Should encampment be required earlier than Mitchell?

Started by Jester, May 11, 2020, 10:22:04 pm

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Jester

I made a throwaway comment in the other thread and I've been rolling it around in my head ever since.

Are we setting the bar too low by making encampment a requirement to complete Phase II?

It seems to me that the curriculum and objectives of encampment are expressly aimed toward Phase I cadets.  The bulk of students are Phase I and the few stray Phase II students always seem out of place.

Eclipse

May 11, 2020, 10:36:51 pm #1 Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 10:41:01 pm by Eclipse
Yes.  I would argue it should be required to participate as a student within the first calendar year
of cadet membership.

Most other paramilitary cadet programs have a similar requirement for indoc training.

Clearly at some point the encampment became tied to the USAF E-3, which is why it
was CAP-USAF's purview for years.  Now that this is no longer the case, it's ime to reconsider
when it is appropriate to be a student.

There are far too many NCOs, especially Chiefs, in the flights.

This is akin to senior PD, where it's completed well after the lessons imparted would have been
useful.



PHall

What about in a larger wing like California, Florida or Texas where we have more "first year" cadets then we have student slots at Encampment?
Last year in California we graduated 287 students and we used just about every bed we had available at our facility at Camp San Luis Obispo. And this is about the largest facility we have available to us.
But we had more then that number in new first year cadets in the wing.
Solutions?

Eclipse

May 12, 2020, 01:04:46 am #3 Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 01:08:55 am by Eclipse
More encampments.

Once the situation normalizes after a year or two, you're just moving the needle to
when they go, not increasing or decreasing the actual numbers.

Other benefits:

Capacity planning.  Moving it from "if you feel like it" to
"required first calendar year" gives a much better idea as to how many cadets need it in any
given year, and are likely to attend, vs now which is "no idea".

Standardized training that sticks. Catching a first year cadet is going to get
him or her at their most enthusiastic, with the least pre-conceived notions.
"Fixing a C/Chief" is a lot harder.



etodd

Required first year?  So a Cadet joining May 1st has to be prepared to go in the next couple of months or so? With all the hundreds of dollars in uniforms and gear? Even Winter encampment May be soon for many. 🤷🏻‍♂️
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

Ned

I also support programming a new cadet into encampment attendance based on join date, preferably during the first year of membership.  There are a lot of good cogent reasons why it is probably a good idea.

Most importantly, it would increase retention.  Encampment has always had a strong correlation with renewal. 

Programming attendance would be a powerful management tool for the wing.  They would know how many student beds are required to meet the mission and can plan accordingly much sooner than a demand-based model permits.  In the event that a wing has a hard cap on beds, it would allow Region to coordinate pour over into another encampment.  At my level, it would allow significant refinement of CEAP  and other federal funding.  Our AF colleagues would appreciate it.  But then sometimes it feels like they would like us to lock in final numbers five years out.

My vision has been that new cadets would receive a message from General Smith to the effect of "Greetings, and congratulations on accepting the challenge of cadet membership.  You are ordered to attend The [Your Wing] encampment on [dates] at [Location]. In the event of a schedule conflict, work through your chain to arrange an alternate date or location.  You are in for the a Time of Your Life".

There are downsides, of course.  As others have mentioned, it would accelerate  uniform and related costs that might otherwise be spread over another year.

Given a spring or summer join date, it may not even be possible to get a cadet through the Curry in time to attend encampment during her/his first summer.

Others also mentioned the flip side of the retention issue:  we would almost certainly need to figure out a way to substantially increase the number of student beds. Either larger or more encampments.  Which is resource intensive both in terms of funds, but perhaps more importantly, CP officer volunteers serving as cadre.  Money may be fixable with AF help, but more senior member volunteers is likely a potential show-stopper in the short to medium run.  Say 2-3 years to recruit and train. 

Accordingly, my take is that the SM CP officer shortage is the biggest constraint to universal first year encampment attendance. 

But it sure would be nice to think about.

Mitchell 1969

Quote from: Eclipse on May 11, 2020, 10:36:51 pmYes.  I would argue it should be required to participate as a student within the first calendar year
of cadet membership.


First calendar year? That means January to December. A cadet joining in November will be in a world of hurt.

Even "first membership year" is problematic. If a cadet joins in May or June, with family vacation plans for the summer already set, the first encampment opportunity might not happen until July or August of the following year.

How about: within 18 months of joining?


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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.

1st Lt Thompson

First year of membership, if you join prior to 1 May, otherwise you go next year. If the expectation is set during recruiting, there won't be many problems. Sure you may have the odd cadet here or there that already has vacation plans and can work with their chain of command to go to an adjacent Wing's encampment or push back to next year. My brother is a Scoutmaster, and gets almost 100% attendance at summer camp from his troop each year, he sets the expectation that they will be going and they go. They fund raise to make it happen.

Another suggestion, which would require a lot of planning and would be difficult for Wings like CAWG, would be to allow Cadets to go for their basic year again. I know I would have repeated my basic year if I could. When I was in JROTC we went to summer camp every year. Staff was chosen at camp, so you never knew if you would be a Platoon Sgt or Company Commander or just a basic cadet until you got there. The curriculum was slightly different every year, so if you went for 3 years you got a lot of drill and PT and basics, but also learned something new each time. You could be on staff your second year, and then go back your third and not be chosen, and still have a blast. 
1st Lt Matt Thompson
Historian, Assistant PAO

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)

Paul Creed III

Quote from: Ned on May 12, 2020, 04:45:56 amI also support programming a new cadet into encampment attendance based on join date, preferably during the first year of membership.  There are a lot of good cogent reasons why it is probably a good idea.

Most importantly, it would increase retention.  Encampment has always had a strong correlation with renewal. 

Programming attendance would be a powerful management tool for the wing.  They would know how many student beds are required to meet the mission and can plan accordingly much sooner than a demand-based model permits.  In the event that a wing has a hard cap on beds, it would allow Region to coordinate pour over into another encampment.  At my level, it would allow significant refinement of CEAP  and other federal funding.  Our AF colleagues would appreciate it.  But then sometimes it feels like they would like us to lock in final numbers five years out.

My vision has been that new cadets would receive a message from General Smith to the effect of "Greetings, and congratulations on accepting the challenge of cadet membership.  You are ordered to attend The [Your Wing] encampment on [dates] at [Location]. In the event of a schedule conflict, work through your chain to arrange an alternate date or location.  You are in for the a Time of Your Life".

There are downsides, of course.  As others have mentioned, it would accelerate  uniform and related costs that might otherwise be spread over another year.

Given a spring or summer join date, it may not even be possible to get a cadet through the Curry in time to attend encampment during her/his first summer.

Others also mentioned the flip side of the retention issue:  we would almost certainly need to figure out a way to substantially increase the number of student beds. Either larger or more encampments.  Which is resource intensive both in terms of funds, but perhaps more importantly, CP officer volunteers serving as cadre.  Money may be fixable with AF help, but more senior member volunteers is likely a potential show-stopper in the short to medium run.  Say 2-3 years to recruit and train. 

Accordingly, my take is that the SM CP officer shortage is the biggest constraint to universal first year encampment attendance. 

But it sure would be nice to think about.

I agree with Ned on all of his points, save one: ordering cadets to their home wing's encampment. Back when I was with a composite unit, we were located in a part of the state where a couple of other wing's encampments were closer or about the same distance as our home wing's. Add in encampment costs [partially mitigated now wth CEAP] and timing, having a choice of encampments was important to have and I would envision would continue to be important.

Since every encampment has "local flavor" based upon their host facility, giving cadets a choice ensures that they get the core curriculum while also allowing them to explore the uniqueness that a given encampment offers.
Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
National Headquarters Cyber Curriculum Specialist
National Headquarters Photography Working Group

1st Lt Thompson

I read "order" more as symbolic than actually being ordered to attend. Receiving orders from NHQ/CC would be like getting your Hogwarts letter. ;D  If a CC knew a Cadet was interested in attending another Wing's encampment, there should be a way to submit their info to that Wing for planning purposes, and then their "Official Orders" from the General would have that Wing's encampment listed.
1st Lt Matt Thompson
Historian, Assistant PAO

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)

Ned

The "greetings" salutation was intended to reflect on the draft notices of my youth when many of my friends received similar "Greetings from the President," but regardless of the wording, the important part was to create an encampment attendance default.  And the default would in all likelihood be the local wing's encampment.

