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Thread: Attn: AirVenture Oshkosh Campers!

  1. #1
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    Exclamation Attn: AirVenture Oshkosh Campers!

    We need your stories about camping at Oshkosh, whether with your airplane or in Camp Scholler. Have you had a particularly memorable experience, made new friends, experienced aspects of the convention you would have missed if you weren't living on the grounds?

    Please take a moment to tell your story here, and we might use it in the April issue of Sport Aviation magazine.

    Thanks in advance!

    - Hal

    Hal Bryan
    EAA #638979
    Online Community Manager
    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  2. #2
    TedK's Avatar
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    Camping at OSH adds the icing to the cake. My first three trips I managed to snag a motel room and had a good time. Last year I flew in, but perhaps better than camping under the wing, I was lucky enough that my best friend George hauled a Pop Top Camper ( all the way from SLC).

    He set up the Camper in Scholler which seemed to be Luxury in comparison to the thought of sleeping on the ground. Camping at OSH moves the experience of OSH from the 8 hours or so, to every waking hour.

    Airventure wouldn't be what it is without airplanes, but it is the people that take it from being a trip to the airport to a near religious experience. Camping provides much more opportunity for interaction with the new found friends that are in the campsites next to yours.

    in my case, of all the people I met at OSH, the one I never expected to meet, and the one who impressed me the most with her self reliance, confidence and wonderful attitude was a disabled mother who, with her teenage daughter, wrestled her tent up in the spot next to ours. She camouflaged her handicap very well, to the point I didn't notice it at first. She showed up, wanting to see what made OSH special and to have a Mom and Daughter trip. I really hesitate to use the words disabled or handicapped, because she sure showed no sign of having limitations. For her privacy I won't describe what, on a less capable person, would be a certain handicap. She certainly impressed this old aviator. I have lots of wonderful memories from OSH '13, but this is the one that I never saw coming or suspected.

  3. #3

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    Every year I attended OSH except one while I was building my RV-10, I had the priveledge of camping at Camp Scholler in the area affectionally called the RV-10 HQ. It was started by Tim Olson, Bob Condrey, and Gary Specketer. Without their support it would have been a bust. They very graitiously arrive early and stake out sites for the other participating RV-10 builders. Some years it grew to over thirty camp sites, but more often its been around ten to fifteeen campers. In the early years, they would host multiple dinners through out the week. It would not be uncommon for 50-60 RV-10 builders and a variety of vendors to attend. Recently, the dinners have been reduced to one during the show. Thanks for Brenda Specketer and Susan Condrey for starting that tradition and to Ed Kranz for keeping it going.

    When I first started building my RV-10, I was like most builders and was an information sponge. I couldn't get enough information and tips about building a RV-10. The first year or two I attended every forum that was related at the show. Then I discovered the amount and quality of intellectual capital that I was overlooking at the RV-10 HQ. Conversations during breakfast, lunch, afternoon airshows, and the evenings proved to be more valuable to me during my build than the show itself. There were a few years I just hung out at the camp site the majority of the time. You never knew who you would run into at the site or one of the dinners.

    The first year my wife camped with me, at one of the dinners, set sat with Allen Barrett and Rhonda Bewley (BPE Performance Engines). My wife was still apprehensive about the me building an experimental. They helped her understand the engine better, which helped put her mind to ease. Tim Olson took the two of us up in his RV-10. His wife Andrea spent time talking with my wife as well. My wife didn't really like flying my Cherokee 180, but she fell in love with the RV-10. Many of the wives that camp at RV-10 HQ are now Facebook friends and keep up with each other throughout the year.

    We could easily see the airshow from our camp site and many would gather to watch and socialize. Additionally, many folks would drop by in the evening to share their favorite adult beverage even if there wasn't a planned dinner. These are the memories I cherish the most. We've had debates about which EFIS was the best, as well as which mods make sense for the RV-10 and which ones don't. Many lessons learned were shared so us newbies wouldn't repeat the errors of those that have gone before us. The list of RV-10 builders that have mentored me at the RV-10 HQ at Camp Scholler is too long to mention.

    I can safely say that without the mentoring and friends that I gained over the years while camping at the RV-10 HQ in Camp Scholler, my RV-10 build would have taken longer and not have turned out as well.

    bob
    --
    Bob Leffler
    RV-10 Flying
    www.mykitlog.com/rleffler

  4. #4
    Mike Berg's Avatar
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    To me, flying in to Oshkosh is what it's all about. My home is on the other side of the state so it's not a long trip for me (even in a Champ). When I fly I camp under the wing and finally bought a big enough tent, air mattress and sleeping bag to comfortable and still have some room to move around. As I'm flying a L16 I could most likely park in the war bird area but I choose to park in the vintage to be 'close to the action' and visit with other 'vintage' people. Last year I camped next to a nice gentleman from Canada. You can relax and watch airplanes...what more could you ask?? The only problem is stuffing enough 'comfortable equipment' in the back seat of the plane.
    If God had intended man to fly He would have given us more money!

  5. #5

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    Around Oshkosh '99 or 2000, future "Stars of Tomorrow" flight lead and upcoming aerobatic pilot Nick Nilmeyer camped at a spot in Paul's woods just off of Shaick AVE. Being very involved with the Air Academy it wasnt long before many Academy friends started camping with him. Eventually Nick moved over to the Hilton when he got very involved in flying the airshows but his friends still remained at the campsite.

