Girl Scout Aviation Badge Day

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by gprellwitz, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    On Saturday Leslie and I participated in a Girl Scouts Aviation/Aerospace badge day at DuPage Airport (KDPA). It was sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of the 99s, and hosted by Illinois Aviation Academy in their hangar. We had almost 230 Girl Scouts participating, in two waves, morning and afternoon. We divided them into seven groups and had them move between stations where we taught them about the history of women in aviation, the basics of flight, ATC, careers in aviation, types of aircraft, and charts, among other things.

    It was a long and challenging day, but I think we all found it very rewarding. There were some good questions from the girls, and they had a chance to see general aviation up close. I think their parents also had a chance to see some of what goes into flying.

    I talked to a photographer from the Chicago Tribune who was there covering it and found that he's had a chance to go flying a number of times. As I told him, we would have arranged a flight for him had he not already had the experience.

    After the event, about a dozen of us headed over to the local Fridays to unwind a little bit. I think we may have convinced our waitress to at least go up for an intro flight. She said she had already tried ballooning and had been in a locomotive, so she is willing to try new things.


    If you get a chance to participate in one of these events, take it! Leslie and I did a 20-minute presentation on different types of aircraft and had the girls put together paper gliders using some of the patterns from NASA at http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/OEP/girlscouts/activity1.htm. They all seemed to get a kick out of it, and we also got to go into a bit of aircraft design, weight & balance issues, etc. Since the girls were all youg, we obviously had to do it at a very basic level, but I think it was worthwhile. I just wish we had a little more time with each group to answer more questions and allow them to experiment a little more!
     
    ScottM likes this.
  2. bstratt

    bstratt Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hey Grant, how did you find out about that? DPA is my home airport and before buying into my plane I used to rent from IAA. Would have loved to have participated.
     
  3. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Barry,
    My wife Leslie is a pilot and a member of the 99's. Their Chicago chapter put this on. They did it last year, too. Other than IAA providing the space, I think all the personnel were 99's or their spouses. I don't think they'd be adverse to opening participation up to more people next year. I'll ask Leslie to bring it up at their next meeting.

    I did my ground school for the primary at IAA because they were offering it through Harper College. They seem like a nice group of people, but then I think that about most pilots! :)
     
  4. EHITCH

    EHITCH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am so grateful to Grant and Leslie, and to the 35 members of The Ninety Nines Chicago Area Chapter who voluntarily gave up an entire Saturday to come out to Illinois Aviation Academy at DPA and spend their time teaching young girls about flying. And great big THANKS as well to Bob Werderich, Jeff Blackman, and the wonderful CFIs and staff at IAA who went out of their way to provide space in their hangar and access to a gleaming new Diamond Star fully loaded with a Garmin 1000! Finally, I want to share with you all the great article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune (suburban edition) today. Enjoy!
    Elizabeth Hitchcock
    Co-Chair, Junior Girl Scouts Aerospace Badge Day
    Chicago Area Chapter, The Ninety Nines

    PS - volunteers for next year's event WILL be contacted!

    <DIV>For Scouts, the sky's the limit
    With workshops helmed by female pilots, a group of Girl Scouts seeks aerospace badges while learning about careers in aviation

    <FONT face="Times New Roman" color=black size=3><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; COLOR: black">By Denise Linke
    Special to the Tribune

    April 26, 2006

    At the Illinois Aviation Academy at DuPage Airport, the group of Girl Scouts in the hangar was focused on learning enough aviation to earn aerospace merit badges--until the AT6 fighter plane outside revved its engine and began taxiing for takeoff.

    The girls stopped folding and flying paper airplanes, studying navigation charts and lessons on nutrition in space while everyone--even "Amelia Earhart"--watched the takeoff and snapped photos of the World War II vintage aircraft at the
    West Chicago airfield.

    "That was really something, wasn't it?" asked Mary Panczyszyn, local membership chairman of the Ninety-Nines, an association of female pilots that organized the workshop th at drew Scouts from North Riverside to Yorkville last weekend. "What a treat for the girls to see!"

    For the girls, the best treat at Saturday's Junior Girl Scouts Aerospace Badge Day event was learning how many ways they could parlay their interest in aviation into a career or a hobby. "I was a little shocked by how many women have made careers in aviation," said 10-year-old Jada Kline of Aurora.

