What is tagging?
Tagging the major way cadets fundraise. Twice a year, cadets are sent in pairs to locations around Hespeler, Galt, and Preston where we have gotten permission to do our fundraising. Typically, more senior cadets are paired with new cadets to help teach newer cadets how tagging works. Cadets stand outside these locations (such as Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, grocery stores, Canadian Tire, and some Tim Hortons Donuts), with a box full of bookmarks designed by a cadet. The cadets ask benefactors if they would like to support Army Cadets, and the benefactor can put money in the sealed cash box. Shifts are typically 3 hours long, although there are a few special shifts that are longer (at the Cambridge Market, and at the Eastbound and Westbound Onroute locations), and count as 2 (or 3) shifts.
Tagging Shift and location information:
Our home base for tagging is the Galt legion, Branch 121 (4 veteran’s way). Reminder for all cadets and parents – when you enter the Legion, you MUST remove your headdress and/or any hat you are wearing. Don’t call the legion, we can’t answer their phone. Also, don’t call the Armoury – we won’t get those messages until Monday night.
On the tagging weekend, there will be tagging on 4 days:
Thursday. Arrive at the legion at 5:30pm. You will be dismissed from the legion by 9:15.
Friday. Arrive at the legion at 5:30pm. You will be dismissed from the legion by 9:15.
Saturday. Arrive at the legion at 8:30am. You will be brought in for lunch, and sent back out for the afternoon shift. You will be dismissed from the legion by 4:15.
Sunday Arrive at the Legion at 12:30 (noon). You will be dismissed by 4:15.
Perks! Fame! Fortune!
If you attend all 5 shifts, you get a $5.00 gift certificate to thank you for your service to your corps. You also get 5 ballots toward the $100 gift certificate.
We also have a contest for cadets to set their own goals and guess what our final number is going to be. We’ll take entries for that contest until Saturday at 5pm. The closest guess to the correct number gets $25.00 Cineplex gift card.
Funfact: Fall 2019, we raised $12086.05
Why do we do this?
The Department of National Defence (DND) does cover the cost of uniforms and some resources for the Army Cadets. 100% of the remaining funding for the Army League Cadets is the responsibility of the local cadet corps. The Support Committee works hard during the year to make relationships with locations so that we have the best opportunity to raise the most money. And all cadets have to do is stand there! EasyPeasy!
What do we use tagging money for?
- Entry into parades (Such as Canada Day and Santa Claus).
- Hot dinners and snacks for cadets during FTX, Christmas Mess dinner, Year end BBQ.
- Funding for our winter dance, awards and graduation banquet (new!), trophies and takeaways for award winners, and rental fees for the location of our Annual Cadet Review in June.
- Firewood and fuel for heaters on winter FTX.
- Training equipment such as band equipment and free musical training, permits for training locations outside the armoury, sports equipment.
- Optional Trips, like Rock Climbing, trampoline park, or curling, year end trips.
- Special uniform pieces not covered by the DND, such as nametags, sashes, balmorals, corps cap brass (instead of generic ones) on berets, GlenGarrys, swords, pace sticks, and flag party belts
- Paper to use in the office to print permissions sheets, kit lists, and lessons.
- The 21 Army Cadet phone line.
- Many other items in our $40,000+ yearly budget.
What to do when tagging:
The difference between getting a donation and not getting a donation can be as simple as smiling and saying hello! Here are some tips for a successful tagging event:
- Be polite to everyone who passes by you, regardless of their behaviour.
- Ask everyone who passes by you “Good (Evening/Morning/Afternoon ) Ma’am/Sir would you like to make a Donation to Army Cadets?”
- End every conversation with “Have a nice day!”
- Speak up! Be loud enough, clear with your words and to the point, chances are they’ll only take a couple of seconds to pass by you.
- You don’t have to stand still for 3 hours. Move around a bit to get the blood flowing in your legs.
- Some people want to chat with you. Tell them about your cadet experiences – camp, events you’ve enjoyed, what made you join, what you like best.
- If someone is rude to you, don’t engage. Some people, sadly, are like that. We don’t want other people to see you being rude back. We always want people to have a good interaction with us.
What not to do:
*Remember you are in the public eye, and for some people this might be their first time seeing a cadet, so do your best to make a good impression!
- Don’t leave your assigned location. In past, there was a tornado warning and we had to bring in cadets early. If you’re not where we were expecting you to be, it can be dangerous to you and the rest of your carload of cadets. Don’t leave your partner alone. That is a security risk for both of you.
- Don’t slouch, chew gum, take long breaks, talk on your phone, put in earbuds to listen to music.
- Don’t be in the way, but don’t hide, either. Make it convenient for them to donate.
- Don’t open your tagging boxes to see how much you have in there. If benefactors or drivers see you opening the box, it can look like you’re stealing, even if you’re not. That’s not a good impression.
What to say?
What is Army Cadets? It is the biggest youth organization in Canada that helps young people between the ages of 12-19. Cadets develop leadership skills and independence. Even better, though, tell them about your experience.
We just donated to you last week. There are 5 cadet groups (air cadet squadrons and army cadet corps in Kitchener and Cambridge) who have a slightly overlapping tagging area. You can mention that it was probably one of the other area corps or squadrons, as each group is only allowed to tag twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. But don’t argue with them.
You’re not supposed to be here. Sometimes there is a communication problem between the person we get permission from, and the person who is managing that day. We do have management or owner permission to be at every location where we send cadets, as well as a permit from the city of Cambridge. When other groups show up, they are often not supposed to be there. You can go inside the store, ask to speak to the manager. We will send every cadet pair with the permission slips for the locations so that they can remind the store staff. Unfortunately, sometimes, different managers give permissions to more than one group, so we might have to share the space. If you’re not comfortable with this, call home base, we’ll fight that fight for you.
Health and safety:
If you ever feel in danger, go inside the store and call the tag day coordinator number – make sure you get a slip of paper with the Support Committee phone numbers on it before you leave for your first shift of the weekend. If a person ever attempts to steal your box let them have it, and get inside the store. Your safety is worth much more than the box. If someone insults you, 21 Army Cadets, or the Canadian Armed forces, do not fight back. Most of the time, people around will defend you. If no one is around, say “I’m sorry you feel that way” and just ignore them until they leave. If you feel unsafe, go inside.
Eat a meal before you come to tagging. Every year, we have a few cadets who we have to rescue out at their locations, but when we pull in a sick cadet, we have to pull in their partner as well. That means two boxes are no longer out in the field. If a bite of dinner (on Thursday or Friday) or breakfast (on Saturday and Sunday) can help keep you feeling well, that’s an easy fix. If a 5-minute break will help you feel better, please do that, too. Bring your water bottles with you to your locations. Keep them in a safe place where you’re not going to trip over them or cause anyone else to trip.
Dress for the weather. We’ve had tornado warnings. We’ve had heat waves. We’ve had snow and rain. We try to send cadets to locations where they will be out of the weather, but please dress for the weather. If you’re soaking wet 30 minutes into your shift, you’re not going to enjoy the remaining 2 and a half hours.