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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: FLWG Summer Encampment 2018
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Author Topic: FLWG Summer Encampment 2018  (Read 1058 times)

Posts: 53
Unit: SER-FL-116

« on: September 11, 2018, 11:33:02 AM »

I've been touring squadrons in my area to decide which one to join. One thing that has really stood out is that the evaluation of the FLWG encampment has varied widely from squadron to squadron, and no one seems to be willing to elaborate on how it went. I've heard it was, "the usual," I've heard it was, "interesting" and I've heard a couple of strongly negative comments such as, "Dangerous," and "I'll never staff another encampment again."

Does anyone have any first-hand information on this year's FLWG summer encampment that they'd be willing to share? As potential encampment staff (and having a daughter who's a potential cadet), I'd really like to know.  Feel free to PM me if that's more comfortable for you.
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Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,843

« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2018, 01:55:30 PM »


If that's the case, it's something that needs to be looked into. While perception is reality, this could just be scuttlebutt and not actually the case.

Be cautious of anyone that "heard" of what happened at Encampment that didn't actually attend.

"I'll never staff another encampment again."

That's always a shame to hear. I understand the frustrations that can lead to that statement, myself. I've heard it from cadets in our Wing as well.

Sometimes it's poor leadership/management. Sometimes it's the cadet not really understanding what they opted themselves into.

Another area to review and correct, if necessary.

On that whole "I heard" thing---I have a colleague/friend who staffed this past summer in Florida, along with his son. They're out-of-staters who went down after our Wing's Encampment. They had a great time. "Florida's Encampment is so much better than ours. It's like a real Encampment." Now that doesn't mean a lot to me, since I don't know what it implies. But they had a blast.

Hope you get the answers you're looking for.
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Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
Posts: 30,143

« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 02:30:41 PM »

As a potential new member(s), focus on a squadron that is a good fit, and don't worry too much about
encampments or anything else outside the unit.

Encampments are an important part of the cadet experience, and participation is considered
a significant factor in regards to cadet retention and progression, but the local unit is where the
rubber meets the road.

Any comments you may have heard about that activity have to be filtered based on source,
and as TheSkyHornet says, that's very subjective.

A cadet who didn't get the job they wanted, or it wasn't what they expected, or an adult
who bumped heads with someone over something they consider "important" which isn't even actually
a "thing to be worried about" may characterize the activity in an unfair negative way.

A Marine DI who goes to his first Encampment that happens to be "not on a military base" will
probably come back complaining about how soft CAP is.  A mom with zero military background
and a skittish cadet will probably be worried about how hard CAP is on their kid.

Most cadets base their entire experience on the quality of the food, that "kid in the other bunk
who snored all night", and whether they got close to Honor Flight.

And as with everything else in life, you will also get people who have never been there (or even to an
encampment at all), happy to espouse on the experience.

By the time your cadet is ready to go to an encampment, most likely next year, you should have a much better
lay of the land in regards to whose opinion you can trust and whether or not a particular activity.

Attending your home wing's encampment is almost always the best option for a number of reasons,
but if it comes down to it, there are generally 40-45 other encampments in a given year, and not all
of them occur in the summer.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 02:33:42 PM by Eclipse » Report to moderator   Logged

Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,843

« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2018, 02:33:15 PM »

^ Everything this guy just said.  :clap:
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Posts: 2
Unit: SER-FL-267

« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2018, 06:46:03 AM »

I am a Florida cadet and this upcoming Winter Encampment will be my 6th Florida Encampment. I have also attended an out of state encampment. First and foremost it needs to be understood that the encampments kind of blur together at this point and I had a personal conflict with one of the executive staff before and during the encampment.

Now for the encampment you are talking about in particular, I was a staff member there. And to be perfectly honest, there is a reason there were 3 suspensions of CAP members post the encampment, the following being the Encampment Commander, the Cadet Commander and the Deputy of Operations. In terms of Florida's encampments, generally speaking they do actually include much more in the way of activities and opportunities and for the most part it is a good encampment.

