Induction Day - wish i had remembered.....

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by singaporemom, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    I'm sure there is a thread on this from last year, but I'm lazy today...
    I read all the posts before we left for Annapolis in June, but many things did not sink in until AFTER the day was over.:redface:

    Handy Hints....others please add on your hints for newbies:

    Bring breakfast food back to your hotel room night before. Son had 6:30am report time, and it was impossible to find food that early...nearby. We had snacks, but could have done better for him.

    Try to checkin early, (we arrived 2 nights early). Extra roller beds, etc, tend to disappear as the place fills up. Also, many rollways have plastics bed cover that makes for a noisy night...remove it possible!

    Let Plebe make the itinerary...we had a full day in annapolis and just wandered around, ate whatever he felt like, etc. Kept it low key.

    Just pack the basics....his detailers didn't let him keep any of the 'suggested packing list' until the end of Plebe summer. Mail it to him instead. Better to have a small backpack with toiletries and a change of underwear and t shirt.

    Put plebe's cellphone in plastic zip lock with charger, label cell phone charger and baggie. also, turn the fully charged phone off and then put it in baggie.

    after reporting, it will take about 2 hours until they depart alumni hall....the busses then take the kids to bancroft. head over to the mid store and you will see the plebes getting off the bus and forming up, getting yelled at, carring their stuff, etc. If you don't see your kid, you'll see one that looks just like yours!

    There's plenty of time during the day for a tour.

    Bring a blanket, water and snack (subway sandwich?) for plebe after ceremony. If you can, bring a chair. Son had not sat down nor eaten yet. Fortunately we were prepared with food, but wished we had blanket.
     
  2. Shelbyboyz

    Shelbyboyz Member

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    valuable asset

    Singaporemom,
    You are such a valuable asset to this forum, thank you! DS has an appointment to USMA, but is also waiting 3 Q'd with a Congressional nom to USNA. Not positive where DS will end up, but I wish I had the kind of info you provide to USMA as well :smile:

    As a mom that now tears up at most of these posts, I appreciate the small details you provide to try to make that first day a little easier for DS or me!

    Thanks again for providing such great info!
     
  3. bergmom

    bergmom Member

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    Thank you so much for these great tips for I-Day...as the day gets closer and the reality of sending our DS off to USNA approaches...my anxiety continues to rise!! I try to soak up all the info I can so that we make his transition as "easy" as possible. I also tear up every time I read these posts...it helps knowing there are other moms that have lived through the same experiences! Keep all the advice coming:smile:
     
  4. wilson73

    wilson73 Member

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    This may sound trivial, but instead of packing a blanket (and lugging it around all day along with the contents of the Mid Store mega-shopping spree), I brought a white disposable paper tablecloth to spread out for our plebe to sit on. Protects the whiteworks from grass stains, big enough for everyone to sit on, and the weight and volume are nowhere near those of a blanket. Worked great, and we tossed it at the end of the evening.

    Another thing to remember for the female members of your group: easy on the makeup. Not saying you shouldn't wear any. Just keep in mind that there are not enough Shout wipes on the planet to remove lipstick, makeup, blush, etc. from the whiteworks when you hug your Plebe after you first see them in the uniform. They will pay dearly once they disappear behind those doors in Bancroft if their uniform has anything on it that the Navy did not issue to them!!

    Dress for comfort, not style. It is a small campus, compared to many other schools, but you will be doing a LOT of walking on I-Day. Also, July in Annapolis can be oppressively hot and humid. We were lucky last year that I-Day was glorious from a weather standpoint, but the next day the heat and humidity kicked in and lasted throughout the entire Plebe Summer.
     
  5. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Good thoughts, all.

    I suggest that if you can arrive in Annapolis two days prior to I-Day, do so. The day before I-Day, we went to the yard, son opened his bank account by depositing checks and cash from high school grad gifts. We went to the mid store and did the giant shopping spree that day as well. Note here: They will have t-shirts with every member of the class of '15 listed on the back. They will run out of smalls and mediums very soon. They will also have tote bags. Some years they have these or more of these available at PPW. Anyway, get them the day before if you can. The tote bags make good grandparent gifts. If you do this the day prior, you will be better equipped to walk around I-Day.

