ChapterGram: June 2013
Chapter and Young Eagles Pavilion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013
By Trevor Janz, EAA 656941
EAA Manager of Chapters and Eagle Flights
As I write this, only 54 days remain until EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013. It really is amazing how fast the year goes by. The majority of our over 4,500 volunteers are chapter members. Without you, this event would not be able to take place.
It was last year that I became the manager of EAA chapters (May 2012), and I assumed that we would have a very nice facility for our chapter leaders, members, and Young Eagle volunteers to call home during the convention. I was a bit shocked to see two separate buildings out in the middle of nowhere. When I questioned this I was told that these buildings were moved; they had been up near the flightline in the past. I was baffled. These are the folks that make things happen in EAA, these are the folks that make up EAA and are the backbone of the organization, and this is what we give them during their convention?
So, I went to Jeff Skiles (chapters vice president) and said we must do something. Something better for chapter members that are not just national members. These chapter members have stepped up and volunteered and have taken a leadership role within EAA; they are our "boots on the ground." Jeff agreed, but it was too late in the planning for 2012.
When they say dream big, that is exactly what I did. I asked Jeff to present to the EAA senior leadership team a preferred location either on the flightline or on "ocean front property" Celebration Way. Long story short, Jeff Skiles made it happen. We will have an 80 x 80 Chapter and Young Eagle Pavilion (tent) on Celebration Way at this year's EAA Oshkosh. We will be located on the corner of Celebration Way and Knapp Street, just west of the EAA Welcome Center.
This year we have a special place for chapter leaders, chapter members, Young Eagle volunteers, and field representatives. The tent will be open to the public to inform everyone about chapter membership, Young Eagles, the Eagle Flights Program for adults, and daily informative forums for chapter members/leaders and the general public. We will also have a kiosk for the EAA Air Academy as well as a space for our friends from the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Why AMA? Because we want chapters to work with AMA chapters in their area to engage with more youths. If they start with remote-controlled aircraft, maybe next will be full-scale building and flying. Many chapters are also engaged with AMA in engaging adults that no longer are able to fly full-scale aircraft.
Most importantly we will have a special area in the back of the tent just for chapter members. An area with ice-cold water, chairs, tables, and a "swamp cooler" to keep the temperature down. This will be your place to relax with and talk to other chapter members/leaders from all over the country and world, share ideas, and share contact information. We will also have a large flat-screen television showing the May, June, and July installments of Chapter Video Magazine and also Young Eagle activities and other chapter events.
So, please come to your pavilion and make yourself comfortable. We look forward to seeing you there and hope you like the new area dedicated to you. Thank you for all you do!