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xray328
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« on: June 20, 2016, 11:48:07 AM »

From a parents perspective, it would be nice if there was some way a day (or half a day) could be incorporated into the NCSA's for cadets to venture into the local area a little during their week.  I know the purpose of the NCSA is to do whatever activity they're doing but it's a shame to go somewhere like Seattle for instance and not get to see the Space Needle, or Florida and never step foot on the beach.  Seems like a lot of NCSA's (from what I've seen) pick you up at the airport, send you to the local base/post and drive you back to the airport.  I'd be happy to let my cadets stay an extra day for the added experience.  E-Tech (Robotics) seems to be incorporating that (volleyball/bonfire on the beach).
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jeders
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2016, 11:55:05 AM »

It all depends on the NCSA. Some allow for "local time" because there's actually local stuff to do. For example, NBB has a flight night out where your flight can go out and relax and have fun for a few hours; though it has been curtailed due to the shenanigans of a few bad apples.

However, if you go to SUPT FC at Laughlin, I can guarantee that there is no point in going outside the base for local culture. Del Rio has a couple of decent dive restaurants and bars, but that's about it.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 12:00:42 PM »

From a supervisory and safety perspective, this is a nightmare.  One missing or injured cadet and the whole thing could
get shut down.

View it as a work trip - you can see Disneyworld from the hotel, but that's not what you are there for.
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xray328
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 12:22:14 PM »

Understood, but I can tell you that while my daughter wanted to go to E-Tech regardless, the added time at the beach etc sure excited her a lot more about the activity.  If I sent you to Las Vegas I bet you'd at least want to drive down the Strip.  There's risk in every activity, we all know that.  It's just how we manage it.

Look at NBB, ton of risk there.  Certainly more than there would be taking the cadets on a tour of a local tourist attraction.  But they do an exceptional job of managing the risk.

Again, it's just an observation from the parents perspective.  It a "that would be nice" sorta thing...for your consideration.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 12:27:56 PM by xray328 » Logged
Eclipse
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 12:30:41 PM »

If I sent you to Las Vegas I bet you'd at least want to drive down the Strip. 

Want to?  Yes.  Have time?  No.

The comment about your daughter being excited about the beach vs. the activity is actually part of the issue
(as someone who's dealt with this issue) - it become all about the beach, and sometimes the logistics of those day
trips get in the way of the actual event.
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xray328
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 12:42:01 PM »

Understood.  She didn't want to go just to go to the beach of course but that was a pretty cool aspect of an already pretty cool activity. 

I think it'd be a shame if we had cadets come to an activity up here and didn't at least put them in a CAP van and drive down Lake Shore Drive.  Imagine if they were excited to see Chicago and we took them from Midway Airport to a local unnamed squadron and back to Midway and that's all they saw...bummer. (Personally, I'd make a trip to Portillo's required in there somewhere as well...lol)

Again, just a way to make things better for the cadets.
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Spaceman3750
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 12:44:24 PM »

Quote
I think it'd be a shame if we had cadets come to an activity up here and didn't at least put them in a CAP van and drive down Lake Shore Drive.  Imagine if they were excited to see Chicago and we took them from Midway Airport to a local unnamed squadron and back to Midway and that's all they saw...bummer. (Personally, I'd make a trip to Portillo's required in there somewhere as well...lol)

Would the staff of an NCSA in Chicago qualify for hazard pay, for serving in a combat zone? >:D
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xray328
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 12:46:47 PM »

Depends what airport the cadets fly into


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RogueLeader
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 01:27:59 PM »

This may just be me, but I'm of the opinion that when I go to an activity, I want to focus on the activity during the duty day.  For example, during National Staff College, we took the afternoon and went to Motton Field, where the Tuskegee Airman trained.  While I loved the historical aspect and what they did there, what did that have to do with NSC?  I'd have rather had another few classes about NSC.  We did go out one evening, as a seminar, and that was great.
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2016, 02:00:54 PM »

I thought the reason you went to a NCSA was to attend the NCSA.
You wanna go to the beach? Go on vacation instead. It will probably be cheaper!
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Alaric
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2016, 02:03:54 PM »

From a parents perspective, it would be nice if there was some way a day (or half a day) could be incorporated into the NCSA's for cadets to venture into the local area a little during their week.  I know the purpose of the NCSA is to do whatever activity they're doing but it's a shame to go somewhere like Seattle for instance and not get to see the Space Needle, or Florida and never step foot on the beach.  Seems like a lot of NCSA's (from what I've seen) pick you up at the airport, send you to the local base/post and drive you back to the airport.  I'd be happy to let my cadets stay an extra day for the added experience.  E-Tech (Robotics) seems to be incorporating that (volleyball/bonfire on the beach).

