Care Packages/Parents Weekend Delivery

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Proud Utah Mom, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Proud Utah Mom

    Proud Utah Mom Parent

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    For all you parents who've been through this before... 3 questions:

    1. what were the items that your DD/DS appreciated most upon completion of BCT?

    2. what are the necessities that you delivered to your DD/DS at Parents Weekend?

    3. are there secrets/tips to helping your DD/DS through BCT?

    Thanks in advance, appreciate the insight and advice!

    Starla
     
  2. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Starting from the bottom:

    3. Letters...every day, lots of them, from everyone! I had guests at her grad party write a letter to her as part of the activities and saved them to send throughout BCT. Family, sports teammates..get everyone to write frequently with words of encouragement and positive thoughts...no "I miss you" stuff! I dropped letters every day and numbered them so she knew which to open first if she got them in batches. If you run out of things to say, send funny jokes (helpful at meals) and inspirational sayings.
    Pre-cut moleskin pieces are good for feet (pre-cut them into about 1 inch pieces since they can't have scissors), make sure they have chapstick and hand lotion.

    2. We bought a printer during PW and stocked her up on toiletries and cleaning supplies. They usually buy that stuff themselves during BCT and after but by PW they usually need restocking. Walmart is very popular!

    1. After A-Day, daughter wanted her watch, new and pretty underwear, a warm blanket to use so she didn't mess up her SAMI bed, a big plastic bin for food and personal stuff, snacks and school supplies. The C-store runs out of stuff, believe it or not, so we got her notebooks, paper, pens, post-its, scissors, that sort of thing.

    Just off the top of my head...hope that helps!
     
  3. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    These are very helpful tip sheets:

    https://attachment.fbsbx.com/file_d...8fPUJD_4&ext=1396870816&hash=ASs9Hp-P7Cgk2Exz

    https://attachment.fbsbx.com/file_d...cKEUxXnE&ext=1396870892&hash=ASvFVbwnOsfkwXiY

    Right from the files of the parent FB page (my life is cadet parent:Usafa parents united), a very helpful resource.

    From my DS's experience, aside from running, the most helpful tip is attitude. 'Embrace the suck' was his favorite line. Be helpful, do what you're told, work hard, learn from the cadre, they are there to train you.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I'll go top to bottom:
    1. We used a service called www.write2them.org which turns emails from friends and families to their Basic into letters which are delivered daily to the USAFA mail room. As a result of this service, he received a 2 to 4 page letter each day. We highly recommend it. It is run by a USAFA grad and his wife. You will receive a Write2Them email which you can distribute to friends and family. You can also view online who has sent messages to your Basic so midway through BCT, I sent encouragement emails to those who weren't sending messages. Getting mail is important to Basics.
    2. We drove out for PW and brought a printer with an extra toner cartridge, a 23 inch monitor, and his road bike since he had joined the Cycling Team. The size of monitor allowed is squad specific. Your cadet will have to tell you what they are allowed to use.
    3. DW sent out a big care package including food, a light weight sleeping bag to sleep on instead of messing up his bed, food, school supplies, and civilian clothes for him to wear while he was off base with the Cycling Team. Send packages via USPS as it is much easier for Doolies to pickup versus FedEx of UPS. He brought both a watch and iPhone to BCT. Of course they were secured during BCT, but he had access to both once BCT was finished. Watches are allowed for all Doolies. When they get access to their phone is squad specific. However, he was required to have his phone whenever he was riding for the Cycling Team for safety reasons (a very nice privilege for a Doolie).
     
  5. SandyM

    SandyM Member

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    Like many other parents, we bought our son a printer and re-stocked his toiletries, etc during Parent's Weekend. My son did not want to go shopping, or enter a store for any reason on PW.

    Write2them and Web Guy are wonderful...worth every penny.

    We sent encouraging, light, happy mail every day. For some reason, this did not translate to him receiving mail every day...but he was very happy when letters arrived. He wrote back a few times. He said the saying, 'the days are like weeks, and the weeks are like days" was true for him.

    My son entered BCT in good shape and was used to running a lot. He said he was very glad he had prepared. His attitude was positive throughout primarily because he reminded himself that thousands had survived BCT before him, and that the Cadre were there to train him and help him succeed regardless of how much they yelled. He mentioned several times that the Cadre were supportive.

    In the first care package I sent his favorite snacks, including junk food. Included were new socks, underwear, and the white t-shirts they wear. Their clothing gets ragged during BCT. I sent stamps, cash, chap stick, toiletries, and something funny or goofy in each box. They can get all of this on base, but they don't always have time. If you can, ship everything USPS, as they can pick up boxes easier at the post office than the Pack Mail place that delivers UPS and FedEx.

    The summer will fly by! Very few dropped out of BCT last year. The hugs and smiles at PW are priceless. Good luck to your appointee!
     
