Should encampment be required earlier than Mitchell?

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

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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
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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
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.