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Thread: Young Eagles Ideas

  1. #1
    Hangar10's Avatar
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    Young Eagles Ideas

    As we head into the 2012 season, our chapter is hoping to put more effort into our Young Eagles program. We have done well in the past by hosting a couple of nearby youth academy's and Boy Scout troops, but our YE Coordinator expressed his desire to hold more than just one or two events per year... he voiced interest in a monthly event, perhaps following our monthly pancake breakfast. This sounded good to many of us, I'm just wondering what other groups are doing.

    Anyone care to share you success stories so that others might get some ideas? How often are others flying youngsters? Are you advertising? Is the community involved, or are you focusing on specific youth groups?

    Let's get Young Eagles flying! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Treetop_Flyer's Avatar
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    Mark:

    We hold an event the second Saturday of each month starting in April and running through October. Time is 10 am until Noon (though we'll usually run later if we have a lot of kids show up). We have found that having a set schedule and consistent/predictable dates/times is helpful to getting people out there. Additionally, we have also done advertising with the local print media along with radio and television. I'm afraid I don't know what our average numbers were last year, but we did fight a lot of bad weather in the springtime. Once mother nature decided to cooperate, I think we were flying 10-20 kids every event. Our last event of the season was a gorgeous day and we flew about 35 youngsters.

    For 2012, we are expanding our push to include the local Girl Scout and Boy Scout groups. I know the Girl Scouts have a nifty "Aerospace" badge that they can get and I believe that a Young Eagles event will help them get it. We are also looking at implementing some type of "pre-flight briefing" for the kids that would be classroom based and give them a quick overview of what they are going to see in the aircraft along with the basics of flight. We also talked about having a PC-ATD on site, but the logistics of that have not been worked out yet. I've considered buying a laptop that might reliably run FS2004 and then bring along my Yoke/Rudder Pedals and a flat-screen monitor. I just don't know whether it would be worth it or useful.

    I will also be chairing our chapter's "EAA Eagle Flights" in 2012 which is the new program for adults (http://www.eaa.org/news/2011/2011-11...le_flights.asp). I haven't seen all the information on it, but right now our plan is to do "EAA Eagle Flights" and "Young Eagles" on the same day/time with two separate groups of pilots. A key with "EAA Eagle Flights" is that only one adult can be in the aircraft with the pilot at a time and no children. So, it will likely require more pilots, but I am lucky to have a pretty active group here in Chapter 307.

    Edit: Oh...I almost forgot!!! We also used our Chapter 307 Facebook Page to get the word out. The more members you have on Facebook, the better this will work. I probably was able to get 3-5 kids per event via Facebook. We'll be using our official EAA website as well this year to promote both the chapter and Young Eagles/EAA Eagle Flights. I also "tweet" from the event with #EAA307...when I remember to do it.
    Last edited by Treetop_Flyer; 01-17-2012 at 11:24 AM.
    Dave Sterling
    1957 PA22-150/160
    N6929D
    Website

  3. #3
    rock4evr's Avatar
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    Big Grin

    Hi Mark,
    I agree that having a set schedule is very helpful. EAA 2 holds 4 rallies each year at our home airport, Smith Field (SMD), on the second Saturday in May, June, August and September. We also held a boy scout merit badge event and an "on-the-road" rally at a nearby airport last year (VNW). There is a near-by VAA Chapter (10 nm away) and they hold 4 rallies a year as well. There are a lot of joint members so there are many of the same faces regardless of which chapter is hosting. We also have several pilots who fly a lot of kids outside of the rallies. Between the two chapters, we flew over 1000 kids in 2011. Our rallies average around 110 kids each but we had 183 at our August rally alone.

    We do several things to advertise. We have "Kids Fly Free This Saturday" banners we put out at the airport the week of the rally. A picture should be attached below. We also have our YE rallies, along with our other fly-ins, listed on the free community calendars and online fly-in calendars. Probably our biggest draw is from business-card sized advertisements we print with the dates of our rallies and hand them out to friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers who just happen to have kids with them. We also have several businesses that put our cards out for their customers. Front and back images should be attached below.

