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EAA Blue Barn Gives Young Eagles, Chapters New Home
By Katie Holliday-Greenley
July 23, 2017 - Among the many improvements made to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh grounds for 2017, perhaps the most exciting change is EAA’s new Blue Barn. Located across from Forums Plaza adjacent to Aviation Gateway Park, the Blue Barn is the new home of Young Eagles, Eagle Flights, and EAA chapters during the convention.
“Over the past five years we’ve been lacking a location and the ability to serve chapters, and existing and potential volunteers for Young Eagles and Eagle Flights,” said Bret Steffen, EAA director of education. The location was chosen partly because it’s set away from the public thoroughfare on Celebration Way and Blue Barn passersby will primarily be EAA members. “It’s on the aviator thoroughfare,” he added.
The Blue Barn officially opened Monday morning with a ribbon-cutting by Young Eagles Chairman Sean D. Tucker.
“I am honored to be a part of this team,” Sean said, addressing the crowd gathered to celebrate the Blue Barn’s opening. “Thank you, EAA, for giving us our own barn so we can spread the word. Go Young Eagles!”
Activities at the Blue Barn will include forums on how to grow your chapter and engage youth in aviation, and daily drawings for a Lightspeed headset. Visitors can also sign up to be Young Eagles pilots or Eagle Flights mentors. Bret said the focus of the Blue Barn is to celebrate EAA chapter members and Young Eagles volunteers, and help the program grow.
Inside the Blue Barn, visitors can take a picture with EAA Founder Paul Poberezny’s Volkswagen Beetle, Red One, and get an up-close look at a recently completed RV-12, the same type one lucky winner will receive as the EAA’s 2017 Sweepstakes prize.
The RV-12, NYE32, was built by the Spirit of Aviation flying club and members of EAA Chapter 32 as a chapter build project, and it’s displayed in the Blue Barn alongside information on starting a flying club or group build project of your own.
One wall of the Blue Barn is taken up by a large map denoting EAA chapter locations all over the world. Chapter members are encouraged to add their chapter’s windsock to the map to let others know which chapter networks are represented at AirVenture 2017. As of early Monday morning, more than two dozen windsocks dotted the map indicating there are visiting chapter members from all over the United States and a couple from Canada.
The Blue Barn will be a great place for chapter members and volunteers pilots and mentors to gather to gain inspiration and share ideas. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about EAA Young Eagles, Eagle Flights, and chapters.