In this data-driven age, it could just as easily be the nearest encampment, or the cheapest, or whatever.  But the key is to create an "early encampment expectation" into the system.

Obviously, because of planned family vacations, summer/year round schools, and things like family businesses we would need to create a parent-friendly system to allow location or date changes.

But we bake in the concept of encampment during the first 15 months of membership.

As soon as we find a whole lot more senior member volunteer cadre.

Jester


Observation: we really need to get more wings to embrace the Type B encampment, and potentially coordinate it within a region. 

For example, GLR (just my home region so it's the hypothetical for this, not a knock on anybody) is 6 wings.  To my knowledge each runs a Type A in the summer, with winter being basically 0 to my knowledge (I know COVID is going to drive more of these but I assume that will be a 2020-only phenomenon).  I only know of 1 Type B in the region, offered in April. 

Why can't GLR  have 3 wings do Type B each spring & Type A each winter, then the other 3 do Type A each summer & Type B each fall)?  This offers 12 per year across the region, which lessens the travel burden for the membership and should meet every single type of availability for students & staff. 

Even if some of the wings can't support 2 encampments each year (and some wings can't even support 1), the region can still shoot for more across their AO than just the summer (I get it, it's the highest-demand timeframe, but there's only so many weeks in the summer and a lot of other stuff competing for cadet & parent time/attention during summer). 

SM support is an issue, but I think expanding Type B encampments and adding Type B in the fall will assist this. 

So maybe this means we don't have one massive encampment during the year, but a couple of moderate-size ones.

 

Jester

Quote from: 1st Lt Thompson on May 12, 2020, 01:27:52 pmI read "order" more as symbolic than actually being ordered to attend. Receiving orders from NHQ/CC would be like getting your Hogwarts letter. ;D  If a CC knew a Cadet was interested in attending another Wing's encampment, there should be a way to submit their info to that Wing for planning purposes, and then their "Official Orders" from the General would have that Wing's encampment listed.

Maybe a "dream sheet" (like in the military where you list your desired bases for assignment) portion of the cadet membership application, where a cadet can pick their top 3 desired encampments (I assume there's a way to link the options with whatever encampments are scheduled at that particular moment). 

Cadet picks KYWG in June, ILWG in July, FLWG in December (grandma lives there & the family travels there for Christmas break anyway). 

This drives a notification to encampment staff for choice #1, who has student space available and "accepts" the cadet.  Then the cadet gets an email that says "congrats, you're slotted for KYWG encampment in June!  Do you need CEAP or can you pay the tuition by 15 May?" 

Or, in the event that choice #1 is full, that encampment staff clicks "Nope, no room at the inn", and it goes to choice #2 and the process repeats itself.


TheSkyHornet

That probably won't work with Encampment vastly differing in cost, and cost does not always equal quality of experience.

An Encampment may cost $300 and all they do is drill and visit a museum versus $200 where they go rappelling, shooting, and get a C-130 ride.

Eclipse

May 12, 2020, 05:30:55 pm #14 Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 05:39:18 pm by Eclipse
1 - Encampment tourism should be reduced or eliminated, not expanded. It's one of the
reasons activities have issues getting qualified cadets.

Within the same Region, within a 2-3 hours drive is one thing, but this nonsense of cadets driving,
or worse flying, all over the country for an encampment is ridiculous, counterproductive, and increases the
stress on the already (generally) short-handed adult staff, not to mention raising the ORM numbers
for the participants. (I totally realize this is a hard-fast tradition for CAP cadets - that doesn't make it a good idea for them, CAP, or their peers.)

2 - Increasing the Type B encampments sounds like a great idea until you look at what it takes to execute one.
The recent rhetoric from a lot of wings that they are "considering one in the Fall" as a replacement for their
cancelled Summer encampment is an indication they really don't understand the issue. Not to mention that a venue
available in the summer when it's "vacation time" isn't necessarily going to be available in the Fall / Winter
when schools and the military are in full swing.

As NHQ increments the expectations on contact hours and curriculum compliance it has become increasingly difficult
to cram everything expected into two weekends with a level of integrity the CP requires. 

Can you add a third weekend? Yes.  Good luck with that.
Expecting members give up essentially a month of weekends isn't going to happen
in most areas, and your 3rd-weekend drop rate, for both adults and cadets, it going to be staggering.

It requires a very specific type of venue, with resources such as mess facilities (vs KP), and you can basically forget about any flight component whatsoever, unless the encampment is literally on a flight line, because the transit times, not to mention the amount of time lost to that activity, would kill the rest of your schedule.

A 2-weekend Type B requires all hands be checked in NLT that 1900 each Friday, that they stay until at least 1700 each Sunday, and go from dark to dark with zero downtime. That is the only was to have a schedule which meets the mandate of contact hours. (IOW you don't start with an 80% schedule, which is what I've heard in some places.  That's not how this works.)

Sadly, and this is fodder for a different thread, while I think this conversation is important and should be
had, any ideas that CAP is going to be increasing encampments, or any other "sleep-away" activities in the foreseeable is essentially moot as it will be hard enough to just get back to 2019 steady state.  My personal prediction is a loss of at least 25% of the encampments nationally for at least a year due to manpower limitations and loss of venue.  After that it's anyone's guess as the reason most encampments "are where they are" is because
there's nowhere else (either actually or practically), and that doesn't even account for the very real issues that need to be addressed in regards to
safety for all participants and the venue.



Ned

Quote from: Eclipse on May 12, 2020, 05:30:55 pm1 - Encampment tourism should be reduced or eliminated, not expanded. It's one of the
reasons activities have issues getting qualified cadets.

Within the same Region, within a 2-3 hours drive is one thing, but this nonsense of cadets driving,
or worse flying, all over the country for an encampment is ridiculous, counterproductive, and increases the
stress on the already (generally) short-handed adult staff, not to mention raising the ORM numbers
for the participants. (I totally realize this is a hard-fast tradition for CAP cadets - that doesn't make it a good idea for them, CAP, or their peers.)

Bob,

Do you distinguish between student vs. cadre "encampment tourism?"

I certainly see some potential  issues with providing adequate cadre professional development when a particular highly qualified cadet staffs 3-4 encampment during the summer, but I am far more sympathetic to students being allowed to attend when and where best fits their (and perhaps more importantly, their parents') needs.

Traditionally, staffing has been almost entirely in the hands of local authorities.  If we can agree that encampment tourism is a significant issue potentially depriving some cadets of a cadre billet, what would be an appropriate systemic fix?

I'd like to think encampment commanders already make the best available choices for cadet cadre.  How would restricting out of state cadre affect that?  Maybe encampment commanders favor success at their activities over the good of the program as a whole.

etodd

I'm hearing lots of talk of Cadets not participating at virtual squadron meetings and many Cadets getting interested in other groups/activities/sports/etc ... to the point once NATCAP opens us back up ... talk of encampments will be moot for a couple years or more, as we seek out new members to rebuild this organization. Not sure NATCAP releases the numbers, but its going to be interesting to see how many members do not renew over the next few months.

Retention and recruitment will (does) need to be "the discussion". Encampment issues can come later. (Much later if I'm correct.)
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

Eclipse

Quote from: etodd on May 12, 2020, 06:46:23 pmI'm hearing lots of talk of Cadets not participating at virtual squadron meetings and many Cadets getting interested in other groups/activities/sports/etc ... to the point once NATCAP opens us back up ... talk of encampments will be moot for a couple years or more, as we seek out new members to rebuild this organization. Not sure NATCAP releases the numbers, but its going to be interesting to see how many members do not renew over the next few months.

Retention and recruitment will (does) need to be "the discussion". Encampment issues can come later. (Much later if I'm correct.)

