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

Posts: 2,116

« 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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« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 07:32:10 PM by xray328 » Logged
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.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 12:43:49 AM by A.Member » Logged
"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return." - Leonardo da Vinci
Spam
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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?!
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 12:08:59 PM by DakRadz » Logged
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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"Effort" does not equal "results".
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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
Resident Philosopher

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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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Posts: 750

« 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
Recruit

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Unit: NHQ-HQ-996

« 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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Unit: KEK-000

« 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
Recruit

Posts: 49

« 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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