John Ratnaswamy first attended Space Camp in 1993 (Adult Level I). He went with two friends, one who worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the other a computer scientist and science fiction author.
They had a terrific time and reportedly were the first team in a simulated mission to land the Orbiter at Dakar, Senegal. John returned in 1994 and 1995.
From 2005 to 2014, John and the three kids in the family, Alec, Julia, and Lily, collectively attended 8 Parent/Child (“P/C”) Space Camps and 2 P/C Aviation Challenge (“AC”) Camps (John and Lily). They’ve loved every one and met some famous astronauts, including Story Musgrave, Hoot Gibson, Bob Springer, and Don Thomas. They also met USAF Colonel Jill “Raggz” Long, amazing pilot and stunt pilot.
Attending P/C Camp is a joy. For example, John and Lily loved being in the woods at night for survival training (“Blitzkrieg”) during P/C AC, and then making s’mores over a fire.
Alec, Julia, and Lily are continuing at Camp. Alec has attended every year on his own since 2008, and focused on robotics. This led to his joining his high school’s robotics team, which qualified for the 2014 First Robotics World championships. Julia has attended very year on her own since 2011. Lily plans to attend next year. John has attended a Camp tweet-up where he learned how to scuba dive in the Underwater Astronaut Trainer.
Camp, most of all, has meant fun and joy to the family, but also to learning more about being a part of and leading teams.
Because their experiences at Camp have meant so much to them, they have contributed to Camp and to Camp scholarships. They hope others will get as much out of attending as they have.