You literally have zero experience in this lane and NO IDEA what you are talking about.



etodd

QuoteYou literally have zero experience in this lane and NO IDEA what you are talking about.

But wild conjecture can be an amusing undertaking. Time will tell. Yes, I hope to be proven incorrect. :)
MS - MO - AP - MP - FRO - ESO

sUAS MP - sUAS Instructor - sUAS Check Pilot

Eclipse

May 12, 2020, 07:01:27 pm #19 Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 07:04:56 pm by Eclipse
Quote from: Ned on May 12, 2020, 06:38:19 pmMaybe encampment commanders favor success at their activities over the good of the program as a whole.

This, which is a BIG problem.

The systematic fix is that you have cadets participate in encampments in their home wings,
or home Region at most, and you don't allow the selection of Big-3 staff from anywhere but the
respective wing. I would posit this would actually encourage participation by cadets who
feel they are x-ed out of the running from their own encampment because of "5-year plans" that include
cadets from 3 times zones over.

And no, I make no distinction.  The goal of encampments is not to run encampments,
it's to train and model the CP at scale and provide standardized instruction to help
fix "that's not what my squadron does".

There is zero standardization between wings - heck, we still have wings that won't even adopt
a decade-old set of terminology, let alone all the other tomfoolery that goes on all over
under the guise of "we know better"

Bringing in ringers from other wings deprives local cadets from that experience, to no
gain other then that cadet getting another punch on their dance card. There's no "fresh ideas"
because it's supposed to be a STANDARD curriculum, and the places where fresh ideas might actually
come into play, such as venue and logistics, become moot because the ringers have never been to
"x" base, location, etc.  There's no value in schooling them up on local issues because they likely
won't be back.

I am strongly against what some wings do in "guaranteeing" cadets a given role if they just keep
coming back, but there is no denying that cadets who start as students and work the roles make much better
cadre, especially at the exec level, then cadets who hop all over.



ZigZag911

First year encampment presents a lot of practical problems.

Let's consider a middle ground solution: require encampment for Wright Brothers Award.

It would still be relatively early in the membership of most cadets.

Also, all students would be below the cadet NCO grades.

Eclipse

I still don't see the challenge with first calendar year, people do what they are expected to
do when expectations are set properly, and for many / most cadets they'd have two opportunities
to attend within that time.  If they "just miss it" then they have almost a whole year to plan.

If you coupled this idea with national-level cohort recruiting, the problem is gone in a year or two.

Everybody joins at the same time. Done.

Or maybe this?

National cohort recruiting, coupled with a mandatory 1-day Group-level or higher BCT for Curry
and then encampment for WB.

One year of whining, and by year two, most wings are in synch cadet-wise. 

This also makes planning everything else easier as well.



Toad1168

Encampment tourism for student cadets is an issue for sure.  I believe that cadets should be required to attend their home wing encampment unless there is a real scheduling problem.  I have seen squadrons that generally send their cadets to other wings, to the extent that they drive further than the location of ours. 

The issue becomes that the cadets do not develop a network with cadets in their own wing.  They tend to be less likely to attend other wing wide events, and less experiences overall.  I have even had some of these cadets then request scholarships from from our wing to staff other wings' encampments. This is problematic at best.
Toad

Eclipse

Quote from: Toad1168 on May 12, 2020, 07:56:24 pmEncampment tourism for student cadets is an issue for sure.  I believe that cadets should be required to attend their home wing encampment unless there is a real scheduling problem.  I have seen squadrons that generally send their cadets to other wings, to the extent that they drive further than the location of ours. 

The issue becomes that the cadets do not develop a network with cadets in their own wing.  They tend to be less likely to attend other wing wide events, and less experiences overall.  I have even had some of these cadets then request scholarships from from our wing to staff other wings' encampments. This is problematic at best.

Shack.



Jester

Quote from: ZigZag911 on May 12, 2020, 07:07:56 pmFirst year encampment presents a lot of practical problems.

Let's consider a middle ground solution: require encampment for Wright Brothers Award.

It would still be relatively early in the membership of most cadets.

Also, all students would be below the cadet NCO grades.

Given time-in-grade standards and the fact that a cadet can earn the Curry on the day they join CAP, a cadet can progress to the WBA in 6 months.  This creates an even bigger problem if a cadet joins right after "encampment season" ends and consequently needs to wait until the next year because winter and/or Type B encampments are rare.

Now expanding the TIG requirements to 3 months between achievements isn't a terrible idea (IMO for more reasons than encampment); this puts the WBA at a minimum of 9 months from our hypothetical fastburner cadet's join date to where he/she needs encampment.

Jester

I think a better option for addressing encampment roadshow staff is to limit cadets to one encampment per "season" annually.  Not only does this free up staff slots, but saves these high-speeds from themselves.

I once had a cadet that did RCLS, staffed 2 encampments, then arrived at an encampment at the end of the summer absolutely fried and burned-out to the point that she had some issues at the final encampment. 

I have no idea how to actually enforce this, but then again I can't wave my magic wand to solve any of this other stuff.

Eclipse

Quote from: Jester on May 12, 2020, 10:34:44 pmI think a better option for addressing encampment roadshow staff is to limit cadets to one encampment per "season" annually.  Not only does this free up staff slots, but saves these high-speeds from themselves.

I once had a cadet that did RCLS, staffed 2 encampments, then arrived at an encampment at the end of the summer absolutely fried and burned-out to the point that she had some issues at the final encampment. 

I have no idea how to actually enforce this, but then again I can't wave my magic wand to solve any of this other stuff.

I would be on board with this, and have seen the same thing.

Some cadets go from encampment to encampment to NCSAs and back, in some cases requiring
they get special dispensation from one activity to leave early to get to the next, while their
ability to participate in the requisite planning is limited due to their being fully involved
in another CAP activity.

Another unintended consequences is that the Roadshow group tends to be the ones who show up
in all the releases, because they are everywhere.



Eclipse

Quote from: Jester on May 12, 2020, 10:31:23 pma cadet can earn the Curry on the day they join CAP

I have always had an issue with this as well - you're not a member until you're a member
cadets should not be allow to bank PT and other requirements during the orientation phase.

I'd suggest a 30-day minimum before Curry after membership is approved.

This would also slow down some of the wet Currys that are approved enroute to encampment.




NIN

Quote from: Eclipse on May 12, 2020, 11:01:51 pmThis would also slow down some of the wet Currys that are approved enroute to encampment.

I dunno. Prior to "Curry for Encampment" I saw pleny of cadets come to encampment with two cutouts who did just fine, too.  I was one such cadet. Heck, I didn't even have an ID card yet.

A "wet Curry" (mmm, now I want some South Asian cuisine) isn't the issue.

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
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The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2020 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Eclipse

May 13, 2020, 01:54:43 am #29 Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 01:59:51 am by Eclipse
We've had a fair number of them in the last few years (especially), and invariably they are the troubled(some)
cadets. 

Unit CC's who don't know them well enough to make a good decision as to whether they
are ready, parents have no idea what they are sending their kid to or how CAP works, barely 12
and never away from home for a night, or core values that haven't baked in yet.

Generally these things work themselves out organically in the first months.

If you want to turn encampment into BCT, fair enough, but that's not what it is today,
and there's an expectation that the students bring at least a baseline level of knowledge
with them, and they become the drag on the flight.

Now, you and I know, as adults, part of encampment and the point of the cadre is reducing that
drag, but at some point this is 14 year olds who have visions of Honor Flight dancing in their
heads helping 12 year olds.



Ned

I've certainly had my fair share of wet Curries at encampment, and can only agree that they require some extra care from the flight cadre. 

But it has always been manageable and should be well within the skill set of the cadet leadership.  Indeed, we train and rehearse them for that exact situation.

As for showing up without the minimums required of a successful Curry awardee, that (as you point out) is a local squadron leadership issue.  It is also manageable.

Bottom line, "wet Curries" should be welcome at encampment.  We can do them a world of good.

