by Katrina Mittelstadt
Chairperson, Minnesota ACE Camp Board of Directors
Published In Midwest Flyer Magazine Online October/November 2021 Issue
Career exploration in high school is one of the most critical points in a young person’s life that often sparks a passion and helps to guide the decision-making process that will influence their future. For the past 30 years, Minnesota Aviation Career Education Camp has been there to support students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade to gain exposure and experience in the exciting industry of aviation. Through three one-week-long residential summer camps, 90 students are given the opportunity to go behind the scenes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan area and see firsthand how airport operations are conducted, try their skills in an air traffic control simulator, fly in an airplane, helicopter, and glider with a certified instructor, and much, much more.
The purpose of what we do at MN ACE Camp is to inspire students to consider career paths in aviation by facilitating hands-on activities and unique experiences that light their imagination and show them that an aviation career is very within reach. We care deeply about our students’ success and even after camp provide support and mentorship to our alumni as they pursue their dreams. It really is an ACE Camp family.
MN ACE Camp was not hosted in 2020 due to safety concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, and after much consideration by staff organizing the event for 2021, a modified single-day MN ACE Days event was held June 11th, June 24th, and July 12th at South St. Paul Airport (KSGS).
A total of 180 students were hosted over the three one-day events and were given the opportunity to learn about the path to become a pilot, air traffic controller, aircraft mechanic, and the exciting new possibilities that exist for unmanned aerial vehicle or drone pilots. Students were also given the opportunity to talk with flight training schools that attended the event, explore aerospace engineering with guest speakers, and discuss what it is like being a flight attendant with staff volunteers. For many attendees, the event was a first look into the career possibilities that exist and was a place they were able to experience the excitement alongside their peers.
Want to learn more? Visit www.mnacecamp.org and sign up to receive MN ACE Camp’s newsletter to be notified when the student application window for Summer 2022 opens, and to receive other important updates and deadline notifications. MN ACE Camp can also be found on Facebook and Instagram by searching @mnacecamp. If you want to volunteer or have specific questions, MN ACE Camp’s staff can be reached at www.mnacecamp.org/contact or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minnesota’s Aviation Career Education Camp is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Please consider joining the amazing supporters that help MN ACE Camp inspire the future of aviation by becoming a donor or sponsor at www.mnacecamp.org/donate. One hundred percent of contributions directly support MN ACE Camp’s scholarship fund that helps remove financial barriers to attend camp and soon will be offered to program graduates to help them achieve their dreams!