I-Day Family Picnic

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by HeyClaire, May 24, 2010.

  1. HeyClaire

    HeyClaire Member

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    I have a question regarding the USNA Alumni Association Family Picnic that is scheduled for I-Day – Do the Plebes attend this picnic and if so, is it mandatory? If we don’t attend the picnic, will we get the chance to see our son at some point during the day? I know that there has been so much helpful info posted about I-Day and forgive me if this question has been asked and answered, but I am once again feeling “overwhelmed” as I make preparations for my son and the family for I-Day and I can’t seem to remember everything that I have read regarding this matter.

    What exactly is the schedule for I-Day in regards to seeing our son after he reports in the morning? I have seen the schedule of events but I am still not sure when we will get the opportunity to spend whatever time there is to spend with our son. The Family Picnic is too costly for our family – with 5 family members in attendance, the cost would be $100.00 for the picnic(If I read the registration form correctly – and to have to pay $20.00 each for my 8 year old and my 11 year old??!! ). OUCH! I just can’t justify that cost in our budget. But will this be the only other time that we will get to spend time with our son because if so, then I guess I won’t have a choice but to purchase the tickets.

    Thanks in advance for any information that will shed some light on this subject for me.
     
  2. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    Your new Plebe son will not be able to attend the picnic. You won't see him, except for possible, fleeting glimpses, until after the Induction Ceremony.
     
  3. themutis

    themutis Member

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    My understanding is that once you drop him off in the morning you won't get to talk to him until after the swearing in ceremony at 6:30pm.

    The picnic is not mandatory and your plebe will not be there.

    So, you will have a full day to sit around and wait - try to plan something for you little ones. Got to the mall or see a movie. We are planning on having lunch in town, mailing his first care package, and walking around annapolis.
     
  4. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Last year, after the Plebes were processed, they were dropped off in front of the Midshipmen store where they carried bags of newly issued gear into Bancroft Hall.

    Alot of parents sat on the stairs across from the Midshipmen store to wait to see their Plebe (I was one of them). It could mean an hour or more of sitting in the sun. If you do choose to do this and see your child, just don't call any attention to him or her.

    The picnic was a nice diversion. A lot of shell shocked parents to bond with over hotdogs.

    GoNavyMom
     
  5. supportivemom

    supportivemom Member

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    your two younger children will appreciate some time away from the yard, go elsewhere for a few hours. you will be able to talk to other parents all day long ,if you so wish, so the lunch is not all that important . what will be important is the 30 mins. or so that you'll get to spend with your mid after the swearing in ceremony. bring your mid food and drink, they'll be hungry. bring a blanket or chair for them to sit on(they'll be very worried about getting their new "white works" dirty)
     
  6. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Once your son disappears into the bowels of Alumni Hall - you will not have any contact with him again until after the swearing-in ceremony that evening. That will only last about 30 minutes.

    This is why when people ask, "If I could only attend one event, I-Day of Plebes Parent Weekend, which is better?" There is no question about it. Plebes Parents Weekend!

    On I-Day, they have some things for the parents to do in the Yard while your son is being processed in Alumni Hall. There are displays for the various departments in Dahlgren Hall and there are instructors and officers there to answer any questions you may have.

    Even if you don't buy Picnic tickets, the Superintendent or Commandant usually speak to the crowd in a rather informal way. You don't need tickets to listen to what he has to say.

    There is also a presentation in Alumni Hall in the evening where the Superintendent, Commandant, Academic Dean, and others will address the group and answer any questions.

    If you want to see your Plebe, the BEST place to be is in the Midstore Parking lot about 2-and-half hours after his report time. Stand on the steps leading up to Chauvenet Hall, or on the terrace overlooking the parking lot. Great for photos with no obstructions! After processing in Alumni Hall the Plebes are bussed a short distance to the Midstore parking lot where they ascend the steps into Bancroft Hall (the dorm), carrying all their issued gear. But first, they form up in ranks. They will all have a glazed look over their face as the upperclassmen address them rather tersely and enforce the proper way to stand at attention.

    You'll probably cry because you'll feel sorry for your baby. :)

    He'll be fine, though.

    I went to the Naval Academy. I was somewhat familiar with the routine, and even *I* felt sorry for my son when I saw that look on his face after getting off the bus. I could tell he was not exactly having a good time. I was having a flashback to my Induction Day, remembering the whole Plebe Summer experience, and thinking, "I'm a horrible father. This is really going to suck for him. I can't believe I allowed him to do this." And then I got over it when I saw him after the swearing-in ceremony when he had a smile on his face.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Trust me, your son/daughter will forget all about you after the first 5 mins of I-Day. It's not that the experience is terrible. Rather, there is SO MUCH going on . . . so much to do, so many new things to learn . . . plebes really are trying to take it all in and do correctly all the stuff they're asking you to do (salute, march, etc.).

