The Tri-County Composite Squadron, based in Walker wil host an open house and orientation for area youth from age 12 to 18 to introduce the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program and induct the first class members to a new “Great Start” program.

The program will last five weeks and take new cadets through training leading to their first award level.

The open house will be held at Akeley’s ARCC gym Monday at 6 p.m. The facility is located at 210 Pleasant Ave. SE in Akeley. As attendance is limited, interested parties should RSVP by Friday to SSgt. Andrew Johnson at (218) 252-6216 or respond by email to andrewjolene@gmail.com

“We’re very excited about the prospect of adding new cadets to the unit and giving more area youth the opportunity to become part of this great organization,” said Maj. Dianne Harris, Tri-County Squadron commander.

Lt. Jolene Johnson and her husband, SSgt. Johnson of Nevis, are leading the recently-formed cadet component of the unit.

“We hope that bringing the Cadet program to the Walker-Akeley-Park Rapids area will help us attract more youth to CAP,” said Johnston. “They will learn about leadership, aerospace topics, and so much more. And there are activities from local encampments to national programs where they can learn basic flying skills in aircraft and gliders.”

The squadron is also looking for adult mentors who may wish to become part of CAP and help mentor the cadets.  Those interested should also plan to attend the open house and orientation.

CAP is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and is a a nonprofit organization with 64,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions, tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, and is credited with saving 112 lives to date in 2019.  Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies.

CAP’s 37,000 adult members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to some 27,000 youth currently participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. CAP has been performing missions for America since 1941.  For more information about CAP,visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com.

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