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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: What to do if cadets are bored?
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Author Topic: What to do if cadets are bored?  (Read 708 times)
alyers
Newbie

Posts: 1
Unit: GLR-IL-067

« on: March 31, 2018, 02:32:58 PM »

Hi everyone,

Recently our cadets have gotten bored with AE and ES classes, drill, and are not promoting. They do not participate in out-of-squadron activities, either (encampment, ES training, NCSAs, CAC...). Our staff has come up with a couple ideas that will maybe spark some interest, but I was wondering if you all could tell us what you do at weekly meetings to keep things fun and interesting (or, if you're having the same problem, maybe you can find solutions here!). Here's what we have so far:

-Color Guard
-Rocketry field day
-Squadron ES day
-Museum trips
And if all else fails, we'll buckle down on some more recruiting and find some fresh faces.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,621

« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 02:53:44 PM »

And if all else fails, we'll buckle down on some more recruiting and find some fresh faces.

May well be your only / best option.

Probably time for some group and individual conversations with the ones
not progressing which includes parents.

There's only a few options...

1 - The unit isn't doing what they joined for.
2 - What they thought they joined for is lame.
3 - Their lives don't allow for time to participate even if they want to.

CAP is what it is, and isn't for everyone, either specifically, or because the timing is wrong.
Accepting that and using the knowledge for the new guys will help avoid this in the future.
A cadet with football or band practice on meeting nights and all weekends isn't going to succeed
in CAP no matter how much he keeps telling everyone how awesome it is.

Of course the bell tolls for thee as well.  If the unit isn't using a structured 13-week cycle or
similar, has poorly planned meetings, and isn't providing any mentoring, then the fault is in your own stars
and that's where things need to be fixed.

ES and AE aren't actually the core of a cadets life, the CP is, and that goes for drill, too.  If you're spending
more than an hour each week on any of these, including drill, you need to adjust. AE, ES, and drill are parts of the CP.
If the focus is incorrect, cadets will not succeed, fall behind and leave.

I've seen units that do virtually nothing but drill and then give their cadets grief about not promoting.  That doesn't work very long.

First step is to have the CC start asking the hard questions and be prepared for difficult responses.3
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 02:57:27 PM by Eclipse » Logged


OldGuy
Seasoned Member

Posts: 394
Unit: TBKS

« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2018, 05:27:00 PM »

First aid class.....
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Baker
Recruit

Posts: 9
Unit: NER-PA-253

« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 05:51:45 PM »

Have to look at the stock of kids in today's society.  This tends to be a reoccurring issue in CAP, particularly in northern units like I grew up in, during winter months.  Try and do your classes outside if at all possible.  Get them out of the classroom and engaged hands on.  Kids like to do, not to sit, get them moving and you will likely see the spark return to their eyes.
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Garett Baker
CAP 2LT
Former U.S. Army
Former C/2LT
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,192

« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 11:00:37 AM »

And if all else fails, we'll buckle down on some more recruiting and find some fresh faces.

May well be your only / best option.

Probably time for some group and individual conversations with the ones
not progressing which includes parents.

There's only a few options...

1 - The unit isn't doing what they joined for.
2 - What they thought they joined for is lame.
3 - Their lives don't allow for time to participate even if they want to.

CAP is what it is, and isn't for everyone, either specifically, or because the timing is wrong.
Accepting that and using the knowledge for the new guys will help avoid this in the future.
A cadet with football or band practice on meeting nights and all weekends isn't going to succeed
in CAP no matter how much he keeps telling everyone how awesome it is.

Of course the bell tolls for thee as well.  If the unit isn't using a structured 13-week cycle or
similar, has poorly planned meetings, and isn't providing any mentoring, then the fault is in your own stars
and that's where things need to be fixed.

ES and AE aren't actually the core of a cadets life, the CP is, and that goes for drill, too.  If you're spending
more than an hour each week on any of these, including drill, you need to adjust. AE, ES, and drill are parts of the CP.
If the focus is incorrect, cadets will not succeed, fall behind and leave.

I've seen units that do virtually nothing but drill and then give their cadets grief about not promoting.  That doesn't work very long.

First step is to have the CC start asking the hard questions and be prepared for difficult responses.3

I absolutely love this response.

You have to get cadet buy-in for activities. What makes this difficult, sometimes, is that cadets often "don't know" what they find interesting (Now, we know everyone knows what they like to do; that doesn't mean they won't shrug their shoulders when asked). Often times, cadets have sat around doing "nothing," to the OP's point, and so they have not experienced other activities which they can lean back on and say "I want to do more of this."

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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,168

« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 10:31:12 PM »

From the CADET ORIENTATION FLIGHT SYLLABUS:

Quote
The #1 reason cadets join Civil Air Patrol is to fly. To motivate them to achieve in the Cadet Program, fly them regularly.

Squadron Commanders should try to provide each new cadet with an orientation flight within 60 days of joining CAP. Squadron commanders should also strive to provide each cadet with at least 1, but preferably 2, flights per year by conducting orientation flight days once per quarter. (While it may not be possible to fly every cadet quarterly, by holding four orientation flight days per year, each cadet should receive 1 or 2 flights per year.)

How many Squadrons are doing this? And hopefully more often than the recommended minimums
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MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
GaryVC
Forum Regular

Posts: 173
Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2018, 11:59:11 AM »

We do our best at this. It is a big deal to the squadron commander. We briefly hit 100% last summer and then 4 new cadets joined. It really helps if you have a pilot who is really interested.
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