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FLOTILLA MEETING TRAINING DEVELOPMENT OF A CORE FOR A VIBRANT FLOTILLA. Robert E. Holm, DSO-MT District 11SR. Presented at D11sr 2013 DTRAIN (modified). Coast Guard Auxiliary Priorities.

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Robert E. Holm, DSO-MT

District 11SR

Presented at D11sr 2013 DTRAIN (modified)

Coast Guard Auxiliary


  • In Admiral Papp’s 2012 Policy Statement about the CGAUX he said the Auxiliary Service priorities include:

    • Promoting and Improving Recreational Boating Safety

    • Providing Crews and Facilities to augment the CG

    • Supporting CG operational, administrative and logistical requirements

Synergistic Programs

  • There are many valuable programs that members may be interested in through the Auxiliary

  • There are a few that are particularly synergistic with regard to supporting the flotilla (new members & revenue ) while also supporting the CG’s priorities:

    • Public Education (PE),

    • Vessel Exams (VE),

    • Public Affairs Outreach, and

    • Program Visits (PV)

What Type of Core Program Satisfies the Needs of the Coast Guard and the Flotilla

  • Public Education Courses to the Greatest Number of People

    • Supported by Public Affairs Outreach and Promotion

    • Supported by Program Visitors Getting the Word out

    • Supported by Vessel Examiners Getting the Word Out

    • Primary Source of Revenue to support programs

    • Best Source of New Members

  • Courtesy Vessel Exams to the Greatest Number of Boaters

    • Widest Reach of the Boating Public

    • Opportunity to Promote Public Education Classes

    • Opportunity to Promote Membership in the CGAUX

  • What Type of Core Program Satisfies the Needs of the Coast Guard and of the Flotilla

    • Member Training to get Members Certified

      • Flotilla Meeting Training to Recruit Members into specific programs e.g. PE, VE

      • Certification Classes to Qualify Members

      • Mentors to help new members get established

  • Support Other Valuable Programs Once the Core is Established

    • Operations e.g. Boat Crew, Marine Safety

    • Direct CG Augmentation (depends on location)

  • Key Elements for a Strong Flotilla

    New Members

    • New Members are the lifeblood of a flotilla

    • They bring new capabilities and replace members who have left

    • They add energy to the group and are anxious to try new things

    • They add resources needed to staff several different programs within the flotilla

    • They provide resources with varied schedules so staffing is not dependent on just a few people’s schedules

    Key Elements for a Strong Flotilla

    New Members

    • Have a Flotilla goal to recruit at least 10% new members

    • Set up VSC (VE) teams at the boat ramps:

      • 2 + vessel examiners

      • 1 + experienced members (do not need certification) to man a table with literature and membership discussion

      • VE’s refer boaters to table for information about boating safety classes, flotilla meeting schedules, membership (or do it themselves)

    • Public Affairs Outreach booths

      • Besides “join the auxiliary” brochures, have handouts with class, flotilla meeting, other event schedules. Get their contact information. Follow up.

    Key Elements for a Strong Flotilla

    New Members

    • At Flotilla Meetings, have designated members as the greeting team and assign one member to each candidate during the meeting and as a contact afterwards

    • At Public Education Classes, have a short ppt presentation (include video if available) in the middle of the class (during a break) about membership in the CGAUX. Have membership packets available. Provide a member contact.


    Getting Members On-Board

    • The Flotilla needs:

      • Goals to fire the members imaginations

      • Schedules get their time allocated (annual calendar)

      • Training to make them qualified (IT, VE, PV, PA)

      • Team leaders to organize efforts (usually the FSOs)

    • The FC and/or the FSOs must RECRUIT members to fill key positions. This is being pro-active. Don’t wait until a member asks to be involved – that may never happen.

    • Goals can include not only how many PE classes or Vessel Exams but also:

      • Recruiting New Members

      • New Qualifications e.g. more IT’s, PV’s, VE’s

      • Infrastructure e.g. computers, projectors, booths


    Getting Members On-Board

    Recruiting Members to Projects With

    Flotilla Meeting Training (FMT)

    • Flotilla Meeting Training should be a big part of the recruiting effort and always part of your meeting.

    • In 2Q’2013 the Member Training Compendium will have FMT power points available for downloading – they are being developed and will be posted throughout the year


    Getting Members On-Board

    Page 3 of the MT Compenium



    The “FMT_Member_Training_Finding_Your_Way” ppt contains much more information about how to use the MT Compendium


    Getting Members On-Board

    Develop an Annual Calendar of Events

    • Develop a calendar of events with your staff that you can support with flotilla resources (staff buy-in)

    • Take into account Division goals and overlapping events (e.g. will multiple flotillas be supporting the same Nat’l Safe Boating Week Expo?)

