We’ve just had our first parade after the summer hols where we only parade once a week and have done for many years. I find it really good to not have to worry about 2 nights a week for 6/7 weeks and gives me a chance to relax. We always get a good cadet turnout; family holidays etc notwithstanding over the holiday periods.
I have been asked why we don’t parade just once a week all the time. I wasn’t able to answer with anything meaningful. Over the years cadets not turning up due to homework, other school commitments, other extra curricular groups etc so end up rescheduling or repeating things or cadets missing out.
Having thought about it I feel you would have a much more meaningful training programme and could arrange things for other nights in the week. Also I can see a definite advantage in terms of staff, not having to do 2 nights a week and might make actually being staff more pleasurable. I get a feeling we are very much in the minority in terms of youth groups that meet twice a week. I know of three scout groups that meets once a fortnight and all the others at most weekly.
When 2 of our children did athletics they trained once a week and our son played football and trained once a week, more than that and he wouldn’t have done both. I know of 5 cadets currently who do at least 1 activity and 2 that are involved in 2 or more other things (4 of these are NCOs) in addition to the ATC as they miss a number of nights where they involve performances. This is something I have been aware of for years ie cadets doing more than just ATC. The sorts of things I've been made aware of are; martial arts, football clubs, rugby clubs, swimming clubs, music (orchestra), dance, drama/acting, horse riding, Scouts seem to be the main ones and one lad who rode a scrambler competitively.
I am tending towards giving one night a week a proper go, but not too sure what to do if it doesn’t work out. I know that every time we have an intake at least one parent will ask if they have to do both nights and it’s these we don’t see for very long afterwards.
Do any others have thoughts on this? This would make it easier where cadet units share facilities.