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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: Cadet Encampment Assistance Program (CEAP): Improvements Needed
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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 890
Unit: GA-001

« on: August 02, 2016, 10:17:56 PM »

The following press release, just out, has great news that many needy cadets got free encampments and uniforms this year:
https://www.capnhq.gov/news/Documents/CEAP%20enrollment%20up.pdf


Problem is, many members may have had no idea that there were funds available again this year, nor how to apply. There are several factors working against people applying, and I think we could fix them by (A) improving the press announcements, and (B) publicizing the application process:


1. The eServices sub-module to apply is under the "Cadet Programs" module at https://www.capnhq.gov/CAP.Events.Web/Modules/CEAP.aspx. Pretty obscure, if you are a new cadet or parent, with no instructions or guidance to go and apply.

2. I cannot find any FY16 CEAP announcement or instructions in the eServices news feed this year: https://www.capnhq.gov/preview/news_rss.aspx

3. I could not find any announcement or instructions in the Cadet Blog: https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/

4. The only FY16 CEAP announcement I could find on capmembers.com was buried in the "CAP Vector" newsletter, which is a relatively obscure staff report brief that seemingly doesn't get emailed out https://www.capmembers.com/cap_national_hq/cap_vector__staff_updates/index.cfm

5. The "New Cadet Help" page doesn't mention the program: https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/new_cadet_help/

6. And (of course) my Wing encampment never mentioned the program: http://www.gawgencampment.org/registration.htm.

7. If there was an email out to DCPs, it never got sent to us at a line command level, so at my level I failed to divine that funds were available and did not tell my people. Lesson to me not to be passive.

8. For reference, here's how you find the program data, hidden away buried deeply in the CP pages:
https://www.capmembers.com/index.cfm
https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/
https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/library/
(scroll down, and search the 90 or so links for the Encampment one, listed under "Leadership")
https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/activities/encampment/index.cfm
Read further down, and you'll find CEAP:
https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/activities/ceap
and instructions, tiered under that:
https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/activities/ceap-application-process/


So, I hope we can agree that the page of instructions, buried six tiers deep, inside a densely populated website, with no press announcements linking to it, is not the optimal solution to get the word out to needy cadets.


May I respectfully suggest that, before the fall season hits to apply for Winter encampments, we need CEAP press releases coupled with improvements to the listed pages (providing links to the instructions and application, friendly to the reading level of a young/new cadet and CAP-novice parents). Then, a regular suspense item needs to be established to pump out these announcements and check link/page functionality each Spring/Fall season.


V/R
Spam


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arajca
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 4,139

« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 10:35:52 PM »

I use the Olde version of Eservices and CEAP (Cadet Encampment Assistance Program) is in the left column, clear as day. I had several cadet ask me what it is, so I know they found it easily. I had 5 or 6 apply and all got approved.

I don't know about the new version of Eservices. I tried it and found it was seriously non-intuitive, so I went back to the olde version.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
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Posts: 27,837

« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 11:49:26 PM »

OK, so I am deeply involved with an encampment, which means this has been on the top of the page
for a couple of years now, and I won't dismiss issues you or your wing may have had, but I can say it's not universal.

NHQ issued a release in February 2016 regarding CEAP funding:
http://capvolunteernow.com/todays-features/?air_force_extends_cap_cadet_encampment_assistance&show=news&newsID=21414

There are at least 17,500 hits for "CEAP" on Facebook, with those hits being all over the country.

My wing, as well as at least several others in my region pushed it hard, including in nearly every
encampment announcement and on Facebook as we had a very high hit rate for funding in the region.  I included it in every meeting
announcement up until the respective activity started (the bottom of my meeting announcements have dates and other info).

Honestly, I think this is on GAWG more then anything - the encampment announcements should have included CEAP
info with links every time, as should have any websites and Facebook pages.  The Wing CC and DCP should have been all over CEAP.

I disagree the "Vector" is an "obscure report" - every Commander and staffer who wants to know what is going on in CAP should be reading it,
and making sure what's important is disseminated, I'll grant the average member probably doesn't even know it exists.

I've been back-channel whining about some CEAP management challenges which caused some cadets I had to deal with issues (some their fault,
some VG's, some NHQ), but announcement-wise, everybody in my parts was aware as far as I can tell.


« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 12:06:03 AM by Eclipse » Logged

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Luis R. Ramos
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,499

« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 12:00:09 AM »

15 years in CAP, and I never knew of the Vector publication until now that you posted on it...

 ::)

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Squadron Communication Officer
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
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Posts: 27,837

« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 12:03:23 AM »

It was required reading during the HWSRN era.

