Recently, Sugar Valley hosted a "Friends" gathering, celebrating CommUnity and the lighting of the "Unity Blaze", led by Black Folks Camp Too (BFCT) founder Earl B. Hunter and friends.
As Earl shared, "The Unity Blaze is the campfire symbol in the middle of our Black Folks Camp Too logo, and it means 'Treat Everyone Everywhere Equally.' Your race, age or gender does not matter. We ALL have something to say!"
There is a lot to the story behind BFCT and you will likely find it very rewarding to take time to explore their website and see more of what, how and why they do what they do.
Here is a little glimpse at what took place that evening.
Enjoy the images and then read on for a few of the comments from folks who took part in the event:
“Looking out at everyone visiting and connecting and with the Unity Blaze – all looked Golden – as in a dream.
Celebration, Joy, Unity, (and S’mores 😉)….”
“This is so beautiful and magical. My heart is so full and beating gratefully!”
“An evening of respectful relations at work on the part of everyone present. So grateful to have met Earl and to be part of what he is doing for inclusiveness and equality.”
We are honored and delighted to extend our wholehearted support to BFCT and to contribute to an emerging sense of joyful togetherness!
“The event was FANTASTIC! I am very grateful and humbled by the genuine LOVE displayed by all.
The invite was key but the welcome was out of sight! I met a ton of folks who gathered for a Night of Unity, and my heart is full because of such!
While driving home, I felt a sense of “togetherness” as I looked in my rear-view mirror to see the awesome hand-crafted Unity Blaze symbol sitting between my children.
Again, thank you to EVERYONE! We are certainly better together!
While we remove generational fear, add knowledge and invite “more” Black folks to camp, and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle with any and everyone. We also promote Unity in the outdoors and beyond!"
We are very grateful to all who joined us and made this experience real on many levels!
by Daniel Lobb, one of the SVA pilots...
My son Luke and I went to Salisbury today to have lunch with the campers at EAA 1083’s ASCEND Camp. 10 years ago, a few of us from SVA helped the 1083 group create the camp and then we basically got out of the way so they could take off!! It is the 10 year anniversary, and Sandra Smith taught a class for campers earlier in the week, and today they were still talking about how much they enjoyed it!
A very nice article came out in the Salisbury Post, highlighting what an amazing opportunity the camp represents. If you agree to a hundred or so advertisements, you can read the article here. https://www.salisburypost.com/2021/06/24/dreams-of-flight-become-reality-at-ascend-summer-camp/
I gave a short talk about how I got into aviation as someone who flies mostly for pleasure, which was a little bit of a different story for them. What was particularly inspiring was seeing all the young people who’ve participated in ASCEND in year’s past and gone on to start some very impressive careers. They had 4 graduates present today, all of whom have pursued their aviation interest, catalyzed by ASCEND. One young man whom I remember meeting about 5 years ago, was struggling to get his pilot’s license then. He’s now a 2,200+ hour pilot flying corporate and loving it! So neat!
Go ASCEND! EAA founder Paul Poberezny has encouraged the "Spirit of Aviation" which the EAA 1083 members continue to express in inspiring and empowering ways. The volunteer spirit is making some remarkable ripples!
Donald Sweeper is a STEM teacher and a friend of Sugar Valley Airport who wanted to expose his “scholars” to a unique environment and opportunity. On May 6, 2021 Donald Sweeper's group of 5 students and 1 parent from Quality Education Academy (QEA), a charter school in Winston-Salem visited the airport. The afternoon activities included a tour of the maintenance shop by mechanic Nick Tuttle, followed by a walk around explanation by the pilots Sandra Smith and Daniel Lobb on how an airplane achieves flight. The day was capped off by taking a short flight over the countryside. The scholars even had an opportunity to take hold of controls. Mr. Sweeper brought a larger group for a comprehensive aviation day experience in 2019.
If you've been or flown to Sugar Valley in the last couple of months, you may have noticed a new, rebuilt T-hangar, with a bright red roof - a sure landmark for pilots.
We want to thank Kirk Clearly with Clearly's Construction LLC for a fantastic job in breathing new life into the old T-hangar. We have greatly appreciated working with Kirk and his dynamic team!
And here is a little glimpse into the transformation journey, captured by our photographers Deborah Leighton and Aaron Lobb. Enjoy!
This is a list of past events (starting 2020) to offer the viewer a spectrum of programs offered here:
~ 3/3 Sugar Valley Composite Squadron welcomed Charles Willard, who talked about the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, near Brevard, NC. This is an old NASA tracking station which has been turned into everything from an astronomical research facility to a stem-based summer camp. This event was open to all.
~ 2/13, FAA Safety Seminar: "When an Annual Inspection Does Not Go Right"
Topic: Failure to Follow Maintenance Procedures / Manuals Can Sometimes Have Disastrous Consequence
In this Seminar, we looked at several accidents related to maintenance personnel who failed to follow the maintenance manual, standard practice, or the manufacturer procedures.
Our new crop of Aviation Ground School students is here! Congratulations to all the participants, completing their study on 1/17/2020! Well wishes to all of you! May success, a sense of adventure and discovery accompany you in your future aviation endeavors!
A special thanks goes to the instructors Sandra Smith and Lee Kosub, who freely share their knowledge, skills and time.
SVA Aviation Ground School is a free training offered twice a year by our amazing volunteers. The next session begins on March 6, 2020. Sign up if you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity and spread the word. Learn more here.
Donald Sweeper, a teacher at the Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, brought 14 students, 3 chaperones, the principal and the CEO of the school to SVA on 12/6/2019 for an aviation day.
The students rotated through three stations:
The SVA kitchen again worked their magic providing a welcomed hot lunch, and warm and cozy dining room. Susan Garavaglia and Mary Polkey volunteered in the kitchen as their husbands worked with students. Spectrum News, a local news network, sent a reporter out to cover the inspiring activities. A great day for all!
We, volunteers are Sugar Valley Airport, are grateful to have some wonderful neighbors and partners. One of such connections is our friends at Piedmont Soaring Society (PSS), located just about a 10 minute drive from SVA.
Mid October the volunteers of PSS have generously treated SVA volunteers to a beautiful day of soaring fun, genuine camaraderie, delicious picnic food and loads of inspiration. We all had a delightful time, and would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to PSS!
PSS is also volunteer run and provides tows and instructional flights to its members, as well as introductory rides to guests and potential new members in their two-seat sailplanes.
Take a look at some photos from our soaring adventure!
And now enjoy this video capturing some of the magical moments.