Joining the Cadets - is it free?

#1
Quick answer required.

Is there a joining fee to pay when you join the ACF?

Just asking because when both my kids joined, they paid £10 that was described as a deposit against loss of kit. Has this now become a fee that isn't returned when the cadet leaves, having handed back all issued kit?
 
#2
I had to pay a "fee" in case of none returned kit and that was 20 odd years ago....still waiting to have it returned.
 
#3
I've done a quick search of websites and a joining fee is quoted on some but not others. The fee seems to vary quite a bit as well, from £12.50 to £25.00 IIRC. The main ACF website only mentions a deposit for kit, without details of how much.

Some of the websites quoting a joining fee say that this is to cover the cost of insurance cover. Wouldn't this be covered by MOD insurance (or at least the drawerful of cash set aside for such)?
 
#4
The £10 is a contribution to the insurance cover and is not to cover loss of kit. If kit is not returned, parents/guardians SHOULD receive a bill.
 
#5
DS Solution : The £12.50 (it should be) is indeed an insurance contribution (this is administered by ACFA). This is a one off payment for however long the cadet remains a member, any shortfall over the years is made up from County funds (although a cadet who leaves after 3 months will obviously subsidise those who stay). There is also an element to pay for cleaning and refurbishment of returned uniform.
 
#6
Thanks for the replies.

It's just that the lad got his cash back when he left 2 years ago. The daughter has been told tonight that she won't be getting it back. And the niece, who is in the process of joining, is under the impression that it's refundable - as this was what I was told when my kids joined.

Evidently not a scam, then.

Is this a relatively new thing, or were my original receipts misworded?
 
#7
putteesinmyhands said:
Quick answer required.

Is there a joining fee to pay when you join the ACF?

Just asking because when both my kids joined, they paid £10 that was described as a deposit against loss of kit. Has this now become a fee that isn't returned when the cadet leaves, having handed back all issued kit?
There is no fee for an adult to join the ACF. Individual Detachments or some County ACF's may charge a deposit on cadet's uniforms pending their return. When the kit is returned in good condition with the exception of normal wear and tear then that deposit must by law be refunded. Whoever decided that you cannot have your deposit back is either on the make or has acted illegally. Chase that money up with the Detachment. If within reasonable time it is not refunded then initiate a complaint directly to the CEO at the County Headquarters.
 
#8
The confusion seems to have been cleared up, at least partly. Miss Puttees saw a copy of the original receipt - it did say "Joining Fee". My mistake. Thinking back, I'd won first prize in a sunshine holiday competition when she joined, so I can't have seen the receipt.

Apparently there remains only one cadet in the detachment that is entitled to the return of the money when he leaves. Presumably he joined at a time when it was a deposit as opposed to a fee.

The issue seems to have raised a bit of a stir at the detachment, though. All the cadets had been under the impression that the money was a deposit. Perhaps this would be a worthwhile issue to raise within the ACF chain of command. As I stated earlier, the main ACF web page makes no mention of a fee, nor do some county pages.

On a cheery note, Miss Puttees handed her kit in tonight, but enjoyed the evening so much, she's thinking about going back - wonder if this will cost another £10.
 
#9
putteesinmyhands said:
The confusion seems to have been cleared up, at least partly. Miss Puttees saw a copy of the original receipt - it did say "Joining Fee". My mistake. Thinking back, I'd won first prize in a sunshine holiday competition when she joined, so I can't have seen the receipt.

Apparently there remains only one cadet in the detachment that is entitled to the return of the money when he leaves. Presumably he joined at a time when it was a deposit as opposed to a fee.

The issue seems to have raised a bit of a stir at the detachment, though. All the cadets had been under the impression that the money was a deposit. Perhaps this would be a worthwhile issue to raise within the ACF chain of command. As I stated earlier, the main ACF web page makes no mention of a fee, nor do some county pages.

On a cheery note, Miss Puttees handed her kit in tonight, but enjoyed the evening so much, she's thinking about going back - wonder if this will cost another £10.
In mu humble oppinion any half decent Detachment commander faced with a cadet wanting to leave would have a chat with that cadet and would try to find out why said cadet wanted to leave. If the cadet still wanted to go I would suggest a leave of absence for a month. If after that time the csdet wants to leave then ok. If the cadet wants to return then no problem.

