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Oshkosh Is Coming — You’ve Gotta Be Here

By David Leiting, EAA Lifetime 579157, Chapter Outreach Specialist

June 2017 - Finally, the countdown to Oshkosh is down to days rather than months. For aviation enthusiasts all around the world, Oshkosh is the highlight of the year. As one of my personal mentors liked to say, “Oshkosh is literally a pure shot of aviation adrenaline.”

Not only is the convention a great time to get your own personal shot of aviation adrenaline, but it also is a great opportunity to breathe new energy into your EAA chapter. With the plethora of activities we have planned, along with the new home of chapters and Young Eagles, you are sure to leave Oshkosh with the energy and motivation to help your chapter succeed.

The new home for chapters and Young Eagles, known as the Blue Barn, will be located directly across Knapp Street from the Forums Plaza. On opening day, at 7:45 AM, there will be a ribbon cutting and all members are invited to attend. Even after the ribbon cutting, we hope you come back to the Blue Barn to enjoy the fellowship of your peers.

Within the Blue Barn, you will find Paul Poberezny’s VW Bug, Red One, where you will be able to sit in the famous Volkswagen for a photo opportunity. In addition to the Red One photo opportunity, be sure to stake your claim on our chapter map, with pushpin windsocks provided by EAA. Along with dropping your pin on the map, there will be another photo opportunity to mark your chapter number on a large windsock and pose in front of the chapter map with your peers.

Aside from the numerous photo opportunities, the Blue Barn will be the perfect location to listen in on an educational forum. With 25-plus forums scheduled, you will have the chance to learn about growing your chapter, incorporating a nonprofit flying club, how to incorporate more youth programming into your chapter, and much more. There is sure to be a forum for you! Click here to search for a full listing of chapter forums. 

Aside from the Blue Barn, there are plenty of other chapter activities to take part in. On Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., the second annual chapter mass gathering photo takes place at the Brown Arch. On Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., the annual Chapter Presidents Reception will take place in the Ford Hangar at Boeing Plaza.

Saturday morning will once again be the traditional Chapter Leaders Breakfast, where we award those chapter members who have gone beyond the call of chapter duty. You can sign up for the Chapter Leaders Breakfast here.

Returning for the second year, chapters have an affordable opportunity to establish a “beachhead” at which to base their activities. Rather than paying by the day, a campsite is staked out until the convention ends. Chapters are able to purchase up to six campsites in advance at a flat rate in order to establish a chapter base of operations. Since the campsites will be staked out in advance, each chapter can direct its members to camp near this area. Visit the Chapter Camping page to sign up, but don’t delay — registration closes on June 30.

New for AirVenture 2017, chapters will have the ability to use the Camp Scholler Chapter Pavilion. This pavilion, which is located in the campground, is the former Youth Activities Center located directly south of the Fly Market on the west edge of Paul Wood’s. This location will be available for chapters to utilize throughout convention as a gathering space for their members. Reserve your slot to host a special chapter get together. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner time slots will be available. EAA will supply the griddles, grills, and a fire pit. Your chapter is responsible for bringing all cooking and serving utensils, food to serve, firewood and clean-up after the event. Click here to reserve your slot now.

The final box to check before you make your trek to Oshkosh is to register your chapter for the Chapter Grand Champion Award. This coveted award is open to all chapters, and the winner will be announced during the Chapter Leaders Breakfast. Chapters will be awarded points 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 are awarded for the best chapter campsite setup and decorations. EAA Chapter 237, located in Blaine, Minnesota, took home the 2016 Oshkosh Chapter Grand Champion Award. To register your chapter for the 2017 Oshkosh Chapter Grand Champion Award or if you have any questions, please contact me at dleiting@eaa.org.

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