2013 News

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Arizona Camp Engages Young Girls in Considering Aviation Careers

June 14, 2013

The Arizona Girl Scout Council’s Discover Aviation Camp, which ran June 9 to 14, offered a unique opportunity for girls ages 13 and up to learn about the thrills of aviation, as well as the career opportunities offered to women in the industry. Twenty-three girls took part in this year’s camp, which was supported by NBAA, and held at the Prescott Municipal Airport in Prescott, AZ.

The camp was offered through the Girls Can Fly (GCF) program, which was created by the Phoenix chapter of the Ninety-Nines (International Organization of Women Pilots). The camp, which also was sponsored by the Phoenix Ninety-Nines and the Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council, offered a broad overview of aviation, including ground school sessions on aerodynamics and flight planning, aircraft construction techniques, model building, aircraft engineering, accident investigation and air traffic control.

“We explored both the history and the future of pilots, aircraft and flight safety, with an emphasis on fun and the limitless opportunities available for women in aviation,” said Stacy Howard, NBAA Western regional representative, who also serves as coordinator for the Phoenix Ninety-Nines and a coordinator for the six-day resident camp. "This is not your mother's Girl Scouts. Through this camp, we are building the future of aviation, one girl at a time."

Attendees also received hands-on flying experience by taking an introductory flying lesson with an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University instructor. “They also spent time in both aircraft and helicopter flight simulators, and advanced (second year) girls will get time in ERAU's cross-wind trainer and Air Traffic Control laboratory,” said Howard, adding that some of the campers go on to earn a private pilot’s license.

In addition to the camp, GCF hosts a one-day introduction to aviation for Phoenix-area girls ages 11-18.

“This is a separate event, held each spring,” explained Howard. “This year 52 girls and troop leaders participated. In January 2014 we will open enrollment for our next GCF Day at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport with a still-to-be-determined March date.”

NBAA sponsors Howard’s involvement and provides materials for the six-day camp, including tote bags and educational supplies. Program support also is provided by Experimental Aviation Association Chapter 658 and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus.

“We couldn’t do this without the help of Prescott Municipal Airport, the aviation businesses in Prescott, and, of course, the Girl Scout Council, which subsidizes much of the cost of the camp and provides scholarships for some of the campers,” said Howard.

For more information on the camp, contact Howard at showard@nbaa.org