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Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 784
Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2018, 12:16:14 AM »

We have a little thing at California Wing encampments called "Seeing the Assistant Adjutant". Basically taking a nap.
Usually by day 3 or 4 of encampment the long days are starting to show on the cadre, both line and support.
So we arrange for the cadre to be able to slip away to get a 1 or 2 hour nap. The results are amazing.
The biggest thing is that they are able to think on their feet again. Which is usually the first thing that goes away when you get over tired.
In the Air Force aircrew world we called this a Work/Rest Plan.

“Assistant Adjutant” (c) 1974, Bernard J. Wilson, All Rights Reserved. Permission to use for Civil Air Patrol purposes granted in perpetuity.


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_________________
Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

Mitchell 1969; Earhart 1971; Eaker 1973. Cadet Flying Encampment, License, 1970. IACE New Zealand 1971; IACE Korea 1973.

CAP has been bery, bery good to me.
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,271

« Reply #61 on: August 06, 2018, 10:29:06 AM »

I would expect them to mention lights out is in XX minutes and let the senior decide how important it is. I've had them do that with me and I usually said Ok, get it done first thing in the AM, after breakfast.

Exactly!

Okay...and thereafter?

"Cadet, make sure you get this done. I need it tomorrow morning."
"Roger that, Sir. But lights out is in 30 minutes."
"Do what it takes to get it done."
"Yes, Sir."

And then the cadet is up until 0200 working on it. I don't know that this is what happened, but that's entirely plausible and realistic.

It's a military-ish/boot camp environment. And the cadre is pressured into performing tasks that have to be completed, especially when that cadre member rolls in late to the game and has to pick up where a previous person left off (which sometimes means uncompleted tasks are inherited).

It's a learning moment for the cadre to understanding time management and task prioritization, especially when deadlines are tight. But that's also a learning moment for the cadre in understanding that deadlines won't be met, and you have to be prepared to adapt tomorrow. This is not a "failure is not an option" environment. Failure is always an option in cadet activities. You learn from failures. The senior member staffs should make sure that this philosophy exists, and that regulatory standards are still upheld.


Now, in reading the guide, it states that students will receive 8.5 uninterrupted hours of rest. Cadre will receive 8 hours of interrupted rest.

It is impossible to have 8 hours of uninterrupted rest if cadre lights out is 2300 and student wakeup is 0530. The math on that literally says that this schedule is out of compliance. For that to even be on a cadre schedule is incorrect, and for a senior to tell someone at 2300 "I need that tomorrow morning," is even more incorrect, as that senior shouldn't even have the ability to talk to a cadet cadre member at that time.

Students:
Personal time at 2100.
Lights out at 2130.
Wakeup at 0530.

That means the cadre would need to be up and ready to go before 0530 in order to wake up their students and pressure them to get dressed and be out the door. So with lights out at 2300, and having to be up before 0530 (say, 0500), that's only 6 hours of rest allotted.

Now consider the aspect of personal time for students. They're required to have 30 minutes of personal time before lights out. This is when the students are permitted to shower and take care of hygiene needs. This is strictly not training time. But the training officers must perform blister checks after showers. So you're interrupting their personal time for blister checks.

See the pattern here...?
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Toad1168
Forum Regular

Posts: 157
Unit: Missouri

« Reply #62 on: August 06, 2018, 11:19:20 AM »

I would expect them to mention lights out is in XX minutes and let the senior decide how important it is. I've had them do that with me and I usually said Ok, get it done first thing in the AM, after breakfast.

Exactly!

Okay...and thereafter?

"Cadet, make sure you get this done. I need it tomorrow morning."
"Roger that, Sir. But lights out is in 30 minutes."
"Do what it takes to get it done."
"Yes, Sir."

And then the cadet is up until 0200 working on it. I don't know that this is what happened, but that's entirely plausible and realistic.

It's a military-ish/boot camp environment. And the cadre is pressured into performing tasks that have to be completed, especially when that cadre member rolls in late to the game and has to pick up where a previous person left off (which sometimes means uncompleted tasks are inherited).

It's a learning moment for the cadre to understanding time management and task prioritization, especially when deadlines are tight. But that's also a learning moment for the cadre in understanding that deadlines won't be met, and you have to be prepared to adapt tomorrow. This is not a "failure is not an option" environment. Failure is always an option in cadet activities. You learn from failures. The senior member staffs should make sure that this philosophy exists, and that regulatory standards are still upheld.


