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Maryland Cub Scouts take flight at AOPAMaryland Cub Scouts take flight at AOPA

  • Some of the 215 Maryland Cub Scouts participating in a weeklong summer day camp called "Take Flight!" that combines traditional scouting skills with aviation and STEM concepts start their day by saluting the flag near AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, June 23. Photos by David Tulis.
  • Cub Master LeMoyne Fletcher wears a leather flight helmet, goggles, and a vintage flight suit bearing the name of aviator Howard Hughes as he explains the day's activities to Cub Scouts.
  • "I love paper airplanes!" exclaims Cub Scout Connor Frazier as he launches one into flight next to a Cessna 182 with Alex Durnal during their "Take Flight!" summer day camp.
  • Jack Banks commands the attention of two dozen Cub Scout day campers under the wing of a yellow Reimagined Cessna 150 airplane during a weeklong day camp that combines traditional scouting skills with aviation and STEM concepts inside AOPA's National Aviation Community Center.
  • Cub Master Chuck Grover flips a Cub Scout in front of AOPA's National Aviation Community Center during the day camp.
  • Cub Scouts Nathan Boydston and Craig Darnell, both 7, wear bright orange shirts proclaiming the weeklong day camp's theme of "Take Flight!" near AOPA headquarters.
  • Cub Scout Nolan Fisher holds a homemade flag fashioned from socks and a wash cloth near his twin brother Grant as they participate in their weeklong scouting "Take Flight!" day camp.
  • Volunteer Joe Daly explains theories of flight to a pack of Cub Scouts during a weeklong day camp combining traditional scouting skills like archery and good citizenship with aviation-themed programs and hands-on experience with general aviation aircraft.
  • Volunteer AJ Child, 14, attaches clips for a target at the BB gun range during the weeklong Cub Scout day camp.
  • More than 200 Cub Scouts participate in a weeklong day camp combining traditional scouting skills of archery and good citizenship with aviation-themed programs teaching flight concepts and hands-on experience with general aviation aircraft.
  • Cub Scouts participate in a weeklong day camp combining traditional scouting skills with aviation-themed programs.
  • Cub Scout camp coordinator Colby Child, right, helps plant a flagpole for the 215 Scouts participating in a weeklong day camp near AOPA's National Aviation Community Center hangar.
  • Cub scouts use drawings and hands-on experience with a Cessna 150 to learn parts of an airplane.
  • Cub Scout Alex Contreras, 10, tries to contain his enthusiasm as he glides down a zip line on a "Wright Flyer" that gives Scouts a taste of what aviation feels like.
  • Cub Master LeMoyne Fletcher wears a leather flight helmet, goggles, and a vintage flight suit bearing the name of aviator Howard Hughes.

Two dozen Cub Scouts from northern Maryland sat in a circle under the bright yellow wing of a Reimagined Cessna 150 parked in AOPA’s National Aviation Community Center (NACC) hangar and doodled on airplane diagrams while volunteer Jack Banks, a former pilot, barked out the parts of an airplane, while outfitted with a tattered green flight suit for his assumed persona of United Airlines founder Jack Knight in the 1920s. Banks earned his private pilot certificate before a bout with kidney stones grounded him and his practical flight experience has commanded the attention of these campers.

Across the way, 30 more Cub Scouts learned about lift, drag, thrust, and weight from youth minister Joe Daly, who deployed a whimsical flip chart before inviting the campers to create paper airplanes using geometry and symmetry for their folds. “I love paper airplanes,” said camper Connor Frazier as he tossed one skyward just past the wing of a nearby Cessna 182.

All in all, 215 Cub Scouts wearing orange “Take Flight, 2015” T-shirts darted around the association’s campus exploring different facets of aviation as well as traditional scouting activities of archery, rope work, and good citizenship. As he drove up on a four-wheeler tugging a full load of water coolers, David Pace, the Catoctin Mountain district chairman, said participation in the five-day camp is up 25 percent over last summer, with campers coming from Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and even the Virgin Islands.

At the hangar, Scouts got a big dose of ground school training. “I want to talk about pitch, roll, and yaw,” Banks boomed to the campers. “I want you to show me what an aileron is and how to control an airplane, and then I want to talk about navigation.”

Cub Master LeMoyne Fletcher was outfitted as a dashing Howard Hughes complete with a leather aviator’s cap, goggles, and a flight suit as he explained the day’s activities to campers gathered on the grassy slope near the NACC.

Fletcher and camp organizer Colby Child herded a pack of youths toward flagpoles planted in front of a sea of parents, volunteers, and campers to lead the morning’s traditional flag raising ceremony. With an eye focused on the blue sky overhead like a true pilot, Fletcher looked up and made a simple aviator’s request, “I’m just hoping the weather holds out.”

Adjacent to the archery range, volunteers Catherine Vizas, 11, and Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Grunwell, fashioned a quartet of fabric wings for the Wright Flyer zip line activity to give campers a taste of what flying is all about.

Modern ingenuity didn’t stray too far from the original concept of powered flight as a tow truck hoisted a line levitating the prone youths and their sliding basket for a short zip line “flight” to a soft, grassy landing.

The flight basket cockpit couldn’t come close to containing the enthusiasm spreading across the face of camper Alex Contreras, 10. “It was really exciting when they lifted you up!” Contreras exclaimed. “And it was fun going downhill for the landing.”

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Airport, AOPA, Pilots

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