You like adding liability risk do you?  When I go on business trips, I'm there for business which means I see the plant, whatever restaurant I eat in, and the hotel.  The next 9 days I'll be in Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut, would I like to take some time and see the Ocean, visit Boston or NY, sure but that's not what I'm here for.  If as a parent you are sending a cadet down to an NCSA, take a day or two before or after to enjoy the local sights with your child, CAP is not a vacation planner.
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xray328
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 02:06:12 PM »

Goes toward retention and recruiting though. 

Hey cadet xyz, let's see some pictures of that NCSA you just came back from...sorry don't have anything to share with you, we never left the base.   


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xray328
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 02:16:44 PM »

Not to mention it helps with the "fun" aspect of the program. Seems to be a lack of that. Cadets will not stay in our program if it's not fun, period.


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Alaric
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 02:25:49 PM »

Goes toward retention and recruiting though. 

Hey cadet xyz, let's see some pictures of that NCSA you just came back from...sorry don't have anything to share with you, we never left the base.   


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NESA and NBB post literally hundreds of pictures and they never "leave the base"  JFA is constantly posting pictures, so not really seeing the issue
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 02:26:06 PM »

Not to mention it helps with the "fun" aspect of the program. Seems to be a lack of that. Cadets will not stay in our program if it's not fun, period.


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The special activity is supposed to be fun.
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Alaric
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2016, 02:27:35 PM »

Not to mention it helps with the "fun" aspect of the program. Seems to be a lack of that. Cadets will not stay in our program if it's not fun, period.


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If the NCSA is not "fun" for them, perhaps they should have applied to something they would have found "fun" or, if they couldn't find a "fun" enough activity they should have left the slot for someone else
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xray328
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2016, 02:43:33 PM »

Seems like some NCSA's are being run more like encampments.  Anyway, just feedback I'm hearing among the cadets for what it's worth.


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Spaceman3750
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2016, 02:48:11 PM »

Goes toward retention and recruiting though. 

Hey cadet xyz, let's see some pictures of that NCSA you just came back from...sorry don't have anything to share with you, we never left the base.   


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NESA and NBB post literally hundreds of pictures and they never "leave the base"  JFA is constantly posting pictures, so not really seeing the issue

This. And I can assure you that there is very little off-post at NESA that the average teenager would consider "fun", unless they've never seen a corn field or a cow in their life, and have always wondered where their food comes from. Not that we even have time for that anyways.
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Ned
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2016, 02:55:13 PM »

From my perspective, it is mostly a supervision/CPP issue.

Every week-long type of activity normally has some unstructured or "down" time for things like studying, laundry, etc.  But we normally do not permit cadets to leave the immediate activity area because we have a responsibility to supervise them until they leave to go home.  And given the "two-deep" leadership and "rule of three", the logistics of supervising cadets who want to go to town, the BX, or a local museum or attraction get complicated very quickly.

Depending on the nature of the specific activity and the curriculum, we often organize a group trip to a place that furthers the activity.  At the Civic Leadership Academy, there are multiple trips to places like Arlington, Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian, Udvar-Hazy, etc.  Depends on the curriculum and year.  At COS, we've toured the Tuskeegee heritage site, gone to the state capitol, etc.

But we simply can't have a system where we say something like "OIK, free time.  Everybody back by midnight.  Have fun."


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xray328
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2016, 03:24:00 PM »

I can see the CPP issue.

If I were planning an NCSA in the Chicago area for instance it would be nice to take the cadets to Millennium Park for an afternoon, maybe over to Buckingham Fountain.  Just a half a day to show them them the city.  It's clearly not what the NCSA is about or for but I think the cadets would come away with a different experience than if we stayed locked into the squadron/base all week. 

I know that not all the NCSA's are lucky enough to be somewhere the cadets would want to visit, but if they are I just think we should take advantage of it.
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Spaceman3750
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« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2016, 03:39:36 PM »

I can see the CPP issue.

If I were planning an NCSA in the Chicago area for instance it would be nice to take the cadets to Millennium Park for an afternoon, maybe over to Buckingham Fountain.  Just a half a day to show them them the city.  It's clearly not what the NCSA is about or for but I think the cadets would come away with a different experience than if we stayed locked into the squadron/base all week. 

I know that not all the NCSA's are lucky enough to be somewhere the cadets would want to visit, but if they are I just think we should take advantage of it.

Then why not volunteer for an NCSA, spend a year or two getting the lay of the land, and then offer to facilitate such an outing? I can appreciate the sentiment - we should be encouraging cadets to get out and see the world around them. It just adds logistical hurdles - ones that could be overcome with motivated staff members and scheduling creativity.
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RogueLeader
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« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2016, 03:54:11 PM »

The other thing is how much extra expense will it add?  Depending on when, where, and what, that adds extra cost to the NCSA that will need to be added to the cost of the event to cover the additional fuel expenditure.  While it may not be much, it should still be considered.  I know that for certain cadets, the money matters.
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husker
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« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2016, 04:01:25 PM »

From a supervisory and safety perspective, this is a nightmare.  One missing or injured cadet and the whole thing could
get shut down.

