Volunteering Your Expertise

Most people, when they attend the EAA AirVenture 2008 show, notice the people dressed in neon orange t-shirts or sporting reflective vests. They are either zooming around on golf carts and scooters or standing tall, waving day-glow orange wands or paddles, directing traffic, be it aircraft or auto, into their respective parking spots. It is organized chaos, but it works because people are willing to give up a bit of their time.

You may have thought, yes, well, that's wonderful, and it surely keeps the cost of the show to a manageable gate fee, but I'm not so sure I'm ready to be out in the heat, on my feet like that. Well, here's the good news: You don't have to. There's more volunteering at AirVenture than you could ever imagine, and much of it can take place in air-conditioned, seated comfort. Better yet, you can volunteer as an expert in your field, and give a forum talk, or help in the welding, woodworking, or metal-working workshops. All you need is a skill, or a schtick, or a product you've developed that might help others.

Are you a teacher? Each year EAA presents a Women Soar workshop at the beginning of the week at the museum, where teenage girls are invited to participate in mentoring and fun simulator flying and rib-building activities. The goal is to see a few of these young women through their challenging teen years and help them make the tough decisions to go into aviation, math or science careers. Aviation needs everyone it can get these days, and you, as a volunteer, for just a few hours during the EAA AirVenture show, can make a difference. Are you game? For more information on volunteering during AirVenture check the EAA web site.

Contributing Editor Amy Laboda is a freelance writer and editor of Aviation for Women magazine. She's an ATP-rated pilot and instrument and multi-engine Flight Instructor with a passion for teaching and flying in light aircraft. Her steady rides these days are a 18-year old Kitfox IV and a fresh Van's RV-10.

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