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Yochanan
Recruit

Posts: 18
Unit: SER-AL-117

« on: November 04, 2016, 12:54:43 AM »

To a mother who doesn't know what the Civil Air Patrol is, what do I say in order to make her think that it would be ideal for her son to join? I am writing an e-mail to her whose final line in the draft states "would like to inform you of the following benefits of joining the Civil Air Patrol:" and goes no further. What comes after the colon?
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,812

« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 01:28:11 AM »

Have you  looked at CAP promotional materials? Maybe send her links if you do not have the brochures on hand:

http://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/CADET_RECRUITING_BROCHURE_2E0C785D97935.pdf

https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/Prospective_Info_Package_12_no_crop_60454D78B684F.pdf


From a brochure:

You’ll find cadet life exciting if you enjoy:
• Flying
• Leadership Training
• Obstacle Courses
• Model Rocketry
• Teambuilding
• Hiking & Camping
• Earning Rank & Awards
• Search & Rescue
• Exploring Aviation Careers
• Making Friends



^^^ Now whatever you say , make sure your Squadron does it.

.
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MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,812

« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 01:28:57 AM »

Have you  looked at CAP promotional materials? Maybe send her links if you do not have the brochures on hand:

http://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/CADET_RECRUITING_BROCHURE_2E0C785D97935.pdf

https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/Prospective_Info_Package_12_no_crop_60454D78B684F.pdf


From a brochure:

You’ll find cadet life exciting if you enjoy:
• Flying
• Leadership Training
• Obstacle Courses
• Model Rocketry
• Teambuilding
• Hiking & Camping
• Earning Rank & Awards
• Search & Rescue
• Exploring Aviation Careers
• Making Friends



^^^ Now whatever you say , make sure your Squadron does it. If you promote flying and Cadets only go up once a year ....

.
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etodd
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Posts: 1,812

« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2016, 01:34:20 AM »

What NOT to say.

I had invited a 12 year old boy who loves aviation to come visit. The kid is about 40 lbs overweight. The night they wound up visiting, the Cadets spent most of the time outside drilling (ouch ... bad timing).

His mom, seeing all this, looked at her son and said "they will have you in shape in no time".  The kid never returned. I hate this so much because I know he is always talking airplanes.
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A.Member
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 02:48:18 AM »

^ Yeah because setting a false expectation is a better route to go.  ::)

I agree with your first post but physical fitness is a key component of the cadet program.  It's too bad the prospect didn't return, for whatever reason, but at least he had a chance to get a realistic view of what to expect.  Simply "liking" something or being "interested" in something is not enough.

This summarizes it well:
http://mnwg.cap.gov/cp.html

And to the OP, are you the PAO or CDC?  If not and you're not sure how to respond to inquires, consider directing her to those that can.
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"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
NIN
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2016, 01:09:44 PM »

What NOT to say.

I had invited a 12 year old boy who loves aviation to come visit. The kid is about 40 lbs overweight. The night they wound up visiting, the Cadets spent most of the time outside drilling (ouch ... bad timing).

His mom, seeing all this, looked at her son and said "they will have you in shape in no time".  The kid never returned. I hate this so much because I know he is always talking airplanes.

Here that sound? Thats me pounding my head on my desk right now as you describe this.

There is this *awful* tendency to default to drill as a "cadet activity."  And by "drill" I mean "a lot of marching in circles with no training value"

But we're not the "Civil Marching Around Patrol."

I have a new cadet commander as of a couple weeks ago.   He's got a great amount of fire in his belly, and thats good.  His first pass at a "schedule" included "drill" nearly every night.

"Hey, I see we have like 4 hrs of D&C on this schedule. Is that D&C _training_ or D&C practical time, or just marching around aimlessly with no training value whatsoever?"

"Well, sir, you see, the cadets are pretty bad at drill, so we need to beef that up."

"OK, I get that, but is 3 or 4 hrs of 'drill' on the monthly schedule going to fix that? Do you have an actual training plan to address this, or are we just going to keep doing the same terrible job of allowing disorganized and marginally-able NCOs to continue teaching people incorrect information with zero training value for 1/3 of our meeting time?"

"Sir?"

"Here, let me break it down for you.  Our meeting is 2 1/2 hrs once a week, right? So figure we have about 10 contact hours a month, and after things like inspection and formation and clean up, really more like 8 hrs total.  According to this, you want to schedule drill for about 40-50% of that time, would that be a fair characterization?"

"yessir."

