Civil Air Patrol members nationwide continue to do phenomenal things to support their states and communities with COVID-19 missions. We're also inspired by what our units are doing to keep members engaged.
John Salvador, CAP's Chief Operating Officer, gave this example June 1 in his weekly message to National Headquarters employees: The Connecticut Wing and the Northeast Region is hosting a virtual Unit Commanders Course over two consecutive Saturdays (May 30 and June 6), and they have almost 50 participants.
The Northeast Region and the Connecticut Wing are also hosting two other virtual events, a three-week (one day a week) supplemental Check Pilot Course that will serve about 25 pilots from around the region and, starting May 31, a 15-week virtual ground school that will serve over 80 cadets.
Board of Governors member Lt. Col. Tom Vreeland said his home unit, Westchester Cadet Squadron 1 in New Rochelle, New York, also has been successful engaging the unit's cadets with virtual meetings/training.
Vreeland estimates each cadet in the squadron,
commanded by 1st Lt. Jennifer Moon,
spent about 35 hours over the past 12 weeks in virtual meetings and training. Of that time, 24 hours were spent at weekly squadron meetings, and slightly less than one hour a week (averaged over all the cadets) was spent on milestone testing, weekly
mentoring and feedback sessions, and cadet staff meetings
He said attendance has exceeded averages for face-to-face meetings, and one of the most interesting phenomena was the squadron's Awards Ceremony, which nearly doubled in attendance. Parents, grandparents and other relatives, some in other time zones, tuned in.
Vreeland said Moon and other squadron leaders are now considering other ways to give cadets more “air time” and to focus portions of future meetings on family invitations.
We are also asking cadets to invite their non-CAP friends to certain meetings, to make them into virtual open houses,
” he said.