PHall

In California Wing for about the past 5 or 6 years the parents of ALL 12 and 13 year olds who will be attending encampment as students get a phone call from the Encampment Commander or the Commandant of Cadets.
Things like maturity levels, is this the first time they will away from home for more then 3 days and what the parents expectations are discussed.
Have had more then a few decide that waiting 'til next year would be a good idea.
This screening seems to have reduced the number of students who are overwhelmed and want to go home too.

Paul Creed III

Quote from: PHall on May 13, 2020, 05:42:32 pmIn California Wing for about the past 5 or 6 years the parents of ALL 12 and 13 year olds who will be attending encampment as students get a phone call from the Encampment Commander or the Commandant of Cadets.
Things like maturity levels, is this the first time they will away from home for more then 3 days and what the parents expectations are discussed.
Have had more then a few decide that waiting 'til next year would be a good idea.
This screening seems to have reduced the number of students who are overwhelmed and want to go home too.

Isn't this something that the Unit Commander should be doing before they affix their signature on the application or clicking the checkbox in eServices?
Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
National Headquarters Cyber Curriculum Specialist
National Headquarters Photography Working Group

Mitchell 1969

Quote from: Eclipse on May 12, 2020, 05:30:55 pm1 - Encampment tourism should be reduced or eliminated, not expanded. It's one of the
reasons activities have issues getting qualified cadets.

Within the same Region, within a 2-3 hours drive is one thing, but this nonsense of cadets driving,
or worse flying, all over the country for an encampment is ridiculous, counterproductive, and increases the
stress on the already (generally) short-handed adult staff, not to mention raising the ORM numbers
for the participants. (I totally realize this is a hard-fast tradition for CAP cadets - that doesn't make it a good idea for them, CAP, or their peers.)

I take issue with referring to it as "...a hard-fast tradition for CAP cadets..."  Call it a practice, call it a hobby, call it anything you'd like, but it isn't a tradition.


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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.

Eclipse

Quote from: Paul Creed III on May 13, 2020, 06:30:49 pmIsn't this something that the Unit Commander should be doing before they affix their signature on the application or clicking the checkbox in eServices?

This was my first thought - same goes for approving the Encampment application, which
many don't even read, let alone vet.



Eclipse

Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 13, 2020, 06:31:20 pmI take issue with referring to it as "...a hard-fast tradition for CAP cadets..."  Call it a practice, call it a hobby, call it anything you'd like, but it isn't a tradition.

Well, feel free to disagree, I have no idea how close you are to the current-state of the
encampment program, but I can tell you it's an ongoing issue, and a full-on tradition
in many wings, with some actually boasting about how many wings are represented in a given year,
which to me is literally the opposite of what is supposed to be going on.



PHall

Quote from: Paul Creed III on May 13, 2020, 06:30:49 pm
Quote from: PHall on May 13, 2020, 05:42:32 pmIn California Wing for about the past 5 or 6 years the parents of ALL 12 and 13 year olds who will be attending encampment as students get a phone call from the Encampment Commander or the Commandant of Cadets.
Things like maturity levels, is this the first time they will away from home for more then 3 days and what the parents expectations are discussed.
Have had more then a few decide that waiting 'til next year would be a good idea.
This screening seems to have reduced the number of students who are overwhelmed and want to go home too.

Isn't this something that the Unit Commander should be doing before they affix their signature on the application or clicking the checkbox in eServices?

You would think so...

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Eclipse on May 12, 2020, 11:01:51 pm
Quote from: Jester on May 12, 2020, 10:31:23 pma cadet can earn the Curry on the day they join CAP

I have always had an issue with this as well - you're not a member until you're a member
cadets should not be allow to bank PT and other requirements during the orientation phase.

I'd suggest a 30-day minimum before Curry after membership is approved.

This would also slow down some of the wet Currys that are approved enroute to encampment.

I'm absolutely with you on establishing a timeline before someone can earn that first promotion. Earn is the key word.

I can't stand that units bring in a brand-new cadet, hand them a leadership book, and nearly take the test with them on the first day. You see this with units that do the weekend version of Great Start where they knock it all out in one sitting. There's no retention of anything because there's no repetition.

And don't tell me about the outstanding cadet in your unit that defies all odds. I'm calling the bluff.

arajca

QuoteAnd don't tell me about the outstanding cadet in your unit that defies all odds. I'm calling the bluff.

I've found it effective to ask how many they had that were not as impressive. Usually results in a sheepish look and a mumbled "most of them". I follow up with something like "Those are who the program/policy/regulation/etc is written for."

NIN

So I am of the frame of mind that encampment should be required "earlier" than the Mitchell.

As part of the discussion about the encampment waivers, I did a database dive to see how many cadets in my wing would fall in to the "C/MSgt to C/CMSgt and need encampment" region. One. And three staff sergeants. Literally everybody else who didn't have encampment was a C/SrA or below.

At least in my wing, it appears to be extremely cultural: "You will go to encampment in your first year." (or thereabouts)  As Eclipse alluded to: if this were to become a thing, there would be year or two of gnashing teeth, and then it would become "the way it is."

I spent 7 years in an Army cadet program where new cadets did not get promoted until "they went to the mountain" (so to speak), which was Annual Training each summer. Initially, it had been held at various places (Ft Indiantown Gap, Ft Stewart, Ft Bragg, Cp Atterbury, Ft A.P. Hill, etc) until the organization bought its own HQ and training facility in KY. If you were west of the Mississippi, you were flying for AT, generally. 

Recruits wore a tab on their ACUs that said "RECRUIT" until they graduated from Recruit Training their first summer. Like delayed entry, cadets did things with the unit, learned stuff, but it was understood they weren't responsible for knowledge items and such until after Recruit Training (which was the first week of your first summer).

Now, you want to go to AT for two weeks or three weeks? OK, Recruit Training and then Cadet Ranger School or SCUBA school or whatever. And there were a couple cycles of Recruit Training, not just one.

Lots of options.

But the point was: you joined the program knowing that the next summer you're expected to go to AT. Its just how it was and that's how it was presented at all times. Nobody was confused about how you got training or what the expectation was.

The organization-wide training calendar was also based on a loose cohort model: New recruits came in during the fall, units did RO ("Recruit Orientation", think "Great Start meets Recruit Sustainment Program") over the course of say two or three drill weekends after September as cadets got their uniforms, haircuts, etc.  Along about January, they were done with RO and ready for AT, and doing "unit stuff" at unit drills. There was a little "recruit sustainment" training thrown in to the spring training mix to prepare them for AT, and then it was off to the races.

It worked pretty well. We had our fair share of "not ready for AT" cadets, but between distance ("I am not flying to North Carolina to get you") and schedule/peer pressure ("You've been at this almost a year and you want to go home? You know you won't get promoted, right?") we actually sent very few home..

 

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
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Eclipse

In my wing it looks to be somewhere between 30-50 cadets who could be eligible for a Mitchell waiver
and wind up in a student flight before they make their Earhart.




Kayll'b

Just gonna throw this out there.
If you say the first 18 months, you would still have the problem of chiefs at encampment with students...sure, not nearly as many, but still.
C/1st Lt

Mitchell # 69847

Squadron Cadet Leadership officer

GCAC Recorder

Mitchell 1969

Quote from: Eclipse on May 13, 2020, 07:46:29 pm
Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 13, 2020, 06:31:20 pmI take issue with referring to it as "...a hard-fast tradition for CAP cadets..."  Call it a practice, call it a hobby, call it anything you'd like, but it isn't a tradition.

Well, feel free to disagree, I have no idea how close you are to the current-state of the
encampment program, but I can tell you it's an ongoing issue, and a full-on tradition
in many wings, with some actually boasting about how many wings are represented in a given year,
which to me is literally the opposite of what is supposed to be going on.
I am close enough to the concept of tradition to know that this isn't one.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
_________________
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.

Jester

Quote from: Kayll'b on May 14, 2020, 06:35:34 amJust gonna throw this out there.
If you say the first 18 months, you would still have the problem of chiefs at encampment with students...sure, not nearly as many, but still.