Agree wholeheartedly.  Though I have limited experience with other NCSAs, my experience with NESA (and several other types of activities) bears this out.  We are responsible for several hundred members each year, and even the small amount of "off post" time (some) members receive is difficult to manage.   It is a risk not easily mitigated.

Of course, as Space says, there isn't much to see in rural Indiana.  And this comes from someone who was raised in Nebraska, where the tallest thing for miles is a cow.
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xray328
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2016, 08:46:11 PM »

I can see the CPP issue.

If I were planning an NCSA in the Chicago area for instance it would be nice to take the cadets to Millennium Park for an afternoon, maybe over to Buckingham Fountain.  Just a half a day to show them them the city.  It's clearly not what the NCSA is about or for but I think the cadets would come away with a different experience than if we stayed locked into the squadron/base all week. 

I know that not all the NCSA's are lucky enough to be somewhere the cadets would want to visit, but if they are I just think we should take advantage of it.

Then why not volunteer for an NCSA, spend a year or two getting the lay of the land, and then offer to facilitate such an outing? I can appreciate the sentiment - we should be encouraging cadets to get out and see the world around them. It just adds logistical hurdles - ones that could be overcome with motivated staff members and scheduling creativity.

Too much red tape, CAP puts up too many walls.  TBH it makes you not want to plan activities.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2016, 09:15:11 PM »

So just to foster the discussion, what are those cadets going to do at the beach?

If it's just "look at it", I don't see the point, if it's swimming, that pings my ORM needle so hard it breaks off.

****************************************************************

As to other types of attractions, the math and logistics are very difficult, unless you happen to be on
a facility that either has the attraction, or is sitting across the street (like say Wright-Patt, or the Smithsonian).

Touristy means $$$, especially in the summer which would be peak season for both NCSAs, and the touristy stuff
they'd want to see.  It also usually means long lines, which is a waste of everyone's time.

In most cases, the NCSA itself couldn't afford to be executed in the touristy area - to use the example of Chicago,
you're not going to get near downtown for hotel or meeting space, absent a benefactor of significant means, at a price that
makes the NCSA viable.  That means you're in the suburbs.

Chicago suburbs = 1+ hour travel time in each direction to get downtown, maybe more.  Lets say your NCSA is 25
cadets - that's going to take at least 3-4 or more COVs, assuming they are available.  Metra or CTA are potential options,
but not much cheaper, not much faster, and you're adding walking time when you get there.

The gas, parking, and meals all have to be added to the cost of the NCSA, I'd hazard a trip to see the Bean would add
$50 per cadet to the cost.

If you decide "not everyone goes", that might make things worse as you're now dividing an already thin staff even further.
(Few are the NCSAs or encampment with a bunch of extra staff just milling about.)

Then there's the issue of "when"?  Do that during the week, and you're artificially extending the activity for something
unrelated to the actual curriculum - that extra expense and time may put the activity out of reach - the time especially
being the more important factor.

"Well, how about after only for those who want to?"

After completion of the actual activity, especially for "optional" things, becomes a real challenge supervision-wise.

CAP activity staff(s) tend to dissolve before your eyes, quicker then you can say "dismissed" - the idea of a "trickle-out",
with the main intention being cadets scattered to non-CAP venues, is frankly terrifying.

It's one thing, I suppose, to consider the option for cadets to extend on their own if mom and dad fly out, or they
are over 18.  I guess people could do that regardless, but trying to get them to see the Needle, or Disney, or the Bean
just becomes a logistical nightmare to little advantage.

***********************************************************
Now the flipside, and something I have to remind myself for my own kids, is I am a jaded old man who
has BTDT, less then some but more then many. 

If you work in the touristy area, then the "thing", be it a tall building, casino, or shiny sculpture, is just in your
way, no matter how cool it might be.

My wife is always trying to plan trips, and my response far too often is "ugh...x again?" forgetting, Of course, 
that while I may have seen "x" to the point of apathy, she and the kids haven't ever been.

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xray328
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2016, 09:38:06 PM »

Thanks Eclipse, you make very valid points.


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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2016, 09:43:21 PM »

No one has mentioned specifics. Just a general "logistics nightmare."

A trip to the beach with cadets... You have to make sure there is a qualified lifesaver among other things... Did ya think of that?
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xray328
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2016, 09:43:45 PM »

Maybe a "we're planning a sight seeing tour the day after if any cadets are interested for an additional $50"  Let them stay an extra day.


