Info for Parents
A Parent's Guide to 3 Striker
As a parent you play a pivotal role in your son or daughter's Air Cadet career, beginning with your consent on the appropriate forms for them to become a member of a cadet squadron. With the exception of regular Tuesday night training, cadets must also have written permission to attend other training opportunities, trips and summer training camps. The following is a brief description of those opportunities. The sections are in no particular order.
Parents, please talk to the Commanding Officer if you have any questions about Training, Trips and Uniforms.
Our 3 Striker Parents Handbook can be found in the folder section below. Talk to a member of the Sponsoring Committee if you wish a printed copy of the Parents Handbook. Maps to our common training locations can be found on Maps. Our Newsletters are here. (Note: The newsletters have been removed from Attachments and uploaded to our Google Drive).
Parents of #3 Striker Cadets - Please provide your consent to e-mail you squadron news...You only need to do this once, when your child joins #3... click on E-MAIL CONSENT
Parents and/or guardians can do a lot to help their daughter and/or son become successful in the Air Cadet Program by showing an interest in their training and by supporting them during the year. Some ways parents and/or guardians support their cadets include:
- Helping them organize their after-school time, so that they will have time for Air Cadets, school work, and other family commitments.
- Reminding them to look after their uniforms (washing, drying, ironing, polishing, sewing, etc.). However, it is important that the cadet do these things himself and/or herself.
- Adding Air Cadet training activities on the family calendar. Most training events (with a few exceptions) are planned well in advance and advertise from the beginning of the training year.
- Avoiding activities that conflict with major events (often referred to as Mandatory Events), such as Tagging, Range Day, Poppy Drive, Remembrance Day and the Annual Review.
- Transporting your son and/or daughter (and maybe some of their friends) or making arrangements with someone dependable and trustworthy to do so. Frequently, parents of close friends share this responsibility with each other to minimize the amount of driving.
- Donate money, time and items to our squadron. We are a charitable organization and can provide you with a charitable donation receipt. Also, please support the squadron and League by purchasing lottery tickets, donating on tag day and participating in the other fund raising efforts of the squadron!
- A CO's Parade is held on the first weekly training night each month. Parents are encouraged to stay and watch. Cadet promotions may occur.
- Encouraging the cadet to participate in squadron teams and activities. The more they put into the squadron, the more they will get out of the program. For example, every year, starting in March, there is an Air Cadet Public Speaking competition they can participate in.
- Reminding them to bring their OHIP card with them for squadron events such as gliding, exchange trips, air shows, competitions, year-end trips, etc. Many activities require a parental consent/permission form. In the event that your cadet must provide one and is unable to locate it, then the Officer In Charge may accept a note from you indicating that the Parent/Guardian has given permission for them to attend the activity. Some regularly planned activities, like Bush Weekends, Gliding Familiarization, Tagging and Remembrance Day Parade do NOT require a permission form.
- The staff appreciates cadets being picked up on time at the conclusion of activities as staff must stay until the last cadet is picked up.
The dress and appearance of air cadets in uniform shall, on all occasions, be such to reflect credit to their unit and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. The uniform is to be worn only when attending authorized parades or activities. When cadets appear in uniform in public, it is their duty to be sure that their uniforms are properly maintained and correctly worn. See also Cadet Responsibilities
The success of each cadet will mirror the support received from their peers, superiors, and most of all, from their parents and/or guardians.
3 Striker is committed to providing a learning and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to participate and work in an environment that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices. Harassment is a form of discrimination and 3 Striker is committed to providing an environment free from such abuse. See also Conflict Resolution
The following are a list of events that every member (Cadets and Staff) of 3 Striker Squadron are expected to attend throughout the training year. Attendance is strictly required
Failure to attend these events will affect promotions, squadron trips, and your possible attendance at summer training.
If there are any circumstances that do not allow you to attend the events listed above, it is the cadet’s personal responsibility to notify the NCM Cadet in order to be excused by the Commanding Officer.
** This activity may qualify for Community Service Hours.
All members of 3 Striker Squadron are expected to participate in All Fundraising activities. Cadets must complete two shifts on each Tagging week and completely sell one book of OPC Lottery tickets to ensure minimum cost to attend the annual recreational trip.
Over the course of the Cadet year there are a number of activities and events where parents and family are welcome and encouraged to attend. Consult the squadron Calendar for dates. These include:
There are various forms of communication utilized within the squadron to communicate upcoming events. These include:
- Final parade announcements - end of every Tuesday training night
- Squadron Whiteboard - updated at end of every Tuesday training night
- Web Site - please check our web site often, as it is frequently updated, especially the Calendar and Announcements
- Cadet E-mail list - weekly announcements are forwarded to Cadets
- Parent E-mail list - important events, squadron Calendar and SSC Newsletters are forwarded periodically to Parents.
