At Camp, Teens Blow Stuff Up, As They're Told

While some teens use their summers to learn sailing, archery or soccer, Brandon Meadows attends Summer Explosives Camp in Missouri to learn how to use dynamite.

"Some people like baseball, others like math -- I just like to set off bombs," he said. "I figure here, learning how to do it properly is better than messing around with it at home, right?"

Meadows is one of 20 teenage campers enrolled in a weeklong explosion camp in the Missouri Ozarks. At the camp, high school students from as far away as Egypt and Hawaii shoot dynamite, TNT and plastic explosives.

The camp's leader, Paul Worsey, a professor at the University of Missouri, Rolla, uses the camp as a way to attract new recruits into the unglamorous field of mine engineering. He recruits students to help carry on the industry, which is facing a serious personnel shortage.

"It's critically important," Worsey said. "These are our workers to sustain this industry going forward."

So far, the camp is working. Meadows has already enrolled in the explosives engineering program at the University of Missouri at Rolla for next fall.

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tmarc12342 years ago

Where can I get the information to sign up?

Well, this article is seven years old, but there are enough names and organisations identified in the article that your google skills should get you to the right place.

Kiteman10 years ago
Cool as this is (and it is - if I was twenty-mumble years younger I'd be there like a shot, but I already thought mine engineering was cool anyway), I still don't really get this idea of packing your children away for the whole summer break. As far as I can see, most camps are at best average, and generally run by some sort of fundie recruiters (vis: jessyratfink's comment), so why do so many (how many?) American parents send their children away for most of the Summer? I'd be willing to bet that the people decrying the general drop in moral standards / family values / attitudes of today's youth are the same ones who effectively say to their children "Yes, of course I love you, now get out of my sight for the next two months".
KentsOkay Kiteman10 years ago
Here in America we have the great (terriblle really) tradition of the soccer mom. The soccer mom despises her kids, and because she (and dad to) feel guilty about not wanting to spend time with them (don't blame them), they have there kids do everything, and they accpect them to win everything.
LasVegas Kiteman10 years ago
Most "camps" only last 2 to 4 weeks. It's nothing more that going on a scouting trip when I was a kid. This program teaches kids the practical uses of explosives; How they can be used to benefit mankind.
Kiteman LasVegas10 years ago
Ah! I was under the impression that they started just after school ended, then finished in time to clear up the poison-ivy rash before term started again in the Autumn.
canida Kiteman10 years ago
Kids are high-maintenance!
You have to drive them places and interact with them if you keep them around when school is out- definitely a pain. Outsourcing is almost always the answer.

I happily spent most of my summers having too much fun at home, thank you very much, but then I was likely raised wrong.
Kiteman canida10 years ago
Actually, I've just realised - according to my sources (TV), 90% of American children live in urban drug- and gang-dominated concrete hell-holes. Camp is the only time of their bullet-shortened lives where they get to see trees and burgers before they're minced.

KentsOkay Kiteman10 years ago
He, he, I'm not one of those unfortunate 90%
jessyratfink10 years ago
Now let's wait a couple weeks until Fox and the Today Show get their hands on this and tell America (or at least the part that watches such terrible news) that this camp is training a new generation of terrorists. ;) I wish I would have went to camp to blow things up instead of going to camp and being forced to "speak in tongues". This is a summer camp that actually sounds fun. :D
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