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xray328
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2016, 09:44:22 PM »

E-Techs figured it out


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Eclipse
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2016, 09:59:07 PM »



The BSA won't let you get into a still lake until you've had a supervised swim test, and for very good reason.
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Spam
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« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2016, 11:56:00 PM »

We just got back from dropping my oldest off at Patrick AFB for Space Command Fam NCSA on Saturday. So far as activities go, its a FAR better content filled NCSA than eTech was at Auburn a couple of years ago where they ran out of engineering activities and padded it with a field trip to the Tuskeegee Airmen little museum.

At the SpaceCom Fam course, they're staying at an economy beachfront resort (decent rooms, good area - I inspected, as I used to work at Kennedy and lived in Brevard Co. for 5 years) with a pool, volleyball and bball courts, and have two hours free time at night. Having met their staff I'm quite confident in their ORM assessments and their capability to safely execute the program. They hit KSC yesterday, spent the day today in the VAB and launch pads, and presumably have been trusted to venture outside air conditioned carpeted spaces without alerting the Pentagon duty desk for clearance.

As for me, downtown Chicago seems far risker - it pegs MY own ORM meter, since they won't let me concealed carry in such a crime plagued area! (grin).

V/R
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Spam
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« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2016, 11:59:01 PM »

E-Techs figured it out


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"NOOOOOO, they stealin' mah bucketz!!!!!!"

Cheers
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2016, 12:05:08 AM »

As for me, downtown Chicago seems far risker - it pegs MY own ORM meter, since they won't let me concealed carry in such a crime plagued area! (grin).

V/R
Spam


CCWs are all over Chicago...
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Spam
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« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2016, 12:19:23 AM »

I stand so corrected!
Well Done Chicago!

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/24/chicago-crime-rate-drops-as-concealed-carry-gun-pe/

Thanks, near-Major!  ;D

V/R
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Eclipse
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« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2016, 12:56:09 AM »

To be fair, it's the not CCW most people have to be concerned about.  Those are likely
going to cause a bumper crop this year.

It's mostly in a few typically gang-heavy areas, but the problem w/ the Loop is that, like a lot of
other major cities, you can be walking through an area generally considered "safe", and one block
too far takes you into "unpleasantness".

For example the lakefront is generally considered pretty safe on the North ends, but much South
of McCormick Place things get dicey, and deity of choice help you if you wander a few blocks West of the area they
want to build Lucas' museum.

As someone who likes to wander on business trips, I've encountered a lot of "oh poop, this block
was a bad idea" moments.
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LSThiker
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« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2016, 09:54:46 AM »



The BSA won't let you get into a still lake until you've had a supervised swim test, and for very good reason.

Riptides are easy to get out of if you know how.  The problem is not the ability to swim, it is rather that most people do not know what to do.  I used to live on the ocean (as in step out my backdoor and there is the ocean) and would get caught in these all the time.  Depending on the day, either I would just let them take me out for fun or I would get out of them quickly.   Rip currents do not kill people, rather their action kills them.  Most people try to swim against the current, tiring, and then drown.  A supervised swim test is not necessary to escape a riptide.  Just a simple instruction on how to recognize them and what to do if caught in one.  Otherwise, enjoy your effortless ride on a rip current.         
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2016, 10:13:38 AM »



The BSA won't let you get into a still lake until you've had a supervised swim test, and for very good reason.

Riptides are easy to get out of if you know how.  The problem is not the ability to swim, it is rather that most people do not know what to do.  I used to live on the ocean (as in step out my backdoor and there is the ocean) and would get caught in these all the time.  Depending on the day, either I would just let them take me out for fun or I would get out of them quickly.   Rip currents do not kill people, rather their action kills them.  Most people try to swim against the current, tiring, and then drown.  A supervised swim test is not necessary to escape a riptide.  Just a simple instruction on how to recognize them and what to do if caught in one.  Otherwise, enjoy your effortless ride on a rip current.       


Any good online sources? Having experienced the pull in Mexico...it's not a pleasant situation to be in unprepared.
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LSThiker
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« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2016, 11:09:30 AM »

Any good online sources? Having experienced the pull in Mexico...it's not a pleasant situation to be in unprepared.

It is pretty easy actually:

1.  Do not panic (usually the first mistake by people)
2.  Do not try to swim against the current (second mistake by people)
3.  Determine the direction you are getting pulled (not always perpendicular to the shore)
4.  Swim perpendicular to the direction you are getting pulled (which is not always parallel to shore)
5.  Swim back to shore or let the waves take you back to shore

http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/surviving.shtml
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Eclipse
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« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2016, 11:11:05 AM »

Riptides are easy to get out of if you know how.  The problem is not the ability to swim, it is rather that most people do not know what to do.

That's literally my point.

Some cadets from fly-over land-lockedville who have never seen an ocean or even a lake with currents running
into the ocean w/o instruction is high risk.

And what the heck is with those buckets?

