Students’ dream trip to space camp in jeopardy after travel company seemingly vanishes
EDMONTON – Some parents are vowing to do whatever they can to get their kids to space camp after an educational travel company appears to have gone out of business, potentially costing the kids a trip of a lifetime.
About 80 Grade 5 and 6 students and 20 chaperones were set to travel to Ottawa, Quebec City, and Montreal – which was going to be the highlight. There, they would have a chance to simulate life in space at a camp.
Brennan Dahl’s family had been saving for the past year to afford the $2,500 trip.
“I was actually really excited. I can’t even describe how excited I was,” he said.
As deadlines approached, organizers tried reaching Nova Scotia-based Experiential Education – the tour company booking the trip. But phones had been disconnected, and the 19-year-old company appeared out of business.
Then on Friday, a letter came saying the trip may not happen.
Lawyers for St. Albert Public Schools are investigating; however, it seems the entire cost of a the trip – a quarter-million dollars – remains with Experiential Education. Only a small deposit has been made on flights, and no money has been given to the space camp or hotels.
Brenna’s mom, Shauna, isn’t prepared to give up on her son’s dream yet, though. She believes that until departure day comes on April 26 and he’s not on the plane, there’s still a chance.
The mother has turned to social media for help, starting a ‘Save our Space Camp’ Facebook page.
“I’m going to have to fundraise and get donations. We can’t afford, and probably half of the parents that have committed to this can’t afford, another $2,500. We’ve made all of the final payments to this company, and they’re gone.”
She says some parents have recourse with their credit cards, and should be able to eventually get their money back. The money for flights and to hold the space camp spots open is due in the next couple days, though.
“Our issue isn’t trying to get that money back, it’s getting those kids on that flight,” she said.
Brennan, who’s foregone birthday and Christmas presents for this trip, is willing to wait as long as it takes.
“It makes me pretty sad, but I’m usually able to control it because I could maybe go some other time.”
He realizes that opportunity will likely be hard to get again.
With files from Quinn Ohler and Fletcher Kent, Global News
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