Why we opted for work camping at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, FL
Sun ‘n Fun started about 40 years ago and was billed as “spring break for pilots”. As a pilot, I attended Sun ‘n Fun for 18 years starting in 1987. It began as a convention for home built aircraft owners and was managed by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Work camping here was a natural for this type of event.
Pilots would come to the Lakeland Linder Airport for 3 days, some flying in an airplane they built in their garage. Notes would be compared, seminar presentations made and finally shop style courses attended. Would be aircraft builders would learn how they too could make their dream of flight a reality.
I first attended Sun ‘n Fun with my dad, an Eastern Airline pilot. Then as my children grew old enough, I’d take them. My youngest son is now an airline captain influenced by this wonderful experience. When I retired, I felt a real need to give back to this wonderful organization that was such an enormous part of my life.
Fast forward to 2017
My wife and I volunteered for 4 months in 2017, and we will return again in 2018 for another 4 month work camping commitment.
EAA is no longer managing the event that now runs for 6 days and is attended by 250,000 people interested in aviation. The campus encompasses 100 acres with 20 or more structures, including a museum and a high school.
In addition to the main aviation exposition, there are more than 50 other events hosted by the organization. These range from a three-day Carlisle Auto Auction to a week-long Family Motor Coach Association rally hosting over 1,000 motor coaches and members.
All of the proceeds from every event managed by Sun ‘n Fun go to support the aviation-focused high school. The 400 students attending this school all have a common focus; they all want a career in an aviation related industry that includes space exploration. Read more here.
Volunteer Direct: Robin McFarland
Phone: 863-904-4044 or Email: RMcfarland@flysnf.org
There are literally hundreds of different opportunities from auto maintenance, carpenters, static aircraft reconditioning to lawn mowing and much much more.
There is still time to join the Sun ‘n Fun Early Bird program for the 2018 season that starts January 15th 2018 and runs until around May 1, or to work just the Fly-In event. Opportunities are available for longer terms and for other times of the year.
The Camp Site
Secluded from the general population, work campers live and play in a spacious campground with full hook ups, wifi, laundry facilities and picnic area. Planned activities and social events for volunteers during off hours increases the fun.
Fun Things in Central Florida
Florida is the vacation capital for many reasons and Lakeland is in the middle of it all. The choice for entertainment is endless with Tampa and Orlando each being less than an hour drive from Lakeland. There are 3 National Parks also within a few hours’ drive.