NER-MA-001 Massachusetts Wing
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About Encampment

What is Encampment?

Encampments are week-long activities offered by each Civil Air Patrol Wing. The activity serves to build a foundational knowledge of Civil Air Patrol, leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character.

Cadets can expect to be challenged both mentally and physically during a busy and exciting week of hands-on leadership training, aerospace events, guest speakers, and local site activities.

A Civil Air Patrol Encampment can be the most significant and worthwhile training experience of a CAP cadet’s membership.

Encampment is all about training and development for cadets.

 The encampment training and classes themselves are directed and taught by experienced CAP cadets who have already graduated from their first encampment. The entire encampment is overseen by CAP senior (adult) members.

 Each staff member, both cadet and senior, is devoted to the development of the corps, and volunteers their time during encampment. 

If a cadet wishes to earn their General Billy Mitchell Achievement and become a cadet officer, attend certain NCSAs or serve at an encampment as a staff member, they must first attend and graduate from a basic encampment.

Cadets returning as staff will be challenged even further through the leadership roles they will fill and staff duties they will perform. All cadets will have the opportunity to be introduced to the military, learn to overcome challenges, develop time-management skills, enhance their interpersonal skills, and have a great time.

Supervision at Encampment

Each cadet is part of a flight of approximately 10-15 other cadets. Each flight has two cadet staff members who are in charge of the flight. These cadet staff members have attended encampments in the past and have been chosen from an application process to serve in these positions. Each flight has at least one senior (adult) staff member assigned directly to it. These senior members are called Flight Training Officers. In addition to the Flight Training Officers, there are approximately 40 senior members and cadet staff members who serve on staff for this encampment. Included in this staff is a chaplain and a health services/safety officer.

Every adult member and cadet member over the age of 18 has completed training known as the Cadet Protection Program.

The safety of cadets at encampment is our utmost priority.

The ultimate responsibility for the cadets and the week's events rests on the Encampment Commander.

We understand that you have entrusted the encampment staff with the safety and care of your child during the week. We do not take that responsibility lightly. 

What to Expect

Cadets should expect a challenging but incredibly rewarding week of leadership, aerospace, fitness, character, and CAP.

We encourage cadets to speak to their friends and mentors who have already attended an encampment to learn more about the experience. You may also send questions to or you can message our Facebook page where a cadet or senior staff member will be able to respond. 

Communicating at Encampment

Corps cadets will not have their cellphones or any means of contact for a majority of the week. They will be allowed to call home once during the week and will receive their phones back toward the end of the week. Letters and packages cannot be mailed to or from encampment. Your cadet will reach home before the mail will.

We do not allow cadets to have phones or electronics during the week to ensure that they remain focused on their training and bonding with their flight. Cadets will usually be much too busy to even have time to use their electronics. 

At the end of the week, cadets will get their phones back to exchange contact information with their new friends and contact home.

If there is a situation where a cadet must contact home, arrangements will be made. We will never ban a cadet from contacting home in an emergency situation.

In the event of any serious problem, we will contact you promptly. Should you have an emergency, the Encampment Emergency Contact Number is 774-218-3538. If you are prompted to leave a voicemail, please leave a message and or send a text.  


Many cadets who are away from home for the first time experience homesickness while at the encampment. There is a period of adjustment that is natural when transitioning from summer vacation to a rigorous training schedule.

Experience has shown that if cadets receive encouragement and give the encampment a chance for at least a day or more, most will end up enjoying themselves and even returning the next year.

We understand that for many cadets being away from home without means to contact home easily is stressful. Our cadet staff has been trained on how to coach cadets through these feelings. Additionally, your cadet will have a mentor. This senior member or cadet will be tasked with becoming a close and trusted advisor to your cadet and can further support the cadet when needed. Additionally resources include chaplains (who are not only religious leaders but also trusted confidants for anyone) and senior members.

Please note that we cannot accommodate any parents visiting throughout the week unless there are rare extenuating circumstances, which must be discussed with the encampment commander.

It is important to remind cadets that there will be many familiar faces at encampment! Almost every cadet will see at least one of their squadron mates rather often throughout the week. 

Cadets will often be so busy that they do not have time to miss home!

The staff does realize that encampment can be stressful, and we ensure that each cadet will have a period of personal time each day to see their old and new friends and to decompress. Additionally, we ensure that every cadet receives an ample amount of sleep each night, as we understand that sleep is incredibly important to stress management. 

It is our hope that all cadets will remain at the encampment, complete the week's training, and graduate. If it becomes apparent that a cadet is having a great deal of difficulty with homesickness, a decision for the cadet to return home may be made after consultation with the cadet, the cadet's parents or guardians, and the senior member staff. If a decision is made for a cadet to leave the encampment, it is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to pick the cadet up from the encampment.

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