Induction Day or parents weekend ?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by runninbob, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. runninbob

    runninbob Member

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    I know I am putting the cart ahead of the horse a bit here, as my son, Jim, has been nominated to the USNA, but has not yet received an appointment. It would be very difficult for my wife and I to make two trips to Annapolis in a short period of time. Should our first choice be Induction Day or parents weekend ? We are in the process of choosing vacation time at work, and I need to make a decision shortly. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    How'bout one each?
    Tough question to which there is no definitive answer.

    I Day is so memorable, far more for us than PPW.

    Conversely, your son might appreciate it more having folks there after a challenging summer away from ma n pa. And consider this ...in the event you would NOT be back at USNA in the fall, your son would be going from around 01 July to late November w/o a family connect.

    So, I'd say ...for you? I Day. For your son? PPW

    Caveat: IF you would see being back @ USNA in the early fall for a football game, that may impact your choice.
     
  3. mumsyto3

    mumsyto3 Member

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    We are fortunate to live within driving distance to the Academy so didn't have to make that choice. Personally I would recommend if you can make it to both that would be ideal. If not, the second best choice would be to have one parent go to each of the events. If you can only attend one I would recommend PPW. Your DS will be looking forward to getting away from the yard after plebe summer. He will want to see family and get a touch of reality.
    On IDay, once your DS reports (our son's report time was at 7:30 am) you will not see him again until after the swearing in ceremony held in the early evening. You will then have about 30 minutes to meet with him until he starts nervously clock watching, not wanting to be late for falling into formation! Don't get me wrong the day is amazing and the swearing in ceremony is very moving, but it is a very emotional day and you won't have much time to spend with your DS.
    The mood at PPW, for most, is very upbeat. The plebes look forward to seeing and spending time with their families and have a chance to get away from the yard. We ended up renting a home in downtown Annapolis for PPW which was great! We were within walking distance to the yard, we were able to make homecooked meals for DS, we were able to bring our dogs with us (which DS appreciated), and DS had a room he could lay down in to take a nap without being disturbed.
    I'm sure others may have other opinions but this was our experience. Good luck to your son!
     
  4. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    Whistle Pig is right (I am utterly stunned to type that, as I have never agreed w/ him on ANYTHING), and MumsyTo3 as well.

    These are very different events. It's scary to send you child to I-Day on his/her own, but parents are way down on the priority list for Mids themselves that day. And if you're not there, trust me, some other parent will pitch in w/ your kid. For you, however, I-Day is pretty wonderful.

    PPW is a great opportunity for your Mid to unwind w/ you after a tough summer. Little ceremony/entertainment for you.

    If only one trip/parent is posisble, send one parent to each.
    If only one trip -- period -- is possible, I'd go w/ PPW.

    Good luck.
     
  5. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    You are in a tough position. We live very far away from the Academy, and like everyone, time and money is always an issue. I agree with all above that having at least one family member present at each event is important. I Day is truly one of the most memorable experiences a parent will ever have. We have friends who opted not to go last year and sent their son alone. She says it was a regret she now carries because she does miss having the memories,. I think her son was fine, it was more that she wished she had gone.
    I Day- It is such a stressful and busy time, but when our Mid showed up on T Court for his 30 minute visit with us before he was wisked away for Plebe summer, I was so happy that we had made the choice to go. Also, the Fly Over, Navy Band, Oath of Office, I get chocked up just thinking about it now.
    PPW is a lot of fun because you get to see the success of your mid and they are so excited to show you their rooms, uniforms, what they have learned. My son was very locked on during PPW. We brought some extended family and that was a bit stressful as again, like I Day, family wants your mid's time and all they want to do is sleep, eat, sleep, and watch TV at that point. So, there you have it. Is it clear as mud? :thumb:

    ps- not sure where you live, but we actually found a flight that flew intp Reagan National in Washintgton DC that was cheaper than going into Baltimore and non stop, which allowed us to fly in and out quicker. With our rental car, we actually paid less and spent less time in the air and on the road. Explore the options on those travel websites. You might be surprised at the deals you can get. Lots of area hotels will also work with you on a discount for these events.
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    While I-Day can be intimidating, it's not exactly "scary." And, quite a few soon-to-be plebes do come on their own. I-Day also provides only about 20 mins to see your plebe after the swearing in ceremony and, I believe that for those whose parents/friends can't come, they are provided a cell phone so they can talk to their parents that way.