    We also have YE info on our website and a Facebook page.

    ye banner.jpgye card front.jpgye card back.jpg
    Kevin Stahl
    President - EAA Chapter 2
    www.eaa2.org

  4. #4
    Al Bormuth's Avatar
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    Chapter 731 holds a Young Eagles day on the first Saturday of each month "Weather permitting" starting at 9am. We are in our third year. We aren't a big Chapter and are not located in a major metro area. "Weather permitting" meant that last year we didn't fly any Young Eagles in Feb or March, and only half those who showed up in April when the wind kicked up and the pilots ran out of rudder. We apologize, tell them about safety and limitations and invite them back for next month.

    We average about 25 kids per day and 3 airplanes. We've had as few as 12 and as many as 50kids, as few as 2 airplanes and as many as 7. About 20 people ground volunteer over the year with about 7 that will be there always.

    We generally finish flying around noon and the pilots and ground crew has lunch at the airport cafe.

    It has always worked out as far as the number of kids and the airplanes/pilots. In 3 years, we have had only one day we were flying after noon and that was when we had 50 kids show up. We don't advertise, word of mouth and the brochures we leave at the airport take care of getting the kids out. Chapter members invite neighbors and friends even if they are tied up with their projects.

    The only time we ask for 'reservations' is for groups like Boy Scouts, JROTC units, etc. and we don't always get them, but that's ok. For Boy Scouts, there are several of us that are merit badge counselors and will help the scouts complete their merit badges the day they come to the airport.

    We put the dates in the EAA calendar and this has actually generated a significant number of kids showing up. We have had parents drive 150miles bringing their kids.

  5. #5
    Hangar10's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments and ideas guys... just wanted you to know that I was reading what you have offered.

    Great stories and ideas so far... keep em coming!

  6. #6

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    We do a rally on the third Saturday, April through October, flights are 0830-1200. On a typical day, we'll fly 60-90. We run a breakfast at the same time. This is our main source of funding, so we get eaters who come for the flights. Those are meals we wouldn't otherwise sell. This works well to also keep some of the families busy while we work through backlogs at the start of the event.

    We try to have a sim available, which is very popular. Again, this keeps kids occupied while waiting for their flight. More importantly, they learn something, and might just see it on their flight. This is dependent on the volunteer turnout, of course. Between the breakfast and the rally, it keeps 15 people busy.

    We have also had little "training" sessions to teach the kids something about construction. We'll let them drill holes in some scrap aluminum sheet, then rivet it. We got a couple toolbox kits that Van's offers, and had the kids work on them. At the end of the season, there would be a raffle to see who wins the box.

    The city annually holds a Public Works Day, when they bring out all the heavy iron to show the kids. (The downside is they take over our ramp!) With the breakfast, flights and machinery, the kids have a great time.

    There is a huge side-benefit to this. It brings out citizens (parents) who would never have any other reason for coming to their local airport. They see total strangers doing something nice for their kids, for free. They also see that we're not a bunch of rich fat-cats, but average people much like them. You can never have too many friends of the airport, and we feel that it helped us on a recent airport expansion election that went in favor of the airport.

    Chris St.Germain
    Young Eagles Coordinator and V-P
    EAA Chapter 91

  7. #7
    EAA 44 <eaa44.org> in Rochester NY hosts several activities that culminate in Young Eagle flights. While we used to fly for quantity stuffing all the seats in the planes, we now aim for quality of flight and give kids a one-on-one YE flight. They enjoy that much more that sitting in the back looking out the window.

    While hosting our own YE days during the summer, we also work with EAA 46 in Buffalo to host a joint YE day at an airport in between our two cities.

    We offer a "Young Eagle Adventure Program" where volunteer members go in into some of the local schools and provide classes on aerodynamics, careers, navigation etc. These 5 week, 1.5 hour sessions end with YE flights. Parents bring a cookout lunch which we cook up on oour grill. Great family activity. We wrk with an inner-city school and some formt he suburbs surrounding our airport (7G0).

    We have offered YE flights to kids from the local burn unit of a hospital. Very inspiring to see the kids strength behind the scars. We also invited kids from the local school for the deaf, and brought in an interpreter from the local interpreter training program to volunteer the pre-flight briefings. Pilots used gestures in the plane to communicate.

    We offer "Aerocamps for Scouts" where they earn their merit badge or interest project patch learning about aviation, then get a flight. These camp-out weekends included a Friday night video night (Top Gun or Fly Away home), Saturday 4-revolving sessions on different topics, and then on Sundays, because Scouts cannot legally fly as a scout activity, we officially ended Aerocamp at 8:59 AM and started YE flights for them alone at 9 AM with different members organizing that, so it was not affiliated with Aerocamp. Nudge nudge wink wink. For this we have brought in guest speakers such as a WWII WASP, hot air balloon pilot giving tethered flights, and the pilots of World Flight 2000.