"Ok, so let me back up a little and frame this a little differently for you.  The cadet program has five major parts, right? Leadership, Aerospace, Physical Fitness, Character Development and Activities.  Understanding that activities is generally 'things other than meeting nights', we won't count that part toward our contact hours for now.  So of the 4 components, lets give each equal weight for the purposes of keeping nice round numbers.  Even if all we did was dedicate our entire meetings to only the cadet program and its components, which we know we can't do because of things like safety briefings and other mandatory training,  and other electives that we might use to keep things interesting, that would mean we'd have just about 2 hrs a month to devote each one of those program areas."

"That sounds about right, sir." 

"For broad strokes, sure. Drill is considered part of the leadership training program, right? Is it the only aspect of leadership? No, it's really a *small* part of the overall leadership training program.  I'll be generous and suggest that because you have to take a leadership test and a drill test that you could consider drill to be 1/2 of the leadership program. Its not, but I'll be charitable here.  So half of 2 hours is 1 hour. Do you see where I'm going with this, Lieutenant?"

"I think so, sir."

"One hour of drill spread across 4 meetings is fifteen minutes a night. FIFTEEN."

"So what you're saying, sir, is that we're putting too much emphasis on drill at the expense of other things, right?"

"Oh, dear lord, lighting has struck Marblehead! Yes! Thats exactly what I'm saying.  And, if you're only going to be able to have 15 minutes of drill a week, then you better make sure that its THE BEST FIFTEEN MINUTES OF DRILL IN THE WORLD if you're going ever improve.  Tracking?"

"Tracking, sir."

They're still marching around too much. And badly.  But at least they're not doing it for an hour.


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AirAux
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Posts: 743

« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2016, 01:46:03 PM »

" I  agree with your first post but physical fitness is a key component of the cadet program.  It's too bad the prospect didn't return, for whatever reason, but at least he had a chance to get a realistic view of what to expect."

Aw Gee, I forgot that CAP is only for physically fit, morally straight, intelligent youth, not for the typical youth of 2016.  Our program is not for war training or military recruitment.  It is to assist our youth to become better Americans overall.  We do have waivers for obesity and other physical impairments.  This is not a place for elitism.  Further, at the present time, almost 10% of all active military are above weight standards.  An opportunity was lost to assist this young man.  Shame on us.
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Holding Pattern
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2016, 03:49:29 PM »

" I  agree with your first post but physical fitness is a key component of the cadet program.  It's too bad the prospect didn't return, for whatever reason, but at least he had a chance to get a realistic view of what to expect."

Aw Gee, I forgot that CAP is only for physically fit, morally straight, intelligent youth, not for the typical youth of 2016.  Our program is not for war training or military recruitment.  It is to assist our youth to become better Americans overall.  We do have waivers for obesity and other physical impairments.  This is not a place for elitism.  Further, at the present time, almost 10% of all active military are above weight standards.  An opportunity was lost to assist this young man.  Shame on us.

I thought our program was to prepare cadets for the eventual Goa'uld attacks against earth? Well, at least this explains why my request for P90s was denied...

On a serious note, I try really hard to recommend visits on AE day. Probability is high that we are doing something interesting on those days.
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Fubar
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Posts: 789

« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2016, 04:34:46 PM »

On a serious note, I try really hard to recommend visits on AE day. Probability is high that we are doing something interesting on those days.

I completely get what you're saying, so please believe me when I say this isn't mean to be internet snarky: Why wouldn't each week be something interesting?

If we had that nailed, then retention wouldn't be a problem.
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Holding Pattern
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2016, 05:08:03 PM »

On a serious note, I try really hard to recommend visits on AE day. Probability is high that we are doing something interesting on those days.

I completely get what you're saying, so please believe me when I say this isn't mean to be internet snarky: Why wouldn't each week be something interesting?

If we had that nailed, then retention wouldn't be a problem.

By it's very nature, some meetings will be less interesting than others. As an example, safety briefings.
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A.Member
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Posts: 1,621

« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2016, 05:21:10 PM »

Aw Gee, I forgot that CAP is only for physically fit, morally straight, intelligent youth, not for the typical youth of 2016.  Our program is not for war training or military recruitment.  It is to assist our youth to become better Americans overall.  We do have waivers for obesity and other physical impairments.  This is not a place for elitism.  Further, at the present time, almost 10% of all active military are above weight standards.  An opportunity was lost to assist this young man.  Shame on us.
Hmmm.   Is that what I said?  I don't think so.  So, let's do away with the Strawmans and hyperbole shall we?  If you're not familiar with the program objectives or have forgotten, then you should reacquaint yourself with them.  Taken directly from CAPR 52-16 (my emphasis added):

Quote from: CAPR 52-16
1-2. Mission. The Cadet Program transforms youth into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders. CAP
accomplishes its Congressionally-mandated Cadet Program (Title 36, U.S.C. 40302) through a curriculum
of leadership, aerospace, fitness and character. The program follows a military model and emphasizes Air
Force traditions and values.
Today’s cadets are tomorrow’s aerospace leaders.