Agreed.  I'd say extend the Curry window a bit (1 month as suggested by Eclipse seems like a good idea) and increase TIG from 2 months per achievement to 3.  This means that a fast burner wouldn't be eligible until 10 months in at minimum for WBA, meaning that they would almost certainly be able to hit an encampment in that timeframe whether it be spring, winter, or summer.

Doing the math, a cadet joining in January and hitting all the marks first-time everytime would be WBA-eligible in October, meaning he would be in a prime spot to attend summer encampment as a C/A1C-SrA.

A cadet joining in September (#1 month for recruiting according to NHQ) following the same path hits WBA eligibility in May of the following year.  Maybe they wait a month or two for a summer encampment in the event they couldn't get to a winter or spring one. 

We have a program set up where cadets can absolutely fly through the first half and then slow down or completely halt in the second half; extending the TIG gives more time to really solidify the objectives for Phase I & II.


Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 14, 2020, 06:39:54 am
Quote from: Eclipse on May 13, 2020, 07:46:29 pm
Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 13, 2020, 06:31:20 pmI take issue with referring to it as "...a hard-fast tradition for CAP cadets..."  Call it a practice, call it a hobby, call it anything you'd like, but it isn't a tradition.

Well, feel free to disagree, I have no idea how close you are to the current-state of the
encampment program, but I can tell you it's an ongoing issue, and a full-on tradition
in many wings, with some actually boasting about how many wings are represented in a given year,
which to me is literally the opposite of what is supposed to be going on.
I am close enough to the concept of tradition to know that this isn't one.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

In the 6 encampments I've worked in the last 4+ years, it's been an occurrence enough for me to believe it's pretty pervasive.  And the effects seem to be detrimental enough to all involved (most importantly the encampment itself) that I would 100% support efforts to stomp it out.

1st Lt Thompson

The Wings that brag about the number of other Wings represented at their Encampment, are they turning away their own people, or do they have adequate room for their own Cadets and then open empty slots to other Wings?

As long as the needs of their own Cadets are being met, and the top spots are reserved for Cadets within the Wing, I guess I don't see the problem. If they are allowing Cadets from other Wings, and then turning away their own because they are too full, that would be another story.
1st Lt Matt Thompson
Historian, Assistant PAO

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 22 MAY 01 (#11401)

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: 1st Lt Thompson on May 14, 2020, 04:59:14 pmThe Wings that brag about the number of other Wings represented at their Encampment, are they turning away their own people, or do they have adequate room for their own Cadets and then open empty slots to other Wings?

As long as the needs of their own Cadets are being met, and the top spots are reserved for Cadets within the Wing, I guess I don't see the problem. If they are allowing Cadets from other Wings, and then turning away their own because they are too full, that would be another story.

I definitely saw last year where capacity was capped (I think there were around 40 "waitlisted" students) while a half-dozen or so were from other wings. I think it especially common when Encampments are held in approximately to the state border. The guidance does say to consider that when building the Encampment plan. But I don't think it should be at the cost of denying internal applicants.

I'm personally not as opposed to employing cadets on staff from other wings (I can see the benefit of building a training program for 100 other cadets by bringing in an outsider or two).

But I completely agree: if we're telling internal cadets to go home and come back next year while simultaneously telling external cadets that they have a slot, we're not building up the core group within the locale.


Eclipse

Quote from: 1st Lt Thompson on May 14, 2020, 04:59:14 pmThe Wings that brag about the number of other Wings represented at their Encampment, are they turning away their own people, or do they have adequate room for their own Cadets and then open empty slots to other Wings?

In many cases, yes - due largely to the way encampments solicit students (open until full), and certainly in regards to
the cadet cadre, and even the adult staff, since that's a zero-sum game.  (i.e. every slot taken by an tourist is one a local cadet doesn't get, and I would argue that placing a local cadet in the spot who needs development is of much greater overall value then bringing in a ringer from OOS who is just stamping his passport).



NIN

Quote from: Jester on May 14, 2020, 03:22:15 pmIn the 6 encampments I've worked in the last 4+ years, it's been an occurrence enough for me to believe it's pretty pervasive.  And the effects seem to be detrimental enough to all involved (most importantly the encampment itself) that I would 100% support efforts to stomp it out.

I don't have a problem with students going to different encampments based on availability and schedule. I'm not asking Timmy for his schedule of visits to his grandparents and Aunt June's house for the summer. My commanders know the preference is that their cadets should attend their own wing's encampment, all other things being equal. Now, you live closer to the neighboring wing's encampment site or you're on family vacation during our encampment? Thats probably going to be OK.

That said, people do visit encampments from out of state, enjoy the experience, and want to come back the following year and be on staff at the cool encampment they went to with cool people.  Should they go to their own wing? Probably.  If I have a flight sergeant or a flight commander who is "out of the wing," its probably not going to be the end of the earth. If 2/3 of the "Big Three" are "from away," then there's a problem.


I do tend to agree that "encampment tourists" (and we know the ones) that travel across the country to attend multiple encampments each summer are not helping contribute to the cadet leadership development in that wing. They're there for the trip.
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
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Spaceman3750

Quote from: NIN on May 14, 2020, 07:06:47 pmI do tend to agree that "encampment tourists" (and we know the ones) that travel across the country to attend multiple encampments each summer are not helping contribute to the cadet leadership development in that wing. They're there for the trip.

Unpopular opinion: Is going for the experience such a bad thing? After all, the cadet program exists almost exclusively for the betterment of cadets, not the betterment of CAP. I get where you're going that if they're contributing OOS then they're not contributing locally, but they're still fulfilling their individual mandate to gain experience in leadership capacities, just not here.

I agree that the experience of an OOS cadet shouldn't displace the ability of a local cadet to get experience. I also agree that due to this "encampment tourism" is a concern. But I don't necessarily agree that contributing somewhere else, or doing something for the experience of doing it, is a problem.

NIN

Quote from: Spaceman3750 on May 14, 2020, 07:49:36 pmUnpopular opinion: Is going for the experience such a bad thing? After all, the cadet program exists almost exclusively for the betterment of cadets, not the betterment of CAP. I get where you're going that if they're contributing OOS then they're not contributing locally, but they're still fulfilling their individual mandate to gain experience in leadership capacities, just not here.

My job as a DCP was the management of the wing's cadet program to ensure the betterment of ALL the cadets in the wing, not just ONE cadet. Or that some cadets got a better experience than others.

The "betterment of CAP" aspect should, in theory, contribute to the betterment of the cadets, ne c'est pas?

The cadet program of a wing is a lot of moving parts, not all of which want to be moved and some of which will move on their own. Encampment is one of those moving parts. Spending your wing's limited financial and human capital on providing your cadets with grade-, age- and experience-appropriate opportunities should be an overall goal of that program.

I spoke to a cadet earlier this year who was all excited to have attended something like 8 or 9 encampments in either 3 or 4 years. I scratched my head and said "You do know that when you hit 10 they don't give you a set of steak knives, right?" To this cadet, encampment was about his experience, not his subordinates. It was about his ability to go and have a good time with his friends in another state. It was not about the training, or the student's experience.

How does that square with the concept of "service before self."

I'm not here to create EncampmentWorld™ where you jet in, yell at a bunch of animatronic cadets for your own jollies then jet off to RangerWorld™ followed by two weeks at AirplaneWorld™.

ETA: My experience with cadets jetting all over the country was colored by another cadet who said (paraphrasing) "Some of my friends and I are staffing the  [midwestern wing] encampment. We're flying in from all over! I haven't seen [cadet from a far western wing] since last year."  That was where I coined the term "encampment tourist."  A barracks at an ANG base in some flyover state isn't your AirBnB for the week so you can go catch up and hang out with your buds from the west coast.
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
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SarDragon

Hypothetical situation:

Joe Schmuckatelli from Neighboring Wing (NW) applies for Local Wing (LW) encampment three days after it's announced, and is accepted. Danny Dingleberry, LW cadet, applies three days before the deadline, and is waitlisted because the encampment is now full. Who should get the spot, assuming the cadet CVs are about the same (TIS, grade, TIG, etc.)?
Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
50 Year Member
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret

NIN

Quote from: SarDragon on May 14, 2020, 08:13:31 pmHypothetical situation:

Joe Schmuckatelli from Neighboring Wing (NW) applies for Local Wing (LW) encampment three days after it's announced, and is accepted. Danny Dingleberry, LW cadet, applies three days before the deadline, and is waitlisted because the encampment is now full. Who should get the spot, assuming the cadet CVs are about the same (TIS, grade, TIG, etc.)?

