The Great Egg Launch!
A Noon-time Day Camp Program Feature
This activity provides a relatively quiet program feature to satisfy the Day Camp "after-lunch quiet time" requirement.
Scouts protect a fresh egg in a capsule at home. At camp, they launch their egg on a specially prepared 2-liter bottle using a 2-liter bottle launcher described elsewhere on this website. After recovery, they take their egg-capsule for inspection.
Friday Noon Egg Launch!
How far can a fresh egg fall without breaking? Maybe it depends on
how you package it. Cub Scouts attending Day Camp are
invited to test their egg packaging skills at the Friday Egg Launch.
Check-in your packaged egg during Friday morning registration.
1. The egg must be fresh.
2. The egg must be clean and dry in its capsule.
3. Total capsule size should be approximately 4"X4"X4".
4. Total capsule weight should be approximately 4 ounces.
Each package, with its fragile "astroegg", will be "rocketed" to height
of 40 to 70 feet, where the rocket and capsule will (hopefully)
separate and your astroegg in its protective capsule will descend
safely (?) to the ground.
Camp supplies the rocket and launcher; you supply the egg,
packaging and pumping.
Launcher, Launch Vehicle, and Capsule. Ready for launch!
Note: It takes about 20" of duct tape to hold the wire basket in place!
"Ladies, Gentlemen, Scouts, and all you good eggs!
"Welcome to the first annual Cub Scout Day Camp Egg
"I have inspected each capsule and find each to be approximately 4
ounces in weight and to fit into an approximately 4" cube. All passed
inspection on the last two rules. The judges will determine if the egg
was clean and dry and fresh after the landing!
"We will launch in groups, beginning with Group 1, 2 and 3 (Cubs), then
finishing with groups A, B and C (Webelos).
"First, ladies and gentlemen, may we have a moment of silence for all
these good eggs which have sacrificed their dreams of ever
becoming an omelet so that these scouts can learn and grow ...
"Scouts, when it is your turn, carefully place your egg on top of the
rocket. The capsule and rocket separate best if the egg capsule is
placed loosely in the basket. Balance it as carefully as you can.
After you launch your egg,
go get it and carry it carefully to the judges. Unwrap it there for the
judges to inspect. If the egg lands safely, congratulate it and then
break it for the judges to show that it was, in fact, a fresh egg! Trash
bins are supplied at the judges station for every egg, and for any
packaging that you do not want to keep.
"After examining an egg, if the judges find that it is unbroken and
fresh, they will award the scout a silver bead! For less successful
landings, the judges will award a pewter bead.
"Good luck, Gentlemen."
Launch and landing on a grassy field;
Inspection should be pretty liberal ...
Main inspection issue is scout and bystander safety!
At our egg launch ...
One "qualifying" package was 2"X4"X8",
Some others were about 5"X5"X5".
Some weighed as much as 6 or 7 ounces.
Launch vehicles charged with 2 cups of DiHydrogen Monoxide (DHMO),
Caution: DHMO is an odorless, colorless substance whose accidental inhalation has killed thousands ... by drowning.
(DHMO = H2O = Water!)
Parachutes hanging out the side of the launch vehicle
must be "stowed"
(in the launch vehicle basket under the capsule)
in order to satisfy the size rule
(as well as to accomplish a successful launch.)
Operation is best when the capsule sits loosely in the launch vehicle basket. Separation phase fails if the capsule is wedged in.
Disposal of all eggs was required,
since all had spent half a day in the camp heat.
Silver beads and pewter beads came from opposite sides of the
same plastic bag. Only the recipient need know the difference!
Most staff can be recruited on the spot from parents of campers.
Rocket staging, inspector and announcer jobs should have prior preparation.
- Rocket charger (1):
Places 2 cups of water in each launch vehicle.
- Rocket staging (1):
Places each rocket on a launcher
with approximately the same tension on each.
- Safety officer (1 at each launcher):
Assist staging the capsule in the launch vehicle;
Assure scout doesn't approach the rocket once it is pressurized;
- Launch vehicle recovery team (1 or 2):
Youth staff to bring the spent launch vehicles back for recharging.
- Inspection team (1 for each one or two launchers in use):
Assure neat dispostion;
- Announcer (1):
Watch for safety issues;
Keep the activity going;
Lead the cheering.
- One launcher, pump and launch vehicle at each launch station.
Estimate 40 launches per hour per launch station. For example, if you expect 100 eggs to be launched and you have a half hour for the program element, provide 5 launch stations.
Computation: 100 eggs / (40 eggs per hour per station X 0.5 hours) = 5 launch stations.
- Two or three extra launch vehicles.
- 1 gallon water for each 8 eggs to be launched
- 2 cup measure
- One egg cracker per inspector. Something with an edge for cracking the egg against.
- One trash bin or bag for each two inspectors.
- A dishpan of warm soapy water for hand washing.
- A dishpan of rinse water.
Launch Vehicle Details:
Closeup of the entire launch vehicle. The wire basket is attached to the bottle with duct tape. Nothing sharp sticking out!
Closeup of the basket assembly. The wire basket is made from hanger wire. The ends of the wire are under the tape. Here is a wire ready to be taped to one side of a bottle. Typical "hanger wire" is a good compromise for strength and weight.
Note that it is also necessary to bend the wire so that the bottoms of the wires form a circle which will snug against the bottle. I used pliers to do this.
Start with two pieces of wire, each about 30" long. When bending the wire, bend it past the next post so that there is almost no tension in the wire when it is in the jig.
Here, the first rib has been formed. The wire has been picked up and moved left so that the first rib aligns against a peg in the jig.
(3/4 scale) Detail diagram of bending jig.
Original page created: 7/2/2001
Latest update: 12/16/2001
Copyright 2001 © by Stan Pope. All rights reserved.
Scouting organizations may print, duplicate and distribute copies of this document provided that this copyright notice remains intact and no fee, direct or indirect, is charged for the copies.