Also, to the comment above, you're making the assumption they know how to swim.  CAP has no mechanism for
confirming that.  There are far too many adolescent these days who do not know how to swim,
let alone swim in a challenging current where the key is "don't panic".
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LSThiker
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« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2016, 11:19:51 AM »

Also, to the comment above, you're making the assumption they know how to swim.  CAP has no mechanism for
confirming that.  There are far too many adolescent these days who do not know how to swim,
let alone swim in a challenging current where the key is "don't panic".

Not really making an assumption, I know the percentages:

Caucasians:  40%
Hispanic:  60%
African:  70%
Asian:  do not know.  no one likes to report on Asians :)

do not know how to swim. 
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Ned
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« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2016, 11:32:19 AM »


Not really making an assumption, I know the percentages:

Caucasians:  40%
Hispanic:  60%
African:  70%
Asian:  do not know.  no one likes to report on Asians :)

do not know how to swim.

Truth. 

I went to the Philippines on IACE as a cadet.  My first time in a place with a warm ocean, which was amazing.  I could have spent my entire trip swimming in that incredibly warm ocean.  (As a Californian, we have a lot of beaches and ocean, but to my skinny body, it is is freakishly cold.)

But it turned out that one of my fellow cadets could not swim a lick.  He would have drowned if he was two feet from the side of a pool.

It was culture shock.  And a lesson I remember to this day when dealing with cadets.  No assumptions on water safety.
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2016, 11:46:42 AM »

I never thought those levels are so high...
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Eclipse
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« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2016, 11:50:30 AM »

It was / is pretty shocking to me - swim safety / fun was a priority for our kids,
we had a pool for years and now they live at the local city pool, but for many
it's not even on the radar.

Even more so is how many adults can't swim - you'd think most would get around to it eventually,
but I guess not.
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PHall
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« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2016, 11:57:45 AM »


Not really making an assumption, I know the percentages:

Caucasians:  40%
Hispanic:  60%
African:  70%
Asian:  do not know.  no one likes to report on Asians :)

do not know how to swim.

Truth. 

I went to the Philippines on IACE as a cadet.  My first time in a place with a warm ocean, which was amazing.  I could have spent my entire trip swimming in that incredibly warm ocean.  (As a Californian, we have a lot of beaches and ocean, but to my skinny body, it is is freakishly cold.)

But it turned out that one of my fellow cadets could not swim a lick.  He would have drowned if he was two feet from the side of a pool.

It was culture shock.  And a lesson I remember to this day when dealing with cadets.  No assumptions on water safety.

Ned, that cold water along the California Coast is from the little gift we get from Asia, the Japanese Current.
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vento
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« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2016, 11:59:15 AM »

In California we have these guys to get a cadet who can't swim out of trouble  >:D

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Eclipse
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« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2016, 12:27:02 PM »

^ The trouble with those guys is they are great once they arrive, but take forever because they always run in slow motion.
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stitchmom
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« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2016, 12:51:05 PM »

It was / is pretty shocking to me - swim safety / fun was a priority for our kids,
we had a pool for years and now they live at the local city pool, but for many
it's not even on the radar.

Even more so is how many adults can't swim - you'd think most would get around to it eventually,
but I guess not.

Unless the city or Y subsidizes swim lessons many lower income kids never learn. Swimming lessons are often more a middle class thing.
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2016, 01:50:16 PM »

It was / is pretty shocking to me - swim safety / fun was a priority for our kids,
we had a pool for years and now they live at the local city pool, but for many
it's not even on the radar.

Even more so is how many adults can't swim - you'd think most would get around to it eventually,
but I guess not.

Unless the city or Y subsidizes swim lessons many lower income kids never learn. Swimming lessons are often more a middle class thing.


I was taught by my mom in the Baltic sea. She towed me out after a few lessons into deeper water than a 6/7 year old could stand, and let go. That's when I learned to swim.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2016, 01:52:14 PM »

+1 Why is everything these days "someone else's problem  or responsibility".

Take your kid to the park and teach them yourself if you can't afford the lessons.
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capmaj
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« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2016, 01:59:25 PM »

In California we have these guys to get a cadet who can't swim out of trouble  >:D



And as soon as they see a mirror they stop.
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #50 on: June 21, 2016, 02:11:05 PM »

+1 Why is everything these days "someone else's problem  or responsibility".

Take your kid to the park and teach them yourself if you can't afford the lessons.


Forgot to mention, we lived on less than $10/ day.
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A.Member
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« Reply #51 on: June 21, 2016, 02:52:44 PM »

I thought the reason you went to a NCSA was to attend the NCSA.
You wanna go to the beach? Go on vacation instead...
Fact... x1000

The OP seems to want a vacation.  That would be fun (I just got back from one).  That's not the point of a NCSA.  If you think it is, you need to reset your expectations.
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jeders
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« Reply #52 on: June 21, 2016, 03:32:44 PM »

It was / is pretty shocking to me - swim safety / fun was a priority for our kids,
we had a pool for years and now they live at the local city pool, but for many
it's not even on the radar.

