National Recreation and Park Show

HI, AGAIN! I hope you are enjoying some flying before the winter sets in, especially in the North. Indoor models are being dusted off to continue the fun through early 2012. Don’t be left out!

Last month I announced the kick-off of our new Flying Site Assistance Volunteer program. I am happy to say that many of you have already contacted me and signed up. If you have not, please consider it. This is a great way for you to give back to the hobby that has been such an enjoyment to you! You can contact me to obtain a sign-up form. Please refer to last month’s column for the specific information on the program.

At this point (Early November) I have about 25 FSAV’s who have registered with AMA to participate. I am looking for at least 50 FSAV’s (five in each state) to make this work. If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to call or email me anytime. I would be happy to explain it to you and answer any questions you might have.

I just returned from Atlanta, Georgia, where I attended the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) annual convention and exposition. The show was well-attended with many exhibitors. Of course, the AMA booth was the only one showing model airplanes and how much fun flying in a park can be!

We displayed and flew an indoor model airplane and helicopter at the booth, and we let many attendees try a flight simulator. Why did we attend? Well, this is a great place to contact park managers and officials to show them that giving model airplane pilots and clubs access is a great use of a park.

At the show, one NRPA member told me that there was an article in their industry magazine explaining how model airplanes are a great fit for park and recreation departments. The article encouraged park managers to reach out to clubs and work with them in establishing park flyer sites.

Another area of interest was in clubs helping out parks departments with summer camp. Several park managers came by and asked about this. I can’t think of a better way to get noticed by a city or parks department than to have your club work a summer camp program.

Bill Pritchett (AMA’s Education Director) can provide you with plenty of support on how to do this and what can be done. With AMA memberships free for those 19 and younger, AMA fits right in. With our school clubs program, there is the opportunity to continue this relationship after the summer camp program has run its course.

Some at the convention spoke of a building program, where club members could help kids build anything from a simple balsa glider to the AMA Delta Dart. This is great fun for both the kids and the club members!

I have done a couple of these and had members of my club help out at the school where it was held. They really enjoyed working with the kids, teaching them how to cut balsa and glue sticks together. When we finished with the building portion of the program, we then went outside and helped the kids trim the models and participate in a duration contest. It was the highlight of the year for many of the kids!

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