Now, in reading the guide, it states that students will receive 8.5 uninterrupted hours of rest. Cadre will receive 8 hours of interrupted rest.

It is impossible to have 8 hours of uninterrupted rest if cadre lights out is 2300 and student wakeup is 0530. The math on that literally says that this schedule is out of compliance. For that to even be on a cadre schedule is incorrect, and for a senior to tell someone at 2300 "I need that tomorrow morning," is even more incorrect, as that senior shouldn't even have the ability to talk to a cadet cadre member at that time.

Students:
Personal time at 2100.
Lights out at 2130.
Wakeup at 0530.

That means the cadre would need to be up and ready to go before 0530 in order to wake up their students and pressure them to get dressed and be out the door. So with lights out at 2300, and having to be up before 0530 (say, 0500), that's only 6 hours of rest allotted.

Now consider the aspect of personal time for students. They're required to have 30 minutes of personal time before lights out. This is when the students are permitted to shower and take care of hygiene needs. This is strictly not training time. But the training officers must perform blister checks after showers. So you're interrupting their personal time for blister checks.

See the pattern here...?

I tend to agree, except for the blister check part.  Personal time restricts training.  Not hygiene.  Blister checks are allowed.   If the cadre or TO was teaching how to shine boots, that is different.
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Toad
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,766

« Reply #63 on: August 06, 2018, 11:50:15 AM »

I would expect them to mention lights out is in XX minutes and let the senior decide how important it is. I've had them do that with me and I usually said Ok, get it done first thing in the AM, after breakfast.

Exactly!

Okay...and thereafter?

"Cadet, make sure you get this done. I need it tomorrow morning."
"Roger that, Sir. But lights out is in 30 minutes."
"Do what it takes to get it done."
"Yes, Sir."

And then the cadet is up until 0200 working on it. I don't know that this is what happened, but that's entirely plausible and realistic.

It's a military-ish/boot camp environment. And the cadre is pressured into performing tasks that have to be completed, especially when that cadre member rolls in late to the game and has to pick up where a previous person left off (which sometimes means uncompleted tasks are inherited).

It's a learning moment for the cadre to understanding time management and task prioritization, especially when deadlines are tight. But that's also a learning moment for the cadre in understanding that deadlines won't be met, and you have to be prepared to adapt tomorrow. This is not a "failure is not an option" environment. Failure is always an option in cadet activities. You learn from failures. The senior member staffs should make sure that this philosophy exists, and that regulatory standards are still upheld.


Now, in reading the guide, it states that students will receive 8.5 uninterrupted hours of rest. Cadre will receive 8 hours of interrupted rest.

It is impossible to have 8 hours of uninterrupted rest if cadre lights out is 2300 and student wakeup is 0530. The math on that literally says that this schedule is out of compliance. For that to even be on a cadre schedule is incorrect, and for a senior to tell someone at 2300 "I need that tomorrow morning," is even more incorrect, as that senior shouldn't even have the ability to talk to a cadet cadre member at that time.

Students:
Personal time at 2100.
Lights out at 2130.
Wakeup at 0530.

That means the cadre would need to be up and ready to go before 0530 in order to wake up their students and pressure them to get dressed and be out the door. So with lights out at 2300, and having to be up before 0530 (say, 0500), that's only 6 hours of rest allotted.

Now consider the aspect of personal time for students. They're required to have 30 minutes of personal time before lights out. This is when the students are permitted to shower and take care of hygiene needs. This is strictly not training time. But the training officers must perform blister checks after showers. So you're interrupting their personal time for blister checks.

See the pattern here...?

Clearly indicates no one is externally vetting the schedule for even the most basic math.

And continues to reinforce how important experienced senior members are to encampments, not to
mention consistent oversight by Wing DCP staff who are also experienced in encampments.

Based on both comments here, and my real-world contacts, a lot of Enc CC's seem to treat the
Guides and Regs as optional and take a very laissez faire attitude about the schedule mandates.

There's a big difference between unforeseen circumstances that cause a late rack time
once in a while (things happen), but when it does, the positive pressure should be "we missed the
mark and are off book, you need to get in bed ASAP, and pay better attention to the clock tomorrow...".

Also why the idea of hiding time, or the schedule, from any participants is a poor practice.

