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Collaboration in the Handbooks

by | May 17, 2024 | ALERT Cadet, Did You Know?

This letter is an effort to provide encouragement for using the Handbooks as part of
your discipleship in the home. What follows are several suggestions that could make
time spent in the Handbooks more practical. Maybe you have already thought about
these and have some suggestions of your own to pass on.

While ALERT Cadet strongly encourages dads to work through the Handbooks, I
want to make sure you do not feel obligated to keep the same pace as your sons, who
likely have more time and can move more faster than you in completing assignments. It’s
more important for you to be guiding – even working with — your sons to progress than
to risk none of you completing the Handbooks because you, due to your work and other
family responsibilities, cannot make progress in the Handbooks.

Dad’s Handbook progress is made even more difficult when he has multiple sons
working through different Phases of a Handbook or even different Handbooks. Maybe
you can elicit the help of your older Cadet son to tutor his younger Cadet brother through
projects the older has already done. Also, the younger could skip ahead and do a project
with the older in his older brother’s Phase and thus receive credit for completing that
project when he himself is working in that Phase.

It is also possible for both father and son – or more than one son — to get credit for
the same project which they do together. For example, you and your son make one
wooden toolbox and you both get credit for the completion as long as you both fully
participate in the process. The same could be true for two brothers collaborating on one

Dads find it difficult to carve out time for working on Handbooks when they have
other children also needing attention. You may have already discovered that your other
children are motivated to be doing what their Cadet brother is doing. I encourage you to
capitalize on this by engaging more of the family in projects. Your younger Cadet son
can get advance credit for when he is later working in that Phase. Your daughter can
receive some recognition that you discern will be meaningful to her.

There is no limit to the projects that the family can enjoy together: character
development, life skills training, adventure outings, service projects, memorization drills
(with a focus on helping one another more than competing with each other), meditation
ideas, and physical training activities.

My bottom line is that the ALERT Cadet toolbox must be a blessing to the entire
family. If our camaraderie as men creates resentment in the family we are failing in our
mission to build relationships and raise strong godly men. Dads, you have my heart to do
whatever it takes to make the Handbooks, and indeed our entire ministry, work for your

Please let me hear from you if you have other ideas to share.

Lt. Col. Doug Dagarin