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Cliff_Chambliss
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« on: October 17, 2013, 01:34:57 PM »

OK, before I start let me say my last interaction with a CAP Cadet was 1967.

Would asking CAP Cadets to volunteer to help clean up various ponds at the local zoo and botanical gardens be considered an allowable CAP (Public Service) Activity?  This would involve pulling weeds and trash from around the pond and water/mud maybe up to 2' maximum depth in what will become a bog garden.

This is just an inquiry from a private person and no one in any official capacity (zoo, botanical gardens, CAP) has been contacted.
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 01:53:40 PM »

OK, before I start let me say my last interaction with a CAP Cadet was 1967.

That cadet is considerably older than cadet age now.

Just sayin'... :)

As for the question, my guideline is this: Is the requesting organization a community outfit or a private outfit?

If you had "Joe Blow's Botanical Gardens and BMX Park" that was a for-profit entity run by a private person, then CAP doing "for free" work seems bogus.

If you had "The Community Botanical Garden of Upper South Westville, Idaho" which is a loosely organized outfit that might even be a non-profit, sure, I'd say its a reasonable "community service"-type project.

Somewhere in between there is where things get a little murky.

We used to park cars (traffic direction) at local fairs run at a county park or in our town.  The town fair was run by, if I remember correctly, the Lions or the Jaycees or someone like that.  A community organization.  They paid us (as a fundraiser) for our help.  The county fairs, not sure if that was organized by the county park or someone else, but we parked cars for a similar "honorarium" or "donation" to the unit. 

This was the early 1980s, and I seem to recall we got $500 for a weekend, $1000 for the week-long fair.  Two weekend festivals and the week-long town fair and we were set for a squadron operating budget for a year back then. And we were *flush*!
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Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 03:19:02 PM »

If you had "Joe Blow's Botanical Gardens and BMX Park" that was a for-profit entity run by a private person, then CAP doing "for free" work seems bogus.

If you had "The Community Botanical Garden of Upper South Westville, Idaho" which is a loosely organized outfit that might even be a non-profit, sure, I'd say its a reasonable "community service"-type project.

+1 - I've one issue with someone requesting CS hours for working for another member's private business for free.

You might also suggest that the members do it on their own, instead of as a unit activity so they can get a dec.
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jimmydeanno
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 07:26:03 PM »

If you had "Joe Blow's Botanical Gardens and BMX Park" that was a for-profit entity run by a private person, then CAP doing "for free" work seems bogus.
 
If you had "The Community Botanical Garden of Upper South Westville, Idaho" which is a loosely organized outfit that might even be a non-profit, sure, I'd say its a reasonable "community service"-type project.

+1 - I've one issue with someone requesting CS hours for working for another member's private business for free.

You might also suggest that the members do it on their own, instead of as a unit activity so they can get a dec.

Wait...isn't that kind of like a squadron commander suggesting that all the cadets should just happen to show up and go paint balling on Saturday, "but it's not a CAP activity."? 
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 07:40:22 PM »

Wait...isn't that kind of like a squadron commander suggesting that all the cadets should just happen to show up and go paint balling on Saturday, "but it's not a CAP activity."?

Yeah, but you don't get an award for Community Paintballing.

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arajca
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 08:21:01 PM »

I've done something similar. I would announce it at the meeting as a community service opportunity with a non-CAP contact and make sure to be clear that it's not a CAP activity. Basically, let the folks know about it, but not encouraging it or discouraging it.
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Elioron
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 08:38:41 PM »

Wait...isn't that kind of like a squadron commander suggesting that all the cadets should just happen to show up and go paint balling on Saturday, "but it's not a CAP activity."?

I've heard it argued that if a volunteer opportunity is announced at a CAP meeting and members go, they won't get Community Service credit because the announcement made it a CAP activity, but that is ridiculous.  I think we would be remiss in our commitment to the Core Values if we didn't tell people about it.

I've done something similar. I would announce it at the meeting as a community service opportunity with a non-CAP contact and make sure to be clear that it's not a CAP activity. Basically, let the folks know about it, but not encouraging it or discouraging it.

