(SER-FL-301) Hernando County Composite Squadron
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What Is Encampment?

what is an encampment?

Encampments are an integral part of the cadet experience in the Civil Air Patrol. New cadets and parents often have many questions about encampments. We hope to answer some of those here.

What Is an Encampment?

Encampments are week-long activities that serve to build a foundation for cadets from which they can grow their Civil Air Patrol (CAP) experience.  These week-long events provide in-depth orientation to Civil Air Patrol. 

team building exercise at FLWG encampment

What Happens at Encampment?

First time cadets can expect to be challenged both mentally and physically during a busy and exciting week of hands-on leadership development training, aerospace events and local site activities. 

flight in training at FLWG summer encampment

Encampments frequently involve outdoor team building exercises, orientation flights on U.S. Air Force planes, physical fitness courses and presentations from members of the aviation community on careers and education opportunities.

orientation flight on USAF C-17 at FLWG encampment

Encampments are not military boot camps. Encampments foster independence, build confidence, and forge lasting bonds between cadets. 

When Are Encampments?

In Florida, there are two annual encampments: Summer Encampment and Winter Encampment.  The winter encampment takes place after Christmas and runs about one week, ending before cadets start back to school.  Summer encampment dates vary, but they are typically an entire week in late June or early July. 

cadets running the mess hall at flwg encampment

Can a Cadet Attend an Encampment in Another State?

Yes. Cadets are not restricted to attending only the Florida Wing encampments. Cadets from our squadron have attended encampments in other states including Georgia and Missouri. Each wing offers different activities at its encampments, so attending more than one can bring a wealth of new experiences.

cadets at flwg encampment on f-35 simulators

Each wing has its own dates and application deadlines. Some wings offer encampments in the Spring and Fall. This page can help you track all of the dates. The wings are frequently updating encampment information, so check the page regularly.

Why Is It Important to Attend an Encampment?

More than 80 years of experience proves that attending an encampment is very important to the overall CAP experience.

cadets in orientation at flwg encampment

First, cadets who have been to encampment are more confident and more invested in Civil Air Patrol. In fact, cadets who attend encampment are 3x more likely to stick with Civil Air Patrol.

Cadets who have been to encampment are more confident in life, frequently showing an improved sense of purpose, personal discipline and responsibility. Many parents have reported an improvement in their cadet’s outlook on life, planning for the future and involvement in school.

friendships formed at CAP encampments

Cadets are frequently inspired by the senior cadet officers they meet there.  They are motivated by the things they learn.  They often form lasting friendships with cadets from other squadrons and wings that carry with them throughout life.

cadets at new year celebration during encampment

Second, cadets must attend an encampment to be eligible for promotion to the rank of Second Lieutenant. For a cadet just starting out, that may seem like a long way off, but time constraints may hinder encampment attendance when the promotion time is closer.

review formation at FLWG winter encampment

Third, encampment graduation is a prerequisite for most CAP scholarships and NCSAs. National Cadet Special Activities (NCSAs), including flight academies, are highly competitive.  A minimum qualification for NCSA attendance is encampment graduation.

What Gear Do I Need for Encampment?

Each encampment has a different packing list.  When registering for an encampment, you should be provided with a packing list.

The Florida packing list is subject to change. However, a recent winter encampment packing list can be viewed here. A prior summer encampment packing list is here. These are for reference only.

cadets at encampment

Cadets are not allowed to bring anything that is not on the list to encampment. This includes cell phones, smart watches and other electronics. If you have a medical device or other necessary item that is not on the list, contact the encampment staff in advance of arrival for instructions on bringing the item.

cadets in pt course

Likewise, cadets should bring all of the items on the list. For example, cadets are typically required to have hydration capabilities (canteens and/or hydration bladders). These are absolutely necessary for their safe participation in the events.

What Does Encampment Cost?

Encampment costs can vary from wing to wing. Additionally, external factors can impact costs.

The cost for the 2022-2023 Florida Wing Winter Encampment was $250 for cadet students.  The fee included all meals, lodging and all activity costs.

For those of modest means, CAP offers the Cadet Encampment Assistance Program (CEAP). CEAP can provide 100% of tuition. Depending on need and funding, it may also provide a $75 or $100 uniform voucher. Additional information on CEAP can be found here.

CEAP does not pay for travel to or from the encampment. All travel expenses are the responsibility of the cadet and parents/guardians.

Although the CEAP program is generous, it is not without limit.  Therefore, parents should submit an application as soon as the application period opens.

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