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Warbird Squadrons and Chapters: Growing Participation in Aviation
By Kristin Schaick, Warbird Administrative Assistant, EAA 740388, Warbirds 599384, Commanding Officer Warbirds Squadron 32
June 2022 – Did you know that EAA warbird squadrons have access to all of the same programs and resources as EAA chapters? Because of the shared goal of growing participation in aviation, many of the programs that are out there are just as pertinent for warbird squadrons to offer as for EAA chapters, and squadrons are encouraged to take advantage of all of EAA’s chapter programs. Chapter recognition awards are an example of this as they are given to squadrons as well.
Healthy squadrons participate in many of the same activities as EAA chapters. For example, Warbird Squadron 32 is holding a Young Eagles rally this month. Yes, squadrons tend to focus on warbirds, heavy iron, and military history, as they should, but don’t forget we need to pass our passion for these things on to the younger generation. One way to do this is by giving a youngster a flight in a smaller aircraft through the Young Eagles program, getting them excited about flight, and then seeing the static display of warbirds in the background. It all works hand in hand. Did you also know that for every Young Eagle you fly EAA gives your squadron $5 per youth to go toward enhancing your Young Eagles rallies in the future? As a squadron, have you ever thought about starting an IMC/VMC Club? You can get a recognition point for this, and it is a valuable tool for all pilots. As a squadron, you can have tech counselors and flight advisors to add a point to your squadron. How many of you know that there is a tool crib reimbursement program you can take advantage of through EAA? This could be a good way to put in for an extra credit point. Squadrons can have pancake breakfasts and flying hamburger socials just like chapters.
I would encourage you as warbird squadrons to take full advantage of all the resources at your fingertips. Always feel free to go to the Chapter Resources page to see what you can get for free or a discounted price from EAA. To be honest, when I started my squadron here in Oshkosh, I had no clue about all of these important resources and events because I thought they were for chapters only. This just isn’t the case. Chapters and squadrons work hand in hand. Squadrons can do the same things as chapters do. All the way around, our goals are to make sure to educate, inspire, and grow enthusiasm in aviation. Whether we build them, fly them, maintain them, or just dream, we are all individuals who want to see aviation move forward, and keep our warbirds flying!