Exactly.  I think the deciding factor is supervision.  Will a CAP Senior Member be providing supervision for the activity?  That doesn't count adults that happen to be Senior Members being there to volunteer, it means actually being responsible for the cadets.  If so, it is a CAP activity and the SM and cadets should be in uniform (the SM has to be, at the very least).  If not, it is not a CAP activity.  There are a lot of things that happen in our community but we don't have the SMs available to provide the oversight for a squadron activity if we wanted to.  Cadets that go to these do so outside of our scope.  It only becomes an issue if a cadet says they are at a CAP activity but aren't.  That would be an issue regardless of where they went and calls all kinds of things into question (for the cadet).
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Scott W. Dean, Capt, CAP
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 08:50:02 PM »

Wait...isn't that kind of like a squadron commander suggesting that all the cadets should just happen to show up and go paint balling on Saturday, "but it's not a CAP activity."?

No, since "cleaning up a zoo" isn't a prohibited activity, whereas an HAA without proper approval is.

I've heard it argued that if a volunteer opportunity is announced at a CAP meeting and members go, they won't get Community Service credit because the announcement made it a CAP activity, but that is ridiculous.  I think we would be remiss in our commitment to the Core Values if we didn't tell people about it.

That is ridiculous. I'm all for setting a standard and not just giving the CSR away, but the above doesn't even compute.  Mentioning opportunities
outside CAP doesn't make them activities, even if we give some sort of credit for it.
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lordmonar
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 09:12:25 PM »

Here's the kicker.

The squadron is the one who approves the Community Service Ribbon.   So it is kind of moot asking "but hey!" questions.

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Al Sayre
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 09:17:03 PM »

I don't know about cleaning up the zoo not being a HAA, I gues it would depend on what you're cleaning up. 

"Hey Cadet Lt Blowhard, grab Cadet Dumbjohn and clean out that alligator pond"...
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Lt Col Al Sayre
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SarDragon
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 10:51:04 PM »

I don't know about cleaning up the zoo not being a HAA, I gues it would depend on what you're cleaning up. 

"Hey Cadet Lt Blowhard, grab Cadet Dumbjohn and clean out that alligator pond"...

Gator ponds are reserved for y'all from the South!  8)
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Dave Bowles
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Woodsy
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2013, 05:50:23 AM »

I'd also look at the safety aspect...

Send a couple cadets wading around a murky pond here in Florida, and you'll likely be treating flesh eating bacteria and water moccasin bites! 
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Cliff_Chambliss
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2013, 03:09:27 PM »

To add a bit of clarification to the activity:

This is a municipal (county/city) zoo and botanical gardens.

The specific activity would be clearing weeds and debris from around an old duck pond and the pathway leading to the pond.  There would be no exposure to animals.  Waders and a canoe would be provided.  Other volunteer tasks would be clearing invasive species plants from various places in the gardens.  Specific guidance would be provided by employees and experienced members of the zoo and botanical gardens volunteer groups.

I thought of this the other day when my wife turned up being the only volunteer to show up at the zoo.  I remembered in my cadet days in the 1960's we CAP Cadets would be used fro crowd control, parking guidance, and the like at the annual Cerebal Palsy Telethon, at the municipal airport open house, Veteran's Day Activities and so on.  I just wasn't sure if CAP got that involved these days.  So far this is just something my wife and I have been discussing and if it is possible, she will mention it to the appropriate folks at the zoo/gardens to see if they would be interested and then going from there.

So there would not be any
"You three cadets pull weeds, Cadet Johnny you stand over there as the designated gator bait"
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2013, 03:11:46 PM »

I thought of this the other day when my wife turned up being the only volunteer to show up at the zoo.  I remembered in my cadet days in the 1960's we CAP Cadets would be used fro crowd control, parking guidance, and the like at the annual Cerebal Palsy Telethon, at the municipal airport open house, Veteran's Day Activities and so on.  I just wasn't sure if CAP got that involved these days.  So far this is just something my wife and I have been discussing and if it is possible, she will mention it to the appropriate folks at the zoo/gardens to see if they would be interested and then going from there.

These types of activities are still common for CAP.
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Elioron
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 03:33:18 PM »

To add a bit of clarification to the activity:

This is a municipal (county/city) zoo and botanical gardens.

