Meet CBW Alum and SpaceX Engineer Aleksey Volodchenkov

We are excited to share updates with you of Camp Bob Waldorf alumni who have gone on to do great things! Meet Aleksey Volodchenkov, a former CBW camper who is now a Senior Materials Engineer with SpaceX!

Describe your experience at camp.

Camp Max Straus and the Witherbee Program were some of the most memorable experiences in my life. As a camper, I really enjoyed evening programs, learning new songs, and all the comradery of the camp. As a Counselor in Training (CIT) at camp, I had an awesome time mentoring campers and making good friends with them. During CIT off-time, I spent many hours with the horses, riding them and shoveling droppings. Both were therapeutic activities. Witherbee was such an amazing experience. It introduced me to a world of camping I did not know existed. Hiking to Jenny Lakes was just breathtaking. Playing “Blind Eagle” was also so much fun.

What impact did camp have on you?

One of the biggest positive impacts camp had on me was growing my self-confidence. For example, in the Witherbee Program, completing the long hikes and surviving in nature without amenities like running water really made me feel like I could do anything and accomplish any task, no matter how tough. I think this directly played a role in inspiring me to reach high and pursue a Ph.D. in engineering.

What you are up to now?

In 2016, I finished my Ph.D. in engineering with a focus on Materials Science. Since then, I’ve been working at SpaceX and aiding in sending astronauts to the International Space Station. Currently, I’m a Senior Engineer in the Materials Engineering group at SpaceX. My goal is to send the first humans to Mars (talk about reaching for the stars…). More importantly, I recently became a dad to a 2-year-old daughter, Kira, and a 3-month-old son, Nikolai. They are a handful, but I know we’ll get through anything thanks in part to my experiences at camp.

Camp Bob Waldorf is excited to hear from YOU! We will be sharing alumni spotlights so our community can keep up with alumni and see how camp has impacted your life. Please click here to participate.

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