...

1-7. Program Elements. To fulfill its mission, the Cadet Program is organized around four main program
elements: leadership, aerospace, fitness and character.

He showed up to a squadron meeting only to watch the cadets march around the entire meeting (also something I don't support for the reasons NIN pointed out above).  Evidently, that's what they do.   He didn't return regardless the reason; hopefully he found another squadron that is meeting the mission. 
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"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
THRAWN
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Posts: 1,991

« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2016, 05:45:11 PM »

On a serious note, I try really hard to recommend visits on AE day. Probability is high that we are doing something interesting on those days.

I completely get what you're saying, so please believe me when I say this isn't mean to be internet snarky: Why wouldn't each week be something interesting?

If we had that nailed, then retention wouldn't be a problem.

By it's very nature, some meetings will be less interesting than others. As an example, safety briefings.

Very true if you have someone standing in front of the assembled unit reading Powerpoint slides...there are ways to make the topics interesting, reinforce the point and make sure the info is retained. BLUF: cadets sit in school all day and seniors are working all day. Boring meetings will not retain your members. Exercise a little out of the box thinking...
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Strup
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DakRadz
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Posts: 1,365

« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2016, 06:44:38 PM »

I'm pretty sure it says 10 minute safety briefing for the average month. Sure, ORM takes longer, but hopefully we can offset safety with something else fun.

1st Lt Raduenz

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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2016, 08:22:00 PM »

We went through this between our last training class and the current one---expectations.

There needs to be an emphasis on what your unit does, not what "CAP does." Explain CAP, but the Cadet Program, at the end of the day, is a youth leadership program. They're going to be challenged physically to perform in fitness activities and testing. They're going to be challenged mentally in written testing and practical training (depending on how your unit approaches that).

If you do field training, talk about it. Don't talk it up. Talk about it. Explain it. Because if you act like "Well, we go out and it's like camping, but you're actually going out doing search and rescue, they don't understand that. They hear "camping" and think, "Aw, neat! I like camping! Like fishing?!"

If you do more aerospace and have a heavily active aviation unit, explain that. How are the cadets involved in that? "All of our cadets go through a Flight Line Marshaling program which means..."

If you do Cyber Patriot, explain that.

It goes on and on. Be specific about what your unit does, and even your goals down the road. You're selling your unit to both the prospective cadet and their parent(s). You need buy in from both. But make sure that prospect sells themselves to you, because it's going to be your problem if you have a cadet who doesn't care/doesn't like it and still shows up because mom drives him every week. If the kid comes off as "Well, I like planes, but not the whole military thing," wrong organization. Don't recruit someone who isn't in it. You can't take away drill. You can't take away Character Development. You can't take away Safety Education, or Aerospace, or Promotion Boards, or Fitness Testing. These are all required elements of the Cadet Program.
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Lakeshore-CAP-Ret
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Posts: 135
Unit: MI-703 Ret

« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2016, 04:43:30 AM »

Dear Skyhornet, I couldn’t disagree more with your opening remarks “There needs to be an emphasis on what your unit does, not what "CAP does."

For the program to work, i.e. attract, maintain and grow members, you can’t ‘cherry pick’ what you want to do (do best), rather, you strive to do it all!  Hard to do?  Yup, but it’s not CAP if you’re not doing all of CAP.  (Yes, this really sounds like you might have to create one extra training activity a month).

Squadron in a Box: https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/library/squadron-in-a-box/

Among other things suggests that each squadron design one activity outside of unit meetings each month.  I attended a TLC which laid out an “ideal” plan that working with groups and wings, each squadron would be responsible for one activity (four a year) and group and wing following suit so that between the three organizations, a cadet organization can work at doing the entire program, not just picking “what you do best” and ignoring the rest.  That kind of thinking is counterproductive to a vibrant, growing organization and cheats our cadets.

