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Thousands of Volunteers Make AirVenture Unforgettable for All

By Laura Beck

July 21, 2018 - As hundreds of thousands of people descend on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, an army of volunteers keeps the event running smoothly. More than 5,500 volunteers are already tackling hundreds of tasks to make the convention an unforgettable experience for all. 

These unpaid helpers do tasks such as checking in campers, parking planes and cars, manning welcome stations, driving trams, making food for other volunteers, and flightline operation duties.

“I’m impressed with EAA and just want to be a part of it,’” said David Reist, EAA 1192621, who signed up for two six-hour stints as a tram driver this year. David owns a farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and can drive a tractor so he thought this was a way he could help at his first Oshkosh convention.

This is exactly what Willow, Alaska, native Judy Knight, chairman of the Camp Scholler Volunteer Center, hopes will happen. She said she tries to match a person’s skills with volunteer roles that need filling and that it is satisfying to find people a “home” on the AirVenture grounds.

Judy has been organizing volunteers at Oshkosh since 2013. Her husband, Don, helps her at the center, which is tucked away under a grove of trees near the Red Barn on the edge of Camp Scholler. Judy has been coming to Oshkosh for 23 years and has volunteered each of those years.

A volunteer board is posted outside of the center and is updated daily. People can pop in and tell Judy or another volunteer at the center what they want to do and when they are available. Judy keeps track of all the hours each volunteer works with their name, time, date, and where they worked. Someone the volunteer worked for must verify each sheet.

“They always seem to show up right when they are needed,” Judy said of volunteers.  

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