Virtual Parades

Hey all,
Firstly hope everyone is keeping safe during these hard times.
Secondly, due to my sqn being located in Scotland, we are yet to return to F2F activity, our best hopes are for November, this means that we must continue with the method of Microsoft teams for teaching. My sqn has a number of cadets still to do leading and it is my concern that we bore them half to death with the powerpoints, my question is does anyone have any fun lesson ideas to do for leading over Microsoft teams, or any fun ideas in general at this point.

It all started off well, a release for our cadets and to see faces and hear voices. Lessons were planned and we had fun nights…months down the line we have bored them to death to the point they stopped attending. Now they back at school, only time and a load of cleaning with many RA’s to do and the return to F2F is looking hopeful.

We’re still going, we get ~20 logging on (of a sqn of 60-70).

We avoid lessons, tbh. We do quizzes, challenges, get the cadets to do very short lectures on things that are happening (so one Sgt did a brief bit about the Battle of Britain this week).

We are hardly getting anything, that’s between two squadrons that came together to aid planning and delivery.

I believe the sad reality is that these kids did not join us to be in front of a laptop screen two nights a week and after being at school all day, it’s hardly a tempting idea.

Even the fun stuff isn’t as enticing anymore or the achievement incentives, so we’ve cut right down to one VPN or two per month.

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We found this - social or “fun” nights got limited uptake despite asking them, getting ideas from the cadets wasn’t fruitful either.

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We didn’t do any academic work on VPN’s, it was nav stuff and fun/social stuff - we did one night a week with about 50% in the first few weeks, but it gradually dropped off to 10% or so, and we’re now doing one VPN every three weeks with about 30-40% attending.

My kids are in Brownies and Scouts, they have been doing zoom nights, but the attendance at rose has dropped off a cliff since mid-August…

Probably a good place to start is to ask the cadets if they are keen to make progress with Leading between now and the return to F2F activity. As others have mentioned we steered clear of classifications and stuck to things like quizzes and interactive sessions.

Its reassuring (from a personal perspective) that others seems to be in the same situation. We had good initial interest in online/virtual training but eventually we were only having 1 or 2 cadets logging in outwith our core NCO Team. We opted for an extended break at that point and hopefully about to try and pick things up again in the coming weeks.

We’ve had some exploratory conversations with our cadets - and staff - about what they want ‘the new normal’ to look like:

Two headlines have jumped out from that process - firstly that there is a marked reluctance among parents and staff to go back to having 30 kids and 5 staff congregating in a box for two hours twice week. Secondly there is very little enthusiasm among cadets for the resumption of the academic syllabus.

The cadet NCO team asked about/suggested the viability of going to one night a week and weekend based activities that would be almost entirely outdoors focused. From my conversations with them it’s not an idea that came out of nowhere, there’s a lot of parental and cadet push/approval behind it - I think that if we go back to two nights a week of academic work we’re going to be parading half a dozen cadets and the OC…

Was there ever a lot of enthusiasm for academic content?

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This seems to be the way our local ACF is going, one evening plus a weekend morning (local SCC units already work that way).

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All good and well…but requires consistent staffing available for a weekend morning. All depends on each Squadrons staff make up.

Entirely true - but if no one is turning up for twice weekly parade nights, what’s the point of having them?

I’m not keen - I’m self-employed, I’ve got two kids at one school, one at another, wife at a third and cadets (overwhelmingly) from a fourth - I could barely be more of a hub for transmission if I went around licking door handles.

I’ve done a few things and happy to share ideas. Covered some fieldcraft theory and campcraft with a mixture of ppts, exercises for cadets to try and live stove demos. Went through various subjects like cyphers, air recce, did a treasure hunt. Cadets and staff have covered uniform, bike and car maintenance. Lots of presentation skills from the cadets again covering a diverse range of subjects. Did a couple of Q&A sessions with guests (ex cadets on the whole).
Hope that helps but do let me know if I can email you anything.

certainly for any unit which has shared accommodation with the ACF I can see once a week being the only option if trying to maintain adequate isolating time (72 hours?) between visitors/users of the building.
the 72 hours timeline does somewhat create an halt to all proceedings when the ACF parade on a Wednesday. A friend was telling me they were liaising with their ACF counterpart and they are not considering moving their Wednesday night to accommodate ATC use of the hut forcing the ATC hand to a weekend if they wish to maintain the 72 hours limitation

There is no 72 hour limitation, other than for equipment that can’t be sanitised such as webbing.

I’m not aware that that is true. The parade guidance, I thought, said you must do both.

Our building has external users midweek. Just means an additional cleaning session for someone of any communal areas and kit.

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Go and read the band guidance. Unless it’s been updated since first issue, that had a 5 day quarantine on sheet music and some instruments!

Our WExO confirmed that there was no 72 hour rule for seperate units. This was answered by our Region HQ.

72 hours for uniform returns and equipment usage.

That’s more of a waste of time than air cadet music generally.

If the kids want to play music join a band, I feel the same about sport but less strongly.

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