Even more so is how many adults can't swim - you'd think most would get around to it eventually,
but I guess not.

Unless the city or Y subsidizes swim lessons many lower income kids never learn. Swimming lessons are often more a middle class thing.

Do what my parents/grand parents/great grand parents/you get the point did, find a body of water and jump/get thrown in. Costs $0.
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Spaceman3750
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« Reply #53 on: June 21, 2016, 03:38:16 PM »

It was / is pretty shocking to me - swim safety / fun was a priority for our kids,
we had a pool for years and now they live at the local city pool, but for many
it's not even on the radar.

Even more so is how many adults can't swim - you'd think most would get around to it eventually,
but I guess not.

Unless the city or Y subsidizes swim lessons many lower income kids never learn. Swimming lessons are often more a middle class thing.

Do what my parents/grand parents/great grand parents/you get the point did, find a body of water and jump/get thrown in. Costs $0.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqqC1uk8KJI
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LSThiker
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« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2016, 04:31:46 PM »

Do what my parents/grand parents/great grand parents/you get the point did, find a body of water and jump/get thrown in. Costs $0 CPS visit.

Fixed that cost for you for today's parental environment. 
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SarDragon
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« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2016, 06:10:19 PM »

When I was at Great Mistakes, back in 1969, we had a swim test - jump in from a platform 5' off the water, swim around the deep end (the equivalent of one regular up-and-back lap), and then tread water for the remainder of 5 minutes. We had about a 20% fail rate, depending on company demographics. Those who failed went to remedial swim training in the evening. I was one of those people. Even after that extra training, I still do not swim well.

Based on what I see today, I think the fail rate would generally be even higher. It probably isn't, because the enlistment inducements are entirely different now. The kids who were draft-induced enlistments back then probably wouldn't even be joining now.
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xray328
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« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2016, 06:45:23 PM »

Not asking for a vacation. What I'm asking for is if an NCSA is in a great location, why not incorporate that into the week? Our summer encampments in Springfield so the cadets visit Lincoln's Tomb. If the NCSA is in San Antonio, visit the Alamo.  Encourage them to embrace the cultural richness of the local area. It's a shame to fly them to a great location and not at least spend a little time to let them experience whatever gem that location has to offer. This program has an issue with retention. If you want to make it all about leadership and military correctness (and that's all) you're going to keep loosing cadets. If you want to keep them engaged make sure there's a little fun.  Or keep doing what your doing and let 85% of the cadets continue to leave in the first 18 months.


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Ned
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« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2016, 07:03:57 PM »

If you want to keep them engaged make sure there's a little fun.  Or keep doing what your doing and let 85% of the cadets continue to leave in the first 18 months.

Come on now, that's not quite fair.  The retention rate for cadets who attend NCSAs is actually very good.  Because they are fun and challenging.

But I certainly agree that we need to continue to work on our weekly meetings to improve the fun quotient.

Any ideas?

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager
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CadetButterz
Recruit

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« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2016, 07:04:56 PM »

I'm pretty sure Civil Engineering Academy goes to a local beach in Panama City.
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xray328
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« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2016, 07:07:53 PM »

My comment was a reply to this mentality that we should think of NCSA's as a "business trip" that's sole intention is to teach them something.  And if that means a week of PowerPoint presentations so be it.


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Ned
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« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2016, 07:10:47 PM »

My comment was a reply to this mentality that we should think of NCSA's as a "business trip" that's sole intention is to teach them something.  And if that means a week of PowerPoint presentations so be it.

I would really invite you to take a look at the curricula for our NCSAs.  They are designed to be engaging, hands on, and yes - fun -activities.  None of them comes close to a week of ppt.  I don't think the PJOC troops see a single slide.

Seriously, please take a look.  I think you'll like what you see.  This is some of the best stuff we do.

Even without a side trip.   ;D
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xray328
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« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2016, 07:12:08 PM »

And to the assertion that I think they should be on a vacation.  Taking advantage of local culture or an educational opportunity doesn't mean that I think this should be a week at Disney.


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abdsp51
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« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2016, 08:02:18 PM »

I think you need to step back and participate more than trying to advocate major changes.
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xray328
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« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2016, 09:03:48 PM »

Great idea


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abdsp51
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« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2016, 10:35:27 PM »

OP was going to send this to you as a response via pm but hey here you and others go.

I feel you, I really do.  I have been in 3 wings 4 different units and have seen a fair share of what you are talking about.  I have been a TO and XO and a few activities and understand the difficulty in making things fun especially at a home meeting and watching cadets walk out the door.

