Most young people wonder what it would be like to actually sit at the controls of a rocket hurtling toward outer space. At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, some young folks actually get to have an experience very close to that.
Justin Rich, 14, of the Layton 34th Ward, Layton Utah North Stake, and Joana Canals, 14, of the Hunter 5th Ward, Salt Lake Hunter East Stake, had that opportunity when they were accepted to the 1986 Space Camp, a five-day course that simulates the training received by astronauts. While in Huntsville, they learned about computers, gravity chambers, working with mechanical arms, and, under simulated conditions, about how to float and walk in space.
After three days of preparation and training, Justin and Joana donned space suits and participated in two simulated launchings and flights of the Spacelab module.
“I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut,” said Justin, who operated a robotic arm and conducted experiments similar to those performed by astronauts and scientists in space.
Joana, in one of her assignments as weather and tracking specialist for the ground control team, monitored weather conditions and kept track of the orbiter’s position during one of its flights.
Not only did Justin and Joana gain new insights and knowledge during their stay at Space Camp, they found themselves with many new friends. “Knowing other people had the same interests and making lots of new friends” was one of the best parts of camp, said Joana.
Kendrick Pozen, 15, of Birmingham, England, was awarded the English School Cycling Award Gold Medal by the mayor. He and his friends cycled 400 miles in nine days through the mountains of Wales. They battled bad weather and wind on the trip. Kendrick also enjoys running for his school’s cross-country team. In addition, he enjoys studying about computers and chemistry.
Lori Smith of Garden City, Kansas, was selected by her high school teachers and administrators to receive the Kansas State High School Activities Association Citizenship Award. In addition, Lori was the recipient of the Presidential Academic Fitness Award for maintaining high grades.
Lori plays on her school’s girls’ varsity volleyball team as well as the basketball team. She is also on the leadership team and a member of the drill team.
Lori served as first counselor in her Mia Maid class in the Garden City Branch and never missed a day at early-morning seminary. She said, “I live in an area where Church members are few. Being chosen outstanding freshman student proved to me that I could just be myself and keep high standards and my friends would respect that.”
Over 120 seminary students in Blanding, Utah, accepted the challenge and reached the goal of reading their scriptures every single day for one full year. The group was issued the challenge by their stake presidents. Then the seminary council arranged to call the students every day for the first three weeks to encourage them individually and remind them of their commitment to scripture reading. With only three or four “repentance” days allowed, the readers reached their goal and could proudly say that they had read for at least 15 minutes a day each day.
LeeAnn Lovell, in her first year of seminary, said, “My parents had a lot to do with my starting to read the scriptures every day, but after awhile I didn’t really do it for them. I did it for myself.”
Erik Grover gained a good habit. “It was interesting after I got used to reading every night. It became a lot of fun to read the gospel that the Lord gave to modern prophets.”
Mickey Holliday enjoyed class discussion more because he kept up with his reading. “There were times when someone would talk about a scripture or a story in the Doctrine and Covenants, and I understood what they were saying because I had read it the night before or even two weeks before.”
Cheyenne Johnson found that holidays were a challenge. “Christmas was probably the hardest time to read because you’re all excited and you think you have a vacation from everything. It was really hard, but I did it!”
The daily readers were honored at a special banquet, but most agreed that the rewards of daily scripture reading were greater than any honor presented at the awards ceremony.
Carina Dowling from Tamworth, Staffordshire, England, uses her musical talent in helping others. She was one of the students selected to lead the singing for the entire school. She has studied piano since she was six and is an accomplished flutist.
Carina is the president of her Mia Maid class and plays the piano for the Tamworth Ward as well as for monthly take seminary meetings.
Elizabeth Wells of the Bryan First Ward, Conroe Texas Stake, was chosen as one of the two state delegates to the American Diabetes Association youth leadership national congress held in Arlington, Virginia.
During the leadership congress, delegates participate in general sessions and workshops. They also visit Capitol Hill and talk with legislators.
Elizabeth has served as secretary in her Laurel class and as music coordinator for seminary.
Two Oregon girls, Caroline Johnston and Ptarmi Stones, were both selected to participate on the All-State Dance Team. They were two of 16 selected from 700 participants who auditioned throughout the state.
In addition to their school and dance activities, the girls are active in their wards, and both have served as Laurel class presidents. Caroline is from the West Linn Ward, and Ptarmi is from the Willamette Ward. Both are from the Lake Oswego Oregon Stake.
Jason Perrins, 17, of the Spokane 19th Ward, Spokane Washington North Stake, was selected to compete on the Eastern Washington University track team representing the United States at three international meets in Sweden. Jason’s position on the team was based on citizenship as well as his athletic prowess in the pole vault.
