COVID-19 Encampment Guidance
COVID-19 Encampment Guidance
Encampment 2021 and Beyond Webinar
15 December 2021
With a year of experience hosting encampments with COVID-19 safety precautions under our belts, what have we learned? How can we apply those lessons as we start to plan for 2022? Join us to discuss the most up-to-date guidance and best practices to host a rewarding and healthy Cadet Encampment in 2022.
Encampment 2021 Webinar
25 May 2021
As a centerpiece of the cadet experience, Cadet Encampment is truly a milestone in a cadet's career. Planning for encampment with the right level of age appropriate challenge and fun is always complex, even under the best circumstances. Now COVID-19 safety restrictions have added another several layers of difficulty and brought new questions to light. Join us to discuss the most up-to-date guidance and best practices to host a rewarding and healthy Cadet Encampment in 2021.
Yes, absolutely. For nearly 80 years, the CAP Cadet Program has been successfully conducting cadet leadership encampments. While the requirements have changed over the years, CAP encampments have always required multiple overnight stays in a rigorous age-appropriate military environment. The encampment program is designed as an intensive “hands-on” experience including overnight stays away from home that deliberately moves cadets beyond their normal comfort zones to create personal growth.
The current encampment curriculum is found in CAPP 60-70 and it describes encampment as a “6- or 7-day period,“ ideally on an active-duty Air Force installation or other suitable facility (Type A). If necessary, encampment may also be conducted over multiple weekends within a 60-day period (Type B). (CAPP 60-70, para 1.2 (d) & (e).)
The encampment program assumes that the activity will be conducted in a military barracks or dormitory. Notably, well over 10 % of the mandated curricula consists of dormitory inspections (Leadership blocks L20 through L24), but more importantly the majority of learning does not take place during the inspections, but rather while the students and cadre prepare for them by forming and performing in teams. (CAPP 60-70, para 6.1.)
“While there is nothing secret about encampment, one of the goals of any overnight youth camp is for participants to develop a sense of independence and self-confidence [ . . .].” This cannot occur if a cadet routinely sleeps at home. (CAPP 60-70, para 5.7(a)).
Units and wings conducting our Cadet Program have developed many outstanding activities and classes for our cadets that do not include an overnight component. Some include the relatively high level of intensity and challenge found at encampment. But these activities are not encampment. We absolutely encourage wings to continue to offer activities for cadets during this national emergency, provided the activities can be conducted safely according to CAP regulations and policies, and complying with local laws and restrictions.
Until encampments can be safely conducted as described in CAPP 60-70, we will continue to ensure that no cadet is denied a promotion or milestone award for the lack of an encampment.
As you know, Cadet Officers will be attending encampment this summer who had encampment waived in the past year. Several inquiries have come in asking how to handle this special group of cadets.
There is no one specific way to handle these cadets. A few factors will affect how they participate in encampment this summer. How many of these “waived” cadets will be at encampment (2 or 22)? Are there sufficient cadet officers with previous encampment experience to fill all cadre positions? Remember that due to not having an encampment for almost 2 years, there will be “gap” of encampment graduated senior NCO cadets available to staff encampments.
Basic Rules of Engagement:
Waived cadets will not remove their insignia or be “demoted” for the duration of encampment. They have earned their awards.
Waived cadets will be afforded all customs and courtesies that are due to them. These cadets have earned the grade. Even in the USAF, if there is an enlisted instructor and officer students, the officer is still called “sir/ma-am.”
Possible Courses of Action: (not in any order)
Allow waived cadets to serve as cadet cadre, in a cadet support staff roll (non-line).
Allow these cadets to serve as flight commanders of student flights. Basically, these flights will be supervised by an encampment graduated squadron commander that will provide leadership/oversight.
If there are enough waived cadets, establish an “Advanced” Flight. While they can attend some classes, they can also be given more challenging assignments, or used to provide support for other flights (i.e. spotters on obstacles in a Confidence Course)
Put the cadet officers into a flight as any student (least desired).
Depending on local guidance, it may be necessary to restrict an encampment participation to in-state residents. While in years past NHQ has encouraged interested cadets to attend encampments outside their home wing, this may not be an option at this time. Please be aware that while travel from areas in phase III to other areas in phase III is allowed, people who live in an area in phase II may not travel to an area in phase III. This will restrict the ability of members in phase I or II areas to attend encampments generally. There may be certain limited exceptions for wings to hold encampment in phase II, please see the CAP/CC Memo: Updated COVID-19 Risk Management for Multi-Day and/or Overnight Training Activities & Follow-Up Planning for more.
The Encampment Visitor's Program was due to take effect 1 June 2020 to promote programmatic excellence, collegial cross-talk on pest practices, and standardization, especially regarding training intensity. Due to the increased restrictions regarding travel, particularly traveling between different geographic regions, this program is currently on hold , but we hope to be back on track for summer 2022 encampments.
While the visitor program is suspended, the region review of training plans requirement remains in effect. At least 30-days prior to the students’ arrival, encampments will provide the encampment training schedule and organizational chart to their Region/CP for review. The schedule will include sufficient detail to demonstrate that all content from CAPP 60-70’s master list of required lessons and activities will be met. Regions quality-check the schedule and provide constructive feedback to the encampment staff, as necessary. After submitting their documents to the Region, the encampment retains authority to adjust schedules and plans if needed.