June 15, 2008

Preparing for CAP Encampment

With encampment fast approaching, here are tips from cadets who have already completed the week-long training.

Before you get there:

  • Learn how to do laundry. (You will be required to wash clothes while there.)

  • Learn how to sew simple stitches in case you need to repair your uniform.

  • Learn housekeeping skills such as mopping and cleaning.

  • Break-in your footwear by wearing your boots and dress shoes for a few weeks in advance.
  • Boys: Get a haircut before you arrive; Girls: Make sure your hair meet military standards or be sure you know how to tie your hair in a bun.

  • Consider purchasing garters for your dress-blue shirt to make your uniform look sharp.

  • Don't try to hide banned materials in your suit case such as food and electronic devices.

  • Become familiar with the Chain of Command and the Basic Cadet Operating Instructions (OI). Much of this information is available ahead of time by looking online.

    The Group III cadet staff recently shared some of their experiences so that incoming encampment cadets can avoid common pitfalls. C/Sgt. Kyle Higgins says: bring an iron and starch. "I regret not bringing an iron. I pretty much failed inspection because of it," he said. "Don't be afraid to over pack," said C/CMSgt. Jason LaPre. He says it never hurts to have extra socks, t-shirts and underwear on hand.

    C/Capt. Erich Welch says it is important to practice getting up early for a few weeks prior to encampment especially once you get out of school. He suggests doing PT as soon as you get out of bed - before you eat breakfast - since this is what you will experience at encampment. Welch says many cadets have trouble getting accustomed to exercising before eating. To combat these effects at encampment, he suggests eating as much as you can at dinner. Welch also says you should get as much sleep as you can, prior to attending encampment.

Once you arrive at the Tri-Wing Encampment:

  • Try not to be intimated by your training instructors

  • Try to form a team with the members of your flight as soon as possible.
  • Do this by:
    - Looking out for the well being of others in your flight
    - Don't be afraid to give others advice to help them succeed so that you can
    create a successful team.

    The Tri-Wing Encampment begins June 22 at the Camp Fretterd Military Reservation in Reisterstown, Md. Graduation is June 29th.