Cadets are graduatingâ€¦Have you talked to them about staying in CAP?
Posted on 05/16/2014 at 12:00 AM by Barbara Buckner
Too often we assume just because a Cadet is graduating high school and going off to college that they are going quit CAP as well. Yes, they are embarking on a whole new chapter of their life but…why does that have to mean their experience with CAP has to come to an end?
Our Cadets may not fully understand how they can still maintain their CAP membership while away at school – most common response will be “I won’t have the time.” Having a simple conversation is all that is needed to share with them the benefits of continuing their CAP membership as a Cadet and transitioning into a Senior when they turn 21.
Just because they will be away from their Home Unit, doesn’t mean that there aren’t units located nearby or on campus at their new school that they could become involved with or transfer to. Your Recruiting Officer or Deputy Commander for Cadets should help those cadets locate the nearest units to their new school so they can check them out.
Home Units may not want to make the time because they know they are loosing a member off of their roster – but we have to look at the bigger picture…that we are keeping a member in CAP. Not all cadets will want to transfer – especially if they really enjoy their Home Unit and do plan on coming back – but helping them find a local unit to interact with helps keeps CAP an active part of their life.
Keep in mind as well – parents will remember the help you offered and could possibly refer new members to you unit…speaking to the experience that their child had with the program.
But why would the Cadet want to stay in CAP when they leave for college or ROTC?
1) Staying “active” allows them to still participate in the program when their schedule allows – doing the things they came to enjoy.
2) Depending on how far they advance in the program by their 21st birthday, they have the chance to transition to a Senior Member at a higher rank.
3) Just like with the National Cadet Activities, it gives them the chance to make new friends and have new experiences with other cadets just like them.
We put our time and effort into molding and training these future Leaders...keeping them in the program and transitioning to Senior Membership gives us a pool of experienced and trained members to carry on the CAP program.