Shoot for the Stars: Part Two


NASA is synonymous with the space program but it’s been responsible for much more than that. In part two of his series, Shoot for the Stars, Gene Birk finds out NASA’s thrust to explore space has resulted in achievements right here on Earth.

Does your home have a smoke detector? How about a water filter? Ever use a cordless drill? All of these household products were developed as a direct result of our space program. It’s that kind of motivation to succeed, NASA now teaches at its student, adult and corporate Space Camps.

While NASA’s Space Camp is primarily known for teaching children about space exploration, its new corporate camp is all about building teamwork, communication and leadership training, not just in space but in all walks of life.

Chuck Varner, whose call sign is Bojangles, is the Senior Site Supervisor of the Area 51 Leadership Reaction Course. He’s an intense, vibrant personality, who loves what he does. He lives to watch his campers grow.

Everyone from corporate, presidents to workers on the line, step out of their job titles and team up to achieve a common goal: “To express themselves in communication, leadership, task accomplishment and teamwork; and gives everybody a chance to kinda hear what everybody has to say,” Varner said.

Varner has a lot to say and is always encouraging, informing or cajoling people to the top.

“This is Bojangles, live here from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. We’re getting ready to send Gene from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Channel 13, up our Giant’s Ladder. When he reaches the top, he’s gonna be on that platform. He’s gonna then go 387 feet on a zip line. Gene are your ready,” Varner asked and with that I was off and climbing five stories up with my ground crew shouting encouragement just as I had done for them.

“When you were on that climbing wall, everybody looked at each other and just said, ‘here’s the next hand and foothold. Here’s what you can do.’ People waited for each other. Camaraderie and the teamwork going up was fantastic and coming off the zip line there wasn’t anybody that went up there who didn’t stand there and think about it for a minute but they dug down inside, found that courage and away they went! It was very impressive watchin’ y’all,”

Corporate campers take their newfound courage and teambuilding skills back to their jobs to improve performance.

Your employees can do the same for you by experiencing NASA’s corporate camp. For more information, just www.corporatecamp.com. We used the skills we learned on our shuttle mission at Space Camp. You’ll see that tomorrow night, Thursday, March 1, 2007, at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. as we continue to shoot for the stars.

For even more information on corporate camp and educators camps, click here.


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