What can prospective cadets do?
Posted on June 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Curt LaFond
Young people learn best through personal experience. You can’t simply tell a kid what cadets do. You can’t simply show cadet life to them, either. Prospective cadets need to participate actively to see how exciting the Cadet Program is, and to decide if we’re a good match for their interests.
For a long while, commanders had very little guidance on what prospective cadets can and cannot do. Now, that’s changed, and we hope you’ll agree the new guidance is sufficiently liberal for units to pursue a “try by doing” strategy with their prospective cadets.
Here’s a quick summary of the new rules, which you’ll find in CAPR 39-2, Membership, chapter 2.
Mandatory Trial Period. Prospective cadets need to attend 3 meetings before joining CAP. Commanders can approve their application at the conclusion of that third meeting.
Do's. During the trial phase, prospective cadets can participate in:
classroom activities, including hands-on projects
drill and ceremonies
basic calisthenics and jogging
low-impact field activities like rocketry, orienteering, volleyball, etc.
basically, anything cadets do during a typical weekly squadron meeting.
Don'ts. However, until they officially join CAP and their name posts to the unit’s roster in eServices, prospective cadets are prohibited from participating in:
riding in CAP vehicles
physically rigorous activities like hiking and obstacle courses
high adventure activities
Programs like "Cadet Great Start" have advocated commanders allow direct participation in low-impact cadet activities by prospective cadets. Now, there's an extra bit of regulatory guidance explicitly authorizing that time-tested practice.