First Year Expectations

Things You Can Do To Help

The encampment has long days and lots of physical activity. Perhaps more than your teenager is used to. Anything you can do to encourage them to get in physical shape prior to the encampment will help that transition. If they have been ill, consider very carefully whether they should attend. While we can handle minor ailments, if someone cannot participate in most of the activities, we will make the decision to send them home. This is disruptive for you (since you will be responsible for getting them home), and it is also upsetting to the cadet and to the new friends they have made at the encampment.

Medical Issues

Cadets that have recently been exposed to any infectious disease should obviously not attend. If you have any concerns or questions, contact the encampment staff at prior to coming to the encampment.

If your cadet needs to bring any medications (either prescription or over the counter), it is necessary for you to sign a "Permission to Self Medicate" form.  Although this form is available on the website, you and your cadet should meet with the medical officer when signing into BE17 in order to discuss the medications.

The major medical problem at the encampment is blisters. Make sure that their boots fit and that they have 'broken them in' prior to arriving at the encampment


The equipment list found on the "What to Bring" page will include all required items. Make sure that they bring everything they need.

Make sure that they don't bring anything that is forbidden (i.e. Gameboys, CD players, cell phones, food, tobacco products, etc) or illegal (i.e. alcohol, non-prescription drugs, weapons of any type). It is impossible to list all contraband items, so please utilize good common sense. Forbidden items will be confiscated at in-processing and returned at the end of the encampment.  Unauthorized food will be disposed of.  It is better to not bring unauthorized items in the first place. Any cadet found to have illegal items will be dealt with in an appropriate manner and then dismissed from the encampment.

If a decision is made for a cadet to leave the encampment, it is the responsibility of the parent(s) or guardian(s) to pick the cadet up from the encampment.

Supervision At Encampment

Each basic cadet is part of a flight with other basic cadets. Each flight has two cadet staff members who are in charge of the flight. Not only have these cadet staff members attended encampments in the past, they have been chosen from an application process to serve in these positions and then received intensive training. Each flight has one officer (adult) assigned directly to it. These officers are called Training Officers. In addition to the Training Officers, there are approximately 40 officers (adults) who serve on staff for BE17.

The majority of the cadets will be assigned to a fourteen-man dorm room along with other cadets of similar age, and the same gender. Cadet staff as well as officer staff will be housed in the same dormitory but different rooms than the basic cadets.  Although cadets at the encampment are required to follow their chain of command they are free to approach every member of the staff with any personal issues, at any time. The ultimate responsibility for the cadets and the week's events rest on the Encampment Commander.


Some cadets who are away from home for the first time experience homesickness while at the encampment. There is a period of adjustment that is natural when transitioning from Basic vacation to a rigorous training schedule. Experience has shown that if cadets receive encouragement and give the encampment a chance for at least three days, most will end up enjoying themselves and even returning the next year.

If a cadet is having difficulty with homesickness, the cadet has many people at the encampment to turn to, including the cadet staff members, Flight Training Officers, Chaplain, medical staff, and the senior executive staff. It is our hope that all cadets will remain at the encampment, complete the week's training, and graduate. If it becomes apparent that a cadet is having a great deal of difficulty with homesickness, a decision for the cadet to return home may be made after consultation with the cadet, the cadet's parent(s) or guardian(s), and the officer staff.

If a decision is made for a cadet to leave the encampment, it is the responsibility of the parent(s) or guardian(s) to pick the cadet up from the encampment.

Communication At The Encampment

If your cadet does not write home, it is because the days are packed with activities. Our accommodations at the Air Force Expeditionary Center on Fort Dix does not have a mailbox and the cadet will probably arrive home before a letter does. We purposely do not let cadets have personal phone calls to help them develop self-sufficiency.

In the event of any serious problem, we will contact you promptly. Should you have an emergency, we will be publishing contact information for you to use prior to the start of BE17.

After your cadet registers for BE17 their CAP email address will be how they are contacted with updates and additional information.  If there is any additional information regarding your cadet that you would like to communicate to the staff, such as a last minute medical update, recent family emergencies, or educational difficulties, you should contact the staff at


Maj George Morris, CAP
Commander, 2017 NJWG Basic Encampment