Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
June 26, 2017, 09:55:35 PM
Home Help Login Register
News:

CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: Have Things Really Changed This Much?
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Pages: [1] 2 3  All Print
Author Topic: Have Things Really Changed This Much?  (Read 3353 times)
DadOscarMike
Newbie

Posts: 1

« on: March 27, 2017, 05:11:35 PM »

I was a cadet in CAP about 15 years ago, now that I have kids that are of the age to join, my wife and I decided to take them to a meeting at our local squadron.  What a shock!  This cadet squadron is nothing like the squadron I was part of as a cadet.  Practically the entire meeting consisted of the Squadron Commander talking about various things (very few of which pertained to the cadets) with the cadets and a couple of senior members sitting there board out of their mind.  There was no opening or closing formations, no Leadership, Aerospace, or any such class, no cadet-run meeting or activity and no drill.
 
While all of this was disappointing, what was more distressing was to see senior members, including the Squadron Commander, wearing the AF uniform when they clearly did not meet the height/weight standards.  Has something changed in the last 15 years?  It would be embarrassing to be associated with a unit that so blatantly disrespects the uniform.  I casually mentioned the wearing of the AF uniform to one senior member after the meeting, and was told that “…we kinda do our own thing since we are so far away from HQ”.  Wow!
 
Needless to say, my kids weren’t impressed either.  I guess I over-sold the idea of Civil Air Patrol to them.

What to do?

   
Disappointed Dad
Logged
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,765

« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 05:23:54 PM »

I was a cadet in CAP about 15 years ago, now that I have kids that are of the age to join, my wife and I decided to take them to a meeting at our local squadron.  What a shock!  This cadet squadron is nothing like the squadron I was part of as a cadet.  Practically the entire meeting consisted of the Squadron Commander talking about various things (very few of which pertained to the cadets) with the cadets and a couple of senior members sitting there board out of their mind.  There was no opening or closing formations, no Leadership, Aerospace, or any such class, no cadet-run meeting or activity and no drill.
 
While all of this was disappointing, what was more distressing was to see senior members, including the Squadron Commander, wearing the AF uniform when they clearly did not meet the height/weight standards.  Has something changed in the last 15 years?  It would be embarrassing to be associated with a unit that so blatantly disrespects the uniform.  I casually mentioned the wearing of the AF uniform to one senior member after the meeting, and was told that “…we kinda do our own thing since we are so far away from HQ”.  Wow!
 
Needless to say, my kids weren’t impressed either.  I guess I over-sold the idea of Civil Air Patrol to them.

What to do?

   
Disappointed Dad

Run. Find another squadron. You're going to end up getting stressed out over it and your family along with you.
Logged
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,474

« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 05:35:10 PM »

Has something changed in the last 15 years?

Yes - you and your lenses.  MUCH has changed in the last 15 years, but the majority is incremental or ultimately
trivial in regards to the totality of CAP's programs.  15 years ago there were squadrons that hit all cylinders, some
struggling to keep the doors open, and most somewhere in between.

Other then significant shrinkage of both the membership as a whole, as well as the number of charters, not much has
changed that radically during the period cited.  If you were that shocked, you should consider yourself lucky that
you were a member at one of the higher-functioning units in your wing.

Has something changed in the last 15 years?
Run. Find another squadron. You're going to end up getting stressed out over it and your family along with you.

+1*

*Assuming this was a "typical" meeting night and not one where key players or numbers were missing, etc.
If you visited my unit on a PT night, or the occasional off night where we have a number of key players missing
for legit reasons, we might not be in our Sunday best, or have the most coherent agenda, however with that said,
you can usually get a pretty good idea if that's the case or not - that comment about "doing our own thing"
would be a huge red flag for me if I were in your shoes.

