STF Handbook 2004
The Educational Course
I. Overview of The Educational Course
THE 7-YEAR COURSE
The Seven-Year Course for Second Generation includes 2 years of full-time training, 1 year of missionary work abroad anytime after the 2-year training, and 4 years of committed CARP activity involvement while attending college. Through this course Blessed Children will mature their character and gain an understanding of Godís heart that will guide them for their entire lives.
SPECIAL TASK FORCE (STF)
Special Task Force (STF) is a specialized 3-year training program for Blessed Children, which consists of 2 consecutive years of full-time training in the U.S. and 1 year of overseas missionary work. STF is a full-time leadership training program. Participants will be selected throughout the first 2 months after the kick off workshop by STF staff. STF staff will evaluate all membersí standards periodically. STF is specifically designed to raise the future leaders of our movement and society.
PARENT PARTICIPATION AND OWNERSHIP
The internal value of STF training is priceless and eternal. The testimonies of personal transformation of STF members over the past 2 years give evidence of this immeasurable value. As part of parental involvement and ownership, this year we are asking parents to make their own prayerful decision as to a monthly monetary pledge, to offer as a donation to support the continued development of the STF program, according to what you feel you can give.
Parents may send checks, or money orders made out to "CARP" to the following address:
481 Eighth Avenue, D-10
New York, NY 10001
Parent participation and ownership is also encouraged through the Parents Association. Please see the enclosed letter from the Parents Association National Board of Advisors for more details.
Attendance of the Kickoff Workshop as well as entire Jr. STF kickoff program (July 31st to August 15th) are mandatory.
We are inviting all parents of this yearís STF candidates as well as parents of those children already participating in STF, to attend this workshop on August 16th and 17th. On August 16th, parents can plan to arrive at UTS and register. Accommodations are available at UTS or surrounding motels. On August 16th and 17th, parents and children will participate together in the workshop. On August 14th, the STF graduation ceremony will be held.
Candidates should be ON TIME. Registration is on July 31, 2004. Fundamental orientation and education for the year takes place at this workshop. Arriving even a few hours late can be detrimental not only to a member but also to the program as a whole.
The kick-off workshop will include 3 days of actual fundraising training, in the field.
Initial 60 Day Period
All workshop participants will be placed on fundraising teams together with experienced MFT members for initial training, which will gradually increase in the level of challenge. The purpose of these 60 days is to determine the best team placement for each personís growth.
Finding Desire and Commitment
There are ample reasons for candidates to feel a little nervous about coming to STF. This is very understandable, and probably all newcomers experienced this when they first came to the program.
The most important preparation before coming to STF can only be done by the participant: Finding their own desire and reason to come to STF, and making a commitment for a time period. When the decision to come to STF is somebody elseís decision, the child still has to make that decision on his/her own later, which may be quite difficult. When the decision to come to STF is made by the child, he/she can persevere through challenging situations without giving up, simply because he/she has his/her own reason to be on STF.
Furthermore, candidates should make concise personal goals for themselves prior to coming to the program. The more meaningful these goals are, the more impetus they will find to maintain their determination when they are challenged on the frontline of their mission and training. New members should arrive with the determination that they will keep their commitment throughout the entire year. With this kind of internal preparation, a new member can grow and develop very quickly.
An introductory video which includes testimonies is available for $10.00, upon request, and may help your child in their decision-making process.
Living a Healthy Spiritual Life
The daily STF schedule consists of Pledge, Hoon Dok Hae, morning service and spiritual conditions that nurture the spirit. We recommend that candidates reflect on their daily life with the following checklist in mind, and maintain these same habits so they are better prepared to embrace a life of frontline standards:
Pledge Service Reporting to parents
Hoon Dok Hae Choosing good friends
Prayer Serving family and community
Studying Godís Word Attending Sunday School/Services
Reading this Handbook and Watching the Introductory Video
This handbook and the video are prepared to give ample introductory information about the STF program. Should you have any questions or concerns about the program, please send an e-mail to the Parentsí Association (email@example.com) and a parent representative, or general affairs staff person will return your call.
Getting a Government-Issued ID Card
Just in case a member may need an official ID card for getting on a bus or airplane, please apply for a government-issued picture ID card if your child does not have one already.
The members from abroad must carry a copy of their passport and visa at all times. We recommend that the original passports be kept in our office.
Taking care of special medical and dental needs is a complicated matter while on the STF program. All candidates are recommended to complete any kind of medical or dental treatment before joining the program. For example, if you already know that your child may need to have his/her wisdom teeth pulled, please have it done before coming to STF. (Several members had to miss 1 to 2 weeks of their activities because they had to take out their wisdom teeth.)
