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Plan Your Year for Success

Serena Kamps | EAA Lifetime 1011028

February 15, 2022– The year is still fresh and it’s a great time to plan out your chapter events for the remainder of it so that you are set up for success.


Early in the year is a great time to create or revisit your chapter’s five-year plan. It may not seem all that important but whether you realize it or not, your chapter is essentially a small company and you should run it as such. Having a plan in place is key to its success. Establish specific, measureable, attainable, relevant, time-based goals to work toward that you can use to measure success and stay on track and moving forward. EAA has a goals template available to you that we call the 5-Year Chapter Flight Plan.  


These are your months to attend a chapter leader training session, either a Boot Camp (one day, at a location out in the field) or an Academy (two days in Oshkosh). This will be invaluable to you as a chapter leader. Whether you’ve been serving in your chapter for a long time or are getting your first go at it, if you’ve never attended one of these training sessions before, they are a must-do. Even if you have attended in the past, you may feel in need of a refresher. Since a large volume of information is covered in these sessions, some chapter leaders have benefitted from attending several times. Find more information and register.

These are also the months you should make sure you get your nominations in for Young Eagles awards, newsletter editor, web editor, and major achievement awards. Registration also opens for chapter camping and volunteer opportunities in the Blue Barn. You can also sign up for the chance to host a pancake breakfast in the Camp Scholler Chapter Pavilion as a fundraiser for your chapter. Chapters at AirVenture is the place to go to check out these opportunities.


Learn to Fly Day takes place on May 21. This is the perfect time to plan to host a Flying Start event. Flying Start is an opportunity for your chapter to provide a path into aviation for adults interested in learning to fly. By planning to host a Flying Start event in the month of May, your chapter will receive two free weekly AirVenture wristbands to use as they see fit! One more reason to start planning now!


June 11 is International Young Eagles Day. Begin making plans to host a Young Eagles rally on this special day and give young people in your chapter an opportunity to take flight. Find out everything you need to know to host a successful event.


This is our favorite time of the year as we look forward to being reunited with all our aviation family during the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration! Be sure to stop by the Blue Barn and say hi. Support your fellow chapters by getting breakfast at the Camp Scholler Chapter Pavilion. Help make the week a success by volunteering. Relax and enjoy camping with your chapter members through the chapter camping opportunity.


This is a great time to consider hosting a youth program at your chapter. EAA offers two program-in-a-box options, making it very easy for your chapter to host a program. Either of these would be a great follow-on activity for the Young Eagles you flew during your June rally and are fantastic solutions to the question of how to get Young Eagles back to the airport after their flight.

Young Eagles Workshops is a youth day camp program that allows your chapter the flexibility to choose the format in terms of length (i.e. one day for a week, one day a month, one day each week for a series of weeks, etc.), age group, and material covered. Thanks to a generous donation from Sporty’s, a kit of materials for up to 10 participants is available to chapters for only $35, 50% off what it would normally be. This includes a program guide, worksheets to accompany downloadable PowerPoint presentations, and instructions for a number of hands-on projects, among other things.

Young Eagles Build and Fly is an intensive RC model building and flying initiative to introduce youth to aircraft construction and fundamentals of flight. Designed for EAA chapters to partner with their local Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) clubs, the program includes a SIG electric-powered eKadet LT-40 kit, all building materials, electronics, and accessories; a Horizon Hobby Vapor indoor RC model, and a copy of the RealFlight 9 flight simulator. All of this for just $500 (plus shipping and handling), which is approximately one-third the usual retail price, thanks to the Burgher Fund and discounts provided by SIG Manufacturing and Horizon Hobbies.


Form a chapter nominating committee to select the most promising candidates for various officer positions. Make sure your chapter officer information is all correct and up-to-date so that we have the most accurate information for your chapter service awards. This is especially applicable if you’ve had any mid-year officer changes.


If you didn’t get to one in the spring you again have the opportunity to attend a Chapter Leader Academy or Boot Camp. There’s a reason we schedule them multiple times a year! Come find out what you’ve been missing and leave equipped with the tools you need to improve your chapter!


Plan to hold your chapter officer elections at your November gathering so you can submit the updated officer information during chapter renewal, which also opens that month. Renewal is your chance each year to make updates to your chapter information on your own without going through someone in the chapter office.
Consider having your chapter apply for approval to select a Ray scholar and help a young person achieve their dream of flying. Find information on the Ray Scholarship.


Plan an end-of-year banquet or party to celebrate all your chapter has done for aviation in the past year. This is also the perfect opportunity to thank the chapter officers by distributing the Chapter Service Awards, which are automatically mailed to your chapter each November. Whether your chapter is able to participate in all of these or not, now is the time to begin planning. You don’t need to have every single detail nailed down right now but it is important to get the conversation going. If yours is a smaller chapter you may choose to start by hosting two or three public events in a year. If you have a larger chapter you might try adding one or two new programs this year. Whatever you decide, remember that activity equals success and the more active your chapter is, the more attractive it will be to potential new members.

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