Hopefully there are other units close enough to consider, and if you want to "spread the love" on this,
you might consider a note to the Wing CC with your first impressions, who knows, things might change
(or you could wind up wearing a CC badge).
Logged

"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

County
Recruit

Posts: 9

« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2017, 02:44:21 PM »

I too talked CAP up to my son. Took him to the meeting and generally liked what I saw but noticed many areas for improvement. I joined along side him and took over the gig of Deputy Commander for Cadets. We are running quite smoothly and growing in Cadets for the first time in a number of years.

Sometimes to give your kids the best experience you have to provide that for them. Sometimes that means you have to be a part of the organization. Spoken from a former Cub Scout Den leader and Cubmaster, Assistant Soccer coach and now DCC. Good luck to you and your family moving forward.

 
Logged
TSgt
Майор Хаткевич
200,000th Post Author
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,010
Unit: GLR-IL-049

« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2017, 03:33:53 PM »

Former cadets coming back into the fold, even 10-20 years out can be beneficial. Many units don't even have a former cadet / knowledgeable SM, so getting one who is out of date, but willing to get caught up is a major plus.
Logged
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 634

« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 06:39:35 PM »

We always encourage folks to visit at least for a month. It never fails that visitors show up on either PT day and get to see folks running the mile and doing pushups, or they come on drill day and all they see is marching.  Or one of those organizational business meeting type days, where yes, its mostly the CC talking over things. LOL

If I see a visitor coming in on one of those days, I try to get to them quickly and talk about our monthly schedule and how every meeting is different and some days are more fun (Aerospace) than others, so please visit several times.
Logged
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 835

« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2017, 05:06:02 PM »

I think the squadron you described is all too common these days. I'm not sure what the percentages are as to how many squadrons operate that way, but it seems like it's fairly regular.

We always encourage folks to visit at least for a month. It never fails that visitors show up on either PT day and get to see folks running the mile and doing pushups, or they come on drill day and all they see is marching.  Or one of those organizational business meeting type days, where yes, its mostly the CC talking over things. LOL

If I see a visitor coming in on one of those days, I try to get to them quickly and talk about our monthly schedule and how every meeting is different and some days are more fun (Aerospace) than others, so please visit several times.

They come on a PT day, and they have to stand there and watch PT and not participate. They come on a drill day, and it's boring.

Guess what: cadets already in CAP feel exactly the same. If cadets spend 2 hours doing drill, they're bored. If a visitor watches 2 hours of drill, they're bored. It goes hand-in-hand.

If you have to explain to a visitor, "I swear, not every meeting is like this," you're doing something wrong, because you subjected your current members to a "meeting like this."

I think people fail to remember that membership has two components: Recruiting AND Retention. Okay, you got them in the door. Now, how are you going to get them to stay?
Logged
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,474

« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2017, 05:20:14 PM »

They come on a PT day, and they have to stand there and watch PT and not participate. They come on a drill day, and it's boring.

Guess what: cadets already in CAP feel exactly the same. If cadets spend 2 hours doing drill, they're bored. If a visitor watches 2 hours of drill, they're bored. It goes hand-in-hand.

If you have to explain to a visitor, "I swear, not every meeting is like this," you're doing something wrong, because you subjected your current members to a "meeting like this."

I think people fail to remember that membership has two components: Recruiting AND Retention. Okay, you got them in the door. Now, how are you going to get them to stay?

Excellent points - last night we had three cadets who showed up as visitors last minute, two were friends of cadets who were also very new.

After announcements, a short video on rocketry, and one promotion, they went outside and did some general drill (guests as well), then our senior NCO held a uniform inspection
(which admittedly took too long) while our Flight CC took his Earhart online test.

The cadets broke up into two groups, one participating in a LAG, the others making up an element for a practical drill test, then the evening concluded with CDI, followed by
any number of ad hoc conversations about a number of things as members needed (we get shooed right at 2100 by the airport).

Sounds like too much drill, but it was a lot of moving pieces and spirit with a lot accomplished for several cadets.

Seniors meanwhile held a Finance meeting and prepped the docs for a few things (while also whining about discussing whatever was handy as always).

