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December 14, 2018, 10:55:53 AM
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Starting a new unit: Challenges? Success rate?
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Posts: 6

« on: October 13, 2017, 08:41:14 PM »

A former member and I are in the process of trying to start a new composite unit in our local area. We were told by Wing that for starters we would be a flight attached to the nearest squadron, 33 miles away.
Successes so far:
The mayor and City Council like the idea.
We have a potential hangar and classroom space at our local airport.
We have at least 15 interested youth and at least 4 adults.
Hurdles so far:
The city will still charge us $500 per month for the hangar splitting costs with the police dept. If they pull out, we would have to pay $1000.
There are two nearby high schools and several middle schools with potential cadets (no JROTC), but we cannot get administration to respond to our requests to come and present.
My questions for those with more experience at this:
What can we do more/differently?
Can anyone show success/failure rates for new units?
Annual expected budgets?
What else do we need to know/do?
J. K. Milligan, Maj, CAP
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,338

« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 11:11:04 PM »

$6-12000 a year isn't sustainable for most squadrons, nor should it be.

Mayors love things that bring good favor on their towns that don't cost them anything.
Frankly, unless they are helping / sponsoring, whether they like it or not won't mean much.

Work the classroom first, no reason to bother with a hangar the first couple
of years (at least), since you're not likely to get an airplane except on a periodic basis.

Lobby the village trustees as to CAP's value - that classroom should be free, especially if it's
publicly funded.

There's no publicly available stats on new unit viability.

Annual budget, meeting space not withstanding, is probably about $500, but there's a big "depends"
on a lot of factors, and first couple years there will be start up costs.

Unless you have someone inside, the odds of the school(s) responding are fairly slim.
If you have cadets and parents connected there, have them raise the issue directly.

Another vector of help might be local VFWs or other veteran's groups.


Posts: 6

« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 04:03:09 PM »

The other person, former member, I'm working with is a member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
J. K. Milligan, Maj, CAP
Luis R. Ramos
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,727

« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 04:35:57 PM »

Why doesn't the other person you are working with contact the Veterans of Foreign Wars to donate meeting space?

My squadron meets at a school in Brooklyn, but we have secured the support of an American Legion post to use when the school closes.

Another Brooklyn squadron meets at another American Legion Post.

If your local post sponsors parades, you can participate and increase your visibility in the community.
Squadron Safety Officer
Squadron Communication Officer
Squadron Emergency Services Officer
Forum Regular

Posts: 115
Unit: GLR-OH-064

« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 07:11:42 PM »

Trust me on this: ditch the hangar idea until your Wing tells you that you're getting a plane.  In my group, only one unit meets at an airport. They had some previous members on the Airport Board, and found a trailer(basically an empty "double wide") and made it their HQ. All of my other units meet at schools, churches and Veterans' organizations. One even meets at a local Air National Guard base.

Anyways, the point is: find someplace that is free, has internet, some storage space and indoor/outdoor learning and PT space.

Feel free to PM me with any questions!
Maj Sean Beck
Ohio Wing
Director of Personnel
Group VI Commander
Seasoned Member

Posts: 385

« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 11:43:04 PM »

I for one like the idea of AL, or VFW...BUT you may have to walk through the bar to get to the room you are using. Not cool for the cadets. Another issue is walking through a group of smokers and the cloud of cig. smoke.  Had that happen earlier this year. Felt sick for several hours. We could not control temp of room very warm. Another "group" met next door and was very loud, separation was moveable wall.

One unit I was a member of we did use a AL, but separate entrance that was great.
Seasoned Member

Posts: 364

« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 08:37:31 AM »

Another consideration is internet. With paper milestone tests going away, having internet service seems vital. Not to mention the myriad of eservices functions, paperless records being the way to go, access to curriculum and support materials, using google drive, etc.

If it doesn’t already have it, are they amenable to having it in their area? 
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Starting a new unit: Challenges? Success rate?

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