  6. the tone

    the tone Member

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    I'm going to "ditto" everything here. The mail is SO important. My wife and I each wrote a snail mail starting with the day before he left and not ending until Acceptance Day. We still send a snail mail once in awhile along with the endless "Care" packages of his favorites. He said there was only one time he went to the mailbox that there wasn't a letter in it, but on some days he got more than one. It's hard to look at the WebGuy photos of the Basic Cadets at the mailboxes and see cadets not opening mail. WebGuy got involved and gave out some names of Basic Cadets who weren't receiving ANY mail at all and asked others to write to them, which we did also. PLEASE write!
     
  7. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    I definitely echo the other posts about sending lots of mail. Having something in the PO Box is always better than nothing when you go to check for mail. I had pre-stamped and addressed envelopes and cards available at my high school graduation party for folks to take. That seemed to work fairly well as I had a steady steam of mail through the summer's fun. For end-of-BCT care packages, send the standard stuff that has been mentioned, but also feel free to ask your cadet in a letter as the July progresses to see if there are any non-standard things they'd like or enjoy!
     
  8. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Some additional random tips:

    For inprocessing, my daughter wore a bright turquoise blue but completely plain t-shirt. It turned out to be a really important element to scanning Webguy for the first day...of course, after that, it became hard until we figured out who was in her squadron (e.g. "oooh...there's the redheaded guy! She must be close!").
    For I-Day, get a roomy backpack that has a good, solid and comfortable top handle. it can be a cheap one since they don't get to see it again for a long time.
    For girls, look on this forum for the *thread for girls" about hair, underwear and personal items/issues. Great stuff.
    I mentioned sending jokes before. Apparently good jokes told by basics enabled a bit more time to eat at meal time, especially during BCT 2. I scoured the internet for easy to remember, clean jokes and inspirational and funny sayings to lift her spirits.
    Don't expect alot of letters back, and don't guilt them into writing you! No news is usually good news. I sent funny "fill in the blank" and multiple choice letters that turned out to be fun for the whole tent during BCT 2 to complete and send back. But again, they were mostly to lift her spirits and not necessarily to communicate back to me. They are exhausted and need every minute of sleep.
    Don't wig out if they don't get your mail in a timely way. It's a chronic thing during BCT and they don't even get to go for mail every day. And start sending mail about 5 days prior to BCT so the first day they go they get lots.
    Enjoy your kid as much as you can these next 2 months, and let them enjoy as well. Don't get too caught up in prep and whatnot. Do what needs to be done (innoculations, uniform measuring, boots, etc.) but after that, just let them have fun and enjoy senior year and friends. Life will change very soon.
    Good luck!
     
  9. Proud Utah Mom

    Proud Utah Mom Parent

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    I so appreciate all the tips, tricks and suggestions. One other question... I've read posts that indicate that football tickets sell out quickly for Parents weekend. I tried to buy them online this week, but appears that they haven't gone on sale yet. Some ticket brokers are offering tickets, I suspect season ticket holders? Would those be legit?

    What is the per ticket price I can expect to pay? Will purchasing tickets be an issue if I wait til tickets go on sale in August?
     
  10. Wyofalcon

    Wyofalcon Member

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    1.) A 24" computer moniter and a nice printer/scanner
    2.) non perishable food, school supplies, pictures from home
    3.) If they call telling you that they are done say this "We love you, but if you want to come home you will have to find your own ride. Otherwise see you at parents weekend :) we can talk then." DO NOT LET IT BECOME AN OPTION TO QUITE BEFORE BCT. On that same not it should not be an option to quite until after freshman year, if they do quite before this point then are not getting the full academy experience that they owe to themselves and so many others who would be willing to fill their spot.
     
  11. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Don't worry about football tickets. They don't sell out and we spent more time wandering around, seeing our cadet and other parents that it didn't really matter where we bought tickets. The stadium is not large anyway so there's not really a bad place to sit. Just get them when they go on sale. Even during PW they do not sell out.
     
  12. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    I have seen this before but not the reason, why is the extra monitor such a good thing, and isn't that a little large for computer work!? Thx
     
  13. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    The issued laptop comes with a docking station that stays on your desk in your room. It's nice to have an external monitor that connects to that so that you have dual screens when working on projects or homework. The 24" size is the maximum allowed by most squadrons. We got our son a 22" and he was just fine. The larger monitor also comes in handy for gaming with the outlaw game system you have hidden in your bed frame or for streaming Game of Thrones.

    Stealth_81


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  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    +1

    I just read this to my wife who was under the impression that only her son was using his monitor to play an outlaw game system and stream Game of Thrones. Now she feels better knowing it is a common practice.
     
  15. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    Thank you both!
     
  16. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Blocks of tickets are also available through the various local parents' clubs. Check with them as well. If not, check the athletic website for when individual game tickets go on sale. If you are on facebook with other parents of cadets, you might consider buying seats together meeting them at the tailgate party prior to the game. Regarding a sell out, I don't recall seats not being available for sale on game day (either at the ticket booth or in the parking lot). That being said, I suggest getting them as soon as you know you're going to be there or when they go on sale, whichever occurs last. :thumb:

    Athletics website: http://www.goairforcefalcons.com/tickets/afa-tickets.html
     

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