It always amazes me how short the meetings are and how much we can get done, even though it's never enough time for everything we'd like to do.

The last few meetings have had a lot of energy, which to me is infectious and would serve us well for guests, regardless of what we're actually doing.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 05:23:16 PM by Eclipse » Logged

"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

zippity
Recruit

Posts: 11
Unit: Metric

« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 10:12:42 AM »

We always encourage folks to visit at least for a month. It never fails that visitors show up on either PT day and get to see folks running the mile and doing pushups, or they come on drill day and all they see is marching.  Or one of those organizational business meeting type days, where yes, its mostly the CC talking over things. LOL

If I see a visitor coming in on one of those days, I try to get to them quickly and talk about our monthly schedule and how every meeting is different and some days are more fun (Aerospace) than others, so please visit several times.

Our last senior-level visitors showed up for our annual safety stand-down meeting, so they got to practice a fire drill with us in the rain. D'oh!
Logged
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 835

« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 10:36:42 AM »

They come on a PT day, and they have to stand there and watch PT and not participate. They come on a drill day, and it's boring.

Guess what: cadets already in CAP feel exactly the same. If cadets spend 2 hours doing drill, they're bored. If a visitor watches 2 hours of drill, they're bored. It goes hand-in-hand.

If you have to explain to a visitor, "I swear, not every meeting is like this," you're doing something wrong, because you subjected your current members to a "meeting like this."

I think people fail to remember that membership has two components: Recruiting AND Retention. Okay, you got them in the door. Now, how are you going to get them to stay?

Excellent points - last night we had three cadets who showed up as visitors last minute, two were friends of cadets who were also very new.

After announcements, a short video on rocketry, and one promotion, they went outside and did some general drill (guests as well), then our senior NCO held a uniform inspection
(which admittedly took too long) while our Flight CC took his Earhart online test.

The cadets broke up into two groups, one participating in a LAG, the others making up an element for a practical drill test, then the evening concluded with CDI, followed by
any number of ad hoc conversations about a number of things as members needed (we get shooed right at 2100 by the airport).

Sounds like too much drill, but it was a lot of moving pieces and spirit with a lot accomplished for several cadets.

Seniors meanwhile held a Finance meeting and prepped the docs for a few things (while also whining about discussing whatever was handy as always).

It always amazes me how short the meetings are and how much we can get done, even though it's never enough time for everything we'd like to do.

The last few meetings have had a lot of energy, which to me is infectious and would serve us well for guests, regardless of what we're actually doing.

I think you can really cram in a lot, and not just stuff that makes time goes by that they learn and forget, but actual quality instruction that can carry over. The hard part is trying to fit it all in so that it isn't boring.

I make it an effort to ensure that for every class in the classroom, we get a chance to get hands on outside, if possible. 2.5 hour meeting (take off 30 minutes, give or take for opening, closing, and a break in the middle); if it's an hour of Character Development, they should have an hour of whatever else means "get your butts outside and go get dirty."

Think of it like school:
Kids sit in classes from 0730-1500. In one class, the teacher puts on a video (movie version of the book, whatever it is). To the students, that's like break time away from "class." CAP is similar, but in reverse. They go to school all day, all week. They come to CAP. Turn the video off and get outside.

We're meant to teach responsibility. This should not come at the cost of them still being teenagers.
Logged
foo
Forum Regular

Posts: 136

« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 01:19:12 PM »

We always encourage folks to visit at least most for a month. It never fails that visitors show up on either PT day and get to see folks running the mile and doing pushups, or they come on drill day and all they see is marching.  Or one of those organizational business meeting type days, where yes, its mostly the CC talking over things. LOL

If I see a visitor coming in on one of those days, I try to get to them quickly and talk about our monthly schedule and how every meeting is different and some days are more fun (Aerospace) than others, so please visit several times.