I have had suggestions thrown at me for activities started planning and have had interest wane just to get we are unhappy. I even planned and coordinated for a big event for my respective area just to have the wing try and shut it down and had to cancel it anyway because no one within the area wanted to support it.  The impression I have gotten from alot of cadets who want to do things outside of meetings or during just want to do and not have to be part of the process or make any effort. 

I don't know what activities your daughter has gone for her to feel they are worse than encampment so I can't speak to those. 

I can speak that I have been a TO to a group of cadets that didn't listen worth a lick and halfway through the activity had me wishing that the thing was done and I was on my way home. 

Anyway nothing wrong with wanting to share culture of an area while there but NCSAs are built like most activities to maximize the time for the event.  And the logistical and ORM factors for doing things outside of that can be a nightmare to handle on top of the activity itself and really should tie into the activity.  Not to mention the liability involved with it.  I can tell you I have been on numerous pre-deployment training trips and locked down worse for "BS and just cuz" reasons and it drove me and me peers up a wall.

I feel you but I think that you should step back maybe be part of the planning process for some of these things and see a bigger picture involved. 
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xray328
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« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2016, 11:11:00 PM »

I shouldn't lump all NCSA's into one group based on a first time bad experience either I guess. Thanks for the insight guys.


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A.Member
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« Reply #66 on: June 22, 2016, 12:40:45 AM »

And to the assertion that I think they should be on a vacation.  Taking advantage of local culture or an educational opportunity doesn't mean that I think this should be a week at Disney.


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If that's what they want to do, they can stay in the area for a few days and explore on their own time after the activity ends (or before it begins).  But it shouldn't be part of the official activity.
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« Reply #67 on: June 22, 2016, 02:58:19 AM »

My oldest could NOT stop texting me today about his NCSA - between all the enthusiasm about visiting the Atlas launch complex (with a launch set for FRI 1100L, no RF emissions were allowed on the pad only feet away from the rocket, so no pics apparently) and being up close to a Falcon 9, his biggest thrill was to have a conversation this afternoon with the General in command of the 45th Space Wing about orbital manufacturing (my son has big dreams).

Were I to tell him that this NCSA was to pull him off base to go to EPCOT instead, he'd tell me to get stuffed; the on base activities were far, far more stimulating and high tech interesting than any possible off base fun!  If we do it right, that's the goal for each and every NCSA... on base/on site should be so intellectually stimulating and compelling, so attractive, and so hands on content-filled that we allow no idle hands time for devils business or time to get bored.

V/R
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DakRadz
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« Reply #68 on: June 22, 2016, 09:37:48 AM »

My comment was a reply to this mentality that we should think of NCSA's as a "business trip" that's sole intention is to teach them something.  And if that means a week of PowerPoint presentations so be it.


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I went to Cadet Officer School 201* (met Ned, who was unfortunately not my CAP flight officer), wore blues except about 1-2 hours a day when we wore PTs, and I don't believe we left base (if we did, it literally DOES NOT stand out in my memories).

This is arguably the most sit-down, business-like environment of any NCSA. We still had a lot of fun during the PT times. I met awesome leaders, even the ones who were staffing the activity- plus the actual dignitaries who came for speeches and presentations. Pilots, special agents, a really, really cool judge, the most senior mustang in the US armed forces (three star, I think). And only the last of those was not on staff.

We had homework every day. And I mean minimum word count homework. We did have power points at times. But there were many team building exercises that I loved, my flight learned to be cohesive, and the activity is a highlight of my CAP career.



I also feel it's germane here to mention that while my NCSA was, at its core (and not in a bad way), a business/college-like experience, I ended up as a firefighter/paramedic who rarely wears dress clothes or operates in a business environment. I knew I wanted to gain leadership experience, and the staff made the week fun. It didn't matter that it did or did not align with my style, such as it was. I knew I wanted what the activity offered.

Besides. Every activity, encampment, squadron has bad years/"dry spells" just like everything else in life.

ETA: Geez, Ned. Had to razz me about it. >:D Context? What context?!
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Eclipse
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« Reply #69 on: June 22, 2016, 11:02:17 AM »

Many of us who are involved in these activities long-term have to remind ourselves that
while "This is the eleventeenth time I've done this, let's do something else..." it's probably
the first, and sometimes only time a student or participant will ever get the experience,
that's what they are there for, and many if not most cadets come from relatively
small CAP units or environments where they don't experience the structure and text-book model of CAP
anywhere else.

So that week in a classroom, in blues, might be the exact thing they actually paif their money for,
and consider the outside stuff an unwelcome distraction.

This is one of my peeves with National Conferences which are as much or more excited about providing
a vacation as a conference - if I want to go to Disney, I'll go to Disney, and not in a uniform.  If I take the
time and effort for a conference, I want that time spent on the subject at hand, not Space Mountain.

