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National Character & Leadership Symposium

Activity Directors Help Page
Application Instructions & Frequently Asked Questions
Make Your Activity a Cadet Special Activity (CSA)

Cadet (Not Staff) End of Activity Survey 2023 -- LINK COMING in DEC 22 Use this link to access the survey. All cadet participants not on staff, please take this survey to help us improve support for activities.

Staff End of Activity Survey 2023 -- LINK COMING in DEC 22Use this link to access the survey. All staff--seniors, cadets, and military members--please take our survey to help improve quality of our activities.

SmugMug --Check out our photo repository to see cadets and senior members in action.


This site lists Civil Air Patrol's upcoming Cadet Special Activities (CSAs). It includes national activities and those wing and region activities approved to receive the CSA ribbon. These activities are designed to explore civilian and military aerospace careers, provide flight training, develop leadership, and enhance emergency services skills. Typically, advertisements for activities we plan to offer in Winter are posted here by mid-October, and spring/summer activities are posted by mid-December. A list of past activities is under the "Helpful Links" section of this web page under the title "eServices Event/Activity Preference Numbers."

NCSA Registration Status Updates

Please note activities that appear as "not scheduled" on, don’t have confirmed dates, but we are working to host the activity unless noted that the activity has cancelled. Encampment requirement is removed for some activities.  Look at the activity ad page to see if it is required.  EServices Registration & Payment System is OPEN for Christmas Break activity applications. Applications submitted in eServices through 14 Oct for Christmas Break, 20 Nov for winter, and 15 Jan for summer are considered "On-Time" and are given priority placement into "primary" status. Use this "Apply Online" link to access the application site on eServices. Notifications of Christmas Break placements go out by 21 Oct, and winter placements go out by mid to late December. Spring placements are as outlined on their advertisements on this site. Notifications for summer applicants will go out on or about 1 March and as activities fill vacancies after 1 March. Those cadets who remain on alternate lists may be contacted at any time to fill a slot.

Use the following course numbers to verify you are selecting the correct activity in the eServices "Preferences" tab of your application.  Activities appear alphabetically, but will have the course number next to them in the tab. You can download a sortable spreadsheet on the homepage for a complete listing of activity course numbers. If you can't see the course number on your device, try changing the zoom on the page.

eServices Short Name Cadet Participant Course # Staff Participant Course # Activity Full Name
NCLS 267 401 National Character & Leadership Symposium

Financial Support: Go to the eServices CadetInvest Module to apply for Cadet Lift and Take-Off Program Cadet (TOP), needs-based financial assistance, and for flight scholarships. These programs are designed to offset costs associated with attending some NCSAs, as well as flight academies. They include payment of your activity fees and transportation to and from the activity.  Go to the CadetInvest pages for more details. Deadline to apply for scholarships and financial assistance is 31 December. Being offered financial assistance is not a guarantee of acceptance into an activity. You must compete for and receive a slot at an activity. You will be notified if you are a recipient of financial aid/scholarship before you are required to accept or decline a slot at an activity.  

Contact for Activity: or
Activity Website (if applicable): N/A
How to Apply:

Use the "Apply Online" link here or on the homepage to connect you to eServices' Registration and Payment System. Applicants will need to complete the application and upload the following documents in PDF format to the supplemental tab of their eServices application. All staff also must apply via eServices, or they will not receive credit for the activity in their records. For staff applicants, you will be contacted to let you know whether or not you have been selected. Applications will be accepted from 15 October to 20 November. To be considered for priority placement status, the completed application including supplemental documents must be submitted by 20 November. Applications submitted after 20 November are accepted but are marked "late" and will be considered AFTER all applications submitted before the deadline. Priority timelines do not apply to staff applications.


Please use the tab titled "Supplemental Application" to upload the following documents to your NCLS eServices application.

1.  A resume of your achievement in CAP, school, and community service (1 page only)  (Resumes are graded by the resume standards set in Chapter 8 of Learn to Lead Volume 2.)
2.  A Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or leader (other than a parent)
3.  You may also be contacted for a phone interview with the activity director after you apply.


1. A resume of your achievement in CAP, school, and community service (1 page only)
2. You will be contacted for a phone interview with the Activity Director after you apply.

Eligibility Requirements:


Be at least 18 years old by 31 Dec 23

Completed Encampment credit recorded in eServices by time of application
Be enrolled as a full-time college student
Possess the Earhart Award at time of application
COS, CLA, or IACE graduates preferred


Cadets: N/A

Senior Members: No additional requirements

Graduation Requirements:

Take comprehensive notes, which will be reviewed by activity staff daily, to prepare for evening discussions
Actively participate in 80% of the contact hours and not dismissed early for behavior
Activity Director determines course objectives met


Activity Staff will provide transportation between Colorado Springs Airport (COS) and the activity location.

Required Staff Training on TBD  at TBD.

Required Staff Training on XXXX at XXXX.

Activity Goal:

Why is the character of today’s youth vital for America? The U.S. Air Force Academy’s National Character and Leadership Symposium, brings together distinguished scholars, military officers, corporate executives and other leaders to consider that important question.  Through NCLS's seminars and discussions, Cadets will enhance their own understanding of how moral character is an inseparable component of leadership, and help them reinforce the Civil Air Patrol's Core Values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect.

What to Expect:

USAFA cadets host the CAP participants for the duration of the symposium. If in-person, participants will stay in dorms, Vandenberg and Sijan Hall, which are co-ed with shower facilities on each hall. Participants eat meals with USAFA cadets, typically at Mitchell Hall. During the symposium hours, your USAFA host escorts you to main speaking events, as well as the seminars that you selected. Twice each day of the symposium, the CAP-contingent meets. In the morning, we review everyone's plan for the day, and in the evening, we review the day's events. NCLS participants should expect to put in long hours and take extensive notes to be able to participate in evening discussions. 

You can find more information by going to the NCLS website.

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