A few years ago, AirVenture added the “Blue Barn” to support local chapters, but what is it? How does a building in Wisconsin in the middle of a busy air show do anything to support local chapters? I resolved to find out this year and have been pleasantly surprised.
The building has about a dozen different stations staffed by active chapter leaders and their overall mission is to share Best (chapter) Practices, particularly as they relate to youth education programs. Once in the Blue Barn, you can attend a seminar on how to organize a new chapter from scratch, how to tap into the Ray Aviation Scholarship program, and advice on safe and effective Young Eagle operations.
One of the coolest things I learned about is the youth education program in a box. Chapters can obtain these kits from the EAA. They contain materials for three hands-on projects for 10 kids, certificates, lesson plans, and what appears to be a very useful planning guide with suggested activities and schedules for a five-day camp experience. So, if you provide leadership to an EAA chapter and have pondered the idea of starting a new chapter, the Blue Barn is a great first stop.