And just like that Encampment 2019 is now a
part of history...
This year was an extraordinary encampment,
unlike any encampment I have commanded in the
last six years. As I say goodbye to this phase of
my Civil Air Patrol career, I do so with a heart
full of joy at the growth of both Cadets and
Senior Officers over the last 10 days.
It has been my desire each year to make the encampment available for all of our cadets and to embrace the newest guidelines from National Civil Air Patrol, Cadet Programs. In 2014 we began the "Learning Phase" training by realigning our procedures with a focus on the CAP Cadet as a student in a learning environment. We also began to incorporate, with reasonable accommodations, all of our cadets making it a safe environment for those cadets who may present with some challenges. As a teacher, I worked hard to make sure that any cadet, on any level of any spectrum (physical or psychological, cognitive, or emotional), would find a safe place to continue their choice to be a successful Civil Air Patrol Cadet.
The Encampment this year was focused on tightening up our leadership component and move our cadets from raw recruits to the beginnings of followership and leadership. With new seniors, returning seniors and a cadet staff of experienced NCOs and Officers, we began with boots on the ground on June 12, to find our path. Every Encampment has to find its way. With a few bumps and lots of laughter, this year's team developed an event that pushed us all beyond our limits and proved once again to each member just how strong and capable we all are.
Designed to help our Civil Air Patrol Cadets understand the structure and purpose of CAP, the encampment environment is both a learning environment and a challenge course for all participants. The skills and knowledge we impart to our cadets will remain with them for a life time. As a former cadet, I can attest to that.
As each day unfolded, the 7 senior members of the staff woke to new challenges. We found that during our scheduled event each day brought new needs and rescheduling necessities. However, we also saw daily growth in all participants. From cadets who had trouble adjusting to disclosures of insight and growth given daily, our cadets verified that our efforts were spot on for their needs.
It has been my pleasure to work with the cadets through the Encampment Program each year. I have high hopes for the continuation of the program as the NM Wing moves forward. Our next Commander for the 2020 Encampment is Capt Steven Lindquist, who has worked encampments for the last 7 years.
Thank you for entrusting us with your cadets. It is my firm belief that each and everyone is above average and that from here on, they have chosen a path toward becoming Extraordinary.
Lt Col Maria-Lisa Dilda, CAP