Civil Air Patrol Encampment Closes Early
RAPID CITY - The recent Civil Air Patrol (CAP) youth program encampment at Camp Rapid concluded one day early after five participants tested positive for COVID-19.
All five had been sleeping in the same dormitory “bay” as a cohort.
The five members, all under age 20, were tested by external medical professionals who confirmed the positive test results. The encampment’s COVID plan was executed fully, and the cadets who tested positive were immediately isolated and promptly returned to their families. Encampment activities were curtailed, and the activity concluded one day early.
“We are deeply concerned about the cadets who tested positive and will be following up with every attendee to monitor health status during the recommended quarantine period,” said Col. Nick Gengler, commander of CAP’s South Dakota Wing. “While this scenario is unfortunate, the outcome of the encampment represents a success because our COVID-19 contingency plan worked effectively by quickly identifying the potential cases, isolating the cadets and taking steps to prevent further spread of the virus.”
There were 155 youth and adult participants at the encampment last week at Camp Rapid in Rapid City. All attendees were required to declare they had been fully vaccinated, had tested negative for COVID-19 three days before arrival, had self-quarantined for 14 days before arrival, or had a physician’s note indicating full recovery from a prior COVID-19 infection.
The annual Joint Dakota Encampment was sponsored by the Civil Air Patrol wings in North and South Dakota. As this year’s host, the South Dakota Wing organized and managed the event. The encampment teaches leadership and problem-solving skills to cadets as a key component of Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program.