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Hello Phantom Family!

I have a couple of things to discuss here so I will get right to it, starting with some “housekeeping” points.

The Squadron cell phone. The Sqn cell phone is checked for texts generally on Friday evening, so if you message that you can’t make it and don’t get a response, that’s why. If you call, you may have been confused by the voice mail message. Rather than pass the phone to the duty officer on a week to week basis, as a rule, I just forward the Squadron cell to my personal cell phone. This is why the voicemail message may seem odd at times. It’s still me, and you can still leave a message.

We have had a couple of instances now where we have cancelled parades or events due to inclement weather. I want to take a moment and lay out how I decide to cancel or not. Because of our wide catchment area, if I think the weather isn’t going to co-operate I check The Weather Network for Hamilton, Grimsby, Smithville, Beamsville, and St. Catharines. Looking at weather leading up to start time, during the event and for after to anticipate the drive home. Depending on the time of day, I also ask the staff because they live and/or work in all of the above areas they can often tell me what road and weather conditions are like in real-time.

I take that info and I make a decision. If I am going to cancel something I will post on The Sqn Facebook page No Later Than (NLT) 1600h. With that being said, you are always encouraged to use your best judgement. If you or your parents aren’t comfortable with the driving conditions, stay home. No issues from me.

The question has been asked about why do I use the Facebook page versus sending an email. So, to understand that you need to understand with me, I’m not so much with the technology. If I wasn’t married to the woman I am I’m sure I would still be going into the bank to pay my bills (ask your parents about that, maybe your grandparents). Essentially, all of your email addresses are inputted into our system and we have access to them but to get them as lists, or even just to the whole squadron, I would have to access from a computer. All I can do from my phone or iPad is one name at a time. And I can’t guarantee that I will have access to a computer when a decision needs to be made (if I’m at work for example). But with Facebook I can access everything, it’s quick and easy to do. So that’s why that is.

Next to talk about is our numbers; I’m sure you have noticed we have been parading fewer cadets than usual. While there is a normal ebb and flow to unit size, we certainly seem to be more ebb than flow these days. So in conjunction with the SSC and CV Thompson, FSgt Gardner will be tackling recruiting. There is a note in the RO about recruiting and how to contact FSgt Gardner if you are interested in helping her. She has some great ideas and with some help, I have every confidence in her success. The goal is to be between 100 and 110 cadets. What this will allow is three shooting teams at the Zone Marksmanship, this will allow more teams at NAG sports comp, and it will also allow more folks the opportunity to write for Power and Glider scholarships. More cadets means more opportunities.

This week on 21 Feb will be professional development for level four and five cadets. Highlighted by my wife coming in to talk about creative lesson planning and execution. My wife is one of the smartest people I know and very qualified to talk to you about this, she is very much looking forward to it.

Coming up on 22 Feb, WO2 Clitheroe will be representing 62 Sqn at the Wing 10 Effective Speaking competition.

Coming up on 29 Feb we will be sending two teams to the Zone Marksmanship competition.

Also on 29 Feb is the NGTA Band Clinic in Toronto.

March 7th will be the second and final WO2 Merit Review Board for the training year.

And March 14-19 is, of course, the March Break trip. I am so looking forward to the trip this year! It isn’t an exact replica of the previous trip, we are trying to get a different location or two in the mix and Mr. Leonard has confirmed that one of our dinners will be Big Dave’s BBQ. My mouth is already watering!

So that’s what cadets are up to. The training cell right now is focused on a couple of big things. First is summer camp (we are starting to get a Staff Cadet Offers of Participation) and getting all that data entered into FORTRESS. The second big thing is getting the outline of the 2020/2021 training year together. At the end of March OCdt Fry will be going to Toronto to meet with the Training Officers from across the NGTA to make sure we will be able to get support for our desired training weekends.

I would also like to take a moment to congratulate OCdt Fry and OCdt Gardner. Both have recently completed their Basic Officer Training Course (BOTC), OCdt Fry has also just completed Distance Learning (DL) component of her Occupational Training Course (OTC), is geared up for the In House (IH) component of her OTC and is a hairs’ breadth away from being loaded on her Air Elemental Training Course (AETC) DL and IH.

Capt Boyle has competed his Standard First Aid training and is loaded on the Administration Officer course. There is so much training offered to new officers it almost makes me want to go back to being an OCdt myself!

Almost.

I will leave you with one final thought. Traditionally, right after Christmas is a “lull” for most cadet units. January to March a break are traditionally slow times. But once March Break is over then it’s full speed ahead to NAG FTX, Band and Drill Competitions, ACR, and and and and. Then summer camp, and we do all again in September. My thought is this: If you think your cadet career is in a lull, what can you do to re-energize it? And how can we help? As a group we feed off each other’s energies, so what can we do to get that spark back? Think about it.

See you on parade!

Excellere Contende

Major RA Robinson, CD

Commanding Officer

co@62phantomaircadets.ca

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