Hello and Happy November to all!
At this point in a normal training year we are extremely busy with many weeknight and weekend activities, including Band & Drill, Remembrance Day Parades, Field Training Exercise, and Poppy Campaign, however this is not a normal year.
We successfully started up with virtual training in September and that is going well, with excellent attendance. There is always room for improvement, as we all learn how to provide the air cadet experience virtually, overcome technical challenges, and work hard to provide our senior cadets with the skills and tools they need to provide fun and engaging online learning. As you know one of the aims of the program is cadets leading cadets, and the staff are working with the Senior cadets weekly on this.
Unfortunately, with the rise in Covid-19 cases in Halton Hills, nearby regions, and the province, in-person training is not approved at this time. Our plan is to continue virtual training to the end of 2020 and re-evaluate periodically as the situation changes. In addition to continuous improvement on the Monday evening Parade nights, OCdt Black and Catherine Hoskin, the Squadron Sponsor Committee (SSC) Chair, are working on some online challenges and contests with prizes! More information to come on that soon.
Our virtual Ground School is now up and running in October, with CV Trudeau providing great in-depth training on the Ground School portion of pilot training. This is very technical and prepares the cadets to eventually write the required exams to qualify for either the Glider Pilot or Power Pilot Programs (once they resume). Most cadets go through this course two or three times to prepare for the exams. This is also open to parents as well if you are interested. A requirement is the purchase of “From the Ground Up” as this is the textbook used. It can be obtained online, from numerous aviation stores, or the Brampton Flying Club shop. In addition to 756 cadets, we have cadets from 789 Squadron in Mississauga joining online, for a total of almost thirty cadets! Hats off to CV Trudeau and his support team (family) for making this happen!
Despite the limitations of virtual training, 756 Wild Goose is growing with quite a few new cadets joining this fall. I ask that you bear with us while we develop and improve our virtual training and prepare for eventual in-person training. Please measure and submit the uniform measurements as per the following link: http://www.756sqn.com/index.php/resources/supply-uniform. Once ordered, we will work on a process to distribute the new uniforms. We are looking forward to meeting you in person!
Normally we are actively supporting the Royal Canadian Legion with numerous activities, including the annual Poppy Campaign. Although we are not allowed to participate, I urge all of you to please purchase a poppy and support the local Legion. Additionally, we are not allowed to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremonies this year, but we have purchased wreaths to lay at both the Glen Williams and Georgetown cenotaphs in support of the Legion.
For returning cadets, please complete the Annual Validation Form sent to your parents/guardians (if not completed yet). This is important so that any changes in contact information, change of address, or change in medical conditions are on file. Some of you may be asked to complete a Detailed Health Questionnaire (DHQ) form. These need to be returned in a sealed envelope in person, and arrangements can be made with OCdt Black. Please DO NOT drop them off at the Armoury, as we are not in that location often.
In order to communicate effectively we are using three avenues:
- Facebook: We have a private group set up and many announcements/updates are posted there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/756sqn. You must apply for access, as this is a closed Facebook group.
- Squadron Web Page: All of the announcements/updates posted on the Facebook group are also on the Squadron Web Page (http://www.756sqn.com/), as well as a wealth of information, such as uniforms, training documents, Parent Handbook, calendar, New Recruit Handbook, etc. You must be a registered user to access some of the features and information.
- SSC Email: Periodically the Squadron Sponsor Committee (SSC) will send out emails concerning items they are responsible for, fundraising, the assessment fee, upcoming activities, and updates (on request) from the Commanding Officer.
And finally, Bravo Zulu (congratulations) to the cadets and staff for their continued support, dedication, and perseverance in these times, for the Air Cadet program. Its success is directly related to you.
As always, parents/guardians, please contact me directly if you have any concerns or questions at the email/number below. Cadets, please reach out to a senior cadet (FSgt and up) if you have questions.
Capt Shaun Laverty
Commanding Officer, 756 Wild Goose RC(Air)CS
National Defence / Government of Canada
Commandant, ERAC 756 Wild Goose
Défense nationale / Gouvernement du Canada