    PPW, OTOH, is a long WE filled with activities for the plebes and parents. I would think it would be VERY lonely to be a plebe without anyone there for that entire WE. (Yes, I know that sponsors will help out and your roommate's parents might take you in, but still . . . ). Not only are there events where your mid can show off all that he/she has learned/done, etc., but the opportunity to just "chill" in your hotel room is priceless.

    So, it it has to be only one, definitely PPW.
     
  7. greeneagle5

    greeneagle5 Member

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    PPW is my complete vote...your plebe will want and need to get off the yard for some hours of quiet personal time with you....lots of quality time for both of you. Much more important "bang" for your limited vacation allotment then....

    I-day, after the initial arrival on the Yard early that morning and then the 1/2 hour after the ceremony late that afternoon your new plebe is totally devoted to "needs of the NAVY "....very little time for parents' interaction and support.

    Btw- your candidate can always "report" earlier than the assigned time for in-processing on I-day....many do !
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  8. MOM2011

    MOM2011 Member

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    Two Questions. 1.) Can you record the swearing in ceremony on I-Day? 2.) Earlier post mentions someone rented a house for PPW...where would you look to find out info to do that? :smile:
     
  9. osdad

    osdad Member

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    You can but it will be mostly a sea of white. Plus, unless you spend most of the day staking out a seat in the bleachers, you'll be on ground level looking at the back of someone's head.

    I've talked with these folks but did not rent one of their places - others probably have more experience.

    http://www.stayannapolis.com/
     
  10. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    My vote would also be for PPW. If you have access to the internet, there will probably be videos of the swearing in ceremony on YouTube - there were for this past I-Day. Also, USNA posts A LOT of photos from I-Day on their Facebook page, as well as many throughout Plebe Summer. You can really tire your eyes out looking for your Plebe! Also, there are at least two very nice women who post photos on Drop shots throughout Plebe summer. As for the time with parents/family after swearing in on I-Day, check with a parents group in your state or another state and see if you can arrange for your DS to spend that 20 - 30 minutes or so with another family. I'm sure that you won't have any trouble finding a Mom to provide a hug and encouragement before they march back into Bancroft!
     
  11. supreme1

    supreme1 Member

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    PPW or I day

    NO question if you have to choose its PPW. They NEED you to bring a semblence of security/home/family after a very tough Plebe summer. We live on west coast and had this choice, luckily at last minute one of us parents got to go to Iday as well (work trip on east coast). After talking to many many parents and mids I would say this is a 99% no brainer, if it is truly a one or the other choice.
     
  12. mumsyto3

    mumsyto3 Member

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    We booked a house through StayAnnapolis (see OSDAD's link above). We rented a two bedroom house in Downtown Annapolis within spitting distance to Gate 1 of the Academy. They aren't cheap but we figured by the time we calculated in our desire to be within walking distance of the yard, being able to bring the dogs and not having to pay to kennel them, the house came with one parking place (not all of them do), the need to have a quiet place that DS could lay down in (we would have had to rent two hotel rooms), ability to cook all of DS's favorite meals, etc, it actually ended up being cheaper.

    Now bear in mind the houses in DTA are not single detached homes with a large yard. The one we rented was in a series of 5 or 6 small two story homes that are attached (like a condo). It is older but it had a lot of charm and it had a roof top patio that overlooked the harbor of DTA. There are several plebe moms/dads from DS's company that I met, through this forum and through the USNA parent listserve, and we were able to get together during PPW and have a little party on the roof! We have all remained in touch and have been a great source of support to each other these last 6 months. (you all know who you are:wink:). Sorry I'm diverting off of the original topic, but my point is that this forum is not only a great source of information during the application process, but has also been great after your DS/DD is a Mid.

