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Squadron Bivoac July 2016

posted Jul 20, 2016, 8:21 AM by Ronald Nicholas   [ updated Jul 25, 2016, 7:48 AM by Aaron Corbett ]

14 July 2016

From SAREXs to Wing Conferences to Encampments, no event in Civil Air Patrol is more anticipated (or dreaded) than the annual squadron bivouac. Most Civil Air Patrol squadrons from around the nation conduct bivouacs, and Minuteman Squadron’s bivouac occurred this past weekend. Led by Cadet Major Gina Scalzo, cadets and senior members traveled to Prince William National Forest to learn more about the search and rescue aspect of the Civil Air Patrol. 14 cadets participated in this year’s bivouac, teaching and learning from classes including knot tying, communications, search and rescue, and radios. As architect and visionary of the bivouac, Cadet Major Gina Scalzo adapted quickly to the changes and challenges the bivouac brought upon. She was most pleased with the cadets’ progress in the ground team member training program the bivouac had to offer, which will allow Minuteman Squadron more visibility in the greater Virginia emergency management field.


While the classes leading up to the practice operations are important, most cadets found the night training operations the most exciting, as they got to take their skills that they had learned during the day, and utilize those skills in the evening. For Cadet Airman Sarai Harris, the night ops stood out in her mind because it allowed her (a relatively new member of our squadron) to feel like an integral part of the team. Her favorite part of the night ops was carrying the stokes basket, in which the ‘injured person’ was carried through the woods back to the camp. The staff also found the bivouac educational and bonding, as they were able to use their leadership skills outside of the weekly meetings. Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, the squadron cadet commander, found that despite the many changes in schedule that occurred during the weekend, everyone pushed through the heat and the trekking all the way until the end.


One of our senior members who helped oversee the event was Marybeth Slocumb, jokingly calls herself the camp cook, camp mom, and camp meanie.  She enjoyed bringing smiles to the cadets at each mealtime at the campfire, where she was kind enough to bring delicious home-cooked food and s’mores. The bivouac and the cadets exceeded her expectations, she said, despite run-ins with raccoons and the heat. What she lacked in sleep during the weekend, watching cadets growing, learning, and bonding was enough to make it all worth it.

  • C/Lt. Aaron Corbett, Minuteman PAO