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EAA Chapter 1298 Leadership Attends EAA Sponsored Bootcamp Training

Spruce Creek Airport, Florida

By Paul Bryant


On February 23, 2018, EAA Chapter 1298 Leadership departed toward Daytona Beach, Fl for the EAA Sponsored leadership boot camp.  Attending the training was Don Whiting, Chapter President, Tom Longo, Chapter Vice President, Paul Bryant, Chapter Treasurer, and Merle Wagner, Chapter Secretary.  From EAA’s website, EAA’s Chapter Leadership Boot Camps are one day courses focused on making you a better chapter leader so that you can have a better chapter. 

The free one-day, interactive sessions we attended focused on the following topics:

·    Recruiting and retaining members

·    Marketing

·    Tax exempt status

·    Fundraising

·    Media & public relations

·    Young Eagles

·     Insurance and risk management

·     EAA chapter resources

The boot camp also provided us an excellent opportunity to network with other chapter leaders as well as interact with EAA chapter office staff.


The EAA Chapter at Spruce Creek fly-in Community hosted the training which was a very convenient location for the 1298 leadership.  According to www.7fl6.com, Spruce Creek is the world’s most famous residential airpark.  With a 4,000 fl lighted runway and a GPS approach, the private airport at the center of the community can accommodate anything from a Stearman to a Gulfstream.


We arrived late Friday afternoon, with Don, Merle, and Tom flying in with Don’s Piper Lance.  Paul drove over earlier in the day to provide ground support, which worked out well. 

The Lance got “bedded” down around 5pm just before the Friday night air show.  Yep, an air show!  Right at the intersection of the single runway and large taxiway everyone gathers underneath a beautiful grassy and tree covered area to witness an exciting aerial show performed by several groups of pilots …..whether it is a flight of SX300’s, RV’s or vintage aircraft. 

Most of the onlookers under the tree gather there with their golf carts and have light snacks, wine and sodas.  It’s a pretty cool event and I believe they do this weekly.   
After the airshow that evening, many of the attendees had dinner at the golf course club house. It was a nice way to break the ice with EAA staffers and other chapter leaders. There were some valuable, and sometimes funny, exchanges between the different chapter leaders.   
I think the ice breaker dinner was a nice start to the boot camp providing a friendly and helpful atmosphere to the event. After dinner, we headed to the hotel to get a good nite sleep, before the next day’s boot camp sessions.   Merle, was able to stay at one of the Spruce Creek owners home and had wonderful accommodations.  
The next day was jam packed with many different training topics and we were all very impressed with EAA staff, the presenters, and the facilities.  Each one of us received a chapter handbook full of information to help guide us through all of the different aspect of leading a chapter.   
Be it managing the chapter, resources available from HQ, Financial Management, Chapter gatherings, insurance and risk management, marketing and recruitment, or programs and activities, including young eagles guidelines, it has it all!    
Each one of us certainly gained a lot of knowledge from this training and have already began implementing ideas and resources to help us become better chapters leaders. And, more importantly, to make Chapter 1298 become a better chapter for all our members and the community.

This “no cost” to the chapter one-day boot camp was created by EAA Hq so that they could provide as much training as possible in one day to prepare us to become better chapter leaders and in turn, improve and grow our chapter.  This was an excellent boot camp for all of us.  We were able to interface directly with EAA Hq team leaders and communicate with other chapter leaders on how they were running their chapter and take away many lessons learned.

   Paul Bryant