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Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Training

When a Cadet is going away for Summer Training, especially for the first time, they often have many questions.  We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions here.  If you have questions you do not see the answer to, please ask us.

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR PROBLEM OVER THE SUMMER, PLEASE CONTACT ONE OF THE DESIGNATED SUMMER CONTACT OFFICERS.

See our “CONTACT RCSCC GRLSE PAGE” to learn who the Summer Contact Officers are.  Please contact one of those Officers first with any questions or concerns.

 

Summer Training FAQs


How do I apply for Summer Training?

What Courses are available?

My name is not on the selection list, does that mean I won’t go to Summer Training?

How are the selections made? Why was I not selected?

I was selected for course X, but I really wanted course Y. What should I do? Can I get changed to a different course?

How many Cadets from RCSCC GRILSE will get selected?

I was selected, what next?

What do I pack?

When will I leave / come home? How will I travel?

My parents want to drop me off / pick me up at the Summer Training Center, how do we do that? Or my parents cannot pick me up when I return, can a relative / neighbour / family friend / other Cadet parent pick me up?

My parents want to come visit me at Summer Training, can they do that?

Can my parents call me while I am at Summer Training?

Can I bring my cell phone?


 

 

How do I apply for Summer Training?

You need to fill out the Application form, sign it, and submit it by the date that is announced each year.  See this page for the application form.

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What Courses are available?

See the application form page for a list of courses available.

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My name is not on the selection list, does that mean I won’t go to Summer Training?

Not necessarily. Once the selection lists are published, the offers go out to all the Sea Cadet Corps across BC. Some Cadets may decide to decline the course that is offered to them. They may have wanted a different course, they may have decided to go on a vacation with their family instead, or maybe they need to stay home and go to summer school, or they just might not want to go any more. There can be all kinds of reasons, but throughout the weeks leading up to Summer Training, spots may come open again. There are often many changes in the first couple of weeks after the initial selections are announced, and then there are sometimes some spots that come open a couple of days before a course starts.

If you are not selected initially, you are on “Standby.” If a spot comes open, the person who manages the selections for the province will look to see how many Cadets are on standby for that course from all the Sea Cadet Corps in BC, and then offer it to someone. The Selections Officer will offer that new spot based several criteria like whether a Corps already has lots of people going, whether a certain Cadet is recommend more highly by their Commanding Officer, and even whether a Cadet is male or female (eg, if a female Cadet has declined a course, often only another female can be substituted in, and vice-versa, because of the number of beds available in the male and female barracks.)

So there is still a possibility of getting selected, sometimes even with only a day or two notice before a course starts! If you have not been selected make sure we can get ahold of you. If you are going away for a couple of weeks over the summer, but still would like be considered for a second or third intake course later in the summer, make sure we have a cell phone number or email address that we can reach you at. Sometimes, when a spot comes open on short notice, we only have until the end of the day to say yes or no to an offer. If we cannot get hold of you to confirm, we lose it, the spot will be offered to another Corps.

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How are the selections made? Why was I not selected?

When we submit your applications, the Commanding Officer has to do a few of things. First the Commanding Officer checks the computer database to see if you meet all criteria for a certain course, such as your age, qualifications (eg, sailing level), if you have done a previous course that is a prerequisite for the one you applied for, medical conditions, etc. If the database says that you do not meet the criteria, your application may not be submitted, unless the Commanding Officer requests a waiver for you. More on waivers in a moment.

Next, the Commanding Officer has to write a recommendation for every Cadet who applied. To make this recommendation, the Commanding Officer will check your attendance history (this is why we always tell you to phone for leave if you will be absent!) to see how your attendance was over the training year. Next, the Commanding Officer will consider your general merit. Were you a very enthusiastic, well disciplined Cadet with good dress, behaviour and attendance? Did you always try hard in classes, show up to extra activities, volunteer for extra duties? The Commanding Officer will often talk to other Corps Staff to help get a good idea of each Cadet. If you have attended summer training before, the Commanding Officer will look at the report you got from the previous course? Did you work hard last year? Get along well with your fellow Cadets? Always have your uniform well taken care of, keep your bunk and locker neat and tidy? A good course report from last year helps get you a better recommendation this year! Also, if you require a waiver because you do not meet the normal criteria, the Commanding Officer now has to decide if your attendance was good enough, your merit strong enough, etc, to deserve requesting a waiver for. If the answer is no, or if the Commanding Officer decides not to support your application for any other reason, your application stops there.