I am not against charging cadets a deposit for their uniform, just as long as they can actually afford the deposit and as long as it is returned when they leave. However, I remain vehemently opposed to the ACF charging cadets to join the ACF. In some cases these kids come from poor families who parents just wont give them £10.00 or £25.00 or whatever to join. Moreover, ofen kids join to get away from a bad homelife and only get a decent meal whilst at camp. This is not every case but I am satisfied each and every Officer/AI has come accross this situation. Under these circumstances a charge is grossly unfair.

I remain satisfied that the TA should actually start getting back the thousands upon thousands of pounds worth of kit that never gets handed in when someone leaves. Mind you, when it turns up on the local car boot for peanuts and a cadet buys it, then perhaps its not totally wasted. This is a small example of kit I have seen at Hemswell Cliff car boot.

Brand new and used infantry bergans, DPM
Brand new and used CS95 webbing, DPM
Brand new and used assault boots
Brand new and used kevlar helmets
Brand new and used respirators
 
#10
wo1slashedpeak said:
putteesinmyhands said:
The confusion seems to have been cleared up, at least partly. Miss Puttees saw a copy of the original receipt - it did say "Joining Fee". My mistake. Thinking back, I'd won first prize in a sunshine holiday competition when she joined, so I can't have seen the receipt.

Apparently there remains only one cadet in the detachment that is entitled to the return of the money when he leaves. Presumably he joined at a time when it was a deposit as opposed to a fee.

The issue seems to have raised a bit of a stir at the detachment, though. All the cadets had been under the impression that the money was a deposit. Perhaps this would be a worthwhile issue to raise within the ACF chain of command. As I stated earlier, the main ACF web page makes no mention of a fee, nor do some county pages.

On a cheery note, Miss Puttees handed her kit in tonight, but enjoyed the evening so much, she's thinking about going back - wonder if this will cost another £10.
In mu humble oppinion any half decent Detachment commander faced with a cadet wanting to leave would have a chat with that cadet and would try to find out why said cadet wanted to leave. If the cadet still wanted to go I would suggest a leave of absence for a month. If after that time the csdet wants to leave then ok. If the cadet wants to return then no problem.

I am not against charging cadets a deposit for their uniform, just as long as they can actually afford the deposit and as long as it is returned when they leave. However, I remain vehemently opposed to the ACF charging cadets to join the ACF. In some cases these kids come from poor families who parents just wont give them £10.00 or £25.00 or whatever to join. Moreover, ofen kids join to get away from a bad homelife and only get a decent meal whilst at camp. This is not every case but I am satisfied each and every Officer/AI has come accross this situation. Under these circumstances a charge is grossly unfair.

I remain satisfied that the TA should actually start getting back the thousands upon thousands of pounds worth of kit that never gets handed in when someone leaves. Mind you, when it turns up on the local car boot for peanuts and a cadet buys it, then perhaps its not totally wasted. This is a small example of kit I have seen at Hemswell Cliff car boot.

Brand new and used infantry bergans, DPM
Brand new and used CS95 webbing, DPM
Brand new and used assault boots
Brand new and used kevlar helmets
Brand new and used respirators

Sorry about the spelling. Dyslexia.
 
#11
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with wo1sp on this one. ;)

Miss Puttees did get the chat and actually had about three months to make her mind up (even then, it remained open ended). The problems about continuing cadets started with coursework overburden - she had it stolen and had to catch up six months work in three weeks. One of her other activities changed venue and evening, clashing with one of the cadet evenings. Then she got a Saturday job.

This left her with the ability to attend only one evening a week and a reduced number of weekends (the shop she works for on the Saturday have grown reliant on her and she doesn't want to let them down). She just doesn't feel that she can maintain credibility as a L/Bdr if she attends on a reduced basis. Plus, she won't get the opportunity to progress further.

They're keeping her kit at the detachment for a few weeks, just in case she changes her mind.

As far as kit deposits are concerned, I'd suspect that when a cadet finishes, they either return all of the kit, or none. In that respect, a deposit isn't really going to make much difference when you consider the value of the kit that is issued. It could be an idea to charge a deposit, say £10, for the initial issue, but return it in stages. Perhaps £5 back after 10 attendances and a £5 discount for the cadet's first camp. These aren't massive amounts, but as wo1sp mentions, for the hard-up families, it's significant.