Tim Mits of Alexandra was named Young Australian of the Year. It is the first time the award has been made to a citizen of the shire of Alexandra.
Tim is well-known as an outstanding musician. He was particularly memorable in his role as the flamboyant police officer in his school’s production of the Pirates of Penzance. He is also a member of the high school concert band and choir. He would like to pursue a career in music after his mission.
Tim is the president of his seminary class in the Seymour Branch, Victoria North District of the Australia Melbourne Mission.
Lisa Babbel of Thornton, Colorado, is a talented bassoonist. She has represented her school in All-State Orchestra and Top of the nation Honor Band. She has also played with the Longmont Symphony and the Young Artists Orchestra of Denver. She says of her musical abilities, “I believe that Heavenly Father has endowed each one of us with a special talent, and if we choose to develop that talent, he will open doors to many opportunities.”
In addition, Lisa has also been awarded the Presidential Academic Fitness Award for her scholarly achievements. She is a member of the Eastlake Ward, Denver Colorado North Stake.
Alex Clinch of Sutton Coldfield, England, enjoys sports and has had success in several. He attends Riland Bedford School, where he is a house captain. He plays on most school teams and serves as captain of several. He led his teammates to victory when they won the Sutton Schools Athletic competition, the Basketball Cup, rugby finals, and table tennis inter-school competition. They were runners-up in the Birmingham Schools League Football finals.
Alex is in his third year of seminary. He was invited to play for the Sutton Town Football League team, a prestigious honor, but refused because it involved playing on Sunday.
Laurae Cook of the Columbia Valley Branch, Cranbrook British Columbia Stake, loves to sing and often shares her talent in church meetings. She was selected to perform in a variety of locations at Expo held this past summer in Vancouver.
The Laney brothers and sister serve as presidents of their respective quorums or Young Women class.
Diane, 17, is president of her Laurel class. She is on the school track team and was chosen Regit Queen at her high school.
Shane, 15, is president of the teachers quorum. He earned his Eagle badge and has wrestled on the varsity high school team.
Michael, 13, is president of the deacons quorum. He enjoys participating in sports in school.
The Laneys attend the Kirksville Ward, Columbia Missouri Stake.
Four deacons from four different wards in Salt Lake City and Orem, Utah, formed a 4 x 100-meter relay team and competed in the Hershey National Track and Field competitions in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The team members are Michael Campbell, Brian Crow, David Hooper, and Andrew Hurst.
The team set a new state record, beating the old record by nearly 2.5 seconds. As regional champions they were invited to the national championships, where they took second place.
Michael is from the Colonial Hills First Ward. He enjoys playing soccer and is an excellent musician.
Brian is from the Orem Seventh Ward. He is an honors student and his school’s spelling bee champion.
David is from the Murray 13th Ward, where he serves as deacons quorum president. He has received the President’s Academic Fitness Award. He enjoys other sports, and is also a musician.
Andrew is from the Granite Eighth Ward. He is an excellent soccer player and an honors student.
Clarice Evans of Bellevue, Washington, was one of 50 vocalists from across the nation accepted to the Young Artists Vocal Program at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. The selection allowed Clarice to participate in an intense eight-week summer program designed to build musicianship in outstanding high school vocalists.
Clarice also participates in her school choirs. After earning the lead in the school’s musical, Clarice found out there was a performance scheduled for Sunday. Through her tears, she told the director she would have to give up the part. The director said, “I’m glad to know there are still people who feel that way about Sundays. Clarice, we need students like you. Let me see what we can do about the Sunday schedule.” Subsequently, the Sunday performance was dropped, and Clarice was able to perform the part.
Clarice is a Laurel in the Bellevue First Ward, Bellevue Washington Stake.
Linda Bradshaw of Sutton Coldfield, England, enjoys a challenge. She earned bronze and silver medals in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. She had to pass in four areas: service projects, physical endurance tests, skill development, and survival hiking.
Linda also enjoys music. She plays the flute for her school orchestra and wind band. In school she is taking eight O level examinations specializing in history, art, and English. She has served as president of the Mia Maid class and of the Sunday School class in the Sutton Coldfield Ward.
Emilee Lott of Anchorage, Alaska, is the first girl to be elected president of the National Junior Honor Society at her school. One of her duties was to escort the governor of the state on a special tour of the school.
Emilee is not only an excellent student but also a member of the school’s volleyball and basketball teams. She serves as the president of the Mia Maids in the Anchorage Second Ward.
If ever I said,
in grief or pride,
I tired of honest things,
Edna St. Vincent Millay