Problem #1: I am not allowed to promote above me current grade without my Air Force Service Blues. To be honest, they weren't suppose to promote me to my current grade without them, but they let me anyway. That won't happen for the next grade. The first week of every month everyone else goes to the meetings in their "Blues" while I show up in my BDUs (battle dress uniform). We just can't afford the Blues and everything that goes along with them... shoes, socks, belt, hat, etc.
Problem #2: An important part of CAP is summer encampment and I'm really hoping I can go this summer. Wikipedia says this about it, "Civil Air Patrol's core cadet activity is the summer encampment. Typically a week to ten days long event, cadets are put into an intense, military-structured environment similar in certain respects to USAF Basic Military Training for enlisted personnel with an emphasis on physically and mentally demanding tasks and required classes and activities. These classes include aerospace education, Air Force organization, cadet programs, and drill & ceremonies."
Everyone who moves up in CAP has been to encampment and they tell me that it is especially important to go the first year you are in CAP because the training will help you throughout the rest of the CAP activities. I see the members who don't promote and most of them have never been to encampment. If I want to take other summer programs, including national activities, Search and Rescue and other Emergency Services program, I need to have gone through Encampment first.
The good news is that everything I get for encampment I will use in the future. It's the same blues uniform that I need for meetings, the same boot socks I need to stop getting blisters every time I march, the same equipment I'll take on any emergency services activities, etc. The bad news is it totals over $1,000 to get every thing I need and then it's another $300 to pay for going to encampment.
What am I doing to try and help put this money together? It's hard at 14 to get work in CA, but I had a good idea that I am working on. I just finished taking finals and I have already put a flyer together to take to the airport and see if anyone there needs my services for help detailing their plane, pre-flight checks and things like that. There are some older people who still fly and it's possible they could use some help. There is a restaurant at the airport and a lot of the older pilots have breakfast there in the morning, so I'm taking the flyer by there tomorrow (Tuesday, June 22) and see if I can get some work to help pay for encampment. I'll post about this again soon and let you know how that is working out.