Parents/Guardians: Please consent to receive emails by completing our E-Mail Consent Opt-In Form.
Cadets are expected to keep their parents informed; however, it is strongly advised for the parents to regularly check the web site as well and to read any handouts that are sent home. Take particular note of the planning calendar as it has most of the activities for the year populated before the year even starts. Parents are also invited to become involved come in at the end of the night to see final parade, come out to major events, get to know the staff, get to know the Sponsoring Committee, volunteer in one or more of the many activities operated by the Sponsoring Committee, and become an active member of the Sponsoring Committee.
Cadets must notify a squadron officer of their absence on a Parade Night (Tuesdays), or any mandatory activity, by calling the squadron phone 519-852-2359 well in advance of that activity. Cadets are responsible for any material missed when absent from training. Being absent with an excuse will not harm their attendance record, but unexcused absences will. Any absences excused or not, will have an effect on the cadet's training as they will miss classes, so they should make every effort to make it to Parade.
CORE TRAINING - TUESDAYS
The training program is run during the regular school year. The core training is provided by the squadron’s staff (the uniformed members trained by the military plus a few non uniformed volunteer instructor specialists). Tuesday 'Parade Night' is held at our squadron LHQ (Local Headquarters) which is the Multipurpose Room at the WMMC. Each cadet goes through several levels of training (one level per year), with each level being a prerequisite for advancement to the next. Upon completion of each level, cadets become eligible for promotion to the next rank (in many cases, there is also a minimum time "in rank" before being promoted). All cadets start at level 1 and progress from there. For older cadets joining the program, there is an accelerated program that allows them to complete two levels in one training year (certain conditions apply). This training includes both technical details related to aviation as well as development of a wide variety of skills related to health, well being, teamwork, camaraderie, leadership, and responsibility. As cadets advance in their training, they have the opportunity to take on leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibility. They also have the opportunity to train and develop cadets at lower levels.
Once all of the core training is completed, senior cadets transition from being students to assisting with the training of the junior cadets and eventually instructing junior cadets. As the senior cadets "give back to the program", they ensure that future generations of cadets are able to obtain the same benefits that they did. The vast majority of the core training is on the normal training night, however, there are occasional core activities on weekends which are required to be able to complete the level such as: Gliding (familiarization flights in a glider) and Bush Weekends (flight crew survival training), to name but a few. Several of these activities take place more than once per training year and attendance at a least one of those sessions (except for level specific events) is required to complete the training year. Bush weekends cover off a number of teaching points that are not covered at any other time of the year and cadet participation is encouraged.
Level 1 – provides cadets with the basic skills, knowledge and experience required to participate as a member of the squadron.
Level 2 – provides cadets with more intermediate skills, knowledge and experience required to participate as a member of the squadron.
Level 3 – prepares cadets for leadership roles within the squadron.
Level 4 – cadets put their leadership skills into practice.
Level 5 – enhances a cadet's ability to assist in the organization and supervision of squadron activities
Also review our Tuesday Training Night web page
Bush Weekend (also refered to as FTX or Field Training Exercise) is a major training period that is held outside of the regular Tuesday night training period. We hold two Bush Weekends per year. At these events many training points (performance objectives) are performed during exercises that can’t be done at any other time during the training year.
A Scout camp facility is booked from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon for the cadets to be able to eat, sleep, and perform all of the necessary activities. Since the vast majority of activities are performed outdoors, it is essential that the cadets are dressed for the weather and have any additional clothing required should the weather conditions change. The days are long and the cadets are challenged, however, it is all done in an informative and enjoyable fashion. The squadron staff and senior cadets provide the training and supervision throughout the weekend and the parent sponsoring committee and volunteers are responsible for keeping everyone nourished throughout. Significant preparation takes place ahead of time, and everyone (staff, cadets, and volunteers) puts in long hours, and faces a variety of challenges, however, everyone leaves with a strong sense of accomplishment.
Gliding is a treat that few youth or adults ever get to experience. It is flight without an engine. The glider has much longer wings than a normal plane of its size to allow it to do away with an engine. A tow plane tows the glider to the required altitude, upon which time, the glider pilot releases the tow line and it is set free to fly like a bird – there is no experience like it. Within about 15 minutes, the glider is ready to land near where it took off and within a few minutes it is loaded up and ready to take off again. There are only two seats in the glider so a pilot can only take one cadet at a time. Each cadet should have at least one flight per year to be able to complete their level and be eligible for promotion.
