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Joint Dakota Encampment

Joint Dakota Encampment Information

The 2023 Joint Dakota Encampment will be held at Camp Rapid in Rapid City, South Dakota, from June 24 to July 2, 2023.  The following staff have been appointed for this encampment:

  • Encampment Commander - Lt Col Tom Anez
  • Deputy Commander for Support - Maj Noah Warren
  • Commandant for Cadets - Capt Kevin Pegelow
  • Cadet Commander - C/1st Lt Devin Griffin


Joint Dakota Encampment is a highly anticipated activity each year, operated jointly by South Dakota Wing and North Dakota Wing.  Encampment is often touted as the most influential week in a cadet's career.  First year students attend the Basic Learning Course (BLC), where they have the opportunity to learn followership, teamwork, and self-discipline.  Second year students can attend the Advanced Leadership Course (ALC), or apply for staff.  Cadet Encampment is “an immersion into the full challenges and opportunities of cadet life”. These courses are held annually, mid-summer, at either Camp Rapid, South Dakota, or Camp Grafton, North Dakota.  In 2023, the encampment will be held at Camp Rapid. The purpose is for cadets to develop leadership skills, investigate the aerospace sciences and related careers, commit to a habit of regular exercise and reinforce their moral character.  Encampment is open to cadets who have completed Achievement 1 (first promotion) and have permission from their parents or guardian and unit commander. 

Basic Leadership Course

Encampment's Basic Leadership Course (BLC) is the first year experience for new cadets.  Also known as Basic Encampment, it opens many doors to further promotion, scholarships, and national activities!  But Encampment is much more than just a requirement.  It's also a learning opportunity, and like all CAP cadet activities, fun is included!  At basic Encampment, new Cadet Students learn drill movements, perfect customs and courtesies, memorize Civil Air Patrol facts, and practice followership.

Encampment's purpose is to provide the most influential week of training in a cadet's career.  You'll definitely learn a lot!  But there are also a lot of benefits for going to basic Encampment.  Most Civil Air Patrol scholarships require that you first attend Encampment. National Cadet Special Activities are also available to CAP cadets who have completed Encampment.  Encampment is a requirement before promoting to a cadet officer.

The staff has been working to make this year's Encampment the best experience for you!  Be sure to apply right away as there is limited space. Register as a Cadet Student for the Basic Leadership Course by clicking on the following link:   BASIC LEADERSHIP COURSE

Advanced Leadership Course

After attending basic Encampment, cadets are encouraged to come back and attend again!  Second year students can apply for ALC (Advanced Leadership Course), as well as apply for staff cadre positions. Encampment's Advanced Leadership Course is geared towards developing teamwork and leadership skills in Cadet NCOs and Officers in a challenging environment.  ALC will be more difficult than your first year at Encampment, but the extra work is worth it!

Many of the skills you'll learn in ALC can be transferred to CAP staff positions at your home squadron.  However, ALC is more than just a staff prep school.  It is a much more robust program that focuses on leadership and personal growth.  Here, students learn how to think independently and lead a team towards a common goal.  This is done through ALC-specific activities that aren't offered to the rest of Encampment. ALC isn't for everyone.  To apply, you must have already graduated from Encampment.  

At ALC, you'll learn advanced leadership concepts and have a chance to put them into practice.  You'll hear from guest speakers, practice planning and following schedules, and spend time with multiple hands-on activity days.

Register as a Cadet Student for the Advanced Leadership Course by clicking on the following link:   ADVANCED LEADERSHIP COURSE

Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance for encampment is available. Check out the Cadet Encampment Assistance Program Page. CEAP opens on March 1 and will close on May 1.  SD Wing scholarships are available too. Contact the Encampment Commander or Commandant for more information.  CEAP IS CLOSED AS OF MAY 1, 2023


Check out the Encampment Facebook Page


To Register for Encampment as a Cadet Student, click the following Link:

Register for 2023 Joint Dakota Encampment Here



1) When does Encampment start?

The encampment begins on Saturday, June 24, 2023, for all Cadet Students and will end after a graduation ceremony on July 2, 2023. More specific information will be sent via email in a Welcome Letter upon registration.  We understand logistically it is difficult to send both students and cadre from the same Squadron to Encampment at different times, so if students end up arriving early that is perfectly acceptable. Please work with your Squadron Commander on transportation needs.

2) What should I bring to Encampment?

The packing list will be emailed to each attendee upon registration as an attachment in a Welcome Letter.

You will also need several forms filled out, which will need to be signed by your parents and your Squadron Commander, where appropriate. These forms will also be provided in the Welcome Letter upon registration. That email will also indicate how you can submit the forms prior to arrival.

3) Why should I go to Encampment?

Encampment is a growing experience for all individuals, student and staff alike. It will grow your leadership experience beyond what you have today. Besides meeting and making new friends in CAP, cadets who want to attend the National Cadet Special Activities during the summer need to have attended an Encampment. To earn the Mitchell award, cadets must also successfully complete an Encampment.

4) What can I expect at Encampment?

Encampment showcases the Cadet Program’s regimented, military-like training model, in a positive, age-appropriate manner consistent with CAP and Air Force traditions. Encampments operate at a higher level of intensity in respect to the military aspects of cadet life than virtually any other cadet activity.

5) How much does Encampment cost?

The cost has yet to be determined, but is likely to cost about $300.00 for students.  There is a Cadet Encampment Assistant Program (CEAP) which is special funding to cover encampment fees and uniforms with emphasis on servicing economically disadvantaged cadets. Priority is given to first-time encampment attendees, but graduates wanting to attend a second or third encampment are encouraged to apply. If you plan on applying for CEAP, please still register for Encampment using the CEAP registration ticket. If you don't receive a scholarship, you will be billed for the cost of Encampment.

6) What does the Encampment cost cover?

Lodging at Camp Rapid and 3 meals a day (including special dietary requirements). Other items, such as a yearbook, may be provided if funding allows.  Squadrons are responsible for transporting cadets to Encampment. Please work with your Squadron Commander on transportation.

7) My cadet has some health concerns. How is this handled?

You will complete CAP Form 160 (CAP Member Health History Form) for your cadet to inform us of the cadet's health history. Per CAP policy, each encampment participant is responsible for administering his or her own prescription medication. Cadets who are not mature enough to accept that responsibility should not attend encampment.

Got more Questions: Send an email to the Encampment Commander, Lt Col Tom Anez at


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