    It seems dramatic for you, the parent. However, it's mostly busy for the new plebe.

    The opportunity to see your mid after the oath ceremony is more for you than your mid. He/she is now part of USNA and the USN . . . hasn't forgotten you but is now focused on his/her new life.

    Thus, don't worry about seeing your mid for his/her sake (maybe for yours). Enjoy your day. Go to the picnic if you want (parents didn't have that choice in my day -- I have NO idea what my parents did). Relax. Don't stress out your plebe, who already is stressed enough.:smile:
     
  8. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    HeyClaire,

    I didn't read your entire e-mail before posting my response. Don't feel obligated about the picnic. There are people to talk to all of the yard and all over town who are going through the same thing as you. You can have a really nice lunch in town or grab sandwiches and sit by the dock and watch the boats. I highly recommend the homemade ice cream and candy at Kilwins on Main Street. In hindsight, stepping away for bit would have been a good thing.

    I still suggest sitting by the Mid Store, not only to watch for your Plebe but to watch the upper class. They transform from laughing/joking young adults into leaders shouting orders before the first Plebe steps off the bus and then once the Plebes and their gear are up the stairs into Bancroft, transform back to "normal". Quite the show of human nature and I know it helped me process.

    GoNavyMom
     
  9. usna2012mom

    usna2012mom Member

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    There was a tour available for free for Plebe families. Take the tour. We mailed the first care package from the post office in Bancroft Hall. We did not attend the picnic. We took the shuttle back to our hotel to try to relax. (It had been a restless night for all of us). The one thing we did not do that I wish we had was to wait for the plebes to march back into
    Bancroft. I don't know why we left so quickly. We didn't even think to stay. It didn't hit me until later when I saw a video of the big door closing behind the last plebe. I would stay until they march back in.
     
  10. NewNavyMom

    NewNavyMom Member

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    This is all great info. I'm trying to get the timing and location right for watching the Plebes march into Bancroft Hall. One post says about 2.5 hours after drop off time. Is this done in waves or is it 2.5 hours after the last drop off time? They process them in shifts, do they report to Bancroft in shifts as well?
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    It's about 2.5 hours after your Plebe walks in the doors of Alumni Hall. The ones who report early in the morning seemed to get processed a bit faster because there are no lines in front of them.

    It can take 3+ hours if your Plebe has a later report time. But, if you're intent on seeing him get off the bus in the Midstore parking lot, regardless of his report time, you better be there no later than 2.5 hours afterwards.

    You'll be able to "easily" recognize your Plebe - he/she'll be the one wearing an all-white outfit with a "dixie cup" on his/her head. :smile:
     
  12. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Hi,

    Processing is done in waves and so is Plebe watching. Start watching at Midstore/Bancroft between 2 n 2.5 hrs after your child is processed.

    On the door, the Plebes form up and march into Bancroft Hall after they have met with you post induction ceremony. So don't leave after your Plebe leaves you after your 1/2 post induction visit. It is very dramatic to watch.

    GoNavyMom
     
  13. NewNavyMom

    NewNavyMom Member

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    We should all wear name tags with our forum names so that we can spot each other! Haha!
     
  14. USNA13DAD

    USNA13DAD Member

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    I Day

    Have a plan but be flexible during I Day. We decided our plan based upon our preferences as a family and our son. We decided we didnt want to stay on the yard the entire day, its a long hot and emotional day. Since we werent going to stay on the yard we made reservations at Loews, a hotel that was within walking distance of the yard so we could return to the room after leaving our new plebe. We went to breakfast at Chick and Ruths where we saw many glazed faces on families in the same boat (pun intended). We walked back to our hotel sat around for three or four hours, I worked out in the hotel fitness room, showered packed but left our car in the loews parking area and walked back to the yard. Took a tourn of the YPs, hit the mid store and by that time it was time for the briefing by the Supe, Dant, AD. at Alumni Hall. We decided not to try and sit in the sun and hold down seats as I am just not that patient. We tried to get a very late lunch at drydock but it was to crowded so we went out the gates and walked down to the dock area of DTA where you have a couple places where you can eat even if time is of the essence. When we walked back in the gate there was about a half hour before the swearing in ceremony. Still got great pictures of our new plebe and we were in the shade most of the day.

    The lunch was not in our plans and we didnt go
    We purposely did not engage in finding our plebe being processed during the day.