    To go into more detail, we stayed walking distance, rented a house just off the city dock. It was great. We would have needed two hotel rooms, so the cost was comparable. Hubby and I stayed on the yard all day, but other siblings went back to our digs during the middle of the day. They rested and then rejoined us and sat in the chairs, saving seats for us for the swearing in. It was HOT. We utilized an umbrella as we awaited the swearing in.

    It is fun to watch the plebes arrive at Bancroft via bus and haul their gear up to their rooms. You can station yourselves just up the stairs from the main door to the mid store and grab a cool drink and watch. There's a very over priced picnic, but you aren't paying for the food, you get to visit with many local merchants, hotels, other parents, parent clubs, etc. Go to the briefing in alumni hall....they will have a slide show and you may see your kid going through the in processing.

    Renting the house was probably the best thing we did. We hung out there, ate on the water the night before, and I cooked a good breakfast that morning before we all walked with our plebe to the yard. Yes, he was a bit nervous, but he was ok to eat. Not that nervous. It was wonderful not having to park, etc. If you didn't rent a house, being walking distance (which I classify as anywhere downtown up to the Westin) is really a bonus. I try to get us walking distance rooms every time we go.

    Now, this next bit of advice depends upon your kiddo.....but my hubby and I walked onto the yard at 6 am the morning after I-Day. We are walkers and routinely walk on the yard whenever we are there. Anyway, we were rewarded with plebes running with the cadre down by the water, near the athletic fields. We ducked behind a tree and saw ours go by, looking just fine.

    When I was up for PPW (I went alone), I did the same thing. I told him I was going to do that. He saw me and I got a big smile and thumbs up. Which made my trip home to Texas much easier. I guess if your DS or DD is homesick, etc, maybe walking onto the yard wouldn't be a good idea. And certainly don't yell out at them as they run by. I guess I wouldn't go deliberately stalking them, but if they run by, just step aside and enjoy.

    The morning after I-Day, I felt better because there were a lot of detailers with them, and plenty of chaplains, too. Detailers in yellow shirts, chaplains in red with the word "CHAPLAIN" in huge white letters. Even the Commadant was running with them. He wore a shirt, don't remember the color, maybe navy, that said "DANT." Anyway, it made me feel like son was going to be well taken care of and there was help available if things got overwhelming.

    You plebe parents will have the opportunity to subscribe to a studio that photographs what your plebes are doing. There are also a couple of Moms who shoot a great deal of film and put it on dropshots.com of all things USNA. The subscription thing is expensive, but they have access when the plebes are doing O-Courses, Sailing, etc. I would do it. Maybe others will weigh in here. Facebook will also have photos. The subscription thing sorts out the companies and squadrons and you can tell daily if they shot your kiddo's company doing whatever. Better rework your schedules now to allow for plenty of time DAILY to look at photos of what they are up to!

    My son said they felt like they were in the zoo with the photographers always around. He said they fantasize about the entire brigade whipping out cameras at noon meal formation and turning around to photograph the tourists! I told him that the photos really help the parents, especially during plebe summer.

    Those of you whose children have appointments that you have waited long for......the waiting is not over, it has only just begun. Now you wait for I-Day, the parents agonize for the first three weeks til that phone call comes in, then PPW, etc, etc. I am currently expecting this week to drag because our 3/C mid arrives Friday night for spring break.

    As your son or daughter builds some friendships (mine has 4 guys he is totally inseparable from), do your best to get to know those parents. They will take your mid to eat, etc when they are in Annapolis. We kind of all take care of each other's kiddos when we can. Become their facebook friends and you will be rewarded with photos they take when they go visit. Being connected truly is much easier than it used to be! And those photos, etc will help keep you parents afloat! Trust me on that one!
     