    "I thought most of the planes in the world were commercial airliners, but I learned that there are a lot more small, private planes," added 11-year-old Aurora resident Danielle Gilson.

    Most of the Ninety-Nines members who taught at the workshop fly their own small planes for recreation.

    "You don't have to work for an airline to get a lot out of flying," said Leslie Prellwitz as she knelt on the hangar floor and helped girls fine-tune th eir paper planes. "Just knowing that you can fly, that you don't have to be just a passenger, gives an indescribable feeling of confidence that carries over into the rest of your life."

    Instructors emphasized that women today have few or no barriers to aviation--particularly Amelia Earhart, portrayed by actress Vickie Dumez--who described to a spellbound audience how hard she struggled to achieve flight. "I took flying lessons from a woman who charged a dollar a minute, which back in the 1920s was incredibly expensive," she said.

    "To earn the money, I did every kind of job I could find. I drove a truck. I shoveled manure ... So don't let anybody tell you you can't do it, because you can."

    The Scouts also heard from Southwest Airlines co-pilot Carol Skiber of Woodridge, one of the estimated 5 percent of women professional pilots. Skiber, a gulf war veteran, described the 20 years she spent flying support missions in the Navy, her life as a commercial pilot and how more women are breaking into commercial aviation.

    "I don't necessarily think all these girls are going to become pilots when they grow up. I just hope this workshop opens a new horizon for them on what they can be if they want," Skiber said.

    The biggest oohs and aahs came when the Scouts inspected the cockpit of a Diamond Star single-engine piston plane.

    "It looks a little like a car [dashboard], but it's a lot more complicated to use," said Maiya Putman, 12, of Aurora. Participants also got a short lesson in the physics of flight and listened to air-traffic controllers broadcasting from the DuPage Airport control tower.

    Although some girls thought it would be fun to design airplanes for a living, others wanted to experience the thrill of flig ht firsthand.

    "I'd rather fly a plane than make one myself," said Casey Kramer, 11, of Yorkville.

    Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune
     
  5. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Barry (et al),
    The Girl Scout Badge Day this year will be April 21st at DuPage (IL) Airport. I think they're already looking for anyone to donate old sectionals, TACs, or WACs for the girls. I'm sure Elizabeth can pipe up with more information about how to get involved.

    I'm not sure if Leslie and I will be there this year or not, since it's during Sun 'N Fun and we were hoping to go to that for the first time. We'll see how things shake out.
     
  6. Tristar

    Tristar Pattern Altitude

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    I'm so jealous of that! I was in girl scouts when I was younger. My troup leader and other girls had no interest what so ever in trying to do anything with aviation. They told me it was too big of a risk and require too much paperwork from parents and the girl scout headquarters or something. I even tried to ask if they wanted me to try and ask about intro flights but apparently that wasn't even considered. Our troup sucked to say the least. We never did any real camping, I would have changed over to the boyscouts if I coulda got away with it! Learning how to tie knots has got to be more interesting than selling cookies. Plus cookies didn't keep my airplane in place last year when we had a strong wind storm move through!
     
  7. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The following charts will be expiring before the April 21st Aviation Day. If you're going to be replacing with the most recent version (and you know you should), please consider donating the expired chart so we can use it for the girls. Thanks! PM me for the address to send to.

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Feb. 15, 2007
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]EL PASO [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]JACKSONVILLE
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]MIAMI
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]OMAHA
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]WASHINGTON [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]March 15, 2007
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica] ATLANTA [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    BILLINGS
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]DALLAS-FORT WORTH[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]HOUSTON
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]HALIFAX
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]LAS VEGAS
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]MONTREAL
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]SAN FRANCISCO

    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]April 12, 2007[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica] DETROIT [/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]KANSAS CITY[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica] KLAMATH FALLS[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica] LAKE HURON[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]MEMPHIS[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]SALT LAKE CITY[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]

    [/FONT]
     
  8. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We just walked into PilotMall.com at Albert Whitted Airport today in St. Petersburg. Neil Glazer, the president of pilotmall.com, studentpilot.com and some other sites, acceded to our request and provided us with a box full of expired charts from throughout the US for the aviation badge day this year. This gives us about 200 charts, which is a GREAT start, but we still need more! We anticipate needing upward of 300 charts just for the girls! But a great THANK YOU to Neil!
     
