Cadet Programs‎ > ‎Cadet Life‎ > ‎

Encampment Experience

posted Aug 15, 2014, 7:58 AM by Lana Holub

SPR 9-7-14

391st Composite Squadron

Group III, Texas Wing

Civil Air Patrol



DALLAS-Cadet Senior Airman Madison Applewhite, from Dallas Composite Squadron, participated in the New Mexico Wing Summer Encampment from June 28 to July 4, 2014 at the Oñate National Guard Complex in Santa Fe.  Following is Cadet Applewhite’s experience of her first Basic Encampment in her own words.

Thousands of cadets have attended their first Encampment. I’m just one of them. I attended my first Basic Encampment on June 28, 2014. I enjoyed it so much, and I plan to go again.

When I first arrived to the military complex, I sat in the car and cried for thirty minutes worrying about the yelling we are told to expect; plus, it was my first time away from home other than 2 days for ALS. Once I finally walked in, my nervousness had made my pulse race and the medic sent me to an urgent care clinic to make sure I was not in “tachycardia” (abnormally fast heart rate). By the time we found a clinic open on Saturday afternoon, I realize how relaxed everyone seemed at Encampment and I couldn’t wait to be approved to get back. Luckily, the doctor told me I was just nervous and sent me right back. When I got there, I had an awesome time and ended up getting the award for “Most Improved Female Cadet.”  

Before I went to encampment, we downloaded the Encampment Handbook and I read over it a couple of times. At encampment, the staff would quiz us and I always got the correct answer. I’m one who takes a lot of notes, so I always asked to get my pen out and annotate my Standard Operating Instructions. By the end of the week, my flight staff answered before I even asked….”YES, you may take notes!”

As a senior airman, I knew a lot of drill and was appointed third element leader and a road guard. My flight sergeant explained to all three element leaders that he chose us because of our strength in drill. Throughout encampment, I strived to be my best in drill and shouted my loudest. Near the end, we had a drill-off and I was my flight’s winner.  When I competed against the other flights, I ended up in third place, but was still very proud. We also got to rappel, got an up-close look at Blackhawk helicopters, and played “capture the flag” during daily sports.  I loved the experience.