    We are very fortunate that we have a chapter facility to host these, but they can be done without a building too if you are creative.

    Bob Nelligan-Barrett
    EAA 44 Board Member

  8. #8

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    Great ideas, Bob!

    Our chapter has also flown many kids' groups with various health issues: cancer, blind or impaired vision, birth defects, MS come readily to mind. Besides being great for the kids, these flights are highly rewarding for the pilots. I had a blind 9-year-old on board with his teenaged camp "counselor". He asked her what she was seeing out the window, and she painted a lovely picture. Here I was, piloting a plane over the beautiful countryside, under a gorgeous morning blue sky, and he was unable to see what I was enjoying. Wow, I felt like I had no right to be enjoying it, and had to stifle a couple of tears. It showed me, once again, what a privilege it is to fly in the U.S. But, these kids aren't looking for pity. They are just as enthusiastic and lively as any "normal" kid. These kind of flights are very worthwhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trailbossbob View Post
    and then on Sundays, because Scouts cannot legally fly as a scout activity, we officially ended Aerocamp at 8:59 AM and started YE flights for them alone at 9 AM with different members organizing that, so it was not affiliated with Aerocamp. Nudge nudge wink wink.
    Actually, they can. I have a copy of the letter stating that. They aren't allowed to fly in Experimental aircraft as a Scout function, though. If the flights are properly organized and sanctioned by BSA, the troop has to submit a Flight Permit. This is similar to a Tour Permit when they travel a good distance from home. The permit needs approval of their local Council. Here's the rub: it requires a lot of paperwork on the EAA side. The troop must submit to the council a list of the names of the pilots that will fly Scouts (it's different every rally!) , their total time (250 hours min), copy of current medical and copy of certificate, name of insurance company and policy number, date of last annual on the AC, and more. (Frankly, I find much of that to be personal info and not the business of the Boy Scouts.) As our chapter does 7 rallies per year, I was constantly running over to the Council to have a pilot approved, or update info as a new medical or annual was done. I asked they just keep the info on file, and they didn't try hard enough for my satisfaction. Jeez, I was the one doing all the work. So, when a troop would ask for the info for their Flight Permit, I explained the situation and told them that we would not be providing that. They were quite welcome to fly with us, but not as a Scout function. I learned all that as a Flight Leader, Chapter Coordinator, and Boy Scout leader. I understand the Boy Scouts are trying to do a CYA, but the people writing the policy can't know what they are asking for is simply unreasonable. These still can't fly without the parent doing the Young Eagle release, too. There have been no problems, and hundreds of boys have had great flights.

    Chris St.Germain
    Young Eagles Coordinator and V.P.
    EAA Chapter 91

  9. #9
    This is excellent!! Great way to promote. Way to go Chapter 2. I sincerely hope that other Chapters will use the same methods to attract Young Eagles and soon to come Eagle Flights. We will keep you posted as we progress with Eagle Flights.

  10. #10
    Every church of any size has "Youth groups" that are always looking for wholesome activities. They're conveniently bracketed by age and they all have adult leaders. Talk to the leaders and introduce them to Young Eagles. It may be helpful to introduce them to aviation mission programs like JAARS and IAMA so they see how sending the kids off to fly in an airplane has a tie to what they are trying to teach. I've seen the biggest untapped potential for Young Eagles in local church youth groups. They're a set of already organized kids who are looking for activities. They have assigned leaders to help coordinate the activity and with aviation missions needing pilots it's really a natural fit. I know the EAA probably doesn't want to officially set up ties with church groups or any specific denominations, but locally it sure makes a lot of sense. Trust me, you'll have more Young Eagles than you can handle!

    If you still need more Young Eagles, get a few acrylic brochure holders, order some of the Young Eagle Promotional Brochures and then print up stickers with your chapter's critical contact information and stick it on that white space on the back. Now start visiting some businesses. Gas stations, banks, etc. Since you're not trying to sell a product, more businesses are open to having a brochure sitting on their counter or pinned to a community bulletin board. The main thing is to place the brochures in businesses that you frequent or drive by regularly so you can keep them stocked.

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