Completing College/Financial Aid Applications and Deferral Process
Deferral policies differ according to the school, however the usual process is as follows:
Contact the admissions office of the college you are planning to attend and ask them for their deferral policy. Make sure you get a written deferral acceptance from college for future reference.
If the policy is to re-apply, be sure to find out the deadlines and the exact procedure. The following are some examples of different deferral policies.
University of Bridgeport à Call and send letter
Pasadena Community College à Just re-register
New York University à Call Admission Committee
Berkeley à Must re-apply between November 1st Ė 30th
Parsons School of Design à Re-apply
Columbia University à Written request with legitimate reason
Rutgers à Letter of Deferral
Financial aid is given on an annual basis. It is recommended that you apply for financial aid for the fall term just to see how much aid you will be granted. You will need to apply for financial aid again several months before you enroll into a university.
For more information, please contact Mel Haft at 301-464 Ė 3831.
WHAT TO BRING
Bring a copy of these if you have it:
Highly Recommended Books
What not to bring:
More clothes than what is described above
Any valuables that you do not want to lose
Every year, many STF members are asked to leave behind in our storage about a half of what they brought to the Kick-off workshop. This requires a large amount of storage space and shipping fees as well as manpower. Every member comes to understand the purpose of the limited quantity of the above list during the course of the year. Most end up having to take or ship extra clothes home. In order to minimize your own personal expenses, please hold strictly to the above list.
All the belongings should fit into 3 bags:
Anything that does not fit into these 3 bags will be sent back home by COD at the Kick-off workshop.
III. Special Task Force (STF)
SELECTION INTO THE STF PROGRAM
Those who fulfill the qualifications of the STF mission statement will be selected by STF Staff during the first 60 day period for the STF training. The selection takes places at the beginning of the STF course and periodically throughout the year.
TENTATIVE ACTIVITIES AND SCHEDULE
There are four national workshops as well as frequent regional workshops throughout the year. National workshops are 4 to 6 days long, and scheduled around Godís Day, May, August (Kick-off Workshop), and October.
Monthly regional workshops are 1 to 2 days, and scheduled between national workshops.
As of October 2001, the new 2-year STF schedule consists of a total of 12 months fundraising and 12 months witnessing and other training. Those who complete this program will receive an STF graduation certificate. Written explanation of STF Graduation requirements is available upon request.
Fundraising training gives the STF members fundamental spiritual education for strengthening mind-body unity, living a public life, gaining dominion of time, space, and all things, and solidifies their relationship with God. Such training helps them to deepen their conviction, faith, and commitment as well as strengthen their conscience to overcome all types of temptations.
Emphasis on Teamwork
While living together as a team and striving to achieve a common goal, STF members learn how to unite and work harmoniously with others based on God-centered objectives. Our group competitions emphasize group victory rather than individual victories. Through these group competitions STF members learn to think about higher, more public goals rather than being satisfied by reaching only their own individual goals.
Emphasis on Goals
STF teaches that by facing our limitations and making effort to overcome them, we can grow spiritually. Without setting up goals that challenge our limitations of faith, thought, and heart, we cannot grow. Therefore, STF members are encouraged to set clear goals (external goals) and a clear internal plan (internal goals) to reach those goals every day. They are also guided to purify their motivation and focus on the process and effort to reach their goals. Through striving for their greatest potential and experiencing the joy of challenging and overcoming their limitations, STF members can find their value in relationship to God and True Parents, which is their internal result of fundraising. At the end of each day the members offer both internal result and external result of fundraising (funds) to God.
STF members learn to witness, give lectures, and take care of guests on witnessing teams. Through witnessing and spiritual parenting, they will discover the parental heart and love of God and True Parents. At the same time they learn to organize campus events, cultural nights, and weekend workshops.
Guiding Younger Second Generation
The staff for Junior STF and summer camps for Blessed Children will be selected from STF members.
Service for Peace
Under the guidance of elder, experienced CARP members, STF members will organize Service for Peace projects locally, around their witnessing centers.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Providing a healthy and safe environment for the spiritual growth of the STF members is of primary importance to the STF staff.
The STF staff makes effort to provide healthy food whenever possible, within the budget, as well as encourage members to make a practice of eating well. We would also like parents to encourage their children to choose healthy food and improve their eating habits if necessary. Some teenagers may tend to eat "junk" food even when they have the choice to eat nutritiously.
