Cameron Quinn combines high school with Civil Air Patrol pursuits

Great grandfather worked with Lindbergh, Hughes

While a full-time student at Pateros High School, Cameron Quinn (left) has also found time to pursue his extracurricular activity of choice, training in the student cadet corps of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at the Northern Desert Composite Squadron in Omak.

Civil Air Patrol Cadet First Lieutenant Cameron Quinn, dressed in his fatigue uniform, stands at Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs during a CAP cadet course he attended this summer.Cameron Quinn, right, poses with fellow CAP cadets on Pikes Peak earlier this summer.
“My father, who used to fly helicopters for recreational purposes, would frequently take me to the Museum of Flight (at Boeing Field in Seattle) to help me learn more and develop further interest in the subject,” said Quinn. “My great grandfather (Cecil P. Jones) was a pioneer of aviation.”

ATEROS – High school senior Cameron Quinn is not only a young man in a hurry, but also one who knows where he wants to go how and how to get there. The 16-year-old will graduate with both his high school diploma and an Associate in Arts (AA) degree from Wenatchee Valley College.
But that’s not all.
While a full-time student at Pateros High School, Quinn has also found time to pursue his extracurricular activity of choice, training in the student cadet corps of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at the Northern Desert Composite Squadron in Omak.
“I became interested in the CAP because of its emphasis on aerospace education, such as in piloting and…the engineering aspect as well,” said Quinn. “I was also interested in its emphasis on military traditions.”  
Quinn joined the CAP at its Pangborn Composite Squadron in Wenatchee when he was 13. He transferred to the Omak Desert Composite Squadron “because the fires made it uneconomical to drive all the way down to Wenatchee when my family lived in Mazama” said Quinn. “After moving back to Chelan last summer, I just continued to attend meetings at Omak.
The CAP was founded on Dec. 1, 1941, to help protect United States shorelines from invading Geerman submarines. From that beginning the CAP evolved into a public service organization. As an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force the CAP is a first-responder for search and locate missions for missing planes and persons and is available in times of emergencies, such as the current Hurricane Harvey aftermath in Texas.
The CAP’s 56,000 members promote aerospace education through the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program to recruit and shape future leaders. That’s where the student cadet program comes in.
Cadet candidates for CAP must be 12 years of age or older. The cadet program is a year-round commitment where cadets with an interest in the military, aviation or space get hands-on training in flight and its related fields while developing leadership skills.
Quinn is enrolled at Pateros High School, even though he lives with his parents in Chelan.
“My parents thought it was best for me to attend a smaller school for my first year of high-school in 2014,” said Quinn. “After attending Liberty Bell High School for a year due to the fires, I returned to Pateros as it was easier just to enroll there again.”
Prior to 2006 when the family moved to Chelan, Quinn’s father, Todd, was a Seattle-area contractor and his mother, Marilen, managed an accounting department. Both have since retired. Younger brother, Colton, is a PHS freshman this year and a CAP cadet.
Preceding his senior year at PHS, Quinn competed on the Knowledge Bowl teams for both the Billygoats and Liberty Bell.
 “I will likely not be competing this year in Pateros due to my school schedule in attending Wenatchee Valley College through the Running Start program.” Quinn said.
Running Start allows junior and senior high school students to take college level courses at the state’s 34 community and technical colleges where they earn both high school and college credits.
Following high school and WVC, Quinn said he wants to attend a four-year university and major in computer science with a minor in math. Future plans also call for a master’s degree in business with perhaps a second master’s in computer science and a doctorate in economics.
Quinn said military-related service also figures into his future.
“Í would like to eventually serve in the military or at least the DOD (Department of Defense),” said Quinn and mentioned the Air Force, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
“I don’t necessarily want to make the military my career,” said Quinn, “but I do definitely want to serve for a duration of time, maybe 4-8 years.”
Quinn’s interest in aviation started at an early age, no doubt due to the number of family members who were actively engaged in the field.
“My father, who used to fly helicopters for recreational purposes, would frequently take me to the Museum of Flight (at Boeing Field in Seattle) to help me learn more and develop further interest in the subject,” said Quinn. “My great grandfather (Cecil P. Jones) was a pioneer of aviation.”
Quinn wrote an essay for college last year about his ancestor’s involvement in several famous aviation ventures.
Cecil B. Jones started his aviation career as an engineer on Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis.
He was the last living member of the crew that build the plane,” Quinn said.
Jones then signed on with Boeing as head chief engineer on the B-series bombers and served as Northrup’s representative to Boeing.
“He also worked with his friend, Howard Hughes on the Spruce Goose (H-4 Hercules),” Quinn said.    
Jones eventually founded his own contracting company to produce airplane parts and worked on the B-2 Spirit, the strategic stealth bomber.
Quinn’s uncle, also an avid pilot, “has helped educate me on the subject as well as offer me flights in his plane,” Quinn said.
The family owns a Cessna 172 hangared at the Chelan Airport and Quinn said he hopes to start working through the pilot licensing process next summer.
As for his CAP goals, Quinn said he wants to earn the Spaatz Award, the CAP’s highest cadet honor and named after Air Force general Carl A. Spaatz, the first Chief of Staff of the Air Force and first Chairman of the CAP National Board. He achieved the rank of Cadet First Lieutenant last July.
“I attended the 2016 summer basic encampment at Camp Casey, Wash., and a NCSA (National Cadet Special Activity) – Space Command Familiarization Course - this summer in Colorado Springs,” Quinn said.
For more information on the CAP’s purpose and many programs, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com online.

User menu

NCW Media Newspapers