    • Avoid member training classes conflicting with public education classes as they often take the same resources

    Goals, Targets, and Schedules

    Flotilla/Division “macro” Annual Calendar


    Getting Members On-Board

    Required Staffing

    • Each Flotilla must have FSOs: FN, SR, IS to administer the flotilla finances, meetings, and member data entry

    • A successful Flotilla will have a strong member training program lead by the FSO-MT as an information source so that your volunteers are ready to support your programs with proper certifications

    • Each of the “program” FSO’s e.g. VE, PV, PE, PA, OP should be cheer leaders, recruiters, trainers, and team leaders for scheduled events on the annual calendar

    Key Elements for a Strong Flotilla

    Financial Health

    • Building up the Public Education & Training Fund can add the following to Flotilla Activities

      • PIZAZZ!!!! , Convenience, Efficiency

      • Attractiveness, Energy

  • It’s just more fun to do projects if you can offer the public nice facilities, equipment, and material

  • If you’re proud of your setup, more members will want to participate

  • From the Flotilla Policy Manual: Other sources of funds. In addition to dues, the flotilla will receive money from the sale of public education materials (This income must be utilized for the public education program; it cannot be redirected to other uses)

  • Let’s take a look at finances - - -

  • Flotillas and Money

    Balance Sheet






    Flotilla Gen Fund$18.50balance

    Assume 30 members = $555/yr

    Typical PE class e.g. 2 day BS&S

    • Charge$45income

    • Books$18expense

    • Snacks$5expense

    • Other$5expense

    • Flotilla PE fund$17 Balance

    • Assume 20 students = $340/class

    • A 3 day class @ $65 => $560/class

    Spending of General Fund

    • Fellowship

      • Flotilla Dinner

      • Snacks @ Flotilla Meetings

    • Rent of Room/Facilities

    • Printing of Agenda’s

    • Printing Certificates/Awards

    • Equipment if no PE fund

    • Difficult to build up the fund and support an active flotilla

    Annual Income to PE Fund

    Say two ea 2 day & two ea 3 day courses with 20 students each yields


    Flotillas and Money

    How Much & What to do with it?

    • This depends a lot on the situation with your flotilla e.g.

      • Do you have fixed facilities & storage room?

      • Do you have many active shows/events in your AOR?

      • Do you have active boating (Lakes/Rivers/Ocean) in your AOR?

    • Flotillas that answer “YES” to the above can leverage the revenue from PE courses to substantially expand their overall programs

    • Flotillas that answer “NO” will need a more targeted strategy aimed at programs specific to their AOR.


    Flotillas and Money

    How Much Money Do We Need – We’re a Service Organization

    • Adding Equipment can improve the settings & efficiency of Flotilla Operations e.g.: Meetings & Classes, Recruiting

      • Flotilla Computer, Projector, Screen, Speaker system ($1200)

        • Easier to do Public Education classes anywhere

        • Easier to do Public Affairs Outreach to classrooms & meetings

      • Flag(s) & Stands – improved meeting/classroom environment ($500)

        • American Flag

        • CGAUX Flag

        • Banner Stands (pullup)

      • Props for classes e.g. ($700)

        • Sailboat Model for SS&S (3 day)

        • Pelorus for Navigation classes

        • Plotting tool kits (say 10 ea) for BS&S, SS&S, WEN, AUXNAV

    • A booth with all the banners, table clothes, etc. can dramatically improve visitations at PA outreach events. ($3800)

    Flotillas and Money

    How Much Money Do We Need – We’re a Service Organization

    An attractive booth will bring in more public at Public Affairs Events. This should lead to more activity in PE, VE, Membership

    Stand up Canopy$2200

    Pull Up Banner$250 ea x 4

    Table Cloth w/emblem$250

    Brochure Display Stand$250

    Life Jacket Display Stand$150

    Booth as shown approx $3850

    Alternative – Schedule & then drive to Sector LA/LB to pick up one of two sets available there

    Flotillas and Money

    How Much Money Do We Need – We’re a Service Organization


    • No Storage – PE funds can be used to rent storage facilities for PE/PA/VE related activities such as Booth items

    • No Fixed Classroom – PE funds can be used for room rental although many yacht clubs, service organizations, sheriffs offices, etc. will provide free rooms to the CGAUX

    • No maritime events in AOR. Work with other organizations to set up booths e.g. Red Cross, Public Health Fairs with focus on the Environment (MS)

    • Select programs such as Communications to focus the flotilla – set up Mobile Radio Facilities/ Repeater stations

    Goals, Targets, and Schedules

    • Getting the Buy In From Your Flotilla

    • At your next Flotilla Meeting present your selected programs, goals, and calendar

    • Explain the Macro Calendar and the need for resources

    • Show the additional training (certifications) needed to support the program and how to get certified

    • Ask for volunteers to take the training (if necessary) and support the programs


    • Flotillas active in all these core programs are likely to be more successful than ones that only support one or two of these programs

    • The core programs in no way restrict the membership from also supporting many other worthwhile programs e.g. marine safety, Watchstanders, boating operations (crew), to name a few

    • The FC and FSOs must lead members to support these programs. It doesn’t happen automatically.


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