That being said, yes this past encampment can be chalked up to poor leadership decisions. For instance, the commandant did not actually check in with several event staff on the base, so the reality is that we had multiple events (i.e. the museum trip and the battle sims) that had idle cadets and confused staff. Another issue (which later got the encampment commander suspended) was the inclusion of an outside Coast Guard Officer who handled CAP affairs such as phone calls to parents, medical treatment and disciplinary actions, which is STRICTLY NOT ALLOWED. Most staff were in particular angry due to the fact that the "bad" cadets were indeed taken off base to get icecream, including multiple basics and several staff members. I think the thing that perhaps pissed me off the most was when on day 5 all cadet staff (both line and support staff) were called into a meeting at 10 at night and cursed out by the encampment commander.

In terms of the executive staff, I know them all personally and none of them are inherently bad, however multiple complaints were filed that the encampment was "too intense" on some spectrums (and because of certain cadets) and "too lenient" on others. I do not disagree with these statements, there is a lot of growth that needs to occur amongst the executive staff. However, as I see it, the fault does not lie with them.

All in all, I would say this encampment was perhaps on the more disappointing side in terms of how it was run but I definitely cannot categorize it as the "worst" encampment I have been too. That being said, I don't really consider it a success. I feel that the point of the encampment was diluted by a lot of behind the scenes politics and things that truly do not belong at an encampment.

Even still though, I do encourage your participation in upcoming encampments, afterall we cannot expect change if we do not bring it.

[fixed the line feeds to improve readability]
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 07:56:11 AM by SarDragon » Report to moderator   Logged
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2018, 04:46:56 PM »


I really don't want to be that guy...

But how much involvement in the above issues did you have as a cadet, and where did most of your knowledge on these issues come from? Did you see it, or did you hear about it?

I exercise a caution with any "I heard that" story regardless of the orator, but I add extra caution when it's coming from a cadet just because of perspective.

We had some stirring at our Encampment, at which I was a Training Officer. I was there first-hand and saw some issues as they unfolded. The aftermath had a lot of behind-the-scenes discussions that I was later clued in on but wasn't physically present in. So what happened after the event---the administrative and disciplinary handling---is, at best, my understanding of how it played out based on what I heard and not necessarily fact.
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Unit: SER-FL-267

« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2018, 09:16:56 PM »

I was first hand privy to
- The commandant's incidents (we showed up to the museum and the person there was absolutely unaware we were coming, and asked us a couple questions regarding why we were there and eventually was led by another staff member to the nearest higher up, battle sims I cannot fully account for, only a side comment from one of the staff)
-Another item i was privy to was the inclusion of the coast guard memeber. I witnessed her making a phone call to a cadet's parent whilst I was in the Admin office and I had seen her around the encampment treating cadets for various injuries
-And clearly I was privy to the staff meeting, I got yelled at and cursed out.
- On the subject of the executive staff, you may ask anyone who has gone to Winter 17-18 or Summer 18 and they can tell you exactly who I am talking to regarding harshness. I also was privy to a formal complaint sent in about said executive staff member after the encmapment, I asked them about the member's suspension and he showed me the letter. And as I said before, I know and have worked with all of them personally before.
I was not privy to
- The icecream, my records come from one of the cadets in my squadron who recounted the fact that he went out for icecream (I can vouch that he is awful) and a sergeant that was line staff as well, who also went due to the fact that she had a mental break down about three times a day. She also recounted it.
In terms of your first point, I wouldn't say that involvement can really categorize it, more so I had witnessed a majority of the issues that I saw. That being said, your perfectly right, there was a lot of behind the scenes I am unaware of, and there were many more instances that undoubtedly happened and I wasn't there. For instance, the only suspensions I can 100% confirm are the exec staff because I asked one of them, and a fellow cadet got a call from the other asking her what he should do about it. I cannot confirm the encampment commanders suspension.
I appreciate your caution.
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Mitchell 1969
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Unit: PCR-CA-051

« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 09:30:17 PM »

Is this combination of anonymity and hearsay really necessary for this forum?

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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.
Too Much Free Time With Silver Clasp
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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 09:31:21 PM »

This belongs in messages to the Wing DCP and Wing CC, not a public forum.
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2018, 10:12:02 PM »

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Dave Bowles
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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Encampments & NCSAs  |  Topic: FLWG Summer Encampment 2018

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