I stopped the paper magazine a long way back and get an email when the Volunteer and Vector
are published.
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Paul Creed III
Forum Regular

Posts: 187
Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 06:41:24 AM »

Plus, CEAP funding was made available for cadets wanting to attend NESA but this intel didn't seem to make it to the field. Only way I learned of it was when one of my subordinate unit commanders forwarded me an email chain that was generated after he denied a request for CEAP funding for NESA and the dad of the cadet included a message from NHQ that CEAP for NESA was legit.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
Great Lakes Region Cyber Programs Officer
Ohio Wing Group 3 Commander
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
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Posts: 27,837

« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2016, 09:27:59 AM »

Interesting - that never it made it to me  / my way and I had cadets who could probably have applied.

When did that get approved?
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Paul Creed III
Forum Regular

Posts: 187
Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2016, 10:09:57 AM »

Interesting - that never it made it to me  / my way and I had cadets who could probably have applied.

When did that get approved?

30 June 2016 was the date on the email that was forwarded to me from NHQ.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
Great Lakes Region Cyber Programs Officer
Ohio Wing Group 3 Commander
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 890
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2016, 10:24:36 AM »

Gents, this is good feedback (all of it), thank you.

I'd like to translate this discussion into positively phrased suggestions for actions to get the word out better, and to improve accessibility. We don't want to "leave money on the table".

The "New eServices/Old eServices" differences were not apparent to me (THANKS, Eclipse), so I'd like to track that as a concrete suggestion for our new IT director.  As a guy who works as a human factors engineer to design user interfaces (for aircraft and defense systems), to me both the new and the old have significant structural and human factors deficits.

Other thoughts/ideas/suggestions?


V/R
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Ned
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 2,105

« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 04:45:24 PM »

Jeff,

Thanks for the excellent feedback that will allow us to make this terrific program even better!

A bit of background.  In 2015 it was not at all clear whether CEAP was going to be a "one-off" kind of thing or would have ongoing funding.  In March 15, we first learned of the funding and pushed the news via DCPs, commanders, , social media posts, and splash announcements (big stories on CAP's home page). We also directly emailed all cadets who had not attended an encampment (13,000) with application procedures.  We also emailed all dcps, commanders, etc.  Since we knew that some encampments had already occurred, we allowed retro-active applications.  (Which meant it was hard for wings to close their books since money was coming in well after the activity was completed.)

With the 2015 money, we were able to help nearly 1,800 cadets in FY 15.  (!,400 summer, 300 winter, 75 spring).  We spent all of the CSAF funding.  We spent it all, left nothing on the table.

This year, we found out in February that we would have 2016 funding.  Sent a kickoff memo to all commanders, dcps. wing admins, etc..  We sent the email to all cadets who have not attended encampment.  Multiple DCP webinars to answer questions and explain how the program works.  And, as you noted, it has been in every Vector since we first heard about it.

FY 16 funding was $500k.  We opened apps on 01 MAR for spring and summer.  Fully expended by June.  CAP-USAF was able to find another $100,000 for us.  We cleared all the cadets off the waitlist and then offered some funding to NESA.  NESA wasn't planned but we didn't want to leave money on the table.  Bottom line for FY16 is 1,900 cadets to encampment who might otherwise not gone.

(Georgia had 42 cadets funded last year; 56 this year.  Good job helping get the word out!)

BTW, we totally agree that our website could be more intuitive and easier to navigate, but CP doesn't own it.  Totally agree that we need to get the information onto the eServices news feeds and especially on the Cadet Blog.  We will also add the information to the New Cadet page.  Thanks for that.

Finally, it appears that we will have funding for at least the next four years, so we can cheerfully invest time in creating additional infrastructure to make the whole process clean and easy for cadets, parents, and unit commanders.

Please feel free to send any other ideas for improvement to cadets@capnhq.gov.  We might not always see it here.

Again, thanks again for the feedback.


Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager
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grunt82abn
Seasoned Member

Posts: 200

« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 08:45:34 PM »

Great information, Thank You!!!
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Sean Riley, TSGT
US Army 1987 to 1994, WIARNG 1994 to 2008
DoD Firefighter Paramedic 2000 to Present
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 890
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2016, 09:29:42 AM »

Great update, Ned.  Thanks once again for all you (and the NHQ/CP team) do. I'm really pleased that this seems to be turning into another stable funding line for them; this, along with the voucher program, really serve as concrete examples of USAF support to the program.

Good to regularize it, publicize it, keep it "sold"...!

V/R
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KarolOpelski
Recruit

Posts: 24

« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2017, 09:22:33 PM »

I know this is an older thread, but I just wanted to let you know: I hear NCAC is trying to tackle this same problem of CEAP exposure. I think that they're trying to make videos and other publication tools to get the word out (and the application procedures) to newer cadets.
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: Cadet Encampment Assistance Program (CEAP): Improvements Needed
 


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