Dear, Cadets, Families, and Staff Members of 121 Red Arrows.
I trust that you are all taking precautions during this unprecedented time in our lives and that you remain well. Due to your timely reporting and precautions, we can safely say that no 121 Cadets, families or Staff have contracted the virus. Let’s do our part in keeping it that way. We are keeping our eyes and ears open to new developments in the Cadet Program.
Brigadier-General D.B. Cochrane, Commander National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa, has just given us direction and updated us as to how we will conduct activities at all Squadrons and Corps nationally. Here are the key points that may or may not affect you.
The original potential Standing Up of activities at the Squadron was to be Tues 7 Apr 2020. The Stand Down has now been extended until 30 Apr 2020. He will direct us before that time if the Stand Down will be extended.
All Cadet inbound and outbound international exchanges and training through the summer have been cancelled.
All National Courses have been postponed until 1 Jul 2020.
We have no direction at this point if summer courses will be cancelled but will alert you once we know either way.
I am sure BGen Cochrane has thought hard, consulted the medical experts, and has had to make some difficult decisions about extending the Stand Down. You know he is personally responsible for Cadets, Junior Rangers, and Staff and I can assure you that he is looking out for our welfare.
My Staff and I miss you and miss seeing you on Parade and at our various activities. During the Stand Down, we have been meeting virtually to plan how we will keep your enthusiasm and engagement throughout the coming weeks. More information will come out shortly.
We ask you to complete the bi-weekly survey to tell us if your health situation has changed due to the virus. This provides us valuable information on how we as a Squadron are managing the pandemic. Capt Craig Miller is managing the survey and our social media messages in order to deliver and receive that information.
If you or your family have any questions or concerns, or just want to tell us how you are doing, I would really enjoy hearing from you. I remain in isolation to do my part and working from home. You can reach me at email@example.com
Please visit these links for further direction and information should you need.
Recently we have had some concerns raised both from the leadership at the 11th Field Regiment, as well as our own Officers in relation to the safety and security of cadets. These concerns will be explained below along with subsequent changes, which will be implemented immediately, hopefully correcting these issues.
Issue #1- Building access
The 11th Field Regiment is more than gracious in allowing us to use parts of their building. There has been documented times where cadet parents, and non-cadet civilians let in by a propped open door, were found in areas of the building they should not have been. Being a Federal Military establishment the armoury is a restricted access property. We do not have permission to wonder throughout the building and persons caught doing so maybe subject to search and detainment as per Federal law.
Effectively immediately, all access to and from the armoury will be through the front door (faces Wyndham). This streamlines access as it is a straight line to the drill hall and stairwells. An Duty Officer will be present, from 1815-2200 hrs, or for the duration of the event, at the front door to control access to the building.
Attendance is taken each night of all cadets, officers and civilian staff so that in the event of an emergency a head count can be done once the squadron has exited the structure. For this same reason, along with the need to maintain building security, a visitors’ log may be added to the front door control officers desk. If this occurs all visitors will be required to sign in and sign out of the building.
Do not stop on Wyndham Street in front of the armoury to drop off your cadet. This is extremely dangerous and illegal.
Issue #2- Parking
The armoury is the place of business for the 11th Field Regiment and does not include any public parking places. Parking along the cement wall is reserved for 11th Field staff and the main parking lot for Officers and civilian volunteers. Effective immediately there is no parking for parents in the main parking lot. Those in violation will be asked to move and/ or face fines. The only exception to this is persons requiring the use of the disabled parking spots. Anyone with a valid permit may continue to use these spots.
As a compromise, 11th Field has granted us access to the locked compound to use for parking during our events. The compound will be opened from 1815 to 2200 for parental parking but the gates will be closed and locked at 2200. If you anticipate not returning to your vehicle before 2200 you may use the municipal parking area between Surrey St E and Fountain St E. Please do not park in areas used by local business such as the fast food restaurants between Wellington and Surrey. Also note there is no parking on Farquhar or Wellington Streets.
