Nixing the traditional idea of a weekend Boy Scout camping trip, 27 troops from the Black Swamp Area Council opted for a unique experience that had them thinking about their future while also keeping their heads in the clouds.
Hosted by service members at the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing at Toledo Express Airport, the aviation camp gathered more than 250 Scouts and leaders to learn about the science behind aviation and how pilots can use their know-how to protect the country.
“We’re focusing a lot of our stations on science, technology, engineering, and math,” said 1st Lt. Jordyn Sadowski to Aviation Pros. “It’s a great chance for them to interact with military members and really see who is protecting their freedoms. Every person here is essentially from this community. It’s a really cool interaction that they’re able to bond over.”
Scouts at the event visited activity stations throughout the base to learn about the 180th Fighter Wing, its missions, and the numerous careers available throughout the Air National Guard. Activity stations introduced Scouts to a variety of aviation tools and topics including security forces, weaponry, emergency management, aircrew flight equipment, and even a closeup view of the wing’s F-16 fighter jets.
The camp was the first Boy Scout event hosted by the 180th Fighter Wing. For Scouts like 12-year-old Alex who says he is considering joining the Air Force, the camp was a great opportunity to explore a future career.
“I think it’s pretty cool, and fancy, and expensive,” he said. “It’s very clean. I like the runway the best.”
Scouts also got to know members of the 180th Fighter Wing, some of whom were former Scouts.
“It’s amazing that we get to come to the base, see the fighter planes,” said 15-year-old Derek E. “It’s nice that the soldiers are allowing us to be hands-on with the weapons and being able to look at the aircraft. We get to learn and meet new Scouts. It’s overall very enjoyable.”
In addition to teaching the Scouts about the STEM behind aviation, the Air National Guard also aimed to educate youth about the importance of developing into the responsible leaders of tomorrow.
Get the full story on how Scouts are exploring aviation through a STEM lens by visiting Aviation Pros. You can also learn more about how Scouts can dive into fun careers like aviation by checking out Exploring.org.