Two Eastland Scouts Blast Off for Space Camp

Ever wondered what it would be like to do the real moon walk? Or to float in space? Well two Eastland youths are about to have these and many more space experiences.

Twelve year olds Tomas Benavides and Caiden Yates left Texas on July 18 and flew to Huntsville, Alabama, the home of the world famous Space Camp.
Benavides’ Science Teacher Darla Johnson told him about Space Camp and all it had to offer. Johnson had made the trip as a science teacher to Space Camp. After talking with Tomas’ mother, Johnson found a scholarship program that would pay for the entire trip to and from Alabama.

Once Tomas found out he could go, and it would not cost his family anything, thanks to a scholarship program set up by Texan Phil Pegues who pays for Boy and Cub Scouts to attend the camp, Tomas thought his friend Caiden Yates would like to go. So the families worked together and Caiden too received a full scholarship to attend.

According to the Space Camp website at, Tomas and Caiden will get to experience Lift off at 4 Gs and experience weightlessness on a Space ShotTMsimulator; Learn the real Moon Walk using a l/6 gravity simulator; Build your own rocket and launch it towards space from a Rocket Launch facility; Tumble and spin in the Multi Axis Trainer just like the Mercury Astronauts; Experience a world without friction in the MMU- Manned Maneuvering Unit; Lift off in one of SPACE CAMP’s Shuttle Simulators, or command or support everything from a Mission Control Center; Live and work in SPACE CAMP’s International Space Station simulator.

In addition to a Shuttle Mission, space track campers go through extensive Mars training including: Shuttle Missions, Mars Mission, History, Experiments, Astronaut Simulators, Constellation Program based activities.
Space Campers will also learn flight dynamics, wilderness survival, teamwork, and spend time in high-performance jet fighter simulators.

Through the Robotics Track program the camp attendees will learn how to rescue astronauts from the International Space Station! Trainees in the Robotics Track work together to design and program the ultimate robot. Some of the activities include: Shuttle Mission, Robotics, Design, Engineering, Teamwork, LEGO® Robotics Competition and Astronaut Simulators.

Benavides and Yates will spend 8 days at the camp before having to come back to earth and Eastland.

Benavides is the 12 year old son of Oscar and Nora Benavides and will be a 7th grade student at Eastland Middle school this fall.

Yates, the son of Kim and Jason Maynard and Wesley Yates, will be a 6th grader at EISD this fall.