By Abigail Oleniczak
Some would say Sam Glenn, 17, has been volunteering his entire life. He grew up heavily exposed to airplanes and volunteering at AirVenture, where his family helped out at Aeromart. This year he is volunteering on the flightline.
Sam said he not only enjoys getting to know the volunteers, but also the pilots as he greets them upon landing. “It’s part of the Oshkosh experience,” Sam said, “and it’s fun honestly; the people are very friendly.”
A group of young volunteers who flew in from Sacramento, California, is also getting to learn about the Oshkosh experience. Mentors Nick Leonard and Stan Lawrence are part of an informal Young Eagles program associated with Vintage Chapter 25 and are here with the group. Dylan Fricke, Tenley Ong, Tyler Stump, Justin Kaysinger, Angelina Angrisani, and Liam Robinson all had the incredible opportunity to not only attend AirVenture, but also volunteer. All agreed that they were already having a blast before the air show even started.
The group arrived Wednesday and has been cleaning and setting up forum buildings, preparing the chapter pavilion, and then checking back in at the volunteer center to see where help is needed next. The group is planning on taking in the air shows the rest of the week and appreciating the events.
“We were excited when we were told that we would be volunteering,” said Angelina, 17. “It’s my first time attending the air show and a great opportunity to take advantage of.”
She said she enjoys meeting people with common interests, giving back, and being with her group of friends.
“There is a certain amount of pride being a part of something so huge,” said Liam, 16. “Seeing things, meeting really cool people with unique stories, and relaxing.”
Tyler, 16, said he enjoys volunteering and meeting experienced, knowledgeable people who are interested in talking with the youth.
Many of the young volunteers are with EAA’s new Collegiate Volunteer Program, such as Andrew Lipuma, 18, who attends Colorado State University, studying mechanical engineering. The new program allows college students to build connections within the aviation community. This is Andrew’s first year volunteering and third year attending AirVenture.
On Sunday, he worked in the kitchen, preparing sandwiches for the countless number of volunteers on the grounds. He plans on volunteering for camper registration and on the flightline during the week.
“Everyone is very friendly, love the air show, and it’s good to get involved,” Andrew said. His advice to other teens is simple: “Get involved, network … and have fun.”
Flightline. Operation Thirst. Maintenance. Setup and tear-down. Camper registration.
Do any of those sound interesting to you? Go to the Volunteer Center in Camp Scholler and ask how you can help. There is a large variety of volunteer opportunities for youth at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, and you won’t only help put on the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration, but also have fun.
AirVenture takes pride in its abundance of friendly and intentional volunteers who dedicate a portion of their week each year to volunteering. Youth are encouraged to take part in volunteering.