ROLLA, Mo - Some summer campers in Rolla are truly having a blast this summer. Kids attending Missouri University of Science & Technology's 'Explosives Camp' worked hard to get there; developing a strong math and science background first.
The application process is extensive, but the kids lucky enough to attend get a summer camp experience unlike any other. "Just to even come to this camp you've got to be willing to work, put the extra effort in, take those tougher courses in high school," says Andrew Johnson who will be a senior at Nixa High School.
Johnson has been working for years to get the opportunity to come to explosives camp. "Starting my sophomore year I started looking at colleges; I wanted to be an engineer, wanted to do something with explosives," says Johnson.
For him and other campers, that hard work paid off immediately. "Every day you get the reward of seeing something go boom," says Johnson.
"We're really really hands on in this camp, kids get to handle explosives, they get to blow things up," says Paul Worsey, Professor of Mining Engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology and a camp instructor, "We do demolition, we do shape charges, some military stuff; everything from blowing watermelons to blasting rock. We get over 40 high explosive events on this camp; last camp they got to look at 20 tons of dynamite underground."
It was just a typical day. "We created a wall of fire with cans of ether; we each got our own stick of dynamite and shot off underground," says Johnson.
The summer camp, however, is anything but typical. "The students at explosive camp here get an experience they would get nowhere else in the World," says Worsey, "We're the most hands-on; in fact they learn things that people who work with explosives don't even know."
"How many other summer camps do you get your own stick of dynamite and are able to go underground and shoot it," says Johnson.