Thats always a tough one.

On one hand, "it pays to be a winner" and Schmuckatelli was Johnny (well, Joe) on the spot.  Now, did Dingleberry just join CAP? That speaks to capacity planning, too.

But are you going to go back to the first guy and say "Hey, yeah, thanks that you applied 2 months ago, but we gotta give your slot away to these cadets from our own wing.."?  Ehhhh. Thats a lot of non-starter there, too.
Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
Wing Dude
I like to have Difficult Adult Conversations™
Nothing posted on CAPTalk should be considered policy unless otherwise stated
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2007-2020 by NIN. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Eclipse

^ That conversation would be irrelevant if the expectation was attendance locally.

It would be out of left field today, but if the expectation is that preference is
given to the home wing, then not a big deal, and easily executed.

One of the reasons cadets are allowed to continue to apply right to the 11th hour
is because few reach whatever "capacity" is defined, coupled with what we're discussing,
which is trying to cram all the last minutes cadet in (plus typical procrastination and
need to be chasing down payment).

If expectations were changed as we're discussing, encampment deadlines could be further
out from the activity start and cadets would simply apply and then be told if they
were accepted, after the deadline, with preference going to local cadets from the pool.

As to cadre and other staff, tie should always go to local people.



Jester

Quote from: Eclipse on May 14, 2020, 10:26:28 pmIf expectations were changed as we're discussing, encampment deadlines could be further
out from the activity start and cadets would simply apply and then be told if they
were accepted, after the deadline, with preference going to local cadets from the pool.


Further aligning the process with NCSA applications and leading to standardization.  I like it.

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: NIN on May 14, 2020, 08:07:55 pm
Quote from: Spaceman3750 on May 14, 2020, 07:49:36 pmUnpopular opinion: Is going for the experience such a bad thing? After all, the cadet program exists almost exclusively for the betterment of cadets, not the betterment of CAP. I get where you're going that if they're contributing OOS then they're not contributing locally, but they're still fulfilling their individual mandate to gain experience in leadership capacities, just not here.

My job as a DCP was the management of the wing's cadet program to ensure the betterment of ALL the cadets in the wing, not just ONE cadet. Or that some cadets got a better experience than others.

The "betterment of CAP" aspect should, in theory, contribute to the betterment of the cadets, ne c'est pas?

The cadet program of a wing is a lot of moving parts, not all of which want to be moved and some of which will move on their own. Encampment is one of those moving parts. Spending your wing's limited financial and human capital on providing your cadets with grade-, age- and experience-appropriate opportunities should be an overall goal of that program.

I spoke to a cadet earlier this year who was all excited to have attended something like 8 or 9 encampments in either 3 or 4 years. I scratched my head and said "You do know that when you hit 10 they don't give you a set of steak knives, right?" To this cadet, encampment was about his experience, not his subordinates. It was about his ability to go and have a good time with his friends in another state. It was not about the training, or the student's experience.

How does that square with the concept of "service before self."

I'm not here to create EncampmentWorld™ where you jet in, yell at a bunch of animatronic cadets for your own jollies then jet off to RangerWorld™ followed by two weeks at AirplaneWorld™.

ETA: My experience with cadets jetting all over the country was colored by another cadet who said (paraphrasing) "Some of my friends and I are staffing the  [midwestern wing] encampment. We're flying in from all over! I haven't seen [cadet from a far western wing] since last year."  That was where I coined the term "encampment tourist."  A barracks at an ANG base in some flyover state isn't your AirBnB for the week so you can go catch up and hang out with your buds from the west coast.

NIN, I complete agree.

Encampment is a learning experience, not a fun-club hobby activity. And that's the culture a lot of wings have when it comes to Encampment, including mine.

I see so many cadets that are encouraged over and over to attend Encampment, to where they're even forfeiting COS, NCSAs, and other great opportunities because Encampment falls on top of the calendar.

I've seen cadets go as a First Sergeant in one wing and as a First Sergeant in another wing several weeks apart. That's indicative of wanting to tour.

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: NIN on May 14, 2020, 08:42:20 pm
Quote from: SarDragon on May 14, 2020, 08:13:31 pmHypothetical situation:

Joe Schmuckatelli from Neighboring Wing (NW) applies for Local Wing (LW) encampment three days after it's announced, and is accepted. Danny Dingleberry, LW cadet, applies three days before the deadline, and is waitlisted because the encampment is now full. Who should get the spot, assuming the cadet CVs are about the same (TIS, grade, TIG, etc.)?

Thats always a tough one.

On one hand, "it pays to be a winner" and Schmuckatelli was Johnny (well, Joe) on the spot.  Now, did Dingleberry just join CAP? That speaks to capacity planning, too.

But are you going to go back to the first guy and say "Hey, yeah, thanks that you applied 2 months ago, but we gotta give your slot away to these cadets from our own wing.."?  Ehhhh. Thats a lot of non-starter there, too.

Sounds like the case of early bid sign-ups.

"All cadet applicants from outside of the Wing who apply before xx-date may be wait listed to ensure cadets from within the Wing have a chance to sign up. After that date, sign-ups will be opened on an as-available/first-come-first-serve basis. Applications must be turned in NLT yy-date."

Spaceman3750

Quote from: NIN on May 14, 2020, 08:07:55 pm
Quote from: Spaceman3750 on May 14, 2020, 07:49:36 pmUnpopular opinion: Is going for the experience such a bad thing? After all, the cadet program exists almost exclusively for the betterment of cadets, not the betterment of CAP. I get where you're going that if they're contributing OOS then they're not contributing locally, but they're still fulfilling their individual mandate to gain experience in leadership capacities, just not here.

My job as a DCP was the management of the wing's cadet program to ensure the betterment of ALL the cadets in the wing, not just ONE cadet. Or that some cadets got a better experience than others.

The "betterment of CAP" aspect should, in theory, contribute to the betterment of the cadets, ne c'est pas?

The cadet program of a wing is a lot of moving parts, not all of which want to be moved and some of which will move on their own. Encampment is one of those moving parts. Spending your wing's limited financial and human capital on providing your cadets with grade-, age- and experience-appropriate opportunities should be an overall goal of that program.

I spoke to a cadet earlier this year who was all excited to have attended something like 8 or 9 encampments in either 3 or 4 years. I scratched my head and said "You do know that when you hit 10 they don't give you a set of steak knives, right?" To this cadet, encampment was about his experience, not his subordinates. It was about his ability to go and have a good time with his friends in another state. It was not about the training, or the student's experience.

How does that square with the concept of "service before self."

I'm not here to create EncampmentWorld where you jet in, yell at a bunch of animatronic cadets for your own jollies then jet off to RangerWorld followed by two weeks at AirplaneWorld.

ETA: My experience with cadets jetting all over the country was colored by another cadet who said (paraphrasing) "Some of my friends and I are staffing the  [midwestern wing] encampment. We're flying in from all over! I haven't seen [cadet from a far western wing] since last year."  That was where I coined the term "encampment tourist."  A barracks at an ANG base in some flyover state isn't your AirBnB for the week so you can go catch up and hang out with your buds from the west coast.
I seem to have touched a nerve here. I didn't mean to, sorry. I was never suggesting that one cadet's experience be to the detriment of another. My statements were on the basis that the cadet was not displacing someone else, and that they were actually adding value wherever they were, not just there to catch up with friends. Maybe that's what you meant by "there for the trip", I didn't read it that way.

Ned

There are several good ideas being addressed in this thread, which initially discussed at what point is in the CP should encampment be required.

And there has been a candid and respectful  exchange of views.

But I wanted to speak to a couple of points also being discussed.  The first of these is whether CAP should have an "expectation" that cadets attend encampment their first year.