Safety Guidance for Fundraisers
Detailed safety guidance for the STF fundraisers is explained at each national level workshop and reviewed at any time as necessary. Safety guidance includes:
Use of personal security alarms and walkie-talkie radios: Sisters (and brothers, upon request) are provided with personal alarms to use for emergency situations. Members use walkie-talkie radios for communication between fundraisers and captains, and between two fundraising partners in the same area.
Fundraising after dark for sisters: Sisters must fundraise in pairs after dark. Brothers are required to ask for their parentsí permission if they wish to fundraise alone after dark. Sisters are required to have their walkie-talkie radios on at all times. They must call their captains immediately if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the area they are dropped off in. They may request not to go fundraising after dark if they or their parents wish.
All captains carry cellular phones for any emergency situations.
Approaching customers: Members are taught to cut off conversation and walk away when a customer makes strange comments or actions that imply a Chapter 2 motivation. Members are taught not to go into an enclosed room, house or office when there is (are) only the opposite-sex customer(s) there. They are also taught not approach any customer in the dark when there are no people around.
Trust and follow your intuition: Members are taught to call captains immediately when they do not feel comfortable with the area. They should not worry about customersí salvation in uncomfortable situations; they should walk away.
Appearance, words, and behavior: Members are taught that they represent True Parents.
The complete details of the safety instructions can be e-mailed to you upon request.
Special training on safety and self defense training are provided at all major workshops.
Both captains and fundraisers receive lectures on safe driving rules at each national workshop. Captains and leaders discuss how to improve driving skills during each captainsí meetings as well.
Some of our driving rules are:
Always wear seatbelts (even those in the backseat)
Keep traffic rules
No eating while driving
Use a hands-free device while driving and talking on the cellular phone
No looking at the maps while driving
Always drive with two hands
Driversí attitudes and skills are evaluated by the members at major workshops. The results of this evaluation are reported to the drivers and their leaders.
To request better, safer, driving standards, or if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions in this area, please send an e-mail to the Parentsí Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of the start of the 2004-2005 STF year, parents will be asked to offer a monthly pledge of financial assistance, as their means allow.
As much as possible, all new members should prepare what is needed before coming to the Kick-off workshop. (details on p. 4, "What To Bring")
In case STF members need to buy something (for example, worn out shoes or missing socks), STF will cover the expense within the standard of the World CARP Field Education Team Dress Code, which is explained below. When parents or STF members do not buy things according to the standard explained below, or members would like something that is beyond the given budget, parents are asked to cover the expense.
The following are purchased at stores like Wal-Mart or K-mart at reasonable prices:
Underwear, socks, backpacks, stationery, running shoes (up to $40), toiletries, winter jackets (up to $70).
The following are purchased at second-hand stores like Goodwill:
Shirts, sweaters, T-shirts, pants, light jackets.
World CARP Field Education Team Dress Code:
Top: shirts with collar, sweaters, sweat shirts; no tight clothes, no T-shirts (another shirt must be worn on top of T-shirts), no sleeveless shirts, no low-cut shirts.
Jeans, trousers; no baggy, wide pants; no shorts or skirts (except pledge clothes, with skirts below the knee only)
Shoes: running or walking shoes; no sandals.
Between Parents and Children
STF staff encourages STF members to communicate with their parents, once a week. Please understand, however, that due to unexpected changes in schedule or traveling, they may not be able to call their parents at the exact same time each week.
Children will be uniquely challenged through their growing process in public missions and they will experience new and powerful situations every day. If your child happens to give you some extreme explanation of their daily activity that causes you to worry, please communicate to the STF staff through the channels described below for a complete explanation of the situation before drawing a full conclusion. Experience has shown that when parents hear a rounded explanation of the entire situation it greatly assists them in understanding not only the particular struggle of their child, but the context, reasoning, purpose and value of that experience.
STF members always appreciate and feel deep love from their parentsí encouragement. They also like to listen to their parentsí stories of victories and struggles from their own life of faith. After experiencing frontline life children are able to understand their parentsí past mission experiences more intimately. Through such conversations they gain great power and feel much closer to their parents. All STF newcomers will face new challenges and see themselves from a different viewpoint than before. In calling home they may be looking for support in order to accept such challenges as a part of their growing process.
Between Parents and STF Staff
Most STF staff are on the frontline spending time with your child. In order to ensure the utmost safety and create the best environment for spiritual growth all the staff would like to spend as much time as possible with the STF members, rather than spending time on the phone. Therefore, parents are asked to communicate through designated Parentsí Association National Advisors, who will arrange communication with STF staff when necessary. There have been numerous cases in the past when parents called STF staff directly without any arrangement. This can actually be a safety hazard and an unnecessary challenge to the staff and their team schedule. The channels of communication established through the Parents Association are the required channels of communication.
