As four-time corporate sponsors of the North 40 Aircraft Parking and Camping area during EAA AirVenture, Aspen Avionics wanted to recognize the intrepid citizens of Oshkosh’s North 40 with Aspen’s first North 40 Camping Merit Badge.
“For those of us who spend our AirVenture nights in air conditioned hotel rooms or view the torrents of rain from a summer thunderstorm from the dry side of the window, we can at least recognize those whose wet sleeping bags hang off the wings of their airplanes drying in the morning sun,” says Aspen Avionics’ Vice President of Marketing Brad Hayden.
Campers of all ages were awarded a badge. One child wrote, “I camped in the rain and still smiled,” while another child wrote, “I did dishes.” At the other end of the age spectrum, one gentleman wrote, “I am 80 years old and have been to Oshkosh many times.”
Additional acts recorded in the 2011 “Merit Badge Book of Deeds” include:
- “I drove people around and helped cook breakfast for 40-50 people.”
- “Picked up trash.”
- “Reassured neighbors that three small children would not be a bother.”
- “Helped our neighbor put his cover on his plane.”
- “I flew my son to Oshkosh.”
- “I wore a plastic bag in the rain.”
Veteran AirVenture participants are known to say that you have not really had the Oshkosh experience until you have camped with your airplane in EAA’s North 40. One man who now has that experience is an international visitor who wrote, “I traveled [from] Finland and got acquainted with American people who adopted me to be one of the great aviators of Oshkosh. Thanks a lot.”
“With our Aspen Avionics North 40 Camping Merit Badge, we recognize the North 40 community and all of the ‘great aviators of Oshkosh’ – who make this event like no other,” adds Hayden.