AC Black and White 20 Year LogoWhile we’re celebrating anniversaries here at hab1, I’m embarrassed to admit that I allowed 2010 to pass without noting that Aviation Challenge turned 20!

Though Space Camp has always been my favorite thing, I understand quite clearly what a great program Aviation Challenge truly is.

The new Space & Rocket Center management is looking to increase enrollment numbers at camp this summer by a fair bit. If they’re smart, they’ll concentrate on Aviation Challenge to get results.

As big of a space nerd as I am, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that, amongst kids and teenagers especially, military aviation ought to have larger and farther-reaching mass-market appeal. ¬†Top Gun is a much more popular than SpaceCamp.

Increasing AC numbers ought to be the low-hanging fruit.

Further, and having no idea what the numbers actually look like, I would be surprised to find out if Space Camp had better returning camper numbers. AC kids tend to be quite…serious…about Aviation Challenge.

And so while it’s absolutely amazing what Ruth Marie Oliver, longtime boots-on-the-ground manager at AC, and company have been able to do down at the lake with limited resources and limited support as well, perhaps (Aviation Challenge is the red-headed step child of Space Camp. Perhaps that’s why Ruth “Red Bull” Oliver runs it. ¬†Zing!), it seems that there’s still a great deal of untapped potential in this twenty-one-years-young camp!

Here’s to a great summer season at Space Camp and Aviation Challenge!

And, again, a very belated congratulations on twenty years!