Questions or suggestions regarding the STF program
Please communicate by e-mail or by phone with your designated Parentsí Association representative. We will assign a Parentsí Association representative to each STF memberís family. The Parentsí Association will answer you individually and if the Chairperson feels the particular issue involves the whole STF community, the answer will also be communicated to all the parents.
If, as a result of a particular parentís suggestion, a correction is needed in the STF daily policy, the message is communicated to the STF staff through Pocketmail, a small e-mail device that all the MFT captains carry. These messages are checked a few times a day.
Questions about your child
Please send an e-mail or call to your Parentsí Association representative who will find the STF staff member who can understand the situation most accurately. Depending on the situation, STF staff will contact you either by e-mail or by phone as soon as possible. (Please understand that STF staff is taking care of many other STF members at the same time as your child.)
Emergency situation that requires an IMMEDIATE response
Please call the Parentsí Association Chairperson or any Parentsí Association representative. They will contact the leader of your child immediately.
This communication procedure is best for STF members, parents and STF staff.
MEDICAL AND DENTAL CARE
STF candidates who have physical problems or have had any serious disease must give a detailed explanation in the application form.
Dental problems or orthodontic care, especially wisdom teeth, should be taken care of before coming to STF. Because STF members travel occasionally, it could become extremely difficult and costly to parents to find dentists or go to orthodontists.
Please make sure that children have information with them about their medical insurance. If a member does not have medical insurance and needs to see a doctor their parents are expected to cover the expense. When your child needs special medical attention (beyond walk-in clinic care and over-the-counter medicines) the STF staff will contact the parents and discuss the situation.
STF members may go home twice a year, once for 8 days (including travel days) after the Godís Day Workshop (early January) and once for 2 weeks (including travel days) during the summer. Parents are expected to cover traveling expenses. STF staff will organize alternative activities for the STF members who do not need to go home or who come from overseas.
The purposes of this break are:
Tend to college preparation needs.
Tend to any medical/dental needs.
Matching or Blessing preparations, etc. Any expenses in preparation for matching and Blessing are covered by parents, (including travel) and should be taken care of during the break times.
Please understand that STF can not make time for members to fundraise for any Blessing expenses (or any other personal, family, or non-providential related expenses). This must be taken care of during breaks or after graduation.
It is recommended (not required) that STF members wait until the end of their 2-year course, after STF graduation, to be matched and Blessed. The experience of members and staff over the past year confirms that Matching and Blessing concerns and planning are, of course, highly distracting to the members at a time when it is best for them to remain concentrated on their training and individual level spiritual growth. The uninterrupted 2-year training is extremely valuable as preparation for the success of their Blessing in the long run.
If parents have confirmed a matching for their son or daughter, please report this to the STF office, for our records. (e-mail to Shinji Nakamura at email@example.com; or call to 510-259-1139.
If an STF member does not need to address any of these purposes, he/she should not return home. A casual visit home could easily amount to a loss of spirit, focus and drive.
During their visit, STF members are encouraged to share their testimonies with their families and church communities, especially with younger Blessed Children.
The dates suitable for the visit home during break time will be announced at least one month ahead so that the family can arrange air travel.
If your child must come home for the reasons above but at a different time, please contact the STF staff through Parentsí Association National Advisors as soon as possible. With prior approval and arrangement with the STF staff, your child can receive permission to go home.
Second Year Witnessing Placement
During the second year, STF members will be placed in a CARP center for witnessing training in an area that is not their hometown area. Experience has shown that this is not constructive for best results in their training. The only exception will be for severe medical reasons.
LEAVING STF FOR ANY OTHER REASONS
STF members are expected to attend the entire STF schedule throughout the year. There should be no alternate schedules arranged by parents or STF members themselves during their STF commitment. This includes special visits to relatives, Unification Church, Christian and secular holidays. There were several misunderstandings in the past concerning this policy. Because the STF educational training is a program with its own integrity, which is very carefully structured and scheduled for the sake of the childrenís spiritual growth, an unplanned break in focus and momentum can be very disruptive to the overall objectives of the program and the membersí growth. Parents should regard their childrenís participation in STF in the same way they would regard attendance at a college. Pulling the member out of the program should not be something we take lightly, for whatever reason.