The specific activity would be clearing weeds and debris from around an old duck pond and the pathway leading to the pond.  There would be no exposure to animals.  Waders and a canoe would be provided.  Other volunteer tasks would be clearing invasive species plants from various places in the gardens.  Specific guidance would be provided by employees and experienced members of the zoo and botanical gardens volunteer groups.

I thought of this the other day when my wife turned up being the only volunteer to show up at the zoo.  I remembered in my cadet days in the 1960's we CAP Cadets would be used fro crowd control, parking guidance, and the like at the annual Cerebal Palsy Telethon, at the municipal airport open house, Veteran's Day Activities and so on.  I just wasn't sure if CAP got that involved these days.  So far this is just something my wife and I have been discussing and if it is possible, she will mention it to the appropriate folks at the zoo/gardens to see if they would be interested and then going from there.

So there would not be any
"You three cadets pull weeds, Cadet Johnny you stand over there as the designated gator bait"

Sounds like a great opportunity to serve the community.  The question is whether you just tell your cadets and let them decide to volunteer on their own (which would count towards the Community Service Ribbon) or do it as a squadron activity.  As a squadron activity it wouldn't count towards getting people more "bling", but it would provide great PR for CAP and your squadron and increase your reputation in your community.
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Phil Hirons, Jr.
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2013, 03:50:53 PM »

Sounds like a great opportunity to serve the community.  The question is whether you just tell your cadets and let them decide to volunteer on their own (which would count towards the Community Service Ribbon) or do it as a squadron activity.  As a squadron activity it wouldn't count towards getting people more "bling", but it would provide great PR for CAP and your squadron and increase your reputation in your community.

Which raises the question, why do we make it mutually exclusive? If 6 cadets (and a supervising senior) go work at the local zoo in uniform, why should they not get Community Service Ribbon credit. It works out better for CAP that it is a CAP activity. I'm not suggesting they get the same credit for CAP activities in our mission areas (no double dip for SAR and CSR ribbons). I'd be curious if anyone know the rational for this rule.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2013, 06:05:40 PM »

I agree it makes no sense, it's the same military model that brings us a bunch of stuff we don't need or that doesn't fit CAP.

The military idea is that service members participate in their communities to the benefit of everyone - same as when any other employer
encourages volunteer service.

Um...in and of itself CAP service is volunteer community service, so the model starts to break down right there.
From there it's semantics or self-defeating activities (i.e. encouraging members to spend their time serving elsewhere,
then wondering where everyone went, etc.).
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ol'fido
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2013, 01:01:41 AM »

When I got back into squadron and now group command, I thought it would be a great community service idea for our cadets  to go to different cities here in So. Illinois that have military aircraft on display in city parks and at fairgrounds. They could clean them up, learn the history of the particular type, and even learn the history of the specific airframe through one of the specific user groups on the web for that particular type. These groups know the service history and final disposition of nearly every serial numbered airframe of a particular type. I also figured it might be a good recruiting and PAO activity.

Then I got to looking at the requirements for the Community Service Ribbon and I'm like that won't work. It can't be "unit activity". This seems to me to be an area that could be rewritten for this particular award. Something along the lines of "unit activity that provides a service to the community that is outside the normal operations of CAP. Examples would be: a) Participating in community clean up days, b) volunteering to clean up parks, community centers, etc., and....... "
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mdickinson
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2013, 12:42:30 AM »

I got to looking at the requirements for the Community Service Ribbon and [found that the only service that counts towards it is service that is not a] "unit activity". This seems to me to be an area that could be rewritten for this particular award. Something along the lines of "unit activity that provides a service to the community that is outside the normal operations of CAP. Examples would be: a) Participating in community clean up days, b) volunteering to clean up parks, community centers, etc., and....... "

+1 !

What better way to teach cadets the importance of volunteer service to the community than by recognizing those who have done at least 50 hours of it?
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shuman14
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2013, 05:59:29 AM »

Wait...isn't that kind of like a squadron commander suggesting that all the cadets should just happen to show up and go paint balling on Saturday, "but it's not a CAP activity."?

Yeah, but you don't get an award for Community Paintballing.

Depends, the target area could be a modern art project as part of a community beautification project.  ;)
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Acceptable Cadet Activities
 


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