Thank you for your very kind words. Also, I appreciate the information that you conveyed; the person from CAP with whom I spoke didn't bother.
The SAR mission is indeed critical, and it is not easy flying. I can understand the need for specialized training and were I to get involved in that aspect of CAP I would WANT that training. And CAP is darn good at it. Frankly, all I wanted to do was get involved with the kids and try to show them how cool flight can be, and leave the SAR to those who had been doing it for years and were good at it. Discipline? Sure it's important. My recurrent checkride is due in April and I have to discipline myself to start studying a month ahead of time, and that's after flying this beast for a pile of hours. But if we don't make flying fun for the kids, who are our future, then our own future is in doubt. Isn't it?
I've received PMs from others who have described ego trips and political maneuverings that would rival the Pentagon. My own brother told me this morning that in all the time he was involved with CAP, he got one forty minute ride in the back seat of a ratty old C172, and that was it. He punched out when he discovered girls were more fun than marching box patterns in the parking lot.
Yet my wife made a comment about all this today. She said that for every chapter with egomaniacal people like that running the show, for all the Colonel Klinks out there that are more concerned with how they look in the eyes of the Air Force then whether or not the kids are learning something about aviation, there are probably others that are terrific.
As usual, she's right. Maybe it's time for me to drop a dime to the local chapter out here and see if they could use a hand.
Thanks again for your kind comments and also to those who took the time to PM me; keep 'em coming!