Civil Air Patrol can be a family activity

Civil Air Patrol can be a family activity

Parent’s Page

We’re delighted your son or daughter has decided to join the Civil Air Parol Cadet Program. CAP has been offering its unique leadership and citizenship program to America’s youth since Congress founded the organization in 1941. Your cadet is part of an organization that has produced U.S. astronauts, generals and admirals, senators, pilots, doctors, CEO’s, and many successful citizens.

Cadets are not obligated or expected to join the military. CAP is not a recruiting program, and we are not recruiters for the military. While a number of our cadets have gone on to serve in the military (and for those cadets who perform well in the program, the military offers them increased pay, benefits, and advanced promotions), many other cadets take the skills they learn to succeed in college and the workforce.

Responsibilities & Expectations of CAP Cadet

CAP uses uniforms to promote teamwork and develop self-discipline. The uniform motivates cadets to set high standards for themselves and to live their core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect. Additionally, cadets practice military customs and courtesies as part of their leadership training.

Your son or daughter will have responsibilities, such as properly assembling, cleaning, and pressing their uniforms, studying their textbooks between meetings, and working on their physical fitness. The cadets meet once a week for just a few hours. They cannot improve their leadership, aerospace knowledge, and fitness levels simply in 2 hours per week. While we hope you will encourage and remind your cadet to study their textbooks, care for their uniform, and exercise — we also want to teach them a degree of self-discipline. So we ask that you do not do things like iron their uniform for them. They will need to know how to do this on their own when they go to training activities like encampment.

Opportunities for CAP Cadets

Today's Cadet - a Strategic Overview of CAP Cadet ProgramsThere are many opportunities for cadets including scholarships, summer training camps, special activities, and weekend activities throughout the year. However, cadets cannot benefit from these (and may even be barred from participating in special activities) if they don’t make the weekly Thursday night meetings to properly prepare them.

During their first year, cadets are strongly encouraged to attend our week-long summer encampment. It is held annually in July at Norwich University in Northfield, VT where they will join over 100 other CAP members from throughout New England for a great week of training, fun activities, and education. More information on encampment is available from the New Hampshire Wing Encampment site, and from our squadron’s staff members.

Cadets are eligible for no-strings-attached scholarships for college and even flight training once they demonstrate their commitment to self-improvement by progressing past a certain point in the cadet program called the “Billy Mitchell Award” (about the half-way point — learn more about the achievements and ranks on our Stripes to Diamonds page). See the CAP Scholarships page for more details.

Addressing Concerns

If you have a question or concern about CAP, we invite you to contact us by phone, email, or in-person at any of our meetings. Our entire squadron leadership has an open-door policy for all parents.

We take the safety of your son or daughter very seriously. We have very detailed cadet supervision, safety, and risk management regulations. All of our adult members undergo FBI fingerprinting and background screenings and complete training in everything from preventing and identifying abuse to operational risk management and safety. All of our cadets complete an orientation to safety training before they can even earn their first stripe, and our squadron is regularly inspected for regulatory compliance by higher headquarters.

Getting Involved

We strongly encourage parents to get involved with supporting our cadet program. Our program operates completely on volunteers and donations. All of our adult members are 100% volunteers who pay for their own uniforms, training, and supplies. There are several ways you can support the program for your son or daughter, and our community:

Volunteer — Think about joining the ranks of our CAP volunteer officers. See our “Volunteer!” page to learn more about what things we need help with right now. We really do need some extra hands right now, and you could help us make the program better.

Cadet Sponsor Member — parents and grandparents of cadets can become a “sponsor member” (for a $35 annual membership fee) allowing them to assist our program by driving CAP vehicles, chaperoning activities,and helping to raise funds or plan or setup social events. This is perfect if you can’t commit to helping all the time, but are willing to assist with special needs or when available. Just ask any of our officers for a Cadet Sponsor Membership form.

Recruit — Ask us for some recruiting brochures (we’re happy to hand them out) and invite the sons and daughters of friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to check out our program. A bigger cadet program also means more leadership opportunities for your son or daughter. They can also earn recruiting awards by bringing in new members.

Donate — Our local squadron does not receive any funding to operate. Our buildings are generously loaned to us by the airport, and our adult volunteers provide money from their own pockets to turn on the heat, put paper and toner in the copier, and gas in the CAP vans to make the program affordable to our community’s youth. Any donation (or contribution of needed supplies) can go a long way to helping our program. As a bonafide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all of your donations to CAP are tax-deductible.