I like what you said, with just a minor quibble with your first statement. If your unit cares about following regulations (and I realize many don't so much):

Quote from: CAPR 39-2 Civil Air Patrol Membership
2.2.8. Prospective cadets visiting a traditional unit must participate in a trial period by attending three squadron meetings before requesting membership. Unit commanders will not approve membership applications (online or in paper form) until the prospective cadet has attended his or her third squadron meeting. Commanders of school-sponsored units possessing an 800-series charter number will set a trial period appropriate for that school unit’s program environment, in coordination with the school principal. Prospective cadets may not explore CAP without joining for longer than 30 days.

In other words, they must complete their three visits within one month, not "at least" one month.
Logged
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,474

« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 01:45:00 PM »

Quote from: CAPR 39-2 Civil Air Patrol Membership
2.2.8. Prospective cadets visiting a traditional unit must participate in a trial period by attending three squadron meetings before requesting membership. Unit commanders will not approve membership applications (online or in paper form) until the prospective cadet has attended his or her third squadron meeting. Commanders of school-sponsored units possessing an 800-series charter number will set a trial period appropriate for that school unit’s program environment, in coordination with the school principal. Prospective cadets may not explore CAP without joining for longer than 30 days.

In other words, they must complete their three visits within one month, not "at least" one month.

I don't think that is what it says, or at least that's not the intention.

There are any number of reasons why a prospective cadet may not be able to attend three concurrent consecutive
curse you SARDRAGON! meetings, many outside the recruit's control - a last-minute cancellation, some
pre-planned activity that a non-member cannot attend like a SAREx, encampment, or similar, or even the occasional "I have band that night"
situation as would be afforded to a member.

The above is intended to prevent situations as we have seen in the relatively recent past here on CT and elsewhere
where a cadet is inexplicably allowed to participate without joining for months or even in an apparent extreme case, for years.

I can't begin to imagine that the above was intended to require 3 concurrent meetings, nor that missing a meeting on
day 30 outside a cadet's control resets the clock on joining.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 05:25:05 PM by Eclipse » Logged

"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 835

« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 01:54:17 PM »

For clarity sake, I think we need to distinguish between "cadet" (someone who's application has been accepted by the Commander and sent on to higher HQ for processing), and a "prospective cadet/recruit" (someone who is "exploring" Civil Air Patrol and has not yet submitted an application or the application has not yet been accepted by the Commander for approval).

A prospect who shows up in Week 2 and Week 3, but cannot attend Week 4 or Week 1 of the next month should be able to come back in Week 2 of that month. But you really need to watch them lingering.

We had a case where this gentleman would drop his grandchildren off to "explore CAP" and wander off. Irresponsibility aside, they aren't members. They were showing up A LOT. We explained to them that when whoever showed up to pick them up, have them come in and chat with us. Mom: "Yeah, grandpa does that." Ugh.

I've seen before where a unit permitted prospects to show up and "hang out" for nearly two months before they actually submitted applications. The Commander said it was fine, and so it shall be, right? "They aren't comfortable committing yet, and we don't want to scare them away."

We are not an activity club nor a babysitting group. If you want to join, or you want your son/daughter to join, fill out the application, pay the fee, and get on the roster.

Logged
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,462
Unit: of issue

« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2017, 02:09:10 PM »

We are not an activity club nor a babysitting group. If you want to join, or you want your son/daughter to join, fill out the application, pay the fee, and get on the roster.

"here is our membership timeline for joining this cycle..."

Not that we do corhort recruiting or anything.
Logged
Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 835

« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2017, 02:20:30 PM »

We are not an activity club nor a babysitting group. If you want to join, or you want your son/daughter to join, fill out the application, pay the fee, and get on the roster.

"here is our membership timeline for joining this cycle..."

Not that we do corhort recruiting or anything.

 :clap: *bows to the master*

I still pass out your resources from time to time to keep everyone fresh on the cohort process.

I'm a stickler for "have a plan; give me a timeline." Do you know when your next group begins? No? Why not? Oh, in two months. Guess what: you missed the deadline for having it planned out.

