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Aviation Explorers an Excellent Outlet to Engage Youth

 

By Jeff Skiles, EAA 336120
EAA Vice President of Chapters and Youth Education

April 3, 2012 - Recently, I met with Oshkosh area representatives for both Scouting and Learning For Life. These are the two organizations that administer an array of youth programs, including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorers.

A few months back, they were covered in Rod's column in EAA Sport Aviation, which expressed support for Aviation Explorer posts, and were here to see what opportunities were available for a joint effort. After a 30-minute presentation on the many youth programs EAA offers, they were extremely impressed and were eager to move forward collaboratively.

Many EAA chapters have expressed a desire for a program that will engage youth in a more ongoing fashion. A program that can be started at your chapter today is Aviation Explorers.

Last fall, I received a request from a Scout leader who was looking for a sponsoring organization for an Aviation Explorer post. The leader, the district Scouting representative, and I presented the program at the monthly meeting of Chapter 93 in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. Chapter 93 rallied around the proposal and is now a sponsoring organization; it costs $10 per year, and at last count the post has 22 members. This tremendous membership response is in large part due to the fact that one of the post advisors teaches an aviation course at a local high school.

An Aviation Explorer post has minimal requirements for the chapter and no insurance issues. It is a fantastic opportunity to engage young adults on a monthly basis, or however often you choose. Just call your Scout Council Office for more information or contact Brian O'Lena, EAA Young Eagles and Youth Pathways manager, at 920-426-6297 or bolena@eaa.org.

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