For Gliding Familiarization Days, the squadron charters a school bus, or volunteer parent drivers are recruited, to take a group of cadets to either the Chatham or Centralia airports where the Air Cadet League provided gliders and tow planes reside. Should the weather turn unfavourable (for example, the wind is too strong or the visibility become too low for the cadet guidelines), flying may come to a temporary halt, the day may end early, or the day may be canceled before it is even begun. Since only a limited number of cadets may go to a given gliding day, it is imperative that the staff have as much advance notice as possible for cancellation so that it may be possible to give the opportunity to someone else.
Ground School is the theoretical training that any pilot needs to have a strong grasp of before they are to undertake flying lessons. For #3 squadron, this optional training is provided, at no cost, to allow cadets plenty of opportunity to entrench the theory before they write the written Cadet Scholarship qualifying exam. Ground School training is run from mid-September through to the exam in January. Consult the squadron calendar for date, time and place. When applying for either glider or power scholarship camps, the cadets must formally write their written exam (each year that they apply). The scores from these exams are one of first prerequisites in the extensive selection process used to determine the cadets who will train to become pilots the following summer. Needless to say, cadets who start ground school early will have better chances of getting their pilot license for free through the cadet program.
Drill is a core part of the teamwork training in the program. Each cadet is taught the basic maneuvers of drill and has ample opportunity to practice them. Once the cadet knows the basic maneuvers and the commands for executing the maneuvers the cadet is able to perform drill with the rest of his/her group. Drill demonstrates discipline and self control as well as a strong sense of teamwork since it is normally done as a group. Once drill is well practiced, it is very sharp to watch. Cadets are invited to participate in the drill team. This team practices advanced drill on a separate day so that they can do demonstrations for such events as local, regional, or national drill competitions and at the annual ceremonial review (at the end of the training year). A few select members of the squadron are invited to train as the Flag Party (Colour Party) - those who march on the squadron colours and the Canadian flag. These cadets have taken extreme measures to polish their drill, dress, and deportment.
Our squadron has a brass and reed band which plays a mixture of popular tunes and classic military marches. All cadets are welcome to join and especially those who already know how to play an instrument and/or read music. Music instruction is provided for no fee. Drill instruction for band members will also be part of the training. The instruments were purchased with a grant from the Libro Financial Group.
OPTIONAL AEROSPACE ACTIVITIES
Optional activities, such a model rocketry, flight simulation, and flying a remote-controlled drone, are held when there is enough interest. These activities are held typically on the weekend. Consult the squadron calendar for date, time and place.
Cadets learn how to safely handle the squadron’s air rifles under the careful supervision of the squadron’s range officer. Cadets learn how to use the weapon and learn and refine their aiming techniques. The procedures used on the squadron range are the same as those used on any military weapons range. Safety is paramount.
The uniform serves several purposes. First of all, it creates a sense of belonging since all cadets wear one. Secondly, it instills a sense of responsibility and pride. Every cadet is provided a uniform and is responsible for its proper maintenance after joining the squadron. The cadets are taught what is required to properly wear and maintain their uniform as part of their basic training. The uniform must be worn in one of the appropriate configurations depending on the time of year and the weather conditions. It is not permitted to mix personal clothes with the uniform. If some portion of the uniform is missing the uniform may not be worn until a replacement is obtained from Supply. Each cadet is responsible for the maintenance of his/her own uniform - this includes washing, ironing, sewing, and polishing boots. Parents are not to do this for the cadets! Parents are allowed to help show their child how to do a task or to supervise, but after that, the condition of the uniform is completely up to the cadet. If the cadet’s uniform is not up to par, it reflects on the cadet, not the parent. If a cadet has outgrown one or more parts of the uniform, it is the cadet’s responsibility to report the item that does not fit to the supply office so that a replacement can be ordered – depending on the size required and what is locally available, it can take many weeks for a replacement to be obtained. One more thing, this uniform is ON LOAN from the Canadian government, and they want it returned when a cadet leaves the program. Please ensure that is is returned to us.
SUMMER TRAINING CAMPS
In addition to the regular training program, there are a variety of camps provided during the summer months that the cadets can apply for depending on what point they have reached in their training program. Transportation to such camps, as well as the accommodations, food, and activities throughout the duration of the camp, is provided. These camps range from two to six weeks in duration. Some of the camps are run at the regional level whereas others are run at the national level. In all cases, cadets get to meet cadets from other squadrons either locally, regionally, or nationally, and many friendships are formed. All of the camps have certain criteria that must be met before the cadet may apply. Each squadron has a set number of spots allowed for each of the camps. Once the cadets are eligible to apply, there is a selection at the squadron level to determine who the squadron will submit. This selection is merit based so the cadets who apply themselves and actively participate in the program stand the greatest chance of being selected. With the exception of International Exchange, there is No cost to attend camp, and in fact, the cadet may receive money for attendance.
