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Stars Align for a Great Chapter Camp-Out

October 2017 - This story easily could just be about the recent and very successful Astronomy Night at the Havana Regional Airport in Central Illinois. However, the story continues.

Because of the fun that EAA Chapter 129 member Tanya Leahy had when she attended Chapter 1420’s Astronomy Night — including a fly-in, camping, and pancake breakfast — she decided it would be fun to do with her Chapter 129 members and friends. Tanya liked flying in a loose gaggle formation — with tents, sleeping bags, and a package of hot dogs — to a grass airstrip for a camping night with fellow EAA chapter members.

Tanya explained, “Keith and Kim flew over in the Cub, Jack flew over in his Explorer with Ben and Lisa, and we flew over in our Archer. After setting up our tents, we headed to the FBO to use the grill that so many general aviation airports offer.”

Unknown to Tanya and her Chapter 129 friends, they were greeted at the grill by local Havana EAA Chapter 1420 president Mike Perkins. “Mike explained that Chapter 1420 had put out a spread of food for us and for members of their chapter who could stop by.” Chapter 1420 provided burgers, sausages, and brats with beans, potatoes, chips, and all the condiments. “We grilled our dogs, but we also took part in the delicious spread,” Tanya said. “We had a great conversation with Mike and Mary Perkins, and several of the Havana folks who came out, along with Max, Mike’s new airport Chiweenie dog, who was a big hit! Someone made the comment that food just tastes better when grilled and eaten outside  while among friends. So true! And in my mind, I thought, ‘And while sitting at an airport!’”

After dusk, Mike built a fire in their ring and, at about the same time, the stars came out. So did the s’mores. “Nothing like making a delicious, gooey mess while among friends! We knew it was going to be a beautiful night with tons of stars,” Tanya said. “One by one, we headed to the office building to wash up, and then to the tents.”

The next morning, the campers were once again met with a special treat in the form of breakfast prepared by Mike. “Mike had pancakes and sausages grilled up for us,” Tanya said. “Good food, juice, and coffee — delicious!”

After breakfast and all the thank-yous, the camping equipment was packed in the planes and they headed off for home. “We sure had another great adventure flying and camping with the airplanes,” Tanya said.

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