Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
January 23, 2019, 01:55:46 AM
Home Help Login Register
News:

CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Time & Location of your Squadron's Meeting
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Time & Location of your Squadron's Meeting  (Read 1581 times)
Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,957

« on: December 17, 2018, 09:51:49 PM »

Joe Citizen heard about this CAP thing and Google searches "Civil Air Patrol in Anytown USA" and comes up with Anytown Composite Squadron's website.

After reviewing some info about CAP, he decides he wants to check out a meeting to explore more, maybe ask some questions.

Do you have your meeting time and location on your website and encourage people to visit or is there an email, phone number, or some type of online form to request more information?  Or all or some of the above?
Logged
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,351

« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 10:17:48 PM »

Yes.  Our website has days, times and an interactive Google map of our location. Full contact info, email and phone. Online Calendar page so anyone can see dates and times of events. Plus, our Facebook page is embedded on the home page.  :)
Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,626

« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 11:33:47 AM »

We took down our meeting schedule from the website due to issues with people showing up when we weren't at that location. So we reverted to using an event calendar with meeting information on it, customized for each meeting/activity. So rather than "Every Thursday from 6:30-9pm at (Unit HQ)," we now have:
- Weekly Training: Thursday, Dec 6, 6:30-9pm at (Unit HQ)
- Fitness Testing: Thursday, Dec 13, 6:30-9pm at (Rec Center)
- Wreath Across America: Saturday, Dec 15, 8:00am-1pm (Cemetery)
- Weekly Training: Thursday, Dec 20, 6:30-9pm at (Unit HQ)

Click on each, you get the address and uniform of the day.

Our Facebook still has the weekly calendar, but I make sure to put up a "Reminder, we are meeting offsite this week" for changes with a link to the event page on the website.

We don't do a direct email address or phone number because of spam, but we do have a contact form.

Commander's name is on the website as well. So anyone in the Wing could easily just send him an email using the firstname.lastname@wing format.
Logged
PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 6,389

« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 04:24:23 PM »

We took down our meeting schedule from the website due to issues with people showing up when we weren't at that location. So we reverted to using an event calendar with meeting information on it, customized for each meeting/activity. So rather than "Every Thursday from 6:30-9pm at (Unit HQ)," we now have:
- Weekly Training: Thursday, Dec 6, 6:30-9pm at (Unit HQ)
- Fitness Testing: Thursday, Dec 13, 6:30-9pm at (Rec Center)
- Wreath Across America: Saturday, Dec 15, 8:00am-1pm (Cemetery)
- Weekly Training: Thursday, Dec 20, 6:30-9pm at (Unit HQ)

Click on each, you get the address and uniform of the day.

Our Facebook still has the weekly calendar, but I make sure to put up a "Reminder, we are meeting offsite this week" for changes with a link to the event page on the website.

We don't do a direct email address or phone number because of spam, but we do have a contact form.

Commander's name is on the website as well. So anyone in the Wing could easily just send him an email using the firstname.lastname@wing format.


But how does this help a prospective new member who is just trying to find when and where you meet?
Logged
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,626

« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 08:51:22 PM »

Everything in parenthesis includes the actual location. I simplified it for the purpose of posting on a forum. Our actual website literally shows the specific location with the address for that meeting.

If you're referring to the "what's your typical meeting schedule," we don't do that because we have to meet offsite periodically due to sharing our meeting space. The "We meet every week here" was causing issues. So running the event calendar with specific dates and their respective locations was more effective.
Logged
Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,957

« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 01:23:21 AM »

Thanks for the replies. I'm working to craft our open/public information available on our squadron website. Currently, the only option is to submit a Google form and there's no way for the prospective member to follow up on their end, other than to submit the request again.

I was recently contacted via our squadron Facebook page (message) that someone was very interested in visiting the squadron to explore joining, but the Google form failed to work.  I want to have redundant methods for people to visit or contact us, but  some had concerns about advertising the when and where (from a security perspective).  I've been in CAP a few decades and have always made our location/time public; on brochures, websites, Facebook, etc.

