The purpose of the cadet encampment program is for cadets to develop leadership skills, investigate the aerospace sciences and related careers, commit to a habit of regular exercise, and solidify their moral character.
The vision for the cadet encampment is “an immersion into the full challenges and opportunities of cadet life.”
Encampment presents the five key traits of cadet life – the uniform, aerospace themes, opportunities to lead, challenge, and fun – in an intensive environment that move cadets beyond their normal comfort zones for personal growth.
Encampment showcases the Cadet Program’s regimented, military-like training model in a positive, age-appropriate manner consistent with CAP and Air Force traditions. Encampments operate at a higher level of intensity in respect ot the military aspects of cadet life than virtually any other cadet activity, short of some of the premiere NCSAs. The strictness, rigor, sense of urgency, and overall expectations of military bearing will be markedly more chaallenging at encampment – yet still age-appropriate – compared with a weekly squadron meeting or Saturday field excercise. CAPP 52-23, Cadet Protection Policy Implementation Guide, is a “must read” for its valuable discussion about intensity levels.
Overall, encampments should be fun, in part because they challenge cadets and enable them to earn a sense of accomplishment.
Encampments aim to serve multiple constituencies. There are more people who have a stake in the program than simply the first-year cadet-students. In fulfilling its purposes and realizing its vision, the encampment pursues goals in five different areas simultaneoulsy.
The overall encampment program sets goals for each cadet-student as an individual – what CAP hopes that cadet will know, do, or value as a result of encampment.
Second, encampment is a learning experience for each member of the cadet cadre, so the program sets goals for those advanced cadets.
Third, it is not enough that each cadet succeed individually; encampments aim to foster teamwork, so the program sets collective goals for the flights as teams.
Fourth, encampment is a venue for adult CAP members to grow as leaders of cadets, so the program set goals for those individuals.
And finally, the encampment is the centerpiece of the wing-level Cadet Program, providing the wing with an opportunity to boost the capabilities of its hometown cadet and composite squadrons and to standardize cadet training within the wing, so the encampment program pursues goals for the wing’s overall Cadet Program.