Civil Air Patrol
Everyone has heard of the boy scouts but an even better program is out there! This is called Civil Air Patrol (ages 12-18). Civil Air Patrol is an air force auxiliary for those interested in flying, adventuring and getting military training.
Personally being in this program I can say that it’s worth the time. There’s a meeting once a week (the day depends on the squadron that you join) and the first three that you go to are free. If you decide to join there's a small yearly fee that you need to pay but that’s it!
If you decide to join you will receive your BDU uniform as well as a folder. Once you receive these you need to fill out a Promotion Agreement (which is in the folder) to get your BLUES uniform as well as your first chevron (rank up).
During the weekends activities such as helping out at the airport, flying or academies take place.
Along with these during the summer Encampments take place. In this you spend a full week training drill, basic skills and much more.
The headquarters of Long Island group is at Long Island’s MacArthur Airport. Along with this their aircraft are also stored here. Since the program itself is seen throughout the country we only have two to three aircraft available at a time.
After you get into the program flying is something that will be available to you. You can get up to five front seat flight (as a student pilot) and unlimited back seat flights (as a passenger). Our area has access to three aircraft: the Cessna 172, Cessna 182 and Cessna 206.
With all the flights that I’ve been on I can say it's a once and a lifetime experience. If you have the time it's worth it. You come out as a changed person: motivated and a model citizen.