Local teens fly gliders at summer camp

HOUSTON More than a dozen high school students are spending time at the Soaring Club of Houston, taking part in a unique camp, The Glider Academy.

This is not a typical summer camp, nor are the attendees typical summer campers.

They are 16 teenagers that are civil air patrol cadets. They are at The Glider Academy at the Soaring Club of Houston to learn how to fly gliders.

"We don't want to be inside, we want to be out here," Tomball senior Stephen Roquemore said.

The gliders are non-motorized. They take off, towed by a regular small plane, and once they reach a certain altitude, the glider is cut loose. That's Juliana Leano's favorite part.

"Whenever we're up with the tow plane and we let go, it scares me every time, but it's so much fun, turning to the right and releasing," the Beaumont sophomore said.

The grownups, the instructors and organizers, say this is one step toward the future for many of these campers.

"Some of them are wanting to go to the military academies, some want to go fly for a living, some are just very interested in flying," organizer for The Glider Academy David Ayre said.

Roquemore hopes to go to the Air Force Academy and maybe one day fly fighter jets, a future that starts with every takeoff and landing at the dusty Waller County field. He said, "Flight is just what I love and as at home as I am on the ground -- I love flight."

For more information about the Soaring Club of Houston, visit their website, www.scoh.org.

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