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!
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.
Congratulations to our Aviation Ground School graduating class of 9/6/2019! We wish all of you much success 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 October 18, 2019. Sign up if you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity and spread the word. Learn more here.
Our friends at EAA Chapter 1083 in Rowan County are hosting the spectacular ASCEND aviation camp (Aviation Summer Camp Exploring New Dimensions), Monday, June 17 through Saturday, June 22, 2019.
The camp is open to youth, ages 13 to 18. It has proven to be a great success for budding aviation enthusiasts, inspiring many young people to pursue aviation as their carrier.
For more information, please check out
www.aviationsummercamp.net. You might also enjoy reading this post, featuring a note from one of ASCEND participants.
On 4/12- 4/14 a large boy scout camporee was held at SVA. Over 100 scouts participated in a variety of aviation related activities, including young eagle flights, which allowed many the opportunity to earn their aviation merit badge. A number of EAA-chapter 1083 volunteers, some representatives from CAP, as well as SVA volunteers offered their generous service, creating a memorable experience for all involved.
Please enjoy the below clip that wonderfully captures the spirit, resources and beauty of that event.
This is a list of past events (starting 2019) to offer the viewer a spectrum of programs offered here:
~ 11/5 Sugar Valley Composite Squadron welcomed Girls on Fire, a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team (Team 5679). Girls on Fire is the only all-girl FRC team in the Triad and one of only two all-girl FRC teams in North Carolina. Team members have the opportunity to build science, technology, engineering, leadership, and communication skills in ways that both build life skills and are directly applicable to the workplace.
The mission of FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is to “inspire young people to be science and technology leaders in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”
Event open to all.
~ 10/12 Fall event of the Rowan Aero Modelers Society (RAMS); a Radio Control airplane group came to SVA for their 3rd annual "air show". John Gaskey is the contact for the RAMS club. Please contact him at
John.Gaskey@duke-energy.com for more information.
The Rowan Aero Modelers Society (RAMS) was chartered in 1968 and is the oldest Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) sanctioned Club in North Carolina. RAMS leases property in eastern Rowan County for their home flying field. All members are required to obtain AMA membership.
Throughout the year, many neighboring clubs host fly-ins at their own home fields and several of RAMS members are regular participants. RAMS hosts a few fly-ins at locations other than their home field, which includes Sugar Valley during Spring and Fall. RC flying out of a full-scale airport adds another level of uniqueness to this hobby.
RAMS welcomes any AMA member to fly with them at any of their off-site events. Any size and type of RC aircraft are welcome.
Speaking of size and type: Model aircraft have really blossomed in recent years. Virtually ANY full-scale aircraft that has ever flown has been represented as a flying model aircraft. The advent of lithium polymer batteries and brushless motors has made fully-electric model aircraft a reality and with impressive performance. Gas/glow motors still have a healthy presence and have enjoyed improved performance and reliability. Real jet engines and electric ducted fans now make model jet aircraft an option for real adrenaline junkies.
~ 9/3 The CAP Sugar Valley Composite Squadron welcomed TC Freeman to share with the squadron and community about opportunities with UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems). Tom works with and understands the FAA’s rules and regulations, and is an invaluable resource for drone pilots in learning the secrets of operating successfully within FAA regulations. TC has a passion for spreading the thrill of aviation to others. He published the Remote Drone Pilot Certification Study Guide to help others earn commercial drone certification.
TC Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) was taught to fly manned aircraft as a boy by his father, and raised in an aviation family handling the controls of an aircraft before he could qualify for a driver’s license. He earned a BAS from Campbell University, RTP Campus, in addition to FAA certifications; Flight Instructor/Instrument (CFI/I), Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic and Remote drone Pilot Certification.
This event was open to public.
~ 7/2 The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron welcomed Todd Mullenix with a presentation (open to all) on Climbing Rescue and Emergency Medical Care. Todd represents the Appalachian Mountain Rescue team, which serves as a regional mountain rescue source for the southern Appalachian highlands. Their specialty is climber-based rescue activities.
Michael Todd Mullenix (Todd) is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Appalachian Mountain Rescue team and owner of Rescue Climber Mountain Guides. Todd works at Wake Forest Baptist Health as a Paramedic Program Coordinator. Todd is certified by the American Mountain Guides Association as a Single Pitch Instructor Apprentice Rock Guide. He spent seven years in the Army as an Airborne Infantryman and is thankful that his back and knees still allow carrying backpacks uphill. Having raised two children to adulthood he is ready to spend even more time working with people in the mountains and exploring empty nest life with his wife, Kimberly.
~ 6/4 The CAP Sugar Valley Composite Squadron’s Open House took place in the Blue Hangar. Hot-dog cookout, amazing displays, flight simulators, videos, search & rescue equipment show-and-tell, as well as airplanes were for all to enjoy! This was an opportunity to learn a lot about Civil Air Patrol: cadet programs, aerospace education and emergency services.
~ 4/12-4/14 SVA hosted a large Boy Scout Camporee. We had over 100 scouts plus their leaders. On Saturday they participated in many aviation ‘stations’ in order to get their aviation merit badge, including young eagle flights. A number of EAA-chapter 1083 volunteers, some representatives from CAP, as well as SVA volunteers offered their generous service, creating a memorable experience for all involved.
~ 2/23 Safety Meeting. The theme was "HOW TO MAKE FLYING SAFER IN 2019" and covered a variety of topics for young pilots, seasoned (old) pilots, students and pros. It was open to all pilots in the area and offered a chance to meet other pilots and understand different types of flying. It was an informative and interesting session, held in the large classroom of the Blue Hangar.
The past two Saturdays, Ray Travis and Michael Oliphant led a 2-part raku sculpture workshop. Here is a short clip for all to have a glimpse at the creative happening that took place.
We have a treat for your eyes today. Though this event took place last September, the memories are still fresh, and this new video clip will revive the magical moments that happened then, yet can be enjoyed now. Check it out!
To read more about this fun event, see our earlier post.
One of SVA friends, Steve Fritts, has offered 3 wonderful classes to some children (and a few adults 😊). The first class was about building a toy airplane, followed by a class in which they worked on constructing a radio. In a recent class, the theme was electricity and magnetism.
Since early childhood, Steve has been fascinated with “how things work.” What he wasn’t able to learn about electricity tinkering in the family’s garage, he made up for by joining 4-H where he discovered many opportunities to learn more. This only increased his interest in all things electric. After his service in the Air Force, Steve became involved in a career as an A&P (Airframe and Powerplant mechanic) in the aviation industry with a focus on avionics. Steve is now retired and owns and flies his Cessna 140 at every opportunity. A gifted and enthusiastic teacher, Steve continues to share his enthusiasm for “how things work” with youngsters all over the Piedmont Triad. Enjoy a few photos from these sessions, and see the children participating in and focused on learning “how things work.”
In addition to classes with Steve, children and young adults have enjoyed some pottery classes, art classes, as well as woodworking classes with local volunteers.
If you are interested in exploring what opportunities might be found at Sugar Valley Airport for you or your children, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. SVA offers a beautiful platform for people to share, connect, learn with and from each other. Come and experience for yourself!