Over 300 Boy Scouts Earn Aviation Merit Badge with help of Civil Air Patrol Squadron
Waukesha, Wis. – Civil Air Patrol’s Waukesha Composite Squadron hosted over 300 Boy Scouts at the Youth Aviation Adventure this past Saturday at the Waukesha County Airport – Crites Field. Scouts were escorted between nine different stations run by local aviation enthusiasts.
This year’s event tripled in size from last year when 137 Scouts earned their Aviation Merit Badge. This is the second year that the squadron has coordinated the one-day event. Some Scouts came from 150 miles away to earn their badge this year.
Ms. Kathy Mitchell, marketing coordinator for Flight for Life, arranged a special helicopter flight to the event. This gave the Scouts a personal and up-close look at the life-saving helicopter which serves parts of Wisconsin from as far north as Green Bay to as far west as Madison. The pilot Clark Richards and flight nurse Blake Reichgeld were available for questions.
Mr. Koyde Shier and Mr. Joe Arnold, instructors from the Fox Valley Technical College, taught aerodynamics with the use of their twin engine aircraft, giving the Scouts an in-depth look of how an aircraft engine works.
Mr. Steven Komar, inspector for the Waukesha Fire Department, Station 4 arranged a demonstration of firefighting equipment. Lieutenant Dan Berghoefer, equipment operator Andrew Van Haag and firefighter Joe Coffey showed the Scouts the fire suppression equipment that they use on the job.
The Boy Scouts learned about aircraft power plants, airport operations, flight instruments and what pilots inspect before each flight. Mr. Chuck Howard and Mr. Randy Zemel, employees of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), discussed the many options in aviation careers with the eager-to-learn Scouts.
Who better to discuss airport operations than Waukesha County Airport’s own acting manager, Mr. Kurt Stanich? He gave the attentive scouts a behind the scenes look at the work that goes into operating an airport.
Other contributors which participated in this one day event included Atlantic Aviation, Pewaukee Pick ‘n Save and MEE Material Handling. Carl Gollnick and Steve Betzler generously donated the use of their hangars for the event.
1st Lt Pam Bourque, the aerospace education officer of Waukesha Composite Squadron, spearheaded the event in which 49 CAP members helped to make sure the Scouts were able to make it through all of the stations in a timely and orderly fashion. With this event being such a huge success, plans are already in the works for next year’s event.
If your unit would like to put on this excellent external Aerospace Education program, contact Youth Aviation Adventure through http://www.youthaviationadventure.org/yaa/. They will help organize the event by supplying the program, shirts for the presenters, and patches for the participants.