The Bubble Run by Cool Events, which was scheduled to take place on the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh grounds today, Saturday, September 9, was canceled in January. Please visit their website to contact them at https://bubblerun.com.
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Chapters at AirVenture 2023
August 2023 –
For those of you who attended EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this year, we hope you enjoyed the experience! Among the many attendees this year were thousands of members of EAA chapters. Many of them have visited Oshkosh before, while others made the journey here for the first time! But no matter how many times someone has come to AirVenture, they will depart with many good memories and hopefully some new friends as well! The EAA chapters staff loves meeting and interacting with people like you who come from all over the world to visit Oshkosh and enjoy The Spirit of Aviation with us.
One of the great ways for chapter members to bond and enjoy AirVenture together is by camping together. EAA chapters have the opportunity to reserve camp sites in EAA’s Camp Scholler each year, which are then staked out by the chapters staff and volunteers in the days leading up to AirVenture. This opportunity allows chapter members to stay together instead of being scattered across the campgrounds. At AirVenture 2023, groups from 86 EAA chapters camped together. If your chapter members have never camped together, then we encourage you to consider signing up for chapter group camping at AirVenture next year!
The Blue Barn, the home for EAA chapters and Young Eagles activities and information at AirVenture, was bustling again this year. We showcased examples of the Young Eagles Workshop kits and Young Eagles Build and Fly kits for visitors to see and to learn more about these exciting youth programs. We displayed samples of some of the new AeroEducate activities that kids can do, and which chapters can engage in as well. We also brought back our “Cleco contest,” where you are timed on how fast you can insert and remove Clecos from a fixture, allowing you to represent your chapter as the fastest Cleco-er. As always, the Blue Barn is the place to learn about EAA chapters and all the programs and activities they offer. Our staff and volunteers were able to share the world of chapters and Young Eagles with visitors of all kinds.
Several hundred EAA chapters had at least one member present at AirVenture this year, as indicated by the many flags pinned to the chapter map in the Blue Barn to indicate their presence in Oshkosh. In many cases, chapter members had their photo taken in front of the chapter map, with their chapter’s number spelled out on a windsock, to make their presence well-known.
Twenty-two forums were presented at the Blue Barn from Monday through Saturday during AirVenture week. These forums covered a variety of topics, including the hallmarks of successful chapters, chapter leadership, Young Eagles and other EAA youth programs, Flying Start, the Ray Aviation Scholarship, regional chapter conferences, chapter newsletters, online presence for chapters, non-profit status and donations for chapters, and much more.
Patti Arthur, our longtime friend who advises chapters on tax and non-profit issues, held consultations with leaders from 20 EAA chapters. These chapter leaders received advice and guidance on issues ranging from obtaining 501(c)(3) non-profit status for their chapters, to handling donations. We are always thankful to Patti for offering to share her wisdom with our chapters.
Chapter pride abounded at the Blue Barn as more chapters brought in Adirondack chairs and directional signs crafted by their members. As of the end of AirVenture 2023, we have at least 38 chapter chairs and at least 108 chapter directional signs at the Blue Barn. All of these were donated during just the past two years. It is always a pleasure to see the creativity that chapters put into the chairs and signs they build. A special shoutout goes to EAA Chapter 931 from Friendship/Adams, Wisconsin, whose members brought the largest chapter chair to AirVenture to date; it can fit at least two grown adults! If your chapter has not yet built a chair or fashioned a sign, we encourage you to create one that you can bring to AirVenture next year!