Was just wondering if this was a concern anywhere else.
Logged
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,461

« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2018, 01:37:56 AM »

The national unit locator shows the details of unit meetings as submitted on the F27, so
it's all public anyway.

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/cap-unit-locator

Also, since Feb 2018, all units have been required to have a web-based calendar showing all cadet events.
You could argue, I suppose, that this calendar doesn't need to be public, per se, but that's really more trouble then it's worth.
Logged


TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,626

« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2018, 01:41:48 AM »

Security-wise, I think youíre being general because of where you meet on post. Maybe just state the base but not the building number. Include a statement that visitors require advanced notice for base access.

From a CAP standpoint, thereís really no OPSEC concern in regard to talking about where a CAP meeting meets (on non-military property). The more information you can provide to new facesóspeaking in the most clear, concise, laymenís terms possibleóthe better. If itís complicated or difficult to find/understand, itís a turn off.

Iíve visited units where their meetings arenít posted and I have to go through different contacts to figure it out, let alone know what to wear. Thatís a real pain. Imagine a non-member who doesnít know what or to whom they should ask.
Logged
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,461

« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2018, 02:31:52 AM »

Iíve visited units where their meetings arenít posted and I have to go through different contacts to figure it out, let alone know what to wear. Thatís a real pain. Imagine a non-member who doesnít know what or to whom they should ask.

Agreed, but prospects should really not just be randomly wandering into meetings, either.
It's disruptive at a minimum.

Prospects should be making contact in advance with the CC or designate, who can do the
"Round 1 sussin" and then give the details where to go.

(This assumes the meeting isn't in a public ore semi-public area like an FBO.)
Logged


etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,351

« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2018, 03:02:41 AM »


Agreed, but prospects should really not just be randomly wandering into meetings, either.
It's disruptive at a minimum.


Our meetings are in the airport terminal building with great views of the runway right outside the windows. So its very public. If we see a visitor walk in, someone will jump up and give them the tour and answer questions. :)
Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
CAPDepCom
Member

Posts: 55

« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2018, 04:20:35 AM »

Our meetings are in the airport terminal building with great views of the runway right outside the windows. So its very public. If we see a visitor walk in, someone will jump up and give them the tour and answer questions. :)

That's great planning and exposure.  Kudos.
Logged
CAPDepCom
Member

Posts: 55

« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2018, 04:27:36 AM »

Our Squadron meeting times are listed on our website as well as our Facebook page.  Our Flight is school based, so we are also word of mouth via the previous Flight Commander (who is a teacher there) five days a week.  The Flight also has a column in our local, monthly small town newspaper which makes note of our meeting days, time, location as well as any past or upcoming activities.  Through that column, we invite those interested in CAP and joining the Flight to show up to a meeting if they choose.  But, we are also a small town and everybody knows everybody, so the possibility of disruption is nil.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2018, 02:56:06 PM by CAPDepCom » Logged
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,351

« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2018, 04:50:58 AM »

In terms of regular meetings, I never consider walk-in guests as "disruptions".  We can always take a minute to welcome the guest, then someone can take them aside and give them the pitch and answer questions, as the Squadron gets back to business at hand. Treat every guest, even walk-ins, as if THEY are the most important person there. If it means stopping drill for a few, so be it. :)
Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,626

« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2018, 03:29:52 PM »

In terms of regular meetings, I never consider walk-in guests as "disruptions".  We can always take a minute to welcome the guest, then someone can take them aside and give them the pitch and answer questions, as the Squadron gets back to business at hand. Treat every guest, even walk-ins, as if THEY are the most important person there. If it means stopping drill for a few, so be it. :)

Why would drill be stopped for a walk-in? The entire training session shouldn't need to be halted.

Have a senior step aside, or, for a young prospect, have a cadet step aside.

Logged
etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,351

« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2018, 08:09:08 PM »

In terms of regular meetings, I never consider walk-in guests as "disruptions".  We can always take a minute to welcome the guest, then someone can take them aside and give them the pitch and answer questions, as the Squadron gets back to business at hand. Treat every guest, even walk-ins, as if THEY are the most important person there. If it means stopping drill for a few, so be it. :)

Why would drill be stopped for a walk-in? The entire training session shouldn't need to be halted.