    What works for you and your son/daughter to is whats right for you.
    Just make sure you have a pair of sunglasses with you for the goodby, even if it rains they will come in handy.
     
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Depends who you ask. :wink:

    The parents love it because they see their little ones running around in their cute little uniforms.

    The kids, however, have a slightly different outlook. :thumb:
     
  16. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    "Cute Uniforms?" According to my MID wearing White Works on I-Day and every day thereafter for Plebe Summer is like being in a sauna! They look cute for the Parents and the pictures will go in the scrapbook. Your MID will ask that you delete them. That is the last thing they want to remember.:thumb: Maybe they could start a new tradition and burn White Works and Dixie Cups in a huge bonfire in front of Bancroft! No danger of injury to the PLEBES and they could eliminate Herdon and give some practice work to the fire response team. The Dong Ha Bridge at Sea Trials could be eliminated if the water temperature was below 80 degrees and no one was shooting at you. No Navy Cross for Sea Trials.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  17. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Yup, and those whiteworks smell of whatever fabric treatment is on them combined with nervous or PT sweat. When I arrived at USNA for duty in the middle of plebe summer, I asked what the smell was in Bancroft Hall. It's whiteworks. A few years ago when rooms weren't air conditioned and there was more physical correction, it was even worse. A few black flag days, and the word "ripe" doesn't even cover it. :eek:
     
  18. 2013MidDad

    2013MidDad Member

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    First, the I-Day picnic was a good thing to do. To each his own, but we liked it. Enjoyable time with a bunch of parents and families who are in the same boat you are in. Sitting in the shade, taking a deep breath.

    Second, even with our DD's early report time, we still arrived at Alumni early. She was not in the mood for a bunch of hanging around and chit-chat before heading to the door. So don't be surprised if you get there early thinking you will have some time for your good-byes and have your kid say, "well, I'm going to go on in." Don't wait till the last minute to get your hugs. Also, funny story, if your kid is nervous and hits the head a couple of times in the 20 minutes before walking in the door, that may cause a problem for them when they get to a certain station in the processing and find the tank empty.

    Third, GoNavyMom is correct that you might see your plebe getting off a bus behing the Hall at about 2 to 2.5 hours after they went into Alumni. There are no exact times. When other parents see their kids, compare report times to get an idea if you're there at about the right time or how long your wait might be. Seeing DD at that time was a highlight for us. Your plebe will not be pleased with you if you call out their name when you see them.

    Fourth, seeing your kid during the march out for the swearing in is very, very unlikely. It is a sea of white. The swearing in was a very moving moment for us. Enjoy the emotional ride.

    Fifth, what your kid will be like during your final in-person visit, post-swearing in, is anyone's guess. Our DD was fairly well informed beforehandand and was expecting the worst, so she was in a good mood. Had some stories from the day, i.e., if you pin your nametag on crooked, you might have to walk around at 10 degrees off vertical (to keep your nametag parallel to the floor) until someone fixes it for you. But it can be a somewhat trying day for some (a firehose of information), so don't be shocked if your kid has a deer-in-the-headlights look.

    Sixth, when the visit is done, they form up and march back to the Hall. My favorite I-day photo is from that moment.

    Finally, let your kid take the lead. Quiet, talkitive, whatever. Defer to them. Relax and enjoy it. Start writing letters. Before you know it, you will be thinking that it is IMPOSSIBLE that 11 months have gone by.
     
  19. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Alumni I-Day Picnic is a great time to get together with other parents. Even if you don't do the Alumni picnic thing you can get a place by the trees and talk to other parents during the day. You can go under the tent and get some good free stuff from some of the companies pushing Naval Academy stuff. Go to Dry Dock and get some air conditioning and watch the big screen. Have lunch at Dry Dock if you didn't do the picnic and enjoy the AC. They still say th AC in Bancroft doesn't work.
     
  20. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    NewNavyMom, when my oldest was in boot camp, the people from our forum (Navy for Moms) decided to make and wear a scarf to the Pass in Review (end of boot ceremony). It was nice to be able to recognize people from the forum, even if you didn't get a chance to talk to all of them. Those with kids in the same division exchanged names and phone numbers and actually sat together during the ceremony, which was awesome. It also turned out to be good marketing for the forum because people would ask why so many had the same scarf, and we could tell them about the forum.

    I, too, was thinking it might be nice to do something so we could recognize one another, at least those of us who want to be recognized.:wink: Obviously we won't be wearing red/white/blue scarves given the summer temps in Annapolis, but maybe we could put some kind of colored mark on our nametags or wear a ribbon pinned to our shirt or something. Any suggestions or interest? If not, NewNavyMom and I will just have our own private party!:biggrin:
     

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