Campers touch down at Bob Hope Airport

Spirits were soaring when children in the city's day camp program visited Burbank Bob Hope Airport on Thursday.

Seventy youngsters heard about airport's history and career opportunities, participated in demonstrations and saw the equipment used by the airport police and fire departments.

Seeing what goes on behind the scenes is a great opportunity for the kids because many of them don't get the opportunity to fly, said Jon McGinley, recreation coordinator for the Summer Daze Express program at Robert Gross Park.

"The campers totally look forward to this every year and even the counselors say it's their favorite field trip," he said.

Pete Serrano, the airport's manager of ramp and operations, showed how ground crew members guide jets into terminal bays.

Serrano helped camper David Jacquin slip into an orange vest and grasp an orange wand in each fist. Together, they guided camper Mandy Hall, who pretended to be a jetliner, into the terminal parking area.

The hands-down favorite activity was the use of a Taser, demonstrated by Sgt. Tom Davenport of the airport police department. He aimed it at a large poster of a perpetrator on the station wall.

Glendale Police officer Mike Woolner imparted a few facts about the Burbank police helicopter.

"It helps us keep officers on the ground safe and look for lost children," he said. "We have to go through a lot of training and get a license to fly helicopters."

The partnership with the city's Gross Park campers grew out of the fact that many of the children live near the airport area and because Robert Gross Park was once owned by Lockheed, which gave the park to the city of Burbank, said Lucy Burghdorf, the airfield's manager of public relations and government affairs.

Lockheed used to own and operate the airport.

"This camp is special to our hearts because it is part of Lockheed's history and part of the Lockheed family, and being so close, it gives the kids a chance to come here and be able to learn about aviation, safety and the history of the Burbank Bob Hope Airport," she said.


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