With regard to the insurance, I don't know why the Army can't just take this on the chin. It's not as if, even considering the entire Cadet Force, it comes to a large amount in comparison to the Army's budget. As far as the government is concerned, the ACF gets kids off the street and teaches them some old-fashioned values.
 
#12
Just some answers to the points raised above:

My Detachment doesn't charge a deposit (at present). It's easy enough to get missing uniform written off (at present). My policy will change if the situation changes.

I have spent hours with cadets (over the years) trying to get coherent reasons for leaving out of them. Without exception, it's been a waste of time. A cadet who gets as far as bringing their kit back is a lost cause (for the time being at least), but I've never known one come back.

Cadets do not "either hand it all in or not". There are very few complete uniforms returned. As we all do, cadets like to keep their brassards and attendant badges at least, cap badges are another favourite. Some years ago when combat jackets were in vogue among the young, we got almost none of these back!
 
#13
Miss Puttees was presented with her brassard. Nice touch.
 
#14
I charge a joining fee, but I do not run a weekly subs thingy.

The dosh I collect goes into Detachment funds which subsidises some of our activities and has helped out three cdts going to Annual Camp this year.

If a full uniform is handed in and the cdt requests it then I refund a percentage of the fee.

A recruit into my Detachment has 12 weeks to the point where the money has to be handed over, this gives them and me time to see if they like the cadets. Generally once they are enrolled and paid the fee they stay the course.

I have yet to have a cdt or parent ask for a refund
 
#15
We do not charge our cadets insurance, or even subs.

We make enough out of the NAFFI to help cover the shortfall in exercises etc.

A weekend exercise costs around £10 and annual camps are set by County but Group Camps (which are basically a bigger weekend camp) are also just a tenner.

:)
 
#16
My brother has just joined and has been asked for a £25 deposit for kit, subs at his meetings and he has to buy his own boots which is another £20. Needless to say this is quiet a lot of money for my mom or my brother to find. They don't mind paying the deposit as long as it is just that a deposit for the return of the kit. Either way he wants to join and if thats what he has to pay then so be it.
 
#17
There seems to be a quite a difference in what some units charge compared to others.

Do any Det Commanders on here make their own decision on what to charge as a joining fee/deposit and or 'subs'. Or is it decided by County HQ?

My county charges a joining fee of £15 which according to the the enrolment form goes towards insurance, I've never heard (until now) of cadets paying a refundable deposit. The £15 my cadets have to pay is non refundable, even if they only stay a short time, which is why I encourage them to wait until they are sure they are going to stay before bringing in the money.

I don't charge subs as the 'Naafi' profits boost the det funds. Although some dets in my Company do charge subs.

Neither have I ever heard of an ex- cadets parents being charged for uniform not being handed back, it's simply written off by the CAA.
 
#18
In my county cadets pay a £10 fee when they join which is non refundable. This goes towards insurance for the duration of the time that they are in the ACF.

The only other cost involved is for a pair of boots & for camps, weekends cost £7 and annual camp cost is set by County HQ but is usually £50.

I have heard of other counties charging cadets subs but none of the Detachments in my county do. Most run their own Naafis, which as combat_barbie said, boosts detachment funds.
 
#19
The variations in joining fees, essentially an insurance cover, suggests to me (an outsider) that each County arranges its own insurance.

Two thoughts come to mind:
1. Wouldn't insurance cover be more economical if all the insurance were arranged by a single organisation (ACF HQ, or whatever it's called)? With the total amount involved, insurance companies would be fighting each other for the custom and premiums would fall as a result.
2. If the insurance were arranged centrally, presumably joining fees would be uniform across the country and the ACF website could offer meaningful advice on its website in relation to the enrolment process.
 
#20
When i joined cadets in the mid 90s it was £25.00, however subs was only 30p a night and you only paid once you got your uniform,weekend camp £5.00 and annual camp £20.00. You did have to get you own boots if you got new then £25.00 second hand about £12.00 and then little bits and bobs on top. Now i am a det comd i charge £25.00 deposit they get the whole thing back when they go, aslong as the kit is in good order ie not cut to s**t. If a cadet dose not turn up for a month then the phone call is made and explain to the parents that as of now the deposit is payin for the nights that the cadets is not here and if they bring in the kit then it stops. Most people bring back the kit the next night and deposit is given back
 

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