AirVenture attendees were able to enjoy pancake breakfasts served at the Chapters Pavilion by EAA chapters throughout the week. These breakfasts not only provide a tasty and freshly cooked meal for attendees, but they also serve as excellent fundraisers for the host chapters. Eight chapters hosted breakfasts this year:
- Saturday, July 22: EAA Warbirds Squadron 32 (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)
- Sunday, July 23: EAA Chapter 572 (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin)
- Monday, July 24: EAA Chapter 1364 (Junction City, Kansas)
- Tuesday, July 25: EAA Chapter 443 (Carroll, Ohio)
- Wednesday, July 26: EAA Chapter 194 (Pontiac, Michigan)
- Thursday, July 27: EAA Chapter 640 (Wausau, Wisconsin)
- Friday, July 28: EAA Chapter 110 (Louisville, Kentucky)
- Saturday, July 29: EAA Chapter 931 (Friendship/Adams, Wisconsin)
These chapters served 4,738 meals during the week, and together they raised a net total of $28,773 — a new record for chapter pancake breakfasts at AirVenture! Each of these chapters will take home all of the money they profited from their breakfasts. If you were one of the thousands of people who came to these pancake breakfasts, then we thank you for supporting the EAA chapters that hosted them.
The Chapters Pavilion was also home to three corn roasts during the week of AirVenture. On Sunday, July 23, we hosted a corn roast for chapter leaders to kick off the week. The next day, Monday, July 24, we hosted a corn roast for Ray Aviation scholars and scholarship coordinators from EAA chapters. On Thursday, July 27, we had a corn roast for Young Eagles volunteers, including pilots, coordinators, and ground volunteers. These free events are some of the ways that the EAA chapters staff thanks our chapter leaders and volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
Each year at AirVenture, we recognize a handful of the many dedicated chapter members through achievement awards, including for chapter newsletter editor, chapter web editor, and chapter major achievement. These awards were presented at the EAA Chapter Leaders Breakfast in the Founders’ Wing of the EAA Aviation Museum on Saturday, July 29. Congratulations to this year’s winners:
2023 Chapter Newsletter Editor Awards
- Val Gregory — EAA Chapter 43 (Bloomfield, Colorado)
- Richard Harrison — EAA Chapter 292 (Independence, Oregon)
- Ed Griggs — EAA Chapter 323 (Sherman, Texas)
- Dennis D’Angelo — EAA Chapter 1612 (Goldsby, Oklahoma)
2023 Chapter Web Editor Awards
- Robert Collins — EAA Chapter 54 (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
- Doug Francisco — EAA Chapter 485 (Pensacola, Florida)
- Linda Salzwedel — EAA Chapter 1365 (New Lisbon, Wisconsin)
2023 Chapter Major Achievement Awards
- Glenn Botsford — EAA Chapter 18 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
- George Coy — EAA Chapter 613 (Swanton, Vermont)
Read more about the 2023 Chapter Award Winners!
At the Chapter Leaders Breakfast, we also recognized the 50-year anniversaries for EAA Chapter 453 (Jackson, Missouri) and EAA Chapter 454 (Lakeland, Florida). Congratulations to these chapters on their important milestones!
Once again, we had an opportunity for a lucky EAA chapter to win a Lincoln Electric Square Wave 200 TIG welder. During the week of AirVenture, chapters could submit entries at the Blue Barn to win this welder. The winning entry was selected and announced at the Chapter Leaders Breakfast. This year’s TIG welder giveaway was won by EAA Chapter 297 from Burgaw, North Carolina. Congratulations to this chapter!
Of course, we also extend a tremendous thank-you to all of the volunteers who helped the EAA chapters and Young Eagles staff before, during, and after AirVenture. Our team of volunteers helped in many roles, from staking out chapter group camp sites, to setting up the Blue Barn and the Chapters Pavilion, to working at the corn roasts in the Chapters Pavilion, to educating AirVenture attendees about EAA chapters and the Young Eagles program, and much more! From the bottom of our hearts, we again thank our volunteers for all the time and effort they devote to AirVenture and beyond!
Although AirVenture may be over, you do not have to wait until next year to enjoy The Spirit of Aviation with other like-minded enthusiasts. Now is an excellent time to participate in aviation activities at your local EAA chapter, and perhaps with an eye toward planning next year’s events. We hope to see you in Oshkosh in 2024 for the next AirVenture, and in the meantime we hope you enjoy the experiences at your local EAA chapter!