Toolbox Saga Ends With Happy Campers

The Steger family, of Prescott, Wisconsin, had their EAA AirVenture Oshkosh visit all planned out. They would arrive on Sunday, walk around the grounds on Monday, and spend Tuesday morning at KidVenture with their children, Liivi, 6, and Vinten, 1, before heading back home on Wednesday.

With EAA offering free admission for all children, Chad and his wife, Jenna, had decided to take their kids to AirVenture for the first time. “It was too big of a draw not to take advantage of it,” Chad said.

Everything went according to plan … until Tuesday.

“We got up, ate breakfast, and headed right to KidVenture, thinking we were early enough to beat the biggest part of the rush,” Chad said.

Liivi managed to finish three activities as she worked to earn the free toolbox that is given to kids who complete all available stations. But then the lines grew: 30 minutes for one activity, 45 for another, and 60 for a third. There was no way the young girl would have time to complete the rest of the projects in the time they had, especially considering that Vinten really needed a nap, Chad said.

To Liivi’s disappointment, they went back to their camper in Camp Scholler, ate lunch, and put Vinten down for a nap. A few hours later, they headed back to the convention grounds in their golf cart.

“That’s when I noticed the wheel was making a funny noise,” Chad said. “It wiggled every time it would turn.”

Chad stopped next to a campsite occupied only by a boy who they thought was in his early teens.

“We asked him if he had any tools that I could use to tighten the lug nuts,” Chad said. The youth answered by holding up his KidVenture toolbox.

Unfortunately, there was nothing in the toolbox that would fix their problem, so the boy called his parents for suggestions, and they directed the family to the mechanics shop by the Red Barn.

“After he hung up the phone, we made small talk and mentioned that our daughter wasn’t able to get her tool set at KidVenture,” Chad said. “And then he picked up his toolbox and handed it to Liivi, who was still sitting in the golf cart.”

The boy told them he didn’t need a second kit, as he had earned another toolbox a year ago. Livvi didn’t say anything — she’s a little shy — but she was super excited and played with it while they were at the mechanics shop, even all the way home.

“We never got his name, but we wanted to thank him and let his parents know what a great son they had raised,” Chad said. “That’s why we put the story out on Facebook. There is so much negative news; this was positive news about a genuinely nice young man. He is exactly what’s right about EAA.”

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