Exceptional Teen Feature – Colin Grimes, March, 2016

Space…the final frontier. Exploring and conquering that frontier is a favorite activity of Colin Grimes. At only 13 years of age, Colin has already racked up four annual sessions of space camp, and he is gearing up for year number five.

Each summer, Colin goes to rendezvous with a group of fellow aspiring pilots and astronauts for a week of Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Each year he further develops his passion for air travel, rocketry, and space exploration, and he forges some unforgettable friendships.

Staying busy is never difficult for Colin. His involvements in everything from Kentucky Youth Assembly and his school activities, to his enthusiastic support of our military troops keeps Colin on track to accomplish an impressive set of goals for a 13 year old.

This young man demonstrates tremendous potential, and is setting a wonderful example for his two younger brothers, as well as for others, to follow. I hope you enjoy learning more about Colin.

Q: How did you first become interested in going to Space Camp? Where is it located and how many years have you attended?

A: I first became interested in going to Space Camp, located in Huntsville, AL, after watching the movie Space Camp with my family. Because of the way it was depicted in the movie, I felt it would be a fun experience. My parents allowed me to go for the first time at the end of my fourth grade year. I have attended camp for the last four years.

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The 5 Degrees of Freedom Chair and Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) allow students the feeling of performing an extravehicular activity or space walk

Q: Walk us through a week at Space Camp. What kinds of activities do you do? What do you learn about?

A: Over the course of a week, we take part in two shuttle missions, along with various team building and challenge activities. We build rockets to launch. We also make adjustments to them in order for them to fly better. Also during Space Camp, we learn about the history of the space program and rocketry. Some of the training activities we take part in include Space Shot, G-Force, MMU (manned maneuvering unit), 1/6 gravity chair (moon run simulator), MAT (multi axis trainer), zero gravity/under water training, and shuttle landing simulation.

There is also time for campers to relax and have fun. We get to swim in the Aviation Camp’s training lake. We also have outdoor activities, much like a recess time, at the AC Area 51 Training Camp. There is also time to tour the museum, shop at the gift shops, and watch movies at the IMAX theater.

Right Stuff Award, age 9

Colin with his Right Stuff Award, 2012, age 9

There is a graduation ceremony on the last day of camp. Awards are given to the teams for designing the best mission patch, robotics competition, overall performance and attitude, and quiz bowl.  The Right Stuff Award is given to the camper who exhibits the qualities of an astronaut and demonstrates leadership. I was fortunate enough to be chosen for this award my first year attending Space Camp.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do at Space Camp?

A: Most people would say the simulators and mission, but I personally prefer socializing with other campers and forming lifelong friendships. I’ve made friends from South Korea, China, Australia, Guam, and Costa Rica, as well as from all over the United States.

Q: What do you hope to gain in the future by attending Space Camp? How will this experience affect your choice of a career?

A: Currently, I plan on becoming an Air Force pilot. Attending Space Camp will give me a background in aviation and aerospace history.  It will also advance my team building and communication skills.

Oberon 3 Tuesday 053 Colin, right, with friends

Colin, right, working on a project with a team of fellow campers

Q: What opportunities do you think more teens should take advantage of?

A: I think more teens should take advantage of opportunities to serve their communities and help those in need.  God wants us to treat others how we want to be treated. We should always show love to others.

Q: What are some of your other passions and interests?

A: I love playing sports including soccer, baseball, and golf.  I enjoy other outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.  I am currently playing the drums as part of PBJ (Praise Band Junior), my church’s youth praise band. I take drum lessons as well.

Colin KYA

Speaker of the House, Kentucky Youth Assembly, 2015

I also take part in many extracurricular activities at school. Recently, I served as Speaker of the House at Kentucky Youth Assembly in Frankfort.  I am also a member of Student Council, Jr. Beta, and STLP.  I am interested in military history and antique cars. I also serve within my church as an usher and audio/visual tech.

Q: What is a really important lesson you have learned in the last year?

A: I’ve been learning not to let people bring me down.  What they say doesn’t really matter, but what I think of myself and what God says about me are what really matter.

What I think of myself and what God says about me are what really matter.

Q: What is the biggest obstacle you have ever had to overcome?

A: My most difficult experience was my dad’s deployment to Afghanistan.  Over there, things are very unpredictable and you never know what might happen.  I worried about his safety and the safety of his soldiers.  Praying and talking with others helped me through that difficult time.

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Welcoming Dad home from Afghanistan

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge facing teens today?

A: I think one of the biggest challenges teens face today is the temptation of drugs.  I’ve seen students get in trouble for having drugs at school and trying to give them to others. Teens do not need to give in to peer pressure.

Q: What types of activities and involvements do you plan to do when you begin high school next year?

A: I am hoping to be part of the track team and participate in shotput. I’d also like to be on the soccer team and be on student council again.


A big thanks to Colin for taking the time to share with us. I enjoyed reading all of his answers, and found them to be incredibly articulate and insightful, especially for someone who is only 13 years old.

I became misty eyed from his answer about overcoming his most difficult obstacle, because I remember the event. It was so moving to see a man so dedicated to serving his country that he was willing to risk his life, leave his family, and proceed into the unknown. Our hats are off to Colin for stepping up and helping his family during his dad’s deployment.

There is no doubt in my mind that Colin will achieve his goals for high school and many more beyond. I feel blessed to know this young man and his family, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the fantastic experiences of this outstanding teen. He has only begun his 7 year adventure. Imagine what awaits Colin in his future teen years!

Do you have an exceptional teen?

If you have or know of a teen who is exceptional – whether it be in school with academics, music talent, sports, heroic deeds, community service, or anything else that would make them stand out – I want to hear about it!

Send me an email at annascates@7yearadventure.com to tell me a little bit about your situation. Give a quick sentence or two about why your teen is exceptional. I will be in touch with you with an emailed list of interview questions your teen can answer and send back to me. The world needs to know there are wonderful kids out there doing outstanding, praiseworthy activities. I would love to feature your exceptional teen!

Exceptional Teen Feature – Alicyn Newman, February, 2016

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One thought on “Exceptional Teen Feature – Colin Grimes, March, 2016

  1. We are very fortunate to know Colin, a fine Christian teenager, and his family!!!! We love them dearly!!! We are proud of everything that he has achieved and wish him well in the future.