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EAA Seaplane Base Work Weekend
By Paul Seehafer, EAA #181597, Volunteer Chair of Seaplane Base
Every year, a group of volunteers get together over the 3-day Memorial Day holiday weekend to prepare the EAA Seaplane Base for the upcoming convention in late July. There are always a lot of projects, and this year was no exception.
My wife Ann, EAA #746770, (SPB volunteer coordinator and vice chair) and I arrived Wednesday evening and hit the ground running. We had planned the entire weekend weeks before, but we now had to take all of our paper lists of projects, and condense them onto the large whiteboards our volunteers work off of. In addition, we also try to stage the needed materials and tools at the physical location where the project will be done. We typically will have anywhere from 35 to 50 volunteers on this weekend (41 for 2014), so we make every effort to make good use of their labor and their enthusiasm. There are hundreds of different tasks they perform each year with a wide variety of skill requirements. Examples of this year’s tasks were:
- Planting flowers
- Doing maintenance on the perennial flower beds
- Building a new Seaplane Base sign
- Installing additional split rail fencing sections and repairing some old fence sections
- Raking the entire waterfront area
- Trimming low limbs and branches near the waterfront as well as the walking trails
- Cleaning storm debris off the beach and aircraft parking ramps
- Repairing some ice damaged docks and decking around our boathouse/administration building
- Building a new wood frame bulletin board
- Removing and repairing many of the aircraft underwater anchor blocks and cables
- Spreading gravel in a variety of muddy and low areas around the SPB
- Doing repairs and updates to some of our boats
- Painting a variety of things including the 1,000 gallon fuel tank we use
- Repairing baggage carts and picnic tables
- Pressure washing docks and decking
Of course, we do have some fun between all that working. Because most everyone camps right there, we do get to enjoy a few nights around the campfire talking airplanes, and rekindle old friendships. While it seems that so many of us have so many demands for our time for other activities during that holiday weekend, most that attend our work weekend keep coming back, saying they wouldn’t miss it again. And in some regards, to those of us that have done this for a while now, it feels as though somehow we’ve magically found a way to extend the EAA convention. Having discovered that a few years ago, we now have a fall work weekend as well. That too has become very enjoyable. We have a lot of leaves to play with. We call that one “Putting the Seaplane Base to bed for winter.”
We are blessed to have such a fine group of volunteers that are dedicated and work so hard. Their efforts, along with so many of EAA’s staff that work so well with us are what make the EAA Seaplane Base better every year. As the chairman, I couldn’t be more proud of what we have all accomplished together.