Supporting your Cadet’s development
The training staff will instill in each new Recruit a sense of responsibility and ownership over their own “careers” with us, however this takes time to build. We ask that parents support their first year Cadets’ development by encouraging them to participate and attend activities.
It is required for a Cadet to maintain a minimum 70% attendance for mandatory activities. Mandatory activities include Tuesday training nights and FTXs, and are necessary for a Cadet to pass their Proficiency Level as well as be eligible for promotion to the next rank. Other activities and teams such as the band and precision drill team have their own attendance commitments for Cadets who are selected to join the team.
We understand that school is important to you and your Cadet, and that sometimes it will have to come before Cadets. That being said, participation in Cadet activities can provide your Cadet with many leadership and training opportunities not found in school. We encourage you to help your Cadet balance between their school and Cadet obligations.
Being a Cadet takes hard work and effort, and your Cadet may find themselves struggling at times. As a parent, it is important that you help your Cadet persevere through any difficulties they may be having.
In the event your Cadet cannot meet their attendance commitment for an activity, it is vital that they communicate this as soon as possible. We have a Report an Absence section on the website that facilitates this.
It takes a lot of hands to run a Squadron our size and the SSC is always looking for extra parent volunteers to help out, whether on a regular basis as a member of the Committee, or just on a casual, ad-hoc basis.
Speak to a member of the SSC for more information.
Questions are great and we encourage parents to get involved, ask questions, and understand the program. We’ve seen that parents who understand the program are more likely to be able to support their Cadets as they face and overcome challenges.
We understand that you may have questions and that it can be frustrating sometimes feeling left out of communication flows. However, we encourage you to step back and let your Cadet do the work instead of you taking charge and spoon feeding them answers.
Not only does that build initiative on your Cadets’ part, it also gives our Staff Cadets (the role your child will eventually perform) opportunities to fulfill their leadership responsibilities.
Having said that, we know that most of our Cadets need a little extra support from their parents in their first year. We make it easy for parents to stay up to date via the following mechanisms:
- Closing parades
Each Tuesday training night ends with a closing parade where staff provide announcements to the Squadron. Attending provides an opportunity to hear the announcements in real-time and ensure your Cadet has understood and is adequately prepared.
Announcements as well as information on upcoming events is posted weekly to the website. You and your Cadet should be reviewing this on a regular basis to stay informed.
Shortly after registering and providing your email address you will receive an email invite to our parents Slack group. This is an invite-only, closed group consisting of parents, SSC members, and Adult Staff. Questions are encouraged, but the answer might sometimes be “check with your Cadet first”. Parents are also encouraged to collaborate with other parents, for example to organize car pooling.
The Squadron Sponsoring Committee’s main responsibility is to raise and administer funds to assist in the operation of the squadron. Most of the significant cost needed to run the squadron is provided through the fundraising efforts of the SSC. The following are some of the specific activities we undertake to achieve our revenue goals:
- Tagging: Twice a year the SSC runs a tagging fundraising event in the Oakville area. This is a mandatory activity for all Cadets and serves as our primary fundraiser. Cadets go out into the community over four days and solicit cash contributions from the public. This aims to raise awareness of the Air Cadet program as well as to engage community support.
- Lottery: The Air Cadet League sponsors a lottery raffle every Spring for valuable cash prizes and new vehicles. The funds raised go directly towards the costs of operating the 60+ aircraft fleet used for Air Cadet glider training. All Cadet squadrons participate in ticket sales and as incentive, they receive back a portion of the funds they raise to help support specific squadron activities. Cadets are asked to sell lottery tickets from September to December to family, friends, neighbours etc. and the prize draw takes place during the following April.
- Meat Fundraiser: At 540 squadron we have an annual meat fundraiser event in partnership with North Country, a reputable meat and seafood vendor with excellent quality products. The squadron receives a commission based on the number of boxes of meat and/or seafood sold. This is an effective and efficient way to raise funds while providing a great service to busy Cadet families. The money raised goes directly to supporting the squadron budget.
- Golf Tournament: We host an annual golf tournament at a local course every June. The 9-holes are sponsored by corporate sponsors and funds are also raised through ticket sales. If you are interested in golfing for a great cause, or to help out with running this event, feel free to contact [email protected].
Our fundraising sub-committee is always looking for new and creative ways of approaching local government, businesses and service groups for financial assistance. We are open to hearing from you about any donation/sponsorship opportunities that you may know about. These can be money as well as goods or services donations (e.g. food for various events, space for activities, gift baskets for raffles etc.) Please contact [email protected] for any questions.