Issue # 3- Parking lot safety
Issue #3A- Drop off
With over 100 cars coming and going each night safety is a huge concern. Recently there have been numerous close calls in the parking lot attributed to parents performing illegal maneuvers, parking in restricted areas, turning into traffic, passing vehicles etc.
Effective immediately parents parking in marked fire routes
will be ticketed with zero tolerance. This includes during all cadet activities
and locations such as drill and band at William C. Winegard Public School.
As shown in the picture below, the route through the parking lot will be maintained for one way vehicle traffic. This means a single file loop with a marked drop off point where cadets may exit the vehicles. Cadets with excessive equipment, such as having to obtain instruments from car trunks, are encouraged to park in the compound so as to not slow down the flow of traffic. The drop off area will be staffed by adult volunteers to ensure flow is maintained and cadets access building safely. We ask this drop off line be kept as single file to ensure there is an open lane for emergency vehicles to access the building if so needed.
This drop off line is a courtesy. If cars continue to park in fire routes, reserved parking spaces, texting/driving around cadets or if Officers feel cadet safety cannot be maintained, the parking lot will be blocked off with the only parent access being the compound area.
Issue #3B- Pick up
Parents are asked to park in the compound area and wait in
their vehicles when they pick up their cadets at the end of the evening. This
is a change for many who come in to the armoury to hear announcements. Please ensure your cadet
has a small notepad and a pen/pencil or cell phone so they can take notes. (Suggestion
– synchronize your phone calendars so when they enter announcements they go to
your phone also!)
No vehicle traffic
is permitted in the main parking lot from 2045- 2200 to ensure the safety of
In the event that the gate tot he compound is locked and no parking is available, parents are asked to use the municipal parking area between Surrey St E and Fountain St E. Please do not park in areas used by local businesses such as fast food restaurants between Wellington and Surrey. You are free to leave your vehicles there and walk up to the armoury if you wish to escort your child back to your vehicle.
Please note that all announcements are posted on the squadron website and officers can be reached via email throughout the week. All cadets are expected to be using Slack to communicate with their chain of command. They are also expected to check the website for information on a regular basis.
This year we are trying a new communication tool. Slack is a private work space that only those invited are able to access. Every cadet with an email address should be added to the work space and sorted into appropriate channels so they are aware of what is going on within the squadron. When a cadet doesn’t have an email address, a parent may be included.
When you receive your invitation to join Slack, accept it and get to know our work space. Amend your profile by clicking on your name, then click on the ‘edit profile’ box; an ‘edit your profile’ window will open. In this window you can amend your name and upload a photo. Make your ‘display name’ your rank and surname (with an initial if necessary for clarity between siblings, common surnames, etc.). Parents can enter their cadet’s name, or a title (e.g. Mrs. Ms. Mr.) and surname.
Have a look at the channels. Everyone has immediate access to the ‘general’, ‘op-easy-comms’, and ‘random’ channels. In the ‘general’ channel you will find the most posts about upcoming events, announcements, etc. Messages will be deleted when they are no longer relevant. In the ‘op-easy-comms’ channel you will find some instructions about using Slack. In the ‘random’ channel you will find interesting bits of cadet-related info.
Cadets, you will find yourself added to channels, like flight and level, and any clubs or programs you join. On these channels you will receive important messages about parade nights and weekly activities. Be certain to check these frequently. If something new has been added since you were last on Slack, the channel will be in bold font.
Lastly, this work space is not for private messaging or anything not cadet related. The channels and messages will be monitored by adult staff. Abuse of this work space will result in administrative sanctions and perhaps expulsion from the cadet program.
Please download and read the Cadet Code of Conduct. This is the same Code of Conduct signed by cadets earlier this year. This post serves only as a reminder to our current cadets and as information for parents and family members of the Code by which the Canadian Cadet Organisation operates.
Cadets and Parents – Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to talk with any of our staff.