ADMINISTRATION & OPERATION OF OUR SQUADRON
3 Squadron is staffed by highly qualified officers of the Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) and several dedicated Civilian Instructors and Volunteers. The Commanding Officer leads this group of specially trained men and women as they perform the administrative, support, and training tasks needed to help the cadets of 3 Squadron successfully complete all the training objectives and activities. The squadron is organized into three main departments: Administration, Training, and Supply, each led by a CIC Officer or dedicated Civilian Instructor. Other officers and civilian instructors have additional responsibilities such as Band Officer, Ground School Instructor or Range Officer.
Air Cadets are supervised during all training exercises by Officers and Civilian Instructors. The Officers are members of a branch of the Canadian Forces Reserve known as the Cadet Instructor Cadre or CIC. Civilian Instructors have special knowledge or skills that enhance the Cadet Training Program. Many of the Officers and Civilian Instructors are former cadets; others are parents of former cadets; some are individuals who have become interested in the Air Cadet program for various reasons.
The Administration Officer is responsible for all of the paperwork relating to cadet records including enrollment, attendance, promotions, summer training, awards, etc. They also handle correspondence and critical files maintained by the squadron. This is where the cadet goes for information about joining or leaving the squadron. If you have moved, be sure to let the Administration Officer know your new address, phone number, and e-mail address so we can contact you for important news such as offers to Summer Training Centres. Each September when regular training begins, you will be asked to check and update your contact and medical information if anything has changed. Also, a Summer Training Contact Officer is appointed each year to oversee the summer training process and to work closely with the Administration Officer to make sure that all of the applications are complete, accurate, and submitted on time. The Administration Officer also ensures that the cadets receive and understand all of their summer training travel information.
The Training Officer is responsible for delivering the entire training program each year, including the mandatory, support and optional training for all cadet levels. The Training Officer coordinates officers, civilian instructors, and senior cadets. Squadron Instructors teach everything from basic drill, range safety, and uniform care to the principles of flight, meteorology, and leadership. This group also arranges field training exercises, coordinates the squadron’s participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award program, and makes sure the maximum number of cadets go on gliding and power familiarization flights each year. They also arrange all of the special training events such as sports activities, social events with other squadrons, effective speaking, and physical fitness testing.
The Supply Officer is where your cadet goes for all of their uniform needs. Throughout your cadet's career, they must visit Supply every time they outgrow their boots, wear out their grey wool socks, or find the pants or tunic sleeves are way too short - again! If they damage or lose any part of their uniform, this is where they report the problem and request replacement of the pieces needed. When the cadet turns 19 and have to leave the cadet program, or if they decide to leave the squadron early, this is where they return the uniform.
Our Squadron Sponsoring Committee (SSC) is the driving force for fund-raising for #3 Striker Squadron. Our SSC is mandated to create income for the Squadron thus allowing the staff to have the funds to run a successful training year. The SSC fund raises to provide adequate financing for the needs of the Squadron not otherwise covered by the Department of National Defence. Any person, or organization, may contribute a tax-deductible charitable donation to benefit 3 Squadron. A charitable donation tax receipt will be issued for amounts of $25 or more. It is imperative we have everyone 'buy into' every fund-raising project – the Cadets, Parents, Staff and Committee. We all have a vested interest in the success of our Squadron. [Read More]
Cadets of any rank who commit to participate in a fund-raising activity, and who fail to show without prior notice to the Officer in Command, within a reasonable time, will jeopardize their chances for activities funded by the Sponsoring Committee.
Our Fund-Raising Policy
All Cadets are required to take part in the following three major fundraising events:
- Fall Tag Days - at least 2 shifts.
- OPC Lottery tickets sales - sell one entire booklet of ACL OPC Lottery tickets (and return stubs & monies).
- Spring Tag Days - at least 2 shifts.
Every 3 Sqn Annual Recreational trip has a "cost per cadet" that is paid for by our SSC, primarily from fundraising. For some longer trips there may be a portion that is required to be covered by the Cadet, above what the SSC covers. The expectation is each cadet take responsibility for their "cost per cadet" portion of the trip covered by the SSC. They can do this by participating in Tag Days and sell Air Cadet League Lottery tickets.