Finally, once the recommendations are ready for each applicant, the CO then has to give everyone a priority number. If 50 Cadets apply for Summer Training, the Commanding Officer must rank them from #1 to #50. The priority list is based on the same criteria as above, and is also affected by the needs of the Corps. If we are losing some of our top musicians because they are aging out, the Commanding Officer may prioritize the band applicants a bit higher. If we need a couple of new Boatswains at the Corps, the Boatswain applicants may get ranked higher. Normally the top few Cadets from each rank level are ranked higher as well, to give them a better chance of being selected. It is a very complicated and time-consuming process.

Once all of our applications are ready, they are submitted electronically in our personnel database. Along with hundreds of other applications from all the other Sea Cadet Corps in BC, they go in to holding list, where the Selections Officer at our Regional Cadet Support Unit (RCSU) gets them all. The Selections Officer only has a certain number of spots available for each course. This is based on budget, and things like male/female ratio, how many sailboats are available for sailing Cadets, how many Officers are available to to be hired to supervise certain course, etc. The Selections Officer tries to fairly distribute the selections so that each Corps gets a reasonable percentage of Cadets selected. Because the Selections Officer does not know every Cadet at every Corps, he/she looks the recommendations and priority lists provided by the Commanding Officers. The Selections Officer tries to make sure that those Cadets that each Commanding Officer ranked higher and gave strong recommendations for actually get course offers…provided they meet the criteria for the courses they apply for, or a waiver can be justified. It is not a perfect science, not every Cadet who is most deserving gets selected, and not every Cadet who gets selected is necessarily more deserving than someone who did not. In general it tends to balance out, but we understand that it doesn’t always feel that way if you were not selected.

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I was selected for course X, but I really wanted course Y. What should I do? Can I get changed to a different course?

Not everyone gets selected for their first choice of course. If you are not completely happy with your course offer, you can come talk to the Officer staff to see about switching to another course if a spot opens up on it. This can happen sometimes, just like getting selected from the Standby list. It is highly recommended that you accept the course you were offered, and let us know that you would still like to be considered for your first choice. We will send a request to the Selection Officer to let him/her know that you would like to change if a spot opens up. We do not recommend that you decline the offer that you were given. If you decline, you can move to the Standby list, but you will be at the bottom of the priority list, and very likely will not get selected for anything.

If you wish to decline the course offered, you must contact Ship’s Office immediately so that the offer can go to another Cadet.

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How many Cadets from RCSCC GRILSE will get selected?

There is no easy way to know. As outlined in the last paragraph of the previous question, there are only a certain number of spots available, which have to be distributed fairly amongst all the Sea Cadet Corps in BC. Usually anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of the Cadets from GRILSE who apply get accepted.

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I was selected, what next?

You will be given a form called an Offer of Participation. It will list the course, Summer Training Center, and dates of training. You choose whether you will accept or decline the offer. If you wish to decline the course offered, you must contact Ship’s Office immediately so that the offer can go to another Cadet. If you accept, you must sign it, and so must your parents. Once you have signed the form, we use the computer system to click that you have accepted, and the spot is confirmed for you. If you do not accept it within a reasonable time, the Selection Officer at RCSU will take the offer away and give it to someone else.

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What do I pack?

You will get “Joining Instructions” for your Summer Training Center (STC), which will tell you everything you need to know about coming to that STC, what to pack, what the mailing address is so your parents or friends can send you mail, etc.

Joining Instructions for Summer Training Centers which our Cadets will attend will be published here.

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When will I leave / come home? How will I travel?

