Finding Your Wings with the Civil Air Patrol
Motivation to volunteer comes from a variety of sources.
Most people want to improve and expand the positive impact a particular group or organization has on a community, thereby improving themselves.
One organization that has been improving the lives of its volunteers, who give back to the community in the form of emergency search and rescue, aerospace education, and cadet training program, is the Civil Air Patrol, founded in December of 1941.
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a civilian-volunteer program which serves as an auxiliary to the United States Air Force and it can match young and old to duties and assignments requiring a variety of interests from flying, to communications and logistics.
The headline of this article is a bit deceiving in that you don't have to be interested in flying per se to be a volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol. For those students who are, CAP offers a summer-time flight academy.
Captain Rick Gammon is the logistics officer for the Bangor-Brewer Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron and he says the Cadet Training program is not a military program but it does provide solid leadership training skills for young people ages 12 to 18.
"It changes their whole attitude from when they enter the program. You'll see some of these 15-16 year old kids who are all of the sudden taking command. They learn respect, attention to detail, and teamwork," says Gammon.
In the past CAP volunteers have been utilized by the Maine Forest Service for forest fire spotting missions, and much of the aerial photo documentation of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy was taken by CAP volunteers.
The Bangor-Brewer Squadron meets every Wednesday evening.