The trade show industry is suffering because of the bandcamp mentality, especially in Vegas - the internet
provides most of the "news" you need about new product these days, and the conferences and shows just become very
expensive annual paid vacations for the sale s people.
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Alaric
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« Reply #70 on: June 22, 2016, 11:16:51 AM »

My comment was a reply to this mentality that we should think of NCSA's as a "business trip" that's sole intention is to teach them something.  And if that means a week of PowerPoint presentations so be it.


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That mentality seems to be working as NCSAs continue to be applied to, and the retention rates for cadets who attend NCSAs are better than those who don't.  If a particular NCSA has spare time in their curriculum and the logistics for off base events, good for them.  Of course, what about those cadets who actually did go to the NCSA for the  NCSA and couldn't care less about the Alamo, the beach, etc?
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Ned
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« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2016, 11:58:55 AM »


I went to Cadet Officer School 201* (met Ned, unfortunately . . .)

Sigh, the story of my CAP life.   ;)
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #72 on: June 22, 2016, 01:43:24 PM »


I went to Cadet Officer School 201* (met Ned, unfortunately . . .)

Sigh, the story of my CAP life.   ;)

I too would like to unfortunately meet Ned one day. Perhaps ILWG conference in October?
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Alaric
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« Reply #73 on: June 22, 2016, 01:56:39 PM »


I went to Cadet Officer School 201* (met Ned, unfortunately . . .)

Sigh, the story of my CAP life.   ;)

I too would like to unfortunately meet Ned one day. Perhaps ILWG conference in October?

I believe I will get to meet Ned at the Intermediate TLC being hosted in Nashville
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Ed DeSocio
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« Reply #74 on: June 22, 2016, 06:06:17 PM »

These activities are so filled with content that there isn't any time for tours.  Besides, the cadets likely wouldn't sacrifice the valuable contact time for a trip into town.  Cadet Officer School was structured similar to an encampment, and what little free time we had was filled with sports and homework.  I wouldn't have had it any other way.  IACE, on the other hand, had plenty of opportunities to wander around.  The entire activity is a tour of, and junior ambassadorship to, your chosen country.  We did have a day in Washington, DC to see the Smithsonian before flying out to Europe.  On the return trip, we had an evening in Frankfurt and another in Washington before flying home (we weren't supposed to leave the hotels but everyone did).  If sightseeing is something important for you, apply for IACE.  Otherwise, choose an activity that you are passionately interested in because that, and only that, is what you'll be doing the entire time.
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Ed DeSocio
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« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2016, 02:08:14 PM »

Many NCSAs do go "Off-Post".  the AFCEA at Tyndall goes to the beach on the last day, AF Space CO goes to a baseball game and to the mountains, IACE is all about visiting places, CLA visits multiple tourist destinations in DC. I wish I knew about every activity, but there are some in the middle of nowhere that don't have much to offer "outside the gate."
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sploding
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« Reply #76 on: September 11, 2016, 02:00:33 AM »

I am a U.S. Naval Sea Cadet and agree that C A P does not try to carve out time for more "fun" activities.
It is not impossible i have been to multiple sea cadet trainings and cap ncsas and have seen that both programs handle it differently. For example two week dive cruises on the YP-673 Pride of Michigan will have a few Liberty ports around the Great Lakes where cadets are allowed to disembark and spend some time with their shipmates in town, also trainings that do not have as many traveling opportunities still find ways to incorporate downtime for fun and team building like for field operations and POLA training at camp Varnum , RI they will have two days where the cadets get to go on ropes courses and on a water obstacle course on a nearby sub base while at riverine force training in Oleta,VA cadets are allowed to swim in the lake on our downtime and at night while you weren't on watch there would be a movie playing in the classroom tent for cadets to unwind and have fun after 12 hour watch rotations . So while it may be difficult to put in it has been done and I agree with you where C A P should try to allow the cadets to have a little bit of time to destress and to have fun with their fellow shipmates
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RazorbackPride
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« Reply #77 on: September 11, 2016, 03:39:57 AM »

Apples and oranges.

We are different organizations with different missions, different cultures, and different rules.

It's not an opinion that CAP cadet programs are supposed to be fun, it's a key aspect written in stone reg.

Fun doesn't mean irrelevant distractions though. I'm sure everyone here would agree that a safe and practical off-base activity that furthers the purpose of the main activity is great.
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DakRadz
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« Reply #78 on: September 11, 2016, 07:40:14 AM »

So if you look back to my previous post, I had to be reminded about the Leadership Lab/Team building exercises by a cadet who attended this year.

Active, challenging, physical event on sweet obstacle courses (and yes, fun!), but I remembered other things better. Perspective.

NCSAs need our support, but I think massive change is probably best suited elsewhere in CAP.

1st Lt Raduenz

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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: NCSA - not leaving the base
 


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