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Sky rockets in flight

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By Cameron Small
Hometown Weekly Intern

“Whoa!”

“It went so high!”

“Heads up!”

These were only a few of the phrases repeatedly yelled at the Needham Cub Scout Pack 8’s annual Rocket Day this past Saturday, May 21, at Olin College.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Jayson Layne, 9, who has attended Rocket Day twice before, not including this year.

Part of the fun comes in launching the rockets. It appeared most of the other fun came from chasing the rockets down and trying to catch them before they hit the ground.

Scouts get a lot more out of firing rockets into the air than just a fun day of miniature ballistics. According to Chris Maxwell, one of the Den Leaders, the rockets “help with STEM activities, S-T-E-M—Science, Technology, Engineering, Math—activities we try to promote, as well as outdoor activities.” Traditionally, the Boy Scouts of America are known for camping, hiking, and other physical outdoor activities.

Eushiuan Tsung, the Committee Chair for Pack 8, added other skills the rockets help Scouts learn, such as “hands on skills, getting along with other kids, just good skills to be able to have.”

Pack 8 purchases model rocket kits for the pack with money raised during fall fundraisers. The Scouts then take them home and build the rockets themselves (or with the help of a parent). Since Rocket Day is also a recruiting event to get kids interested in scouting, additional rockets were available to borrow.

No one seems to know exactly how long Rocket Day has been an event for Needham Scouts. Bridget Smyser said, “I’ve been involved with the Scouts in Needham for eight years now, and we’ve been doing it the whole time—it was already a tradition before that, so it’s probably a good fifteen or more years that they’ve been doing this.” She continued to say that it’s “a unique experience you get in Scouts that you don’t really get in a lot of other places.”

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