Boone cadets participate in summer camp

Marching from the barracks to the mess hall – 107 Civil Air Patrol cadets got a small taste of life on a military base and a huge dose of fun and leadership training at the 2015 WV Wing Summer Encampment at Camp Dawson.

“Encampment was probably one of the best weeks of my life. I can tell you it wasn’t easy, you got tired and sweaty a lot. There was so much marching we had to do but it was all fun. Especially the activities! There were Blackhawk helicopter rides, rifle range, rocket building, and so much more. I think one of my favorite things from Encampment was the people. They’re different, a good different. We helped each other out, had their backs, encouraged each other and we tried our best to make friends with new people. I made many new friends that I hope to keep. I’m so glad I went and I can’t wait to go back next year!” Cadet Airman First Class Randi Buckner

“I am so glad I got to experience the things I did at the 2015 Summer Encampment for Civil Air Patrol. Not only did I learn a lot and have fun, but most of all, I met new people and friends who will not only be one-day or two-day friendships, but life-long friendships. The activities were great. Not only did I face my fear and repel off of a 60 ft tower, but I held a snake. I enjoyed Summer Encampment a lot and I’m so happy I got to be a part of it. After I look back on everything I did and all the new people I met, I can say that the 2015 Summer Encampment was amazing for a first time experience and I’ll never forget the memories I made.” Cadet Shyanne Trent

When asked about his favorite activities at Encampment, Cadet Jordan Adkins said, “I liked the 22’s (rifle range) and the repelling wall.” Boone CAP Squadron’s 1st Jon Ball, who attended Encampment as an adult supervisor, also noted that Cadet Adkins seemed to really like the swimming pool.

Boone C/A1C Randi Buckner (third from the right) was privileged to be a member of the Honor Flight for this year’s WV Wing Civil Air Patrol Summer Encampment.

DANVILLE — Where can you stay for 7 days and nights, have three meals a day provided, go swimming often, go to the rifle range, ride in a Blackhawk helicopter and repel from a 60 feet tower? The place would be the WV Wing Civil Air Patrol Summer Encampment, and three young people from Boone County were among 107 outstanding young people from all over West Virginia who experienced all of those activities and many more from June 20 through June 27 at Camp Dawson in Kingwood.

For Cadet Airman First Class Randi Buckner, Cadet Shyanne Trent and Cadet Jordan Adkins, it was their first Summer Encampment and they were full of laughter, stories and excitement at the end of the week.

Encampment is the premier event for CAP cadets, many of whom return year after year, not only for the exciting activities, but for the leadership training they receive in the cadet-run Encampment.

Adult CAP members provide logistical support and supervisory oversight, while the cadets, who are divided into flights and under the command of cadet officers, sleep in the barracks, eat in the mess hall and participate in numerous activities and competitions.

Every cadet hopes that at the end of the week his or her flight will receive the coveted title of Honor Flight for being the most outstanding flight in the Encampment.

In addition to those listed above, other activities for 2015 included a Confidence Course, Physical Fitness Training, Water Survival, Outdoor Survival, Electronic Firing Range, and Drill & Ceremonies.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 85 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 70 lives annually.

It’s unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs.

Performing missions for America for the past 73 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of the U.S. military veterans.

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