“My unit does not do anything with DDR. How do I get my cadets involved in this program?”
A lot of units struggle with this issue so we went to some successful members and asked them about it.
Lt Danny L. Carter, PCR-WA-069 says:
1. Find a senior and cadet that are interested in the program.
2. Develop an action plan for the fiscal year that can include a 15 to 30 minute training period per month at the squadron level; Red Ribbon Week activity; Let’s Go Flying; Fit For Flying; the new Red Ribbon Week Leadership Academy; and numerous DDRX events throughout the year.
3. Many lesson plans can come from the CAP DDR website, Army Substance Abuse Program, and Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Coordinator at your local Air Force Base.
4. Contact local community substance free groups like SADD, MADD, SWAT and etc to conduct presentation and possible joint events. These groups are great to talk about the CAP DDR program as well as possible recruiting tools for both senior and cadets.
5. When conducting external events be sure to plan ahead and have enough resources available. For free pamphlets that are based towards youth and adults alike go to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. For some excellent documentary that has numerous interviews with people that were addicted to drugs can be found at Drug Free World.
6. You can order promotional items through CAP DDR if your squadron is within 30 miles of an Air Force Base installation (see capmembers.com/ddr for list of eligible units).
Lt Joe Wolff, NER-NY-118/NER-NY-219 says:
The first and most important step is the Squadron CC and the Cadet OIC's decision to incorporate the DDR program into their program.
The easiest activities to start with are briefings about different drugs or current events. These can be given by either seniors or cadets.
Another way to get cadets interested in DDR is through the use of Fatal Vision Goggles which simulate alcohol impairment. This activity can be followed up with discussions about alcohol use and abuse. Local police departments may have additional tools such as DWI simulators. Drug identification displays can be used to show cadets what different drugs look like and how deceptive looking some may be. Videos from a local library about drugs can be very effective in showing cadets the effects of drug use. If your squadron does public recruiting events, add a DDR display to show parents that CAP is a good alternative to drug use. Cadet Ken is very effective in getting the public to notice us.
Lt Nanette Berg, NCR-MN-010 says:
Our DDR Team gives presentations within our squadron, as well as to schools and non-profit organizations, such as 4-H programs. We have also been a part of National Night Out, and various parades.
Our DDR Team goals for the year might look something like this:
-Offer our DDR presentation to all the area schools for Red Ribbon Week
-Send email letters to each area school district outlining our presentation.
-Ask all cadets to approach their superintendent/principal about the possibility of a DDR presentation.
-Present within the squadron on 3 different DDR topics/drugs.
-Share DDR information at one community event.
-Make sure at least 2 articles are printed in the media about our activities
-Hold one DDR event at the squadron level aimed at informing the public
-Lock-In for teens
-Informational open-house for parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens, complete with DDR informational display booths, DDR games/activities, and prizes, such as candy, ribbons, wristbands, etc.
Our presentations include 5 parts:
1. Introduction: We take a minute or two to introduce each team member and their role within the team or squadron, as well as tell the audience a little about CAP.
2. Educational Component: We use the drug display kit and talk about the effect of chemicals on the brain and body, and the dangers involved.
3. An Activity: One of my favorites is making a paper quilt, with each “quilt square” representing an activity the student likes to do. We tie the hole-punched squares together with yarn, and talk about how each of them is responsible for picking activities that make the community safe because we are all in this life together, and our choices have an effect on total well-being of the community)
4. Personal/Sharing: Those DDR Team members that wish to share personal DDR related stories are encouraged to do so. We pass out wrist bands, ribbons, pencils, etc during this time, as well.
5. Q & A: The audience is given a little time to ask questions. If we cannot answer the question at that time, we let them know we will try to find the answer and get back to them.
Overall, because the cadets understand the mission, help make decisions and set goals, they feel they are an integral part of the program, and participate actively. Cadets are the future, and have a desire to improve the communities they will live and work in; they just need a clear understanding of the mission.