Information for Parents of a Cadet
CAP Cadets are Tomorrow's Leaders and Responsible Citizens!
Thank you for supporting your teen's interest in the CAP Cadet Program! Broom-Tioga Composite Squadron 292 is the name of the Greater Binghamton Area local squadron. It is a composite squadron, which means that there is both a strong cadet program and a program for adult members. Our senior members are committed to assisting the cadets achieve at their own pace, with an occasional nudge to keep them on task. The Cadet Program is run by cadet officers and non-commissioned officers under the mentoring of the senior members. See our FAQ's.
Some senior members are veterans. All senior members are required to pass FBI criminal records check. Any member working with cadets is required to complete a course in child protection issues. Civil Air Patrol regulations ensure your cadet's safety. To learn more about Safety Regulations, feel free to contact any of our senior members or talk to them at a squadron meeting to get to know them better!
As the parent of a CAP Cadet you will face some challenges, such as learning new words so that you can understand your cadet's CAP infused language. HooRah! There are other issues that may give you pause. A cadet with interest in ground teams will need to acquire packs, belts, rope and more. Where do you get that stuff? We hope to help you answer some of those questions and maybe more with this area of the web site. You may also find help at one of the sites listed on the Links Page
- How Much Does it Cost?
- How old does my child have to be to join?
- By joining CAP is my child making a commitment the military?
- How much time does my child have to devote to CAP each week?
- Who leads and supervises the Cadets?
- Why do Cadets wear uniforms?
- What uniforms do cadets wear?
- How do cadets obtain uniforms?
- Where do you find other gear, like Ground team gear?
- How do cadets advance and earn promotions?
- What's involved with Orientation Flights?
- Can my son or daughter learn how to fly?
- Does CAP offer scholarships for college?
- Other than drive my cadet to meetings, what else will I need to do?
How Much Does it Cost?Back
In 2009 Membership dues were $32. You can follow this link to the National Site for the current dues. Cadets receive their first Blues Uniform at no cost and will receive a membership kit with learning materials. Additional activities have modest fees to cover the cost of meals and transportation.
How old does my child have to be to join?Back
You teen can join CAP as a cadet if they are at least 12 years old but less than 19 years old. Cadets can stay in the program until they reach 21 years.
By joining CAP is my child making a commitment the military?Back
No. Your child is simply a volunteer in the CAP Cadet program. There are no requirements to join the military, but many do. If your child is considering the military, CAP offers opportunities. Cadets who earn the Billy Mitchell Award may enter the Air Force at an advance grade (E-3) if they choose to enlist. The service academies and ROTC also look favorably on CAP experience. Approximately 10% of the USAF Academy cadet corps got their start in CAP.
How much time does my child have to devote to CAP each week?Back
Like any other activity, your child will get out of CAP only what he or she puts into it. The squadron meets weekly for 2.5-3 hours, and offers additional activities on weekends and during the summer. See the Squadron Events to find out about upcoming activities.
To get the most of the program, weekly participation is expected. NY292 meets every Thursday evening from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Squadron HQ (see location here).
Who leads and supervises the Cadets?Back
CAP takes its responsibility to safeguard youth very seriously. The adult volunteers who interact with cadets (known as Senior Members) have been fingerprinted and screened by the FBI. Also as part of their leadership training, advanced cadets lead and mentor new cadets under the guidance of senior members.
Why do Cadets wear uniforms?Back
CAP uses uniforms to promote teamwork and develop self-discipline. The uniform motivates cadets to set high standards for themselves and to live their core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence and respect. Additionally, cadets practice military customs and courtesies as part of their leadership training.
What uniforms do cadets wear?Back
Most of the time the cadets wear BDU (camouflage) uniforms. However, on the first Thursday of each month and on promotion nights, cadets wear Air Force style blue uniform ("Blues"). Cadet membership kits include specific details on the proper way to wear the uniforms.
How do cadets obtain uniforms?Back
New cadets are eligible to receive one set of "Blues" at no cost through the Cadet Uniform Program (depending on the availability of Air Force Funding). Contact NY292 for more details. BDUs and other uniform items may be available at the Squadron Supply. Uniform items may also be purchased, see the Gear Links. They are also available as well at military base stores.
Where do you find other gear, like Ground team gear?Back
Some items like the rope and carbineer are found at big box hardware stores. For items like web belts, pouches, canteens check out the military surplus outlets in the Gear Links. This type of equipment is available at military surplus shops. Just go to Google maps, center the map around Binghamton and search for "military surplus shop", there are a few in the Scranton area.
How do cadets advance and earn promotions?Back
Cadets advance at their own pace through self-study and group study. To progress, cadets must (1) participate actively; (2) pass a written leadership test; (3) pass a written aerospace test; (4) pass a physical fitness test; (5) participate in character development forums; (6) demonstrate they have the maturity to accept increased responsibility. In some stages of the Cadet Program, these requirements differ slightly.
What's involved with Orientation Flights?Back
Through orientation flights ("O-Flights") in powered aircraft and gliders, cadets experience flight first-hand. CAP's pilots are licensed by the FAA, follow a syllabus for each flight, and ensure the flight is conducted safely. O-Flights are free to cadets and are held at Tri-Cities Airport. Contact Major Williams for more information.
Can my son or daughter learn how to fly?Back
Your son or daughter will have the opportunity to fly in a CAP plane and possibly a military aircraft during O-Flights. CAP doesn't teach cadets to fly, but they can compete for scholarships that will help pay for a pilot's license.
Does CAP offer scholarships for college?Back
Yes, see the National CAP web site Scholarship Page
Other than drive my cadet to meetings, what else will I need to do?Back
Be aware that cadets participate in local activities like parades, Vestal Fest and Bed Race, etc. These happen around certain dates every year, like holidays. So as the dates approach, be sure to ask your cadet for specifics so that you can be prepared to provide logistical support for your cadet. Support such as dropping them off or picking them up.
Additionally if your cadet participates in Wing or National events, you will likely be responsible for transportation of the cadet to and from the event. This may be a car ride to a wing encampment, or a commercial flight to an out of state national event.
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