People want to make an issue of the military structure and say things like "students don't need to
know when or where, just follow directions".

That generally works in BMT because the training staff are...you know...trained, have literally been there before
themselves, and have demonstrated to a high standard they know how to push recruits.

That is decidedly not the consistent case in CAP, for everyone involved including the seniors.
Many have never been to an encampment, or for those who have perhaps a different wing or location,
others have never been in any position of real authority or influence before, despite their grade,
and few are the members who experience the scale of an encampment on a regular basis at their home squadrons.

That's why it's incumbent that those at the highest level of staff be diligent the whole time from the first planning meetings
through processing the final report(s).

It's a training lab for everyone, not just the students, and in many case 2x's more for the cadre and seniors.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,271

« Reply #64 on: August 06, 2018, 12:06:46 PM »

Also why the idea of hiding time, or the schedule, from any participants is a poor practice.

People want to make an issue of the military structure and say things like "students don't need to
know when or where, just follow directions".

That generally works in BMT because the training staff are...you know...trained, have literally been there before
themselves, and have demonstrated to a high standard they know how to push recruits.

That is decidedly not the consistent case in CAP, for everyone involved including the seniors.
Many have never been to an encampment, or for those who have perhaps a different wing or location,
others have never been in any position of real authority or influence before, despite their grade,
and few are the members who experience the scale of an encampment on a regular basis at their home squadrons.

That's why it's incumbent that those at the highest level of staff be diligent the whole time from the first planning meetings
through processing the final report(s).

It's a training lab for everyone, not just the students, and in many case 2x's more for the cadre and seniors.

I think this is a spot-on point.

I can understand that for the first few days, perhaps, hiding the schedule. But after that, there's nothing wrong with providing the schedule to people, so that they learn to become self-sufficient.

It's tough to train people "everything they need to know about being a cadet" in a week. If the goal is to teach them everything a Cadet Airman (most basic learning level) needs to know, then teach them to be self-disciplined and self-aware (i.e., bearing). Boot camp them for the first few days, and then start transitioning them to be keepers of their own time. If they know wakeup is 0530, then by 0530 on Day 3, they should start waking themselves up to be ready and not having to be woken up by the cadre.

A tough balance exists between allowing cadets to "run Encampment" and having oversight (and some degree of control) over the cadet cadre. Like I said before, learning opportunities and opportunities for failure must always exist. But they must also be corrected. If the schedule crumbles the first day, it should be a "What went wrong? What can we do to make sure it doesn't happen again?" moment. It should not be a "That's no big deal; it's fine" moment.

Any time I've overseen a cadet activity, one of my first lines of questioning to the cadet in-charge is "Did this go out? When did you plan on having it go out? Did it get passed down the chain yet?"

Let cadets screw it up. Let it fall apart. It happens. Mentor them in the cleanup, but always ensure compliance. No activity should be allowed to slip away under cadet control to the point that compliance is jeopardized.

This is the stuff that should be trained at the lead-up training weekends. But I mostly see drill practice and how to use your command voice appropriately. That's not staff training; that's instructor skill training.


For clarification, I have zero intent of pointing fingers here or calling anyone out. But it seems like there are multiple questions with how Encampment are being run nationwide (and those variations are okay). We've just seen some recent posts on Encampments skirting around regs, whether in sleep accommodations or physical fitness requirements that have raised eyebrows. Maybe the regs should be relaxed in a rewrite, but they need to be enforced to current standards in the today.
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Fubar
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 681

« Reply #65 on: August 06, 2018, 09:09:35 PM »

It's been discussed before, but it would really be beneficial to have "experts" audit encampments throughout the country. We pay a considerable amount of money to send CI teams around the country every month, running an encampment properly is at least as important as a CI.

Perhaps our NHQ development person could find a corporate sponsor to assist with travel expenses or ask the Air Force for additional CEAP funding to essentially do their job of encampment oversight (imagine asking for airlift support!). Just having a third-party observer cleans up a lot of shenanigans, everyone wants to be on their best behavior when guests arrive.

I know we informally get this sort of thing with Col Lee, but it would be nice to get him some help.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,766

« Reply #66 on: August 06, 2018, 09:41:46 PM »

Perhaps our NHQ development person could find a corporate sponsor to assist with travel expenses or ask the Air Force for additional CEAP funding to essentially do their job of encampment oversight (imagine asking for airlift support!). Just having a third-party observer cleans up a lot of shenanigans, everyone wants to be on their best behavior when guests arrive.