    You have a little while before you need to start worrying about scheduling for PPW, but when the dates do come out, plan to book any hotel/house accomodations early as things fill up quickly and most of the area hotels raise the prices on popular weekends. At some point you'll want to decide if you want to stay in DTA/walking distance of the yard vs staying elsewhere. That is certainly a personal preference. Some people want to get as far away as possible from DTA. We, however, wanted to stay close to the yard (not have to worry about finding parking in DTA) so that we could come and go to the yard for different events that are planned for the weekend. We wanted DS to rest as much as possible. Most importantly we didn't want to worry about heavy traffic and trying to get DS back to the yard in time. There are many a story of people trying to get back to the yard, getting stuck in traffic, and plebes jumping out of cars and running back to the yard to get back in time! :eek:

    If anyone has any other questions please feel free to send PM.
     
  13. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    Traffic is a nightmare during PPW. Our mid was ready to bolt out of the car and run to the Yard at one point while stuck in traffic. Many will also start to get very nervous and worried about 2 hours before the scheduled time to be back. Our mid insisted we leave the hotel about an hour and a half before the check in. I looked into renting a house or condo on Vacation Rental By Owner.
     
  14. NewNavyMom

    NewNavyMom Member

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    Renting a house in Annapolis

    We also rented a house right in DTA for PPW. I would do that again in a second without hesitation. We brought the sisters with us so we would have had to rent 2 hotel rooms each night. The house ended up being the same price as a hotel and when you factor in the savings from not eating all meals out, maybe even less expensive. We used Annapolis Accommodations. They were wonderful to work with and had very detailed info and photos of their properties on their website.

    As for deciding between IDay and PPW I would vote for PPW. IDay is one day, albeit a wonderful day. But..PPW is three days with your Plebe, who you haven't seen in 6-7 weeks! My son was happy to see us for the few minutes at the end of IDay but he was also anxious and ready to get his room straight and just get on with the show. His thoughts were certainly not on us. PPW, he was relaxed and talkative and happy to be with us and share everything from his room to stories.
     
  15. blackhawkmom

    blackhawkmom Member

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    no question

    PPW hands down--we were lucky enough to attend both. Costly but worth it. But----trust me you will have so little contact with your plebe that by the time PPW rolls around you will all be needing the contact. You to see they really did make it through all the emotions-stress-triumphs and maybe even the doubts and breakdowns of the summer. They need you more PPW than they do on I-Day. But be aware the child you send on I-Day is not the adult you will meet on PPW. Seeing a shaved head and a white plebe uniform is shocking and emotional---seeing an adult in a dress uniform is priceless and even more emotional.You need the reassurance your child has made the right choice and is indeed alive and well just as much as they will need the reassurance you are real and they didn't enter the twilight zone, you aren't a memory from the long ago past and that a TV or music aren't dreams of another life-lol -yep seriously! My vote PPW! Best of luck to YOU and your candidate.
     
  16. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    Go to USNA Facebook page, Photos, Plebe Parent Weekend. There are two albums of photos that show that being there for your Plebe on PPW is priceless.
     
  17. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Hotels are fine but pick one in downtown Annapolis (Marriott, Lowe's, O'Callaghan and probably others). You'll pay dearly but the ability to walk (even if a long walk for you, it's not "long" for your plebe) back to the yard is priceless. Book early -- you can always cancel.
     
  18. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

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    Definitely go to parents weekend. It wouldn't have been horrible without my parents, but I wouldn't have even noticed if my parents weren't there for I-day.
     
  19. osdad

    osdad Member

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    We stayed in DTA (Loews) for I-day but out on Riva for PPW.

    Nice to be close on I-day as we were able to go back and forth via electric shuttle to get some rest in the middle of the long day.

    It doesn't really matter where you stay for PPW as your plebe will want to do three things: sleep, eat, & sleep some more. Getting back to the yard just meant allowing enough time. We planned about 1 1/2 hours before reporting time and used that time just to sit out by the sea wall and talk. Quiet, peaceful, relaxed.
     
  20. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    Just a point of clarification - Plebes return to Bancroft each night of PPW, they do not stay overnight in hotel with family. My recollection is that they get dismissed at about 1215 on Friday and must return by 2200 (10:00), then get dismissed at about 1030 on Saturday morning, return by 2400, dismissed at 0800 Sunday morning, return either by 1600 or 1800 - can't remember which.
     

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