You will get a document called a Movement Order a couple of weeks before you have to leave. Generally, whatever date your Offer of Participation says that your course starts, you will leave the Saturday before. Whatever date your Offer of Participation says your course ends, you will likely be home the next day. Your Movement Order will tell you what dates you will be traveling, when and where you need to be, when and where your parents are to pick you up and will have a 1-800 number to contact the RCSU Movements staff in case of any problems (eg, car broke down on the way to the airport, so you will be late, or you woke up very sick that morning and cannot go.) You MUST carry a copy of the Movement Order with you, and leave a second copy with your parents.

Remember that all Cadets MUST carry government issued photo identification when they travel, especially if you will be flying. This is an air travel security regulation, not just a Cadet Organization rule, and so we have no control over it. An airline could deny you for boarding if you do not have proper photo ID.

Parents picking up the Cadet must also carry government issued photo identification to prove your identity when you pick up your child. This policy is for your child’s safety. If for some reason you need to have a different family member or friend pick up your child, or if they will be picked up the parent of another Cadet, you MUST complete a Cdt 118 Parent Pickup Form to indicate the name of the person who will be picking up your child. You can type right in to the form and then print it. This form must be signed by the Commanding Officer.

You can learn more about Summer Training Travel here.

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My parents want to drop me off / pick me up at the Summer Training Center, how do we do that? Or my parents cannot pick me up when I return, can a relative / neighbour / family friend / other Cadet parent pick me up?

If you need to make special arrangements for drop off or pick up of your child for Summer Training (eg, if you want to drop your child off or pick them up personally at the Summer Traning Center) please download a Cdt 118 Parent Pickup Form. You can type right in to the form and then print it. This form must be signed by the Commanding Officer who will then submit it to the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific.) Bring the completed form to Ship’s Office on a parade night. During July and August, contact the Commanding Officer directly to make arrangements to deliver the form.

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My parents want to come visit me at Summer Training, can they do that?

Each STC will have Open House days, where parents can come and watch a parade and see you for a short while afterwards. They may join you in the galley for lunch for a small cost. Other than Open House dates, it is NOT RECOMMEDED for parents to come for a visit. You will be busy training from early in the morning until late in the evening, and will not have a lot of “down time.” If you miss training, you may miss something important that could cause you to fail your course. Also, Cadets are not always at the STC every single day. Sometimes they are on overnight hikes, overnight sail trips, out on the water doing day sailing, out in the field doing other training, etc. If a parent just “stops by” to visit, a Cadet may not even be available.

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Can my parents call me while I am at Summer Training?

It is recommend that a parent only call in the case of a family emergency. There are around 800 to 1000 Cadets at a Summer Training Center at any given time, so taking calls from parents every day would be highly impractical! The Cadet should be responsible to phone home and talk to his/her parents on an agreed schedule, eg, twice per week. In case of a family emergency, the phone number for the STC will be listed in the Joining Instructions. Please only use it in case of an emergency. The call will be answered by the STC Office, who will take a message, and have the Cadet call you back as soon as possible.

Parents: if your child has not called you for a few days, don’t panic! Cadets who do not call are usually having a great time, keeping busy, making friends and having fun. If they do not call you, that is a good thing, it means they are doing well! If anything is wrong with them, if they get injured and have to go to the hospital, or if they are having a serious problem at the STC, the STC Staff will call you. If you do not hear from the STC, then usually, “no news is good news!”

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Can I bring my cell phone?

Yes, the Summer Training Centers allow Cadets to bring their personal cell phones to Summer Training.  However, there are rules regarding when and how cell phones may be used.  Each STC will have its’ own rules regarding cell phone use, so check the Joining Instructions for the STC you will be attending.  In general, cell phone rules at an STC are similar to the rules at many schools.  Cadets are not normally allowed to carry their cell phones around with them, they must remain secured in their lockers and used only during free time.  Cadets may not use their cell phones during training time, or after lights out, or any other time that may be disruptive to training or other Cadets’ privacy and right to quiet times.  In addition, use of cell phone cameras must respect other Cadets personal space and privacy within the barracks.

Cadets who use their cell phones in a manner that violates the STC’s rules may have their phones confiscated.

Cell phones, like any other electronic item, are brought at the Cadet’s own risk.  The STC will assume no liability for damaged, lost or stolen items.  Always keep your cell phone locked in your locker when not in use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MROs

Monthly Routine Orders can be found here:

MROs Page

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