Flight Sends Youngster To High Flight Aviation Camp

Carol Cooke


Eleven-year-old Nicholas Trudel will tell you that he has always wanted to fly!

Jaycen Argue, a local pilot and family friend, took Nicholas for a flight in his C-182 and when he saw the enthusiasm and maturity that Nicholas exhibited, he also put his name forward to the Flight 23 executive when they were looking for a youngster to sponsor to attend the Canadian Aviation Camp in Rockcliffe (Ottawa) this summer.

For more than 10 years, North Bay (with help from other COPA Flights around the country) has sponsored at least one youngster annually to EAA Young Eagles Aviation Camp in Oshkosh, WI. This camp is a great motivational experience for kids and even though it was expensive, Flight 23 members persisted in raising money at our annual Silent Auctions so eager youngsters could experience this Camp.

Last year we heard about a Canadian camp that is loosely based on the camp at Oshkosh, and this year it was decided to investigate further. Diane Ibey did the research and after talking to Mike Bourget, owner of High Flight Aviation Camp, Flight 23 executive decided to try it out.

The website (www.highflight.ca) states:

“Mike Bourget, an air traffic controller and pilot (and COPA member), has a vision to help shape youth through aviation. As a committed community builder, he wanted to share his passions with young people: flying and reaching for the sky. Bourget’s dream ‘to build leadership and self-esteem in young people through aviation’ became the concept for ‘High Flight Adventures Aviation Youth Camp.’ The first camp of its kind in Canada, it provides a residential camp for youngsters between the ages of 10 and 15. The next sessions start July 2011.”

Cost is around $600 for five days – slightly less expensive than the Oshkosh experience, and other benefits are: the youngster doesn’t have to have a passport to attend; parents can drop youngsters off and come home for the week (not an option when traveling to Oshkosh, WI for most parents); also, it is a “made in Canada” program.

The experience is similar to that of the camp at Oshkosh in that attendees have structured aviation activities for five days, and they get to fly. The youngsters get to experience some light aerobatics flying in one of two Chinese built Nanchang trainers based at Rockcliffe – and if their stomach permits, even do a few barrel rolls!

They have a second flight later in the week in a C-172 where three youngsters at a time go on a cross country flight, landing at Carp and Smith Falls and changing position so each can experience being co-pilot, navigator and flight engineer.

At the Flight 23 September meeting, Nicholas gave a power point presentation of his experience at High Flight Adventures and thanked the pilots for giving him the opportunity to attend this great camp. The local newspaper, the North Bay Nugget, interviewed Nicholas after his aviation camp experience in July, and the whole front page article can be viewed at: http://www.northbaynugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?Archive=true&e=2694721.

A further write-up in the Nugget in August highlights the COPA For Kids event at South River Airport, and that can be viewed in its entirety by going to: http://www.northbaynugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?archive=true&e=2713863

Flight 23 will be starting to look for candidates over the winter to begin the selection process to find a youngster to attend camp next July.