In recognition of Civil Air Patrolís 75th years of outstanding community service, the Air Force Association (AFA), Gold Coast Chapter (GCC) members who are active partners with Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Aerospace and STEM Education, proposed an essay competition for CAP cadets at the Crystal Lake Middle School Cadet School Squadron.
Ms S. Phillips, administrator of school gave permission to have a CAP exhibit in the schoolís entry foyer. The cadets proudly put up the CAP celebration banner; an enlarged poster of CAPís history and a well-known WWII picture of a yellow Piper Cub plane flown by CAP over an enemy submarine.
The AFA Gold Coast Chapter has been closely tied with the Crystal Lake Middle School Squadron since 1995 when Colonel David Mikelson (US Air Force, Retired) and an AFA member started the School Squadron Group in Florida. By 2006, before moving to Vermont, Col. Mikelson started nineteen school squadrons throughout Florida. His first two school squadrons, which are the only two still in operation, are the Crystal Lake CAP Middle School Cadet Squadron (CLMSCS) and Miramar High School CAP Squadron.
The CLMSCS Commander Capt. Traci Cohen, as well as three former commanders, have all been AFA members of the Gold Coast Chapter and GCC Teachers of the Year. It was at Colonel Mikelsonís suggestion that the essay contest was initiated.
The essay was ďHow has CAP affected my life and how will it change my lifeĒ. Twenty cadets competed and the essay winner was Cadet Airman Del Campo.
At a CAP Squadron Meeting in February, Capt. Cohen introduced Col. Mikelson and Virginia Montalvo, Gold Coast AFA Chapter President to the squadron members. Col Mikelson was delighted to see how the unit had grown. He was especially pleased with the number of cadets who had participated in the essay contest and excited to present the award to the winning cadet. Kudos to Cadet Airman Del Campo!