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Chapter 237 Named Camping Grand Champion
By David Leiting, Chapter 1342 President
August 2016 - Every year in late July, aviation enthusiasts from around the world make the trek to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the world’s largest fly-in convention. Among those visitors are hundreds of EAA chapters from across the globe.
Many chapters camp together or set up their very own beachhead inside the campground. To assist chapters with planning for Oshkosh, EAA introduced the chapter camping program for AirVenture 2016. By signing up for chapter camping, chapters were able to reserve up to four sites for a flat rate per site. EAA staff then went out to the campground and roped off the sites at locations specified by the chapters. Once the chapters arrived in Oshkosh, they were given their vehicle passes and a map depicting the chapter campsites, and all that was left to do was set up camp. This year, 17 chapters from as far as Lima, Peru, embraced the program.
With the introduction of chapter camping, EAA also introduced the inaugural Oshkosh Chapter Grand Champion Award. Points were awarded based on the number of chapter members camping at the convention, the number of airplanes flown in by chapter members, and the distance traveled by the chapter to Oshkosh; bonus points were awarded to the chapter with the best Oshkosh 2016 story and the best decorated campsite.
Our stellar panel of judges cruised Camp Scholler on Friday in search of the best chapter campsite. When judging the campsites, they looked for things such as chapter banners, lights, amusing and innovative signage, and original DIY decorations to spice up the campsite.
In the end, EAA Chapter 237, based in Blaine, Minnesota, won the 2016 Oshkosh Chapter Grand Champion Award. Chapter 237 had nearly 80 members in attendance this year, 65 of whom camped together in Camp Scholler. Chapter 237 also spent the week volunteering in the Kermit Weeks Flight Research Center, working on EAA’s B-17 and Ford Tri-Motor. Year-round, the chapter is restoring EAA’s B-25, the Berlin Express.
As Oshkosh 2017 drawers near, keep an eye out for an opportunity to register your chapter for camping and to compete for Oshkosh Chapter Grand Champion!