The exhilarating sound of a high-speed military aircraft flying overhead, an earth shaking noise emanating from its aerodynamic body; The Star Spangled Banner playing over the loudspeakers in the middle of recess, students and teachers alike stopping to put our hands over our hearts; all of these things are strong memories from life on the various Air Force bases my father was stationed at in my youth. I personally take pride in our country and all the men and women who have or are currently serving our nation. This is why I was so excited to hear that Deer Park has a CAP with a Cadets Program.
What is CAP?
CAP stands for Civil Air Patrol and its goal is supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air and space power. It is a strategic partner of the Air Force, serving as a member of its Total Force. CAP has three primary missions emergency services, cadet programs, and aerospace education.
What is the Cadet Program?
The Cadet program focuses on educating youth in four main areas: leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character development.
There are many facets to this program, such as:
- Orientation flights in powered and glider aircraft.
- Flight training scholarships.
- Activities and competitions for cadets at the local, state, regional, and national levels.
- Opportunities for community involvement through color guard/drill team and emergency service missions.
- Youth challenged to be ambassadors for a drug-free lifestyle.
- Active in the International Air Cadet Exchange program.
- College scholarships in several disciplines.
Who and what is involved in the Cadet Program?
Joining cadets must be between 12 and 18. Each cadet participates in 2-hour squadron meeting each week, plus one “Saturday” event monthly and one week-long encampment during the summer. Along with annual dues, an active cadet could incur additional costs.
There is so much to this program that our children would benefit from. If you would like to learn more, please go to this website: GoCivilAirPatrol.com. Currently, the Deer Park Squadron is meeting each Thursday at 6:30 PM, at 712 N Cedar (Airport Manager Office) in Deer Park. They have 23 members (10 senior, 13 cadets) in the squadron. Their current community project is developing a Color Guard. They have started a fundraiser for this project and already received support from the local VFW.