And do not be afraid to tell someone "This might not be the program for you..."
Logged
Spaceman3750
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,588

« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2017, 03:24:00 PM »

We are not an activity club nor a babysitting group. If you want to join, or you want your son/daughter to join, fill out the application, pay the fee, and get on the roster.

"here is our membership timeline for joining this cycle..."

Not that we do corhort recruiting or anything.

Yeah, I was going to say, cohort is great for this. We just ran a cohort of 8 plus a returnee and getting them started from week 1 really helped keep their interest.

Our open house is this weekend with our next cohort starting Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what some of my members' time recruiting in local schools has yielded.
Logged
"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,462
Unit: of issue

« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2017, 03:42:15 PM »

Yeah, I was going to say, cohort is great for this. We just ran a cohort of 8 plus a returnee and getting them started from week 1 really helped keep their interest.

Our open house is this weekend with our next cohort starting Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what some of my members' time recruiting in local schools has yielded.

My next trick is to figure out how to run overlapping cohorts that don't kill you on the admin time.. Like "could we start 10 cohorts a year?"

"The next training cycle starts April 6th. Since this is March 15th, you have enough time to visit 3 meetings, get a membership packet, turn it in and now its time for training.."

:)

the system we have works. Its now time to figure out how to scale it.

Logged
Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Spaceman3750
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 2,588

« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2017, 03:45:12 PM »

Yeah, I was going to say, cohort is great for this. We just ran a cohort of 8 plus a returnee and getting them started from week 1 really helped keep their interest.

Our open house is this weekend with our next cohort starting Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what some of my members' time recruiting in local schools has yielded.

My next trick is to figure out how to run overlapping cohorts that don't kill you on the admin time.. Like "could we start 10 cohorts a year?"

"The next training cycle starts April 6th. Since this is March 15th, you have enough time to visit 3 meetings, get a membership packet, turn it in and now its time for training.."

:)

the system we have works. Its now time to figure out how to scale it.

I was about ready to pull the trigger on an overlapping cohort in September and October 2017 but I was talked out of it due to logistics issues. So we're at 3 cohorts this year - February, April, and September.

Once the machine gets fully cranked up and we solve some uniform and cadet staffing problems, we probably could do September and October, but this year is problematic.
Logged
"Anyone can hold the helm when the seas are calm ... leadership is about weathering the storm."

The moment any commander or staff member considers themselves a gatekeeper, instead of a facilitator, they have failed at their job.
I can't fix all of CAP's problems, but I can lead from the bottom by building my squadron as a center of excellence to serve as an example of what every unit can be.
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award
***
Posts: 27,474

« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2017, 03:49:36 PM »

Three sounds it would take more staff then most units could manage considering it's
going to be in addition to normal operations.

I'd be happy with one at this point, but scheduling a cohort without a good plan for filling it
doesn't mean much.  The latter is our issue.
Logged

"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

NIN
VIP

Posts: 4,462
Unit: of issue

« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2017, 03:59:15 PM »

There are some obvious staffing issues, but once we streamline the front end of this to a more manageable and standardized method, we don't need to do "dog & pony" events all the time.  Still do two big recruiting pushes, but have a "cohort in your pocket" so to speak for those people who you can then "fill"  a second cohort with 60 days later without doing all the hoo-ha-ha presentation and such for...

My guys are on the cusp of unlocking this one, I'm pretty sure.  We're nailing down the front end ("advertising," "showing," "filling," "inprocessing") so that you can then crank thru the training with ease and repeatability. Thats the key. When "new cadet training" looks like something you have to re-invent every time, its a long tough up hill slog.  When its something you can repeat over and over without killing yourself, you're like the Henry Ford of cadet training.

Logged
Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
Sq Bubba, Wing Dude, National Guy
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.
Pages: [1] 2 3  All Print 
CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: Have Things Really Changed This Much?
 


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP SMF 2.0.13 | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.438 seconds with 20 queries.