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Chapter Camping Program Builds Unity Among Members
By Ti Windisch, EAA Staff Writer
July 23, 2018 - EAA’s chapter camping program, which allows EAA chapters to reserve joined campsites to form a common area for the chapter, is being utilized by dozens of chapters to experience EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018.
EAA Chapter Field Representative David Leiting said 52 chapters are participating in the chapter camping program this year. Since the program began in 2016, it has grown in popularity each year.
“I always tell people, you don’t know your chapter members until you spend a week camping with them at AirVenture,” David said.
The chapters can reserve up to six sites each and they get to pick a location anywhere in the campground with a few exceptions, such as Paul’s Woods. David said a total of 206 campsites were used in the chapter camping program this year, with roughly four campsites reserved per chapter.
“The chapter camping program is a great benefit for any chapter, especially those traveling from long distances,” David said.
EAA Chapter 59 from McGregor, Texas, made use of the chapter camping program for the first time this year. Chapter 59 President Phil Perry, EAA Lifetime 834284, said the organization of the program was perfect for his chapter.
“It’s awesome,” Phil said. “We gave them an idea of where we wanted to be, and everything just worked out really well in regards to location; they put us almost exactly where we wanted to be. It gave us a good opportunity to get coordinated and do stuff together as a chapter.”
Phil said Chapter 59 members will gather at the chapter campsite on Wednesday for a chapter social, where members of the chapter can inform each other of what’s going on in Oshkosh.
“On Wednesday night we’re going to all try and get together between the end of the air show and the night air show just to have a social and get everyone together, and make that a time where we can all connect and share information that we found on the field,” Phil said.
Chapter 59 has 27 people located in their chapter camping headquarters, which is made up of six adjacent campsites. Phil estimates around 50 total members will be across Oshkosh.
“We’re looking forward to being home base,” Phil said. “We’ve got a cooler here with cold drinks and a bucket full of snacks. Just being at a place conveniently located, that was one of our goals and we were able to accomplish that, and be a retreat for our members.”