Have a senior step aside, or, for a young prospect, have a cadet step aside.

Of course, most of the time that is the case. I was trying to make a point, whether its drill happening or whatever else .... "Treat every guest, even walk-ins, as if THEY are the most important person there."   Stop long enough to show some courtesy and shear joy that a guest has arrived, just as I'm sure we all do if the guest comes to our home.  :)

Wait until the next meeting they attend to show the formal, stuffed shirt side.   ;D ;D ;D
Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
Eclipse
Too Much Free Time Award

Posts: 29,461

« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2018, 08:21:17 PM »

You don't bring a meeting to a halt because some rando walks in and says "tell me about CAP".

You give them a business card and / or get their contact information, and tell them you'll be
happy to call them the next day and discuss the expectations and opportunities CAP has to offer,
but right now you need to get back to the meeting.

Of course you treat interested prospects with respect and welcome them.

Of course you make them feel important.

But you don't disrespect the rest of the membership by holding up your finger, walking out of the room
and saying "be right back".

etodd, your unit may have a plethora of adult members sitting on the sidelines waiting for engagement,
but a lot of meetings are run with only 2 adults fully engaged who don't have the bandwidth to
hold a recruiting discussion mid-meeting.

During my last CC tour, we always made a point to welcome pilots and others coming through the
FBO and encourage their exploring CAP, but I would never bring a meeting to a halt to do it.
Logged


etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,351

« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2018, 08:41:49 PM »


etodd, your unit may have a plethora of adult members ....

True, what works for us, certainly doesn't for small Squadrons who are tight on personnel.
Logged
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO
Stonewall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 3,957

« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2018, 12:55:45 AM »

In discussion with other members, part of their concern was the fact that people would just randomly show up and interrupt the meeting. We have as many as a dozen SMs at our meetings who are usually engaged and doing something, but often times, there's at least 2 or 3 who could absolutely take a few minutes to welcome a visitor and give them a brief explanation of our program. That's why I posted this, because I just wanted a sanity check that I wasn't some old timer who has a standard response of "back in my day..."

January marks my 32nd year in CAP, and I have been in 6 squadrons in 4 wings and served on wing staff, and it would never dawn on me to consider visitor as an interruption.

Good dialogue, folks. Always appreciate peoples' insight and experiences.

Logged
THRAWN
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,903

« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2018, 01:58:22 PM »

You want visitors.

We had a rotating schedule, a SM and a Cadet would act as "greeters" or "tour guides" at each meeting. It seemed to work...
Logged
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016
TheSkyHornet
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,626

« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2018, 10:20:18 PM »

You want visitors.

We had a rotating schedule, a SM and a Cadet would act as "greeters" or "tour guides" at each meeting. It seemed to work...

We have that as well, but in all honesty, we sometimes have to stray and pair up people under demographics (pending their availability at that time).

For example, we had a new girl transfer in last week. I made sure she was paired up with one of the other girls to kind of show her where things are and help answer any questions. More often than not, it just works better (especially when one of the early questions I get is "How many girls are in your unit?").

If I have a 16-year-old male come visit, another 16-year-old or 17-year-old is usually a better fit to pair with that person.

And I make sure I have a senior who can be available to step aside and be the face of the unit for parents (parental buy in goes a long way early on). So, when we develop activities, we try to make sure that we leave enough senior member flexibility to have someone who's regularly involved with the Cadet Program able to step side and not shut down the entire thing.

I'm pretty consistent on telling new faces, too, "Just let me know when you plan to come again so I can make sure that you're in the right place." Get their contact information and send them an email---our meetings are on Thursday, so I'll shoot out an email on Monday as a 'great to have you last week; we'll be meeting again this week at (place) and (time) and (doing this activity)."

Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  The Lobby  |  Topic: Time & Location of your Squadron's Meeting
 


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.06 seconds with 25 queries.