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First time away from home?

Normally, this is not a problem. When you are away from home for the first time you might become homesick; this is quite normal. Discuss this with your parents before encampment. If you get homesick during encampment, you can also discuss it with other cadets in your flight, your flight sergeant, or your flight commander. If you are not comfortable discussing this with other cadets, each flight has an assigned senior member, called a TAC Officer, who will be happy to talk with you. There is also a full-time Chaplain available to talk with you about any issue.

Encampment is not a typical summer camp. The staff conducts encampment in a military manner; it is fast-paced with little free time. Encampments operate at a higher level of intensity in respect to the military aspects of cadet life than virtually any other cadet activity, short of some of the premiere National Cadet Special Activities. The strictness, rigor, sense of urgency, and overall expectations of military bearing will be markedly more challenging at encampment, yet still age-appropriate, compared with a weekly squadron meeting or a Saturday field trip. This may be a bit overwhelming for the first few days. Some cadets will respond to this better than others will. However, you should adjust to the routine by the third day. During past encampments, less than one percent of cadets have gone home for other than medical reasons. In some years, no cadets have gone home.

Very Important! Do not plan for regular phone calls with your parents! You will not have your cell phone with you (cell phones are on the prohibited items list). Calls to parents can disrupt the schedule for you and the encampment staff. For the same reason, the encampment staff is asking your parents not to call you at encampment for routine matters or to "see how you are doing". If there are problems at encampment, encampment staff will contact your parents.

If your family needs to contact you due to an emergency, encampment staff will cooperate fully. DO NOT promise to call home. You simply will not have time. If you have a legitimate need to contact your parents, you may do so by contacting the TAC Officer or the Chaplain.

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