KINGWOOD — Where can you catch a ride in a Blackhawk helicopter, rappel down a 70 foot incline, shoot at a live rifle range, take a water survival course and make life-long friends in the process?
The WV Wing Civil Air Patrol Summer Encampment for cadets is the place and three Boone County CAP cadets were privileged to be part of 114 young people at the June 2014 CAP Encampment at Camp Dawson in Kingwood, West Virginia.
Cadet TSgt Larry Copen, the Boone Squadron Cadet Commander, as well as C/A1C Taylor Turner and C/Amn Jordan Turner from the local squadron, thoroughly enjoyed the eight-day encampment.
WV Wing CAP holds the Encampment each year in June or July at Camp Dawson, where the cadets, and the supervising adults, live in the barracks, eat in the mess hall and make use of many of the training facilities at the base.
Returning for his sixth year at the Encampment was Boone’s 1st Lt Jon Ball, Encampment Cadet Commander last year, who served his first year as a supervising senior member.
This year, the cadets were divided into eight flights, under the supervision of a Cadet Commander, Cadet Squadron Commanders and Cadet Flight Sergeants. They competed throughout the week in activities such as the Iron Man competition, CAP knowledge testing, Uniform Inspection, Barracks Inspection and Drill Competition to determine which flight would receive the prestigious award of Honor Flight at Graduation.
This year, Boone’s CTSgt Larry Copen was a member of the Honor Flight and was also selected to serve as the Guidon Bearer for his flight.
Many physical activities kept the cadets very busy for the week. All-time favorites of the cadets are the Blackhawk helicopter rides, the rappelling tower and the live rifle range, all conducted under very close supervision by CAP and military personnel.
Additional activities during the week were the climbing tower, model rocket building and launching, the Confidence Course, the Leadership Reaction Course, free time at the Base pool, a navigation course, an electronic firing range and a thrilling class about snakes, including live specimens that the cadets could handle if they wished.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and has been credited by the AFRCC with saving more than 100 lives this fiscal year.
Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs.
CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 68 years.
For more information on CAP visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com for the CAP National Headquarters. Also visit http://www.wvboonecap.com for information on the local squadron, or call 304-860-1747 or 304-549-7901 to talk with local CAP leaders.