    I started camping with the group in about 2003 on the same spot that Nick started at, and he would still come by every night to hang out. When he was tragically killed in 2006, the campsite took on a whole new meaning. The group is made up of about 10 people give or take, and every year we gather from all corners of the United States, and aviation industry. We are airline pilots, mechanical and aerospace engineers, military service members, and lovers of all things aviation. We all cram into a campsite better suited for a small family, but for most of us it is the highlight of our year. As we have all grown up and moved on to careers and families, camping has gotten harder.

    We are now at a crossroads as we dont want to give up our primo campsite with well over a decade of memories, but with some of us having kids and needing more space we know the day is fast approaching when we will have to give up Nick's spot. The site has hosted everyone from Paul Poberezney, and Harrison Ford, to Capt. Sullenberger.

    The highlight of every year occurs on the night with the biggest turnout, when we all stand around the campfire and raise a toast to Nick's memory. I am sure the site will live on for a little while longer, and to all of the people who camp in Paul's Woods....sorry about the noise

  6. #6
    MADean's Avatar
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    My first "full week" at Oshkosh was 1992. I showed up, at Camp Scholler, on the night before... and wound up camping out near Hwy 41. That's the last time THAT happened. The next year I came a couple weeks early to find a spot closer to the flight line. This will be my 21st year down in Paul's Woods.

    A couple years later, in 1994, on the day before opening day, I noticed a kind of scraggly looking guy setting up a tent practically out in the middle of the road. (the grounds DO get pretty packed by then). Well, I really didn't think that was such a good idea. And since I had room in my site I invited him to slide his tent over next to mine. Turns out Gary's a near genius about mechanics and electronics and all kinds of other things. Not to mention a heck of good guy. (Even though he is from Iowa.) We've been camping together ever since. I provide the site. He brings the steaks and baked potatoes. And we spend the week sitting around tellin' lies. Drinking beer. And complainin' about the gubermint. And through Gary I've met a couple other Iowinians, who have also been sharing our site all these years. And they've turned me on to places like Blakesburg.

    And like so many other folks, becasue of Oshkosh, I've been fortunate to meet, and become friends with, people from all over the world. Geat Britian, Australia, South Africa. Even Canada, by gosh. Life is good.

  7. #7
    rallyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Bryan View Post
    Please take a moment to tell your story here, and...
    - Hal
    I've camped at Airventure both with my plane and at Camp Scholler, in a tent and an RV. The best, of course, was with the plane out on the North 40. I say this even though one year a thunderstorm knocked over our tent and soaked everything we we owned! I think we left that year with 50 pounds of extra water in the plane, and that's a lot of extra weight for an old Tomahawk!

    Camping at Camp Scholler is still an awful lot of fun too. The one year we were in an RV we had air conditioning, so that was nice on hot days, but even with the tent it was more than just ok. Walking from Camp Scholler to the outdoor movie theater and other entertainment venues is easier, so in that way it's actually an advantage to be there rather than with the plane.

    In the end, you simply can't camp at Airventure and not have fun!

  8. #8
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Bryan View Post
    We need your stories about camping at Oshkosh, whether with your airplane or in Camp Scholler. Have you had a particularly memorable experience, made new friends, experienced aspects of the convention you would have missed if you weren't living on the grounds?

    Please take a moment to tell your story here, and we might use it in the April issue of Sport Aviation magazine.

    Thanks in advance!

    - Hal
    BTW, do I have to stand in line behind the two guys at the end of the AV2013 video?
    Jim Hann
    EAA 276294 Lifetime
    Vintage 722607
    1957 Piper PA-22/20 "Super Pacer"
    Chapter 32 member www.eaa32.org
    www.mykitlog.com/LinerDrivr
    Fly Baby/Hevle Classic Tandem


  9. #9
    Infidel's Avatar
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    I camped in Scholler in 2011 and how that came to be has a twist. My initial intention was to camp under the wing of my plane. A friend and I loaded my plane and departed my home field, only to be met by a series of unfortunate events. I'll save that story for EAA's "Never again" article.

    We rented a car, completed the trip, and set up camp in camp Scholler. From there on out, things were finally getting better. Our closest neighbor, whom if I remember correctly, was an elderly gentleman by the name of Don. He was alone and camping in his old motorhome. We had several conversations and I learned he's been a regular for several years.

    One morning as we were leaving the camp to begin the long walk to the air show, my friend retrieved his cellphone from the passenger side door of the rental car (it was charging) after we had already started walking. Shortly thereafter, he caught up to us. We spent a solid eight hours on the grounds before deciding to head back to camp.

    As our walk back to camp was near completion and from a distance, I noticed the passenger door of our rental vehicle was ajar, wide-open. My heart sank immediately. Knowing my Ipad was on the front passenger seat, and two sets of Bose headsets, a Garmin GPS', and other articles were on the back seat. I just knew for sure that everything was going to be gone.

    To my amazement, not a single thing was missing and we were parked right next to the main drag in the camp across from the little store and bath house! I imagine a couple hundred people had to have walked right by the open door during that eight hour period and not a single soul took the opportunity.

    Still shocked several minutes later, our neighbor Don stepped out of his RV to relax in his evening chair. I asked Don about the car door and if it had been open all day. Don said "Yep, and I figured you guys left the door open because it's so hot out". Shocked he would think that way, I responded by saying "if that was the case, I would've cracked the windows". Don simply replied with a "that's what I would've done."

    Good memories that will stay with me forever. If this scenario would have transpired anywhere else, I have no doubt it would have been a different unfortunate outcome.

  10. #10

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    I have been going there since 1974. Never worried about security or theft. I am sure it may occur, but I have never heard of it. Last year I left iPad and smart phone charging for hours out in the open without concern.

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