If your child must go home for any personal or special family reasons, then he/she will be required to extend their STF training time period in order to receive the STF graduation certificate. Written explanation of graduation requirements is available upon request.
In case of a family emergency, please notify the STF staff through the above mentioned procedure and discuss the situation.
Only music that is approved by STF staff is allowed. This is to make sure that we can create a healthy, joyful spirit for the sake of everyone on the team. If members wish to listen to other kinds of music, they are allowed to listen to it on days-off only.
No walkmans or discmans are allowed, except on days-off. STF staff would like to discourage individualistic attitudes among our teams/centers, and encourage STF members to build genuine family relationships with brothers and sisters.
The development of spiritual and vertical relationships is the main focus of the STF program. E-mail communications with friends while on STF is discouraged. The only exception is communication with parents who are overseas. Please advise your child to explain to their friends about this point before coming to STF.
Communication with friends is limited to special times set aside by the CARP Center Director.
At certain times, STF leaders may need to send an STF member to a different city, for a change in assignment, etc. Since the cost of air travel is so high, members are often sent by Greyhound bus. If a parent feels this is undesirable, and they would like to send the member by air, the parents will have to pay for the ticket. Members are told to call home before they travel by Greyhound for parental permission.
SUGGESTED STF DRESS CODE
Top: shirts with collar, sweaters, sweatshirts; no tight clothes, shirts with collars preferred over T-shirts (another shirt must be worn on top of T-shirts), no sleeveless shirts, and no low-cut shirts.
Jeans, trousers; no baggy, wide pants; no shorts or skirts (except pledge clothes, with skirts below the knee only)
Shoes: running or walking shoes; no sandals
Jewelry is not recommended; on fundraising teams, members will be guided not to wear any jewelry, (and to remove any body piercing, earrings, etc) as it tends to attract attention to oneself rather than add to a life of living for the sake of others.
No tight clothes
No excessive "exposing of skin", as determined by the STF staff.
The "BOTTOM LINE" for Spiritual Health
STF rules and guidelines are based on the guidance for Blessed Children given by Dae Mo Nim. The following are strictly prohibited:
Intentional and serious Chapter 2 violations: pornography, language and appearance that are obviously and consciously attracting the opposite sex, romantic relationships between brothers and sisters, or attempting to arrange matchings between brothers and sisters.
Buying, selling, and using alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. (See suspension policies below.)
Intentional and extremely disobedient conduct toward STF staff and guidelines; foul language toward the staff and other members.
breaking secular law.
STF "bottom line" is very strict. Therefore, if necessary, please prepare NOW in cutting the above mentioned habits.
CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLATION OF THE STF RULES
In the case of serious, deliberate or consistent violation of STF policies, a member may be dismissed from the program, permanently, or suspended temporarily.
For serious mistakes:
If a member confesses above mistakes, then he/she will get one more chance (one warning) before suspension. If the member makes such a mistake again, and confesses to their CF, they will receive a 21-day suspension, at the parentsí expense.
This period can be reduced to 14 days if a member keeps a good, sincere, repentant attitude during suspension and unites with their CFís guidance for a standard to keep while at home.
If a member makes a mistake at home during the suspension time, and then confesses to their CF, their suspension will be prolonged another 21 days from the day of their report.
While at home, members will be guided not use internet or email, keeping the same standard as STF frontline. If a member makes this mistake, they must fast for one day as an indemnity condition.
If a member makes one of the above mistakes, and does not confess, but is caught, they will receive an immediate 21-day suspension. This can be reduced to 14 days if the member keeps a good standard while at home.
If the member who has been suspended makes the same kind of mistake again once they return to STF:
If the member confesses to their CF, they will receive a 21-day suspension again. This can be reduced to 14 days if they maintain a good standard while at home.
If the member does not confess, and is caught, they will receive an immediate 21-day suspension again, with a 3-day fasting indemnity condition (depending on health situation and in consultation with their team leader and the IW). This can be reduced to 14 days if they maintain a good standard at home.
Third offense: If a member is called for a third suspension they will be expelled permanently from the STF program.
IV. Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns please email us:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call Shinji Nakamura at the STF General Affairsí number at 510-259-1139.
SENDING IN THE APPLICATION FORM
The deadline for the application is June 30, 2004. It must be mailed to:
Attention Shinji Nakamura
P.O. Box 3068
Hayward, CA 94545
AFTER READING THIS HANDBOOK, PLEASE SIGN THE ATTACHED PARENTSí CONSENT FORM, INDICATING THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREED TO THE ABOVE POLICIES.
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