[Note. After spending the last few months in Texas, I thought I would find Ohio weather moderate in comparison. The thermometer is not as high, but someone added humidity to the mix. It's a lot more sultry here. And not in a good way.]
AirVenture? It is known more familiarly as Oshkosh to the 500,000 or so people who treat this 7 day event, always the last week in July, as their Mecca. Last year we called it "SPLOSHkosh" because of the insanely continuous rainfall which turned the fields into muddy pits. This year, I hope, the weather will be more moderate. I mean, it always rains at least once, but hopefully the "once" will last hours instead of days. A break in the heat will also be nice. This will be Girls With Wings' seventh year having a booth to promote the organization and do fundraising. Family and friends stay at the campground, in a spot strategically chosen to offer the shortest walk to Hangar A every morning, with a pass by the food tent every evening. We're just too tired to cook at the end of the day!
This year, more than ever, I am also being called away to do interviews, Penelope book signings and a seminar on starting Youth Aviation Programs which means I REALLY need help. Especially on the weekend, the last few days, because I'd like to help out again with Women Soar. Then again, maybe I just try to do too much (I've heard that before). I've considered just having a booth with a table so we could just tell people about Girls With Wings, but I think a lot of people feel like I did, and do, that it's important to get aviation themed items out there for the girls (and ladies). Our t-shirts stick to motivational messages, like "Yes, Girls Can Fly!" Simple, but to the point. And necessary. So until I fall flat on my face, I'm going to continue to have a booth at Oshkosh. Please email me if you are willing to commit to a 2 hour shift at any time during the week.
My hope, with stylizing the scholarship to require the winners to post on the GWW Message board, is to encourage a lot more mentoring, and so that is not going to change. Again, if I could guarantee raising enough funds to offer four scholarships per year, I'd like to have a "reigning" GWW Role model every quarter of the year. But first, I'd like to find some awesome applicants for this year! As my good friend, Cindy Jacobs, always says, "Every year you worry about it, and every year you get a ton of applications right in under the deadline." Which happens to be July 31st. She's right, of course, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to worry about it every year. Please tell everyone you know about the scholarship. Even if you don't have a friend who has soloed and is working on her private pilot certificate, your friend might know someone who does.
What else is bringing on the heat? I'm trying to generate more talk on the aforementioned message board. I decided to offer a very nice prize to the winner of a contest but haven't gotten much traffic. All you have to do is post your favorite pictures of a Girl With Wings on the board and/or vote on the ones you see there. The person with the most votes wins a travel bag valued at $95! Everyone likes to see aviation photos. Especially their own. And especially when they can win something for them!
And of course, the first couple of weeks of July were taking up by my finally wrapping up my Certificated Flight Instructor Rating. I have been working on this rating for about eight months, thinking I could knock it out in a couple of weeks, not knowing what I didn't know. I've been blogging over my experiences in the pursuit of it, but I've received many emails since with people asking my advice on how to best get theirs. I'll have to blog on it, now that I am an educated consumer of the flight school system. I imagine it will expound at length on the basic principal of accomplishing CFI training: There is no "cheap" and there is no "easy." And now I have to see if I can make a living at it!
And on that note, without becoming a Debbie Downer myself, I've got some work to do. A lot of paperwork that's built up over the last few months while I was on the road. I have to get it done before I leave for Oshkosh on Saturday so I can fully enjoy the show. See you there!