The Seguin Public Library sent the imaginations of several children into outer space during a recent astronaut training camp in Seguin. 

On Thursday, library officials conducted an astronaut training camp for children 5 and up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“Myself, as well as Bailey Joe, the services assistant, all brainstormed as a team to come up with the idea,” Seguin Public Library Youth Services Manager Hannah Farmer said. “We also got some ideas from our summer reading manual. So really a lot of different things inspired the event. Plus, this is the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing on the moon so that’s why we’re doing this this week.” 

The event, which took place in the community room, attracted a swarm of children who quickly rushed the six different events that the staff had prepared. 

“So the kids are coming in right now and getting astronauts training checklists and they’ll check each station off as they go through it,” Farmer said. “There’s things like agility tests, lung capacity testing and mission research. We’re going to try to tie in all these different things to what astronauts do and try to educate the kids on how much astronauts really have to do with these courses.

Attendees of all ages enjoyed the festivities of the event. For John Watkins and his 5-year old granddaughter Morgan Richardson, the camp was a great remembrance of the past.

“This has been pretty neat because my wife and I actually worked on the Apollo project and Morgan’s great grandfather was a project director for the space shuttle,” Watkins said. “So it’s great to show our granddaughter to keep on going in science.”

The camp was definitely a hit proven by the soaring attendance of children and parents who participated in it, Farmer said.

“We had a ton of people, definitely over 100 kids and parents came together for a great turnout,” she said. 

Children gleefully took part in activities like mission research. In that activity, children used scotch tape it to collect glitter or “moon dust particles” from around a table. They placed the particles onto paper for observation.

There also was an agility test, a miniature obstacle course where kids could run through a series of tires and cones. One lucky camper was excited about the “moon dust” activity.

“Well we have only done two things so far,” astronaut training camp attendee Rose Escoba said. “We were like, ‘What should we do, what should we do,’ because they are all pretty much all full. But my favorite was mission research. We used tape and put it on glitter and you put it on a piece of paper. It’s fun. The other one we did was word search.”

Seguin mother Krista Schultze said the training camp was an ideal opportunity to get her 6-year-old daughter Alexis acquainted with the library.

“I wanted to bring Alexis to the library here this summer because she just finished kindergarten,” Schultze said. “The library is a fantastic and beautiful place. It’s almost like a hidden jewel here in Seguin, and so this is just another thing to give her. While we’re here, we’re going to get a book or whatnot. It’s a great way to let children know that reading’s a good thing to do.” 

In addition to being fun, the camp is a good way for the tiny space explorers to keep busy during the long break, Farmer said. 

“We do weekly events during the summer,” Farmer said. “It’s a great way to get kids signed up for the reading programs and encourage them to read over the summer so that they keep their brains active and prevent what teachers teach during the year from sliding over the summer break. It’s really just all about trying to think of events that will bring them in, and space is definitely a good theme to go with.” 

Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. She can be contacted by e-mail at joe.martin .

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