As Col Ninness so eloquently said:


Quote from: NIN on May 14, 2020, 12:46:10 amAt least in my wing, it appears to be extremely cultural: "You will go to encampment in your first year." (or thereabouts).

I want to remind all of us that CAP's already has an "official expectation" of first year encampment attendance, as contained in CAPP 60-20 (New Cadet Guide) Page 2:

Quote from: undefined"CAP's Expectations of First Year Cadets

    [. . .]
      "Attend encampment.  It's a awesome, week-long, overnight Activity immersing you into all facets of cadet life."

As well as the Parents Guide (CAPP 60-12).

Obviously, the current requirement Is by the Mitchell, but the expectation is during the first year.  We have already spoken at length about some of the reasons why many cadets do not hit encampment their first year.

The second thing is whether we can find any actual data to suggest that cadets attending encampment in another wing as a student or cadre is harmful to the donor wing, the receiving wing, or the program as a whole.  We have heard strong opinions that it is harmful and and some opinions that it is helpful.  Or both, depending on the viewpoint of the observer. 

All of which come from reasonable, experienced cadet program officers.
How do we resolve the conflicting opinions?

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager

Jester

Quote from: Ned on May 15, 2020, 04:21:59 amAll of which come from reasonable, experienced cadet program officers.
How do we resolve the conflicting opinions?

Ned Lee
National Cadet Program Manager

How about some quasi-official way for us to bounce these ideas off of each other?  There is a lot of effort for CAC, and they get a lot of leeway to implement projects with various scopes of impact.

Why not a SM equivalent for those of us putting in the work day-in, day-out where the rubber meets the road?

I'd do it in a heartbeat, even if it's just a VTC through Zoom or whatever.

THRAWN

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on May 14, 2020, 11:43:28 pm
Quote from: NIN on May 14, 2020, 08:42:20 pm
Quote from: SarDragon on May 14, 2020, 08:13:31 pmHypothetical situation:

Joe Schmuckatelli from Neighboring Wing (NW) applies for Local Wing (LW) encampment three days after it's announced, and is accepted. Danny Dingleberry, LW cadet, applies three days before the deadline, and is waitlisted because the encampment is now full. Who should get the spot, assuming the cadet CVs are about the same (TIS, grade, TIG, etc.)?

Thats always a tough one.

On one hand, "it pays to be a winner" and Schmuckatelli was Johnny (well, Joe) on the spot.  Now, did Dingleberry just join CAP? That speaks to capacity planning, too.

But are you going to go back to the first guy and say "Hey, yeah, thanks that you applied 2 months ago, but we gotta give your slot away to these cadets from our own wing.."?  Ehhhh. Thats a lot of non-starter there, too.

Sounds like the case of early bid sign-ups.

"All cadet applicants from outside of the Wing who apply before xx-date may be wait listed to ensure cadets from within the Wing have a chance to sign up. After that date, sign-ups will be opened on an as-available/first-come-first-serve basis. Applications must be turned in NLT yy-date."

Or have an application period, review the applications and then slot. Slotting during the application period is where you start seeing hometown Cadets being passed over.
Strup
"Belligerent....at times...."
AFRCC SMC 10-97
NSS ISC 05-00
USAF SOS 2000
USAF ACSC 2011
US NWC 2016

Toad1168

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on May 14, 2020, 11:40:13 pm
Quote from: NIN on May 14, 2020, 08:07:55 pm
Quote from: Spaceman3750 on May 14, 2020, 07:49:36 pmUnpopular opinion: Is going for the experience such a bad thing? After all, the cadet program exists almost exclusively for the betterment of cadets, not the betterment of CAP. I get where you're going that if they're contributing OOS then they're not contributing locally, but they're still fulfilling their individual mandate to gain experience in leadership capacities, just not here.

My job as a DCP was the management of the wing's cadet program to ensure the betterment of ALL the cadets in the wing, not just ONE cadet. Or that some cadets got a better experience than others.

The "betterment of CAP" aspect should, in theory, contribute to the betterment of the cadets, ne c'est pas?

The cadet program of a wing is a lot of moving parts, not all of which want to be moved and some of which will move on their own. Encampment is one of those moving parts. Spending your wing's limited financial and human capital on providing your cadets with grade-, age- and experience-appropriate opportunities should be an overall goal of that program.

I spoke to a cadet earlier this year who was all excited to have attended something like 8 or 9 encampments in either 3 or 4 years. I scratched my head and said "You do know that when you hit 10 they don't give you a set of steak knives, right?" To this cadet, encampment was about his experience, not his subordinates. It was about his ability to go and have a good time with his friends in another state. It was not about the training, or the student's experience.

How does that square with the concept of "service before self."

I'm not here to create EncampmentWorld™ where you jet in, yell at a bunch of animatronic cadets for your own jollies then jet off to RangerWorld™ followed by two weeks at AirplaneWorld™.

ETA: My experience with cadets jetting all over the country was colored by another cadet who said (paraphrasing) "Some of my friends and I are staffing the  [midwestern wing] encampment. We're flying in from all over! I haven't seen [cadet from a far western wing] since last year."  That was where I coined the term "encampment tourist."  A barracks at an ANG base in some flyover state isn't your AirBnB for the week so you can go catch up and hang out with your buds from the west coast.

NIN, I complete agree.

Encampment is a learning experience, not a fun-club hobby activity. And that's the culture a lot of wings have when it comes to Encampment, including mine.

I see so many cadets that are encouraged over and over to attend Encampment, to where they're even forfeiting COS, NCSAs, and other great opportunities because Encampment falls on top of the calendar.

I've seen cadets go as a First Sergeant in one wing and as a First Sergeant in another wing several weeks apart. That's indicative of wanting to tour.

Interestingly enough, had a cadet apply for Group 1st Sgt from a distant wing.The cadet commander wanted him selected because he was the best candidate.  I questioned as to why this chief had not promoted in a year and why we would select him over a local applicant who was progressing.  Ultimately my reasoning swayed the cadet commander's opinion, and he was not chosen.  Then a couple weeks later, a wing in our region announced that same cadet was selected as their group 1st sergeant.  Definitely a tourist. 
Toad

NIN



Quote from: Spaceman3750 on May 15, 2020, 12:23:41 amI seem to have touched a nerve here. I didn't mean to, sorry. I was never suggesting that one cadet's experience be to the detriment of another. My statements were on the basis that the cadet was not displacing someone else, and that they were actually adding value wherever they were, not just there to catch up with friends. Maybe that's what you meant by "there for the trip", I didn't read it that way.

Nah, no nerve touched.

I saw an encampment run into a situation where, the year after several of the cadet exec staff were "out of towners" who all basically were "off to college in the fall" and doing their last encampment hurrah, they had basically no cadets staff with anything higher than flight commander experience. It was a little rocky.

Darin Ninness, Col, CAP
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Mitchell 1969

Quote from: Eclipse on May 14, 2020, 01:37:12 amIn my wing it looks to be somewhere between 30-50 cadets who could be eligible for a Mitchell waiver
and wind up in a student flight before they make their Earhart.
Offer a deal. Go to the encampment starting DATE at LOCATION and we will put all of the "Officer students" into the same flight. Put a cadet captain as flight commander, treat them according to their grade without lowering the standards.


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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.

Eclipse

So...we just build an honor flight and tell the rest not to bother?

Not to mention that regardless of the impact, few wings will have enough waivered cadets at a given encampment
to comprise an entire flight, nor enough C/Capts in the Wing to be using them as Flt CCs (assuming they
were interested in the idea). C/Capts should be running Squadrons not flights.

The problem...ahem...challenge...is this isn't going to to be a "one-time-hit" where
all the waivers are collected into a single session, this is going to dribble out for a number of years,
and that's assuming, today, that the waiver isn't extended past 2021, which IMHO is likely.



Mitchell 1969

Quote from: Eclipse on May 15, 2020, 11:40:06 pmSo...we just build an honor flight and tell the rest not to bother?