A cadet who does NOT
- Tag for 2 shifts in the Fall Tag Day
- Tag for 2 shifts in the Spring Tag Day
- Sell one entire booklet of ACL OPC Lottery tickets (and return stubs & monies).
will be required to pay for 1/3 of the “cost per cadet” amount originally covered by the SSC, per activity not completed. (example: if a trip costs $300/cadet and a Cadet misses Spring tagging, then they will be required to pay $100 to attend the trip). A Cadet not willing to cover the cost will not be eligible to attend the annual recreational trip. If a cadet is unable to attend one of the three required activities, due to unforeseen conflict, then the Cadet will be assisted by the SSC with an alternative way to fund-raise the 1/3 "cost per cadet" amount. Only Cadets who join prior to the Spring Tag Day will be eligible for the cadet annual recreational trip.
Parents who have questions or concerns should talk to the Chair of the SSC.
THE ROLE OF SENIOR CADETS
As cadets progress, they learn valuable life skills such as leadership, communication, self-discipline, organization, and teamwork. These skills enable them to become directly involved in the weekly operation of the squadron. Senior cadets instruct classes, supervise cadets, conduct parades, and organize support training activities, along with many other important tasks. Under the supervision of the Officers and Civilian Instructors, the senior cadets play an integral role in the operation of the squadron.
COMPLIMENTARY TO SCHOOL
Cadets are expected to apply themselves to the program and to their schooling. In all cases, schooling takes priority to cadet events/activities. Performance at school is also a factor that is considered by selection committees for camps and/or promotions. If a cadet is unable to participate in a specific event due to school activities, it is fully understood. However, the cadet is still responsible for notifying the staff that they are not able to participate so that they may be marked as excused - failure to do so means that the cadet is marked as absent.
The entire Air Cadet program fosters a very inclusive and supportive environment. Everyone is trained to strive for goals and encouraged to do so. There is a certain amount of competitiveness, however, everyone supports and celebrates in the achievement of others - very different from many other environments where winning is the only goal. Senior cadets are trained to help out and welcome junior cadets. Everyone is made to feel welcome. There is an extreme amount of opportunity available to cadets; however, one will only get out of it what they put into it. The more active a cadet is with the program the more opportunities that will arise and the more likely that they will be selected for camps and/or promotion.
COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS
Any cadet in high school who requires the signing off of community service hours must submit their form to the Administration Officer by the end of each training year.
Cadet sponsored Internet Social Media sites, Blogs and Forums shall not be used to comment, criticize or discuss any activity at 3 Striker Squadron. Anyone posting or uploading any unauthorized information will face serious consequences for their actions, which may result in their dismissal. Photos of Cadets in uniform, uploaded to social media sites (like Facebook), should not show name tags nor show shoulder flashes. Photos should never include the name of the cadet, nor allow a tag to be used on that photo.
The Canadian Forces, the Air Cadet League of Canada and the local Sponsoring Committee may, at any time, use and disclose photographic images and video footage of a cadet, as well as his/her name, age, home unit name and location, and accomplishments in the Cadets, through print and electronic media, for the purposes of publicly recognizing his/her accomplishments and promoting the Cadet organizations as well as their programmes.
VOLUNTEERING WITH #3
The following is a list of volunteer activities the Squadron requires from time to time, so please consider volunteering your time for #3:
Drivers as required for Squadron activities when other means such as buses are not appropriate.
Fundraisers, soliciting donations, and applying for grants are essential to keep our Squadron going. Volunteers are needed to organize, administer and oversee these very important activities.
For various functions such as dances and Legion dinners, parents are appreciated as chaperons and kitchen helpers.
Selection Board Interviewers
Interviews are held in January to prepare those cadets who have applied for summer scholarship programs. Interviewers are provided with the questions and answers, and help the cadets to improve on their interview skills.
Sub-Committees and Parent's Committee
Sub-Committees are established from time to time to undertake specific tasks or projects and assist in the regular functioning of the Squadron Sponsoring Committee. Parents are encouraged to participate in the various sub-committees that may interest them.
Please consider volunteering on the Parent Committee. This is a group of parents, of active cadets, chaired by a member of the SSC, who assist with activities in support of #3 Squadron. Members participate in activities such as fundraising, banquets, kit shop, canteen and ticket sales and other approved activities in support of the squadron.
If you have a particular talent, skill set or passion that would benefit our squadron, like meteorology, aviation, modelling, remote-controlled aircraft and drones, team sports, public speaking and debating, orienteering, instrumental music, etc. then please talk to the Commanding Officer or the Sponsoring Committee Chairperson. Also, if you wish to pursue a career as a CIC Officer with the Cadet program then also contact the CO.