CAP had that, for years - CAP-USAF was the overseer and final approval of all encampments,
worked pretty well in my AOR, and kept people on a track.  It's been well commented
here and elsewhere that the CAP-USAF presence historically was "inconsistent", but in many
wings, at least at a minimum, the SD or later LR-ADO had to review and approve the schedule, curriculum,
and CAPF 20.

That's gone now that Enc CC's can self-certify.  Most encampments still had CAP-USAF people
present, they wouldn't even have to raise additional budget, and at leat the ones that I know,
would love to be more involved.
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TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,271

« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2018, 11:47:45 AM »

It's been discussed before, but it would really be beneficial to have "experts" audit encampments throughout the country. We pay a considerable amount of money to send CI teams around the country every month, running an encampment properly is at least as important as a CI.

Perhaps our NHQ development person could find a corporate sponsor to assist with travel expenses or ask the Air Force for additional CEAP funding to essentially do their job of encampment oversight (imagine asking for airlift support!). Just having a third-party observer cleans up a lot of shenanigans, everyone wants to be on their best behavior when guests arrive.

I know we informally get this sort of thing with Col Lee, but it would be nice to get him some help.

You wouldn't necessarily need to do that at the CAP-USAF level. You could have an evaluation done by another Wing (like a joint representative). The intent isn't to restrict Encampments and make sure they run by the textbook, but to ensure that compliance is maintained through planning and execution.

It's just my own opinion, but having a third-party approve a schedule seems to be a bit much. I think a lot of cleanup can come from AARs. Let's see the schedule after Encampment. Show the documentation you used to conduct Encampment. That will determine the level of oversight in next year's Encampment.

What happens in planning is that a tentative schedule is developed, and then things change during Encampment. And then, when the next day's schedule needs to be modified, the planning crew is missing information on how to prepare for the next day, and can't publish a schedule until they receive approval from the top. The approval gets dragged out, and now you have an overdue schedule and people are working on it after-hours.

At the end of the day, all these regulations and pamphlets exist. But they have to be read, and communicated down the chain. It doesn't help if only the person running Encampment read the pamphlets. The cadet staff should be fully aware of their restrictions just as much as the seniors. And I'm not, at all, saying that didn't happen. But in working with cadets regularly, and overseeing activity planning, I just know that it's a thing that tends to happen.

"It's not a safety hazard." Okay, maybe not. But it becomes a problem when you get caught making an oopsie big enough to where, the next time, CAP-USAF or NHQ wants to say "Hey, no more. You're done."
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,766

« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2018, 01:30:40 PM »

You wouldn't necessarily need to do that at the CAP-USAF level. You could have an evaluation done by another Wing (like a joint representative). The intent isn't to restrict Encampments and make sure they run by the textbook, but to ensure that compliance is maintained through planning and execution.

It's just my own opinion, but having a third-party approve a schedule seems to be a bit much. I think a lot of cleanup can come from AARs. Let's see the schedule after Encampment. Show the documentation you used to conduct Encampment. That will determine the level of oversight in next year's Encampment.

This pre-supposes there is any continuity from year to year.  In many wings there isn't, at the encampment level or the DCP.

What happens in planning is that a tentative schedule is developed, and then things change during Encampment. And then, when the next day's schedule needs to be modified, the planning crew is missing information on how to prepare for the next day, and can't publish a schedule until they receive approval from the top. The approval gets dragged out, and now you have an overdue schedule and people are working on it after-hours.

This isn't what I was suggesting, things do happen during the activities, especially in regards to weather, so sometimes
activities have to be moved around, but the required rack times, chow times, in / out processing, and related rarely do,
and in the case of rack time should not.  If the activity is scheduled in 1-hour blocks, it's a simply thing to "move this here
and move that there" (BTDT for 15 attachments), but you have to have a schedule walking in Day 0 that at least complies
with the high-level mandates of the program.  When those high-level errors are exposed, there's almost always
more underneath.

For over a decade, while CAP-USAF was still involved at the approval level, we would be consulting
with the SD or LR-ADO as to what our plans were, the vector of the schedule, and how we intended
to comply with the mandates.  During the activity, the SD, LR-ADO, or one of the RAPs would sit with
the Commandant and go over the curriculum matrix and the schedule to see how close to the
mark we were going to get, and give us the "OK" at the high level.

