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Basic Learning 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 cadets learn drill movements, perfect customs and courtesies, memorize Civil Air Patrol facts, and practice followership.  

Why Basic Encampment

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, like the Dr Ron Hanson Academic Scholarship for cadets applying to college, or the Spaatz Association Aerospace Leadership scholarship for cadets on their way to a private pilot's license.  National Cadet Special Activities are also available to CAP cadets who have completed Encampment.  Encampment is a requirement before promoting to a cadet officer.

Prepare for Encampment

Not sure whether you're ready for Encampment?  Then Encampment Preparatory School (EPS) is for you!  EPS is a weekend preparatory version of Encampment, where some of the skills for basic Encampment are taught.  You'll get an intro to Encampment drill, get a feel for the atmosphere, and learn some of the basic practices.  Know that this isn't the whole thing though!  Encampment itself has much more time for fun activities and in-depth training.

EPS is also a requirement if you're under 14 and haven't attained the rank of C/SSgt yet.  It helps less experienced cadets get up to speed beforehand so the first few days of Encampment will be a little easier.  If you're 14 or above, OR you're already a C/SSgt, you're not required to attend.  That said, you can always still go to EPS just to get a head start.  Feel free to check out CAPP 60-71, the Cadet Encampment Handbook for even more info about Encampment.

2022 EPS Information

EPS dates: 29 April 2022 through 1 May 2022 (Friday through Sunday)

Online application link: TBD

Pay for an existing application: TBD

Check application status: TBD


Apply for EPS

EPS is normally held mid summer, about a month before Encampment.  

  1. Online application (see link above)

  2. $40 payment (usually completed during step 1)

  3. MN Encampment Activities Permission Form

  4. CAPF 163

Email these forms to, and check your application status using the link above.

Apply for Encampment

2022 Encampment Information

Encampment dates: 25 June 2022 through 2 July 2022 (Saturday through Saturday)

Online application:
1. Activity Registration Form: TBD ($225) (financial assistance)
2. Digital CAPF 60-81: TBD
3. Digital CAPF 161: TBD
4. Digital CAPF 162: TBD
5. Digital CAPF 163: TBD
Applications open 1st week of May, 2022


Application deadline: TBD

Check application statusTBD 

Location: Buildings TBD, Camp Ripley.  Camp Ripley Map


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.

If you want to attend Encampment in June as a first year student (BLC student), you must meet at least one of the following three requirements:

Be 14 years old by the beginning of Encampment OR
Be a C/SSgt by the beginning of Encampment OR
Attend the Encampment Prep School

We prefer that you submit your payment and forms online.  If you must mail the forms and/or payment, please email for more information. 

When checking your Encampment application status (see link above), note that an “accepted” status means that you are accepted to attend Encampment.  No further action is required.  However, an “applied” status means that you have not completed your application package and do not have a confirmed place at Encampment.  Check that you've submitted all your forms and completed your payment.  Please email with any Encampment related questions. 

Getting To Encampment

Each family is responsible for coordinating transportation to and from Encampment.  However, many local squadrons provide transportation to their cadets to and from Encampment, so check with your local unit to see if they are arranging rides.  

Encampment is held at Camp Ripley, and the student drop-off location is the Minnesota Military Museum within Camp Ripley.  Cadets are expected to already be in ABUs before arriving.  There will not be time or space to change before in-processing.

Be aware that Camp Ripley is a military installation, and is usually at a higher state of readiness than the rest of the country.  Due to heightened security concerns, all adults in your vehicle will need to have their driver’s licenses available when you drop off or pick up your cadet.  Depending on their FPCON (Force Protection Condition), they may only check your ID, might check your insurance, or could even have to search you or your vehicle (rarely).

Communicating With Your Encampment Student

Cadets at basic Encampment don't have access to technology, and therefore won't be able to post to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or other social media sites.  (We'll be posting though!  Check out our photos page!)  They also won't be able to take phone calls or respond to texts or emails.  However, if you'd like to send a message to a student at Encampment, that's encouraged!  Encampment can be stressful, and an encouraging email from home is always welcome.  Students will normally receive a printed copy of their mail during personal time before bed each night.

Emails are accepted starting the first day of encampment, and ending at noon the day before graduation.  We ask that you refrain from sending discouraging or upsetting news during the week of Encampment so that students can concentrate on their training.  Please also refrain from sending confidential personal information, as an Encampment staff member reviews all incoming mail.

Contact your Encampment student today!

Student Graduation

After their long and arduous week of training, students celebrate by performing a military-style Pass In Review ceremony, followed by awards presentations.  All parents are welcome to attend! Graduation is on the last day of Encampment, at the Camp Ripley Chapel.  Here's the schedule:

Parent Briefing:  1000-1020
Pass-In-Review (Parade):  1040-1100
Graduation Ceremony:  1120-1220

Lunch will not be served on arrival day or graduation day for any students. 

After student graduation, students march back to their barracks, collect their belongings, sign out, and are allowed to leave.  

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