I've responded (respectfully, of course) to National when they ask for requests for recruiting ideas.  Some have responded to my suggestions positively while others simply disagreed with my points (not their fault, perhaps I just didn't explain myself).   My main observation:  Units should STOP (of course not completely) Recruiting Drives.  What?  That's just crazy.  Not really.  I've visited several squadrons from Michigan and where I vacation (which does a great job) at running the entire cadet program, which causes the cadets to want to bring their friends and classmates to one of CAP’s meetings... because it's interesting and/or fun.  Big cadet squadrons are big for a reason, and small squadrons that are dying or long since  dying or already dead, died for a reason as well.

I write this because some squadrons only focus on one main 'pillar' of the program. Finally, the very first thing which very few squadrons do, is have a session with both the cadet and their parents and have them, not us, share what do they know about CAP, why they would even want to join such an organization, and finally what are their expectations. 

I don't have the figures with me, but my own experience is that for every five teens recruited one or maybe 1.5 teens will stay.  The rest get bored quickly and leave.  I've seen kids drilled to death, marching poorly without correction, pure drudgery.  Back in the day when I was a cadet (1974-79) our cadet commander actually made us feel good about marching.  We had fun.  We sang 'Jodys' that made us feel proud to belong.  Finally (and I feel very important) the cadet staff helped everyone!  Example:  I can remember a couple of times, once in middle school and another in high school when I stopped attending meetings.  I never got a phone call like "Where Are You, Cadet?" like some squadron cadet staffs are prone to do.  I actually got phone calls that sounded more like "Dave, everything okay?  We miss you.  We miss when you did (fill in the blank).  Please give it another shot and maybe we can fix whatever is bugging you, or words to that affect.  Also, cadet staffs knew when their cadets were taking tests and tried to put in extra personal time to help them pass.  I ultimately kept coming to meetings because I thought I belonged, was wanted, and that I was part of a family.

Hopefully, some of my observations seems reasonable. Why recruit when we don't take care of whom we have?  Same with seniors. Remind people why CAP is important.  How our membership has helped with homeland defense, natural disasters, and community service.  (How many fourteen year olds can go out and train to save a life, and in more than one occasion, actually save a life?!)

[fixed formatting to make more readable]
« Last Edit: November 20, 2016, 07:32:56 AM by SarDragon » Report to moderator   Logged
MAJ DAVID J. D'ARCY, CAP (Ret) 8 Apr 2018
A former member of:
West Michigan Group MI-703,
Lakeshore Cadet Sqdrn MI-119
Van Dyke Cadet Sqdrn, MI-117
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2016, 05:10:19 AM »

Demon, I get what Sky is saying and agree with it.

You can't retain members (or even recruit new ones) if you sell them CAP with a plane from downstate,
a borrowed HUMVEE from a local dealership, and videos of 1-off CAP activities your unit wasn't involved in,
only to have them find 2 cadets and 1 senior in a hangar when they come to the first meeting.

There's no reason those opportunities can't be part of the discussion, but you have to be honest
about what your unit actually does, >and< sometimes point members at a different unit to
at least save the "join".

CAP's rosters are full of members who joined for a "thing" only to find it's not a "thing" at the squadron
they are a member of, and never will be, who then quit in the first year.

Striving to do "all" should be the goal of every unit, but there are practical realities to contact hours and
resources.  Honesty at the handshake is important to both recruiting and retention/
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LTC Don
Seasoned Member

Posts: 354
Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2016, 02:05:51 PM »

Most people at least have a notion of what 'ROTC' is, but 99.9% of CAP units aren't school-based programs.  So, I describe the Cadet Program as 'community-based ROTC'.  That gets a lot more approving nods and understanding.

The next thing I begin describing is the achievement-based process, and that along the way, with the milestone awards, certain doors open, such as scholarships at Mitchell, and IACE at Earhart, along with other NCSAs such as powered and non-powered flight academies.  I always make it clear that our local squadron is a gateway to the larger organization and it's benefits and should be exploited to the greatest extent possible.

If I have a copy of the Cadet Super Chart handy, I try to at least superficially go over that, with cursory emphasis on how long it takes to complete the program (about three years, and the concept of time-in-grade (56 days), and our expectation of constant motion forward), and the physical fitness requirements.

The 'three-meeting' thing is noted as a minimum, and if it takes a few more meetings to make a decision about joining, that's fine.  We want the family to have a full exposure to what we do on a routine basis.

One more thing.  I don't try to fully explain the program in an email (although after thirty years, it does tend to spill out anyway).  I direct the parent(s) to already available publications like the Parent's Guide or other relevant pubs, and our website, Facebook, and Youtube.  Let them do the searching and evaluating. Then be prepared to answer their questions when they come to the meeting.
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