12/20/2004–Baltimore, MD–A pilot program for youth, aimed at sharing resources to increase effectiveness, participation and quality, has been announced by the Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and the Baltimore Area Council (BAC) of the Boy Scouts of America.
According to terms of the agreement, cadet members of CAP squadrons in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard counties will automatically be enrolled in the Boy Scout Venturing program, designed for 14- to 20-year-old youth.
“With this agreement we have formed a solid partnership that will include many new opportunities for our cadets and adult members,” said Col. Kay Joslin Walling, commander of CAP’s Maryland Wing.
“The result is a program of exiting and meaningful activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, to grow, to develop leadership skills, and to become good citizens,” added U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles A. Morgan III, the Maryland Air National Guard’s assistant adjutant for air, who is a member of the BAC’s board.
CAP cadets will immediately be able to take advantage of all age-appropriate Boy Scout activities; including being eligible for Venturing scholarships and awards, and participation in the Scouting events such as air rifle competitions, fly -ins, and an emergency preparedness weekend. CAP cadets will also be able to use the BAC’s camp property, the Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation located in Harford County. The more than 2,000-acre facility is used from September to June for weekend cabin and tent camping and during the summer months for various summer camp programs.
“By being the chartered partner, CAP is the basis for the union; therefore, members first belong to CAP,” said Capt. Joseph Winter, CAP’s director of cadet programs for the Maryland Wing. “The existing CAP structure does not change and all members will conform to CAP standards and wear the CAP uniform.”
The BAC serves more than 42,000 youth in 1,021 packs, troops, teams, crews, and posts. More than 17,000 adult volunteers are registered as leaders and 80 business and community leaders serve on the executive board. The council delivers its programs through chartered organizations and 10 traditional districts, an Exploring division, a Special Needs Scouting division, and a Council Learning For Life division.
“Venturing is suited for squadrons that emphasize flying and aerospace education,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, senior district executive, BAC. “Venturing encompasses high-adventure programs and is suited for squadrons that emphasize camping and wilderness activities.”
CAP, the official U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. It performs 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 27,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. There are approximately 1,400 members of CAP in Maryland. For information, visit www.mdcap.org.
While the initial program will only be made available to cadet members in CAP squadrons in Baltimore City and surrounding counties in Maryland, both organizations intend to monitor the success of the project to determine the feasibility of expansion to squadrons in the other counties.