  9. Graueradler

    Graueradler Pattern Altitude

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    What an amazing turnout. We participated in a regional Boy Scouts "Merit Badge University" (covers many merit badges). We provided the aviation merit badge presentations and only had 4 boy scouts. I doubt if there were 230 for the whole event. Of course, Rural Arkansas isn't Chicago suburbs.
     
  10. EHITCH

    EHITCH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Great big thanks to Grant and Leslie, who went out of their way while in Tampa on business to gather up sectionals for our event. We are well on our way to having charts we need for the 300+ girls who are coming to this year's event --- but we still need you!!!

    If you have even a couple of old sectionals (VFR stuff only, please don't send approach plates and the like, it's too advanced), please consider dropping them into an envelope and sending them to me.

    For my mailing address, please email me offline at ehitchcock01 [at] yahoo [dot] com. Please put 99s sectional charts in the subject line. Y'all understand the reason for such explicit instructions ....

    We would love to have anything you might provide in the next 2-3 weeks, as we prep the packets in advance of the event.

    AND THANKS! If you could see the sparkle in the girls' eyes when they're around the airplanes ........

    Elizabeth Hitchcock
     
  11. bstratt

    bstratt Cleared for Takeoff

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    Elizabeth, I'll go back to check what I have but have you considered going to the pilot shop at DPA and doing the same thing Grant did?
     
  12. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Grant, that's really COOL, thanks for the report. We need to create more opportunities like this to get kids "back into" aviation.

    I'm curious if you guys gave any rides to the kids; seems like, weather permitting, this would have been a great Young Eagles flight opportunity.
     
  13. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't send the kudos my way. They go to Elizabeth Hitchcock (EHITCH) and Kristie Brooks, who put this together for the 99's. Leslie and I were just two of many who helped out to teach a particular aspect of aviation. We did not do Young Eagles rides, but did provide information on the program to the girls. I'm not sure whether our site sponsor (Illinois Aviation Academy) or the 99's would allow us to do flights for all the girls, and I know that we didn't have enough personnel available to provide them last year. But that does remind me that I need to put together a list of upcoming Young Eagle events to hand out at the Badge Day this year!
     
  14. EHITCH

    EHITCH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Barry

    The Pilot Shop (wonderful guys that they are) have already been contacted, but your post reminds me I need to follow up with them, so thanks for the reminder!
    Elizabeth
     
  15. EHITCH

    EHITCH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just to share some further info, the Girl Scouts have a list of specific activities that must be completed so that the girls will qualify to receive this particular badge, and given the time and space constraints on us, there is just no way to do all of that (I think there are 7 different requirements) and give them rides -- this year we will have 300 girls and 100 parents in 2 separate sessions. Not that we wouldn't like to! And some of the girls would like it too!
    But that's the reason we provide Young Eagles info, so the parents can follow up.

    Send those charts, folks! Throwing caution to the winds, here's my mailing address:

    112 Huntington St
    Lake Bluff, IL 60044

    Sincere thanks to etsisk for his response to my request. Now which of you big strong fellas is gonna be next to help out these darling girls? (I'm fluttering my eyelashes)

    Elizabeth
     
  16. bstratt

    bstratt Cleared for Takeoff

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    Elizabeth, if you need more help and/or planes for the 21st let me know. Both I and my plane are around.
     
  17. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Grant, Elizabeth, anyone... You have GOT to get them the rides there. I'm sure a couple will go get a ride later on, but I bet at least 90% never do. :(

    Would more people/planes help? Any way to do the sessions faster and/or rotate through smaller groups? I'd be more than happy to fly down there and fly as many of them as I can, and I'm sure others would enjoy it as well.
     
  18. EHITCH

    EHITCH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Kent,
    While I sincerely and greatly appreciate your suggestion and the generosity implicit in it, there are a whole host of liability and permissions issues that I am just unable to handle at this point -- with The 99s, with the school whose hangar we are using, with the parents, and so forth. I wish I could, but it's not going to happen this year. I am managing my life and my mother's (she's in hospice) and I cannot climb another mountain at the moment. The oxygen is already a little thin at my current elevation, if you know what I mean.

    Barry, your offer is equally generous, and I will have to check with the folks at IAA to see if they are OK with it. They have been so good to us with free use of their hangar and access to their planes, I need to be careful I'm not stepping on any toes.

    Thanks to everyone for their support and interest in our Girl Scouts event. If I am slow to respond to your posts or AWOL at times, well, now you know why.