Afterwards we would submit full detail along with the F20, and I can say for a fact it was actually
read and occasionally questions were raised before they signed and submitted the F20.

For a number of years that essentially disappeared, however I was happy to see this year that
the RAPs who visited us were very interested in what we were doing, and seemed invested in helping.

But there are a >lot< of places that overworked / inexperienced / inconsistently trained / well-intentioned
volunteers can cut corners or institute "good ideas" when real oversight is lacking, and then you're
back to "hoping", which is CAP's number one OPS Plan.

At the end of the day, all these regulations and pamphlets exist. But they have to be read, and communicated down the chain. It doesn't help if only the person running Encampment read the pamphlets. The cadet staff should be fully aware of their restrictions just as much as the seniors. And I'm not, at all, saying that didn't happen. But in working with cadets regularly, and overseeing activity planning, I just know that it's a thing that tends to happen.

Agree - but how do you vet that in a world where the organization is desperate for staff who can put in this much time?

Things change every year, and encampment staff officers have to be fully current on the entire program,
not just CAPP 70-1.  I've argued for years that Encampment CC is a full-time CAP job, and in many cases,
including for a long time me personally, it was just "one more on the pile".

If anything there should be a PD track or staff college for "major activity chairs" or similar.

You can't be an IC for a SAREx that encompasses 20 people in total and no aircraft without 5-10 years of
training, mentoring, and demonstrable experience, but you can be an Encampment CC with a 5-figure budget
and 150 participants primarily because you have the week off.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 01:45:09 PM by Eclipse » Logged


TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,271

« Reply #69 on: August 08, 2018, 09:54:18 AM »

But there are a >lot< of places that overworked / inexperienced / inconsistently trained / well-intentioned
volunteers can cut corners or institute "good ideas" when real oversight is lacking, and then you're
back to "hoping", which is CAP's number one OPS Plan.

I'm in absolute agreement with you on this.

Encampment is never the time to learn on-the-job. By this point, you should be executing what you have already learned in the lead-up training (with the tweaking and mentoring that goes along with it).


Quote
how do you vet that in a world where the organization is desperate for staff who can put in this much time?

Things change every year, and encampment staff officers have to be fully current on the entire program,
not just CAPP 70-1.  I've argued for years that Encampment CC is a full-time CAP job, and in many cases,
including for a long time me personally, it was just "one more on the pile".

If anything there should be a PD track or staff college for "major activity chairs" or similar.

You can't be an IC for a SAREx that encompasses 20 people in total and no aircraft without 5-10 years of
training, mentoring, and demonstrable experience, but you can be an Encampment CC with a 5-figure budget
and 150 participants primarily because you have the week off.

You're absolutely correct on this. It's a tough conundrum.

Organizing mass training events that last several days or a week is a big challenge that has a lot of moving parts. And it's really tough to balance the training/mentoring side with the management of the activity. I've run into that at the local level. I've run into that outside of CAP. It's immensely challenging when you don't have people who can commit (especially those who back out late in the planning/preparedness cycle).

There's a bit of a culturalism in CAP that being a 'volunteer organization' means we have to 'get by with what we have.' That's not the case. I think it goes back to that thread on Professional Volunteers and Volunteer Professionals. It's a job that you signed up to do. The organization didn't volunteer to hand you a gig.

None of this is to say that everyone skirts by and does as they choose. Sometimes the volunteer aspect, though, crosses lines and cuts off the focus a bit. There are some people that are fantastic at organizing a major event, and they stack it with people that they can push to perform. And there are some people that love being the project leader but aren't the greatest at project management, despite being a subject matter expert in their field. It turns into "Then who else runs it?"

No answers here. Just thinking out loud.
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Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 28,766

« Reply #70 on: August 08, 2018, 10:10:28 AM »

No answers here. Just thinking out loud.

Same.

All of the above is why organizational benevolence regarding decorations and promotions should
always be decidedly in the members' favor, and benevolence regarding behavior and regulations
should always favor the organization.

How many wings will hold a hard line and put people through weeks of made-up nonsense
about a dec or promotion, but choose activity leaders based on presence and / or look the other
way when major tenants of the program are violated for expedience?
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