Should encampment be required earlier than Mitchell?

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

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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.


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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.

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
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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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Nothing posted on CAPTalk should be considered policy unless otherwise stated
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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
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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
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