Not to mention that regardless of the impact, few wings will have enough waivered cadets at a given encampment
to comprise an entire flight, nor enough C/Capts in the Wing to be using them as Flt CCs (assuming they
were interested in the idea). C/Capts should be running Squadrons not flights.

The problem...ahem...challenge...is this isn't going to to be a "one-time-hit" where
all the waivers are collected into a single session, this is going to dribble out for a number of years,
and that's assuming, today, that the waiver isn't extended past 2021, which IMHO is likely.
I never said call them "honor flight." I doubt that many of them would even be interested in that anyway.

And you've got a Wing where there aren't enough C/Captains to spare one to be a flight commander, but you have enough squadrons for every C/Captain to command one?

Hey, don't like the idea, don't do it. I don't care.


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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.

Eclipse

Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 17, 2020, 05:29:13 amI never said call them "honor flight." I doubt that many of them would even be interested in that anyway.

Obviously - but if you stack up all the waivered cadets officers into one flight, that flight will
invariably be the honor flight, it's already an issue when the flights get top-heavy will older NCOs.

And as to "not interested", I don't know where you would get that assumption, because it's at the forefront
of just about every cadet's mind the whole activity. Honor Flight is a big deal.

Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 17, 2020, 05:29:13 amAnd you've got a Wing where there aren't enough C/Captains to spare one to be a flight commander, but you have enough squadrons for every C/Captain to command one?

Yes - this is called "CAP Today".  Many wings can't even get enough Phase IV cadets to staff their Big-3, let alone downstream for the line, and their career is just as perishable as the new cadets, meaning they get one shot at the job they are looking for, and probably already served as a CF at least once, if not more.



Jester

Quote from: Eclipse on May 17, 2020, 02:51:07 pm
Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 17, 2020, 05:29:13 amI never said call them "honor flight." I doubt that many of them would even be interested in that anyway.

Obviously - but if you stack up all the waivered cadets officers into one flight, that flight will
invariably be the honor flight, it's already an issue when the flights get top-heavy will older NCOs.

And as to "not interested", I don't know where you would get that assumption, because it's at the forefront
of just about every cadet's mind the whole activity. Honor Flight is a big deal.

Quote from: Mitchell 1969 on May 17, 2020, 05:29:13 amAnd you've got a Wing where there aren't enough C/Captains to spare one to be a flight commander, but you have enough squadrons for every C/Captain to command one?

Yes - this is called "CAP Today".  Many wings can't even get enough Phase IV cadets to staff their Big-3, let alone downstream for the line, and their career is just as perishable as the new cadets, meaning they get one shot at the job they are looking for, and probably already served as a CF at least once, if not more.

I'd probably either put them in as some kind of student leader (like a "rope" in AF tech school) and spread-load them across all flights.  I already make sure I stack the random C/CMSgt students into flights where they don't outrank their cadre.  This is going to require flexibility on our part for the next couple of years for sure.

As far as lack of Phase IV cadets, totally agree.  I get that the mesh gets tighter after the Mitchell and numerous factors are weeding them out past Earhart, but it's a little crazy that they're so rare.

As a callback to maybe giving SMs that are at the tactical level of CP the same kind of input opportunity the NCAC gets: within the past week, 3 products were dropped onto the Proving Ground (which doesn't get used enough and I'd like some evidence that our feedback is ever used).  One of them is a project to boost Curry achievement rates. 

HUH?  Curry requires the ability to fog a mirror, why are we spending time on this instead of trying to boost Mitchell, Earhart, and Eaker (I don't really care about Spaatz)?

Eclipse

Quote from: Jester on May 17, 2020, 07:04:04 pmHUH?  Curry requires the ability to fog a mirror, why are we spending time on this instead of trying to boost Mitchell, Earhart, and Eaker (I don't really care about Spaatz)?

100% agree - they've already removed PT as a barrier and give a free uniform for the
achievement.  Retention focus needs to be at the mid-point.



Kayll'b

May 21, 2020, 07:44:14 pm #68 Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 07:50:28 pm by Kayll'b
On the topic of out of state cadets.

I see where you all are coming from. Encampment tourism is one of the lamest ideas ever. Likewise when cadets staff encampment to hang out with friends. However, that doesn't mean staffing another wing's encampment is bad.

For example, I want to staff multiple encampments per year so that I can train and mentor cadets, as encampment is one of the best places to do that. This year I applied to two out of state encampments, but not my own because it overlapped with COS. Not only am I going to be able to serve cadets at these encampments, but I am also going to get(and give) new perspectives from the other wings. This is an awesome way to create great encampments! We can have more diversity, which we all know is good.

I still see your point of turning down local cadets for out of state cadets can be bad. And obviously you should be giving them positions that will challenge them.

And on the encampment tourism, there is a difference between tourism, and synergy. yes, it's bad if cadets just want to hang with their friends. But on the flip side, knowing and working with these cadets from across the country can be so inspiring. It brings the fact that we are one civil air patrol working TOGETHER to inspire the next generation of leaders.

P.S a senior CAC wouldn't make any sense because the CAC is a council made up of cadets to inform and advice the (insert echelon here) commander. The idea is that the cadets can still get their ideas on training to the commander because they're the ones being trained.
C/1st Lt

Mitchell # 69847

Squadron Cadet Leadership officer

GCAC Recorder

Eclipse

Here's the issue - standardized training is the antithesis of "diversity" in this context.

You don't want diversity in your training, methods, or execution, you want standardization
which is something sorely lacking in CAP, especially the encampment program.

I buy the argument that some diversity in opinion during the planning phase is useful, but only
in regards to venue-specific challenges, and cadets (or seniors), who have "never been there before and
aren't coming back" don't bring a lot of value to the table this regard.

It's an eye-opening experience for the Big-3 every year to see just exactly what it takes to
put on a show like an encampment in Dad's barn - that's part of their training, which they can
then use going forward, but a cadet who wants to fly across 5 time zones just to stand in front of
another room means time needs to be wasted on the "getting started" manual for that venue, versus
cadets who have participated for several years in progressively more important roles, and have seen first hand what works and doesn't.



TheSkyHornet

Totally with you there, Eclipse.

Training needs to be standardized. The activity experience may vary.

Not every Wing can provide the same facility/accommodations. They can't all provide the same activities. But as far as the cadet-focused training goes...the drill, the courtesies, the culture...all of that should be the same.

There was a good point made in a previous post about cadets going off to college who want to get their last encampment "hurrah" in. That ties in with the issue of cadets who see encampment as a time to show themselves off; a time to be in charge. That's all nonsense.

The culture of encampment cadre needs to be about training, and that's it. The training that they provide first-timers, and the training that they as cadre are receiving.

Toad1168

I have worked hard to push promotions in the wing over the past few years.  This was after seeing a lack of Phase IV cadets and many sitting on a grade and never promoting.  I attached promotion requirements to position selection across all programs in the Wing and turned cadets down that didn't meet it. Now, before people jump, the requirement has been three advancements in the past year, nothing extreme.  What has happened is that more and more Phase IV cadets are emerging and competition in the Wing is growing.  This year, if we are able to get it in, has a real possibility that the top three at encampment will be Spaatz cadets.  And all from Missouri.

The key to getting cadets to promote is to generate excitement and healthy competition.  And then reward those accomplishments.  This is the philosophy that hly my DCP had when I was a cadet and it worked.  I have adopted it and tried to expand it.  But I can say it works.  Don't let cadets sit idle.  Get involved and push them.  If you do that, you will have the cadre for your encampment and won't need to bring in travelling cadets.

I'm not going to totally down the idea of encampment tourism, but you have to be careful.  If you are constantly filling positions, especially the highly sought after ones, with cadets from other wings you risk creating a mindset of why promote and apply, I won't get selected anyway.  Build your cadre from within.  But that building process is continuous, not just at selection time.

Toad
Toad

Eclipse

Three in a year might be much for a Phase IV cadet, but in there is a discussion on what is appropriate.

I think we could all agree that at least one in the calendar year preceding the actual activity is reasonable,
regardless of the position they want.

There are always edge cases, but on the mean it sets a terrible precedent to be setting someone
as an example to aspire to when they aren't upholding the oath themselves.