You're absolutely wrong: If the FAA hadn't yanked my class III physical (because of my bad eyes), I'd have gotten through ground school and most of my required flight hours via CAP.
I'm 22 and a current member. I was in the cadet program. If you'd like to support, there are actually more generalized opportunities for you because you're over 18. There won't be the opportunities for flight, but there are plenty of opportunities learning emergency relief and rescue services, becoming a leader, and learning about the military and aviation.
However, if you find the right people, they might help you learn some things and introduce you to other people who could help you in your quest to become a pilot.
If you're already a pilot: WE
Cadets are supposed to get Orientation Flight opportunities once a month. That generally doesn't happen because we don't have enough pilots. It's better the further west you go (until you reach the Rockies), but in the East, well, you're not going to find very much opportunity at all, so the more pilots the better.
Also, CAP will reimburse pilots for using fuel and even some maintenance for official CAP functions, including O-Flights.
CAP is not a bad program. There are some leaders who should be replaced, there are some cadets and senior members who get on a power trip, and there are also great experiences to be had.
CAP recommends spending three weeks with a unit to see what that unit is like before joining. If it's not for you, see if there is another one nearby. If there are no other units, contact CAP and let them know why you had objections to that unit.
Finally, remember that it is a paramilitary organization, and that it does spend some time indoctrinating the cadets to pro-US, pro-military ideals. It is the official auxillary to the US AirForce, and as such, spends a lot of time teaching the AirForce way (though my unit in Parkville, MO
, was a Marine Corps-loving group). If you do not like this, then CAP may not be for you. The Boy Scouts might be a better option. But at CAP, we like to say that we "eat Boy Scouts for Breakfast."
Oh, and it's not free. Cadets have yearly dues of (I think) $39, and Senior Members have dues of $55. Each unit may or may not have weekly or monthly dues, which could be as much as $2-$5 per week. CAP's yearly budget was only just increased to $54 million a year, so there isn't much money to go around to the 60-70 thousand members and over 1500 units.
Still, it is one of the largest Air Forces in the world, with over 500 corporate owned and 3000 member owned aircraft.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.