Despite a storm covering the city with a heavy blanket of white snow, the AOPA National Aviation Community Center was kept warm with the laughter of children and furry friends. Civil Air Patrol cadets bundled up and directed adventurous parents with children in tow into the parking lot. Once entered, they stomped the snow off their boots, took a punch card and started their educational activities.
As the snow started to blur by the windows, dedicated volunteers eagerly watched the doors awaiting participants. As each parent and child entered, they were greeted by eager pilots and aviation enthusiasts ready to teach and share. How airplanes and hot air balloons fly, aviation weather, navigation, and radios were just some of the activities instructed. Paper airplane competitions, an airplane children could climb in and flight simulators were some of the more hands on tables. On the paws side of the event was the Turbo the Flying Dog table and the meet Turbo and Olive the stars of the Turbo series photo area. A mobile adoption trailer had to cancel for the safety of the animals.
Due to the storm, each child got individual attention and in depth lessons on different aspects of aviation. They didn't know where to start- go play this the dogs first? Or see how far we can launch a paper airplane? Families were excited to learn about the Turbo the Flying Dog books for the first time, while some long time supporters even brought him fan mail!
When we tore down as the event ended four hours later, and pre-heated the cars before carefully driving on the roads, I was greeted with smiles and enthusiasm. Everyone had an amazing time and couldn't wait for the next event...in better weather of course!
Check out more photos here!