    Elizabeth
     
  19. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe you could contact the local EAA chapter, if there is one, and see if there just might happen to be, coincidentally of course, a Young Eagles event at the field that day... :D Let someone else handle it, and if it's "unrelated" there shouldn't be any liability other than what the EAA already covers.
     
  20. Jeff S KDTW

    Jeff S KDTW Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Grant -

    My wife (a Brownie leader) and I were talking about your experience (I had to search for this thread when I saw you reference needing charts) and wanted to do something similar for her group of girls. However, we are having a difficult time trying to find GSA badges that relate (if they exist) and "Aviation Badge" program syllabus (again, if it exists).

    Can you provide me with any information regarding badges (where to get them) and any material that you think might be helpful?

    Thanks.
     
  21. kevin47881

    kevin47881 Final Approach

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    Time to fly!
    Badges, we don't need no stinkin' badges.

    Sorry, just couldn't contain myself.
     
  22. Jeff S KDTW

    Jeff S KDTW Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What? As I understand it, that's the best part! ;)
     
  23. JohnR

    JohnR Final Approach

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    My daughter just started Brownies and I hope she sticks with it to do the aviation stuff!

    Anyone want to buy candies? :redface:
     
  24. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'll send a note to Elizabeth Hitchcock, asking her to respond on this. She's spearheaded it in the past.
     
  25. Jeff S KDTW

    Jeff S KDTW Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Grant, see your PM.
     
  26. ausrere

    ausrere Pattern Altitude

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    Women in Aviation International has a Girl Scouts Merit Badge Kit that might be helpful. http://www.wai.org/members/index.cfm (Under Educational Resources)
     
  27. Jeff S KDTW

    Jeff S KDTW Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks, Lisa!!!
     
  28. EHITCH

    EHITCH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Folks,

    I am trying to pull together an FAQ for Girl Scouts activities, but to answer Jeff's question about Brownies, what you are looking for is called the Space Explorer Try-It for Brownies. Try-Its are badges that have easier requirements for younger girls, and you will find a list of approved activities in the Brownies' handbook (sometimes called a badgebook).

    Surprisingly, it is quite difficult to find an Internet resource for the actual list of GS-approved activities for each of their badges, however they are all copyrighted materials so I suppose it's somewhat understandable. Here is a website that appears to have been developed by a local Brownie troop leader that deals specifically with the Space Explorer activities:
    http://troop851.ellenbecker.net/Try Its.htm

    I would also encourage you to visit NASA's Space Place for Kids, which is at http://spaceplace.jpl.nasa.gov/en/kids/girlscouts/. You'll note this page provides info for Junior girls and above, but it might spark some ideas for activities.

    For more resources visit The Ninety-Nines Aerospace Education page at http://www.ninety-nines.org/aeroed/index.html

    I hope this helps and Jeff feel free to PM me or have your wife contact me if you need more information or if this post doesn't have the info you need. And please be patient, I'm not often in these parts any more.
    Elizabeth

    For me, the attached photo sums up what it's all about! Please credit Grant Prellwitz for the photo
     

    Attached Files:

  29. Jeff S KDTW

    Jeff S KDTW Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Elizabeth -

    Thank you for that. I'm going to pass this info on to my wife and her co-leader. I will also PM you with a specific question.

    Thanks again.
     
  30. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    For those interested, New England Air Museum is having a "Women Take Flight: Past and Present" seminar/event on November 4th. They specifically mention the Girl Scout Merit Badge.
    For those interested in flying in, TAC Air at Bradley is the place to go. They generally provide shuttle service to the front door (and you're not charged an arm and a leg for your visit like Signature has been known to do).
     
  31. JaxOli

    JaxOli Filing Flight Plan

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    I just participated in a similar event with the Girl Scouts here at FDK. It was sponsored by The Ninety-Nines and hosted at the AOPA headquarters here at the airport. There were several stations the girls rotated through including a "pre-flight" station where I was one of four pilots helping out. The girls were Junior Girl Scouts (4th - 6th grades) and, from what I saw of them, had an absolute blast. They really loved touching and seeing the planes (3 Cessna's and 1 Piper). I let all of my girls sit up in the left seat, put on a headset, and take hold of the yoke! They LOVED IT!!

    I strongly encourage anyone who gets the chance to participate in an event like this!! To see the smiles on the girls' faces made it all worthwhile!!:yes:
     
  32. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good for you! And welcome to the board!