30 the scout and parents had finished lunch and were gathering around to hear us speak and get to the launching. I introduced ourselves, gave a brief talk and then opened it up for questions from the crowd. After about 15 mins of this I closed the range and opened the launch with a flight of Cheops on a G77R-4 to WOW the crowd and wake them from their slumber. It did the trick.

We now helped the scout prep there rockets and got the pads full. Usually 7 of theirs' and 1 from Jeff or myself. I let each scout hit the launch buttons for there rockets and also had them help out with our bigger toys. Even on 1/2A's these rockets go out of site but I think most of them were eventually recovered. Some did drift off into to the tall weeds and trees when the winds were gusting higher.

I launched 6 more rockets that day and they were all recovered and not one of them ended up in a tree. The flights were: Mega Nike on an F15-4, Fric-n-Frac on a C6-0 to a C6-0, Mega Mosquito on a D12-5, Terra Former on a D12-0, Totally Tubular on an E20-4W and to end the day I flew my Madcow Lil Green Goblin on F23-4FJ.

A good time was had by all and I am positive we will be invited back to assist them again.

 - Neal Higgins

Here is an email I received from the pack leader:

Neal, Mike and Jeff,

That was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! Everyone was commenting how it was way better then we ever expected. Thank you so much for your help, time and even monetary contribution to the event. I know that wasn't with out cost to you guys.
I am positive our paths will cross again!
Again, thank you.
Brian Doyle

I arrived around 1:15 at Camp Stearns to give Neal a chance to figure out where we would be flying from and help set up. When I got there Neal had his awesome launch controller and pads already set up and was busy prepping demo rockets for launch. Due to prepping for a Sunday KC breakfast Iíve been short on time lately; plus I knew there were lots of trees at Camp Stearns, with strong winds that day, so I figured I would be of most use in aiding rocket recovery. After the talk about rockets, I helped the Scouts prep their rockets by showing them how to put the motors in the rockets, and insert the igniter and igniter plug. One model needed help removing a glue run, from installing the nosecone; that prevented the motor from fitting in the tube. A couple models also needed help securing their nosecones to the rocket. Masking tape is a wonderful thing! Once the Scouts were placing their Quarks on the pads, I took a position on the field south of the pads with the sun to my back. Quarks are mighty hard to spot due to their size. Several times I lost sight of the model until the smoke trail from the motorís delay grain started. I tried to point at the model all the way down until it landed, to try to give itís owner an idea of where to start looking. A few of the models werenít painted with a white body tube and nose cone, making them hard to see in the snow. I did help find two lost models ( one was an unpainted rocket) that I had an idea where they landed, plus I picked up 2 Estes 1/2A motor casings. Thank you Neal for doing a great job! Iím always happy to help at Camp Stearns events being so close to home.

 - Mike Erpelding


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