by Scott Thompson
As the new year gets going, there are several chapter initiatives that we are moving on. The chapter has set two dates this year for Young
Eagle Rallies. The first will be held on Saturday, May 12, which at this writing is three months away. Two weeks before that Rally we are also planning an EAA Chapter 1541 Open House at the hangar on the airport. These two events will provide an opportunity to expose the EAA and our chapter to the wider community.
The chapter Open House will be held on Saturday, April 28. We are building the event around our invited speaker for that day, an aerobatic pilot named Beth Stanton. Beth is based at Modesto and has quite a story to tell. I’ll leave it to you to explore her history online, but the message she will bring to our chapter is titled Cleared For Takeoff, YOU Are the Pilot of Your Life, pertinent not only to flying but to life in general. With Beth being our featured presenter on that day, we thought it would be a good opportunity to invite the larger community to hear Beth and also to see what our chapter is about. I think what she will speak to could be of interest to young men and women, so we will focus on engaging a younger set of attendees to visit our hangar.
This slots nicely into the Young Eagles event we will hold two weeks later on May 12. Our chapter has not held a Young Eagles Rally for several years so I am excited to get one set up. We have some good ideas and some enthusiastic and knowledgeable people working on organizing the Rally. I hope that all the chapter members will get involved in this event. We will all have plenty of opportunities to get plugged into helping make the event a success.
Also in the works is our Youth Scholarship program, details of which I hope to announce in the coming weeks. We are starting with a modest program but one that will be expanded as we gain experience. There is a significant opportunity for our chapter to help local youth pursue a career in aviation. There are many career paths in aviation right now that are wide open for young talent, from pilots to technicians to air traffic controllers to engineers and much more. So, there is much going on besides our normal chapter activities. We will be looking for volunteer help as these initiatives come together, so I hope you will lend your talents to the effort.