  6. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    great tips....I hadn't thought of a paper tablecloth. good idea.
    experienced parents, please continue the thread and add your tips. Everyone who has been through it can help the new parents along. If we as parents are less nervous it will help our Plebe. :smile:
     
  7. usnamomx3

    usnamomx3 Member

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    When my older two went to Annapolis, we were from the PNW so they had a three hour time change to get used to. About two weeks before I Day they started setting the alarm a bit earlier and went running so that when they finally woke up the morning of I Day, they were used to being up at that time (or as ready as they could be) and didn't feel the time change along with all the other stressors of Plebe Summer.

    Make the most of the time between the time your DS or DD go and you see them again that evening on Stribling by getting to know as many people as you can. It will be invaluable throughout the next four years but especially during plebe summer to have those friendships and support when you don't hear from your mid or if you DO hear from your mid. We made some very good friends during that first day that even ten years later are still precious bonds. I went to some place on the internet and got free business cards and ordered them with our names, address and phone no and wrote on the back our mids name and exchanged them with the parents that I met. That way I didn't have a billion scraps of paper all over. My younger boy who was in the fifth grade at the time of the first I Day was terribly embarrased but he got over it.:shake:

    At the end of the day, there is a formation and the oath and then they release your mids for the best/worst part of the day....the fifteen minutes or so when you can hug your mid and get a sense of how things are going for them before they march in formation right on up those steps of the Rotunda into Bancroft. There will be letters on posts all along Stribling Walk to correspond with your mids first letter of the last name. That is where you wait. Our mid didn't know or didn't hear that and we didn't get to see him until he was in formation again and all we got to do was smile and give the thumbs up. He looked devestated and I think it was a feeling shared.

    Unfortunately, my husband, who has corporate experience and not military experience, thought it would be wise to check up on our oldest mid, our baby....by calling Bancroft and asking to speak to whomever was in charge...wanting to let them know that he didn't get to see his boy and to make sure that he was okay. He got a very nice call back about an hour later from the Mr Someone in Charge of the Brigade, if I am remembering correctly, letting him know that "Your son is just fine and is getting all tucked into bed as we speak!" :smile:

    So much for being the plebe that flew under the radar for our boy.
     
  8. singaporemom

    singaporemom Member

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    usnamomx3 - that's both a sad and funny story!

    We spent the day before Iday with our DS and walked around the campus so he had an idea where everything was. We found Stribling Walk and told him what we had heard about meeting up after the ceremony. But my husband was so antsy that our son didn't have to look far. During the ceremony Dad wiggled his way up to the front with the camera and DS walked right passed him. dad got a sideways glance and a quick smile out of him. Then when the ceremony was over I left to go to our appointed spot and Dad rounded up DS. They have an uncanny knack of finding each other in a crowd. Considering he was seated right near the front podium and we were seated in the last row of the audience i was amazed how quickly DS and Dad made it back to me. Poor kid, I almost knocked him over when I ran to hug him!!! Those 12 hours apart felt like a month!! He was grateful for the water and subway sandwich, a bit shell shocked and stunned that about a dozen kids had already left. When I spoke to him on friday night, he was talking about maximizing his matrix for the Applied Physics major and discussing the situation in Egypt. Who is this kid???? :biggrin:
     
  9. jbowman55

    jbowman55 USNA Parent 2014

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    Reporting in--
    We arrived too early. DD got pretty nervous as we approached Alumni Hall. She ended up going in 20 min. early.:eek:

    The Chaplains are terrific. The Rabbi was very effective at relieving some tension. "Who ya gonna call? The Chaplains.":yllol:

    Regarding the meetup after the Induction Ceremony--

    EVERYONE is trying to get close to Stribling Walk. If you can get your mid to remember, meet him/her back away from the walk. On both sides, there is a sidewalk in an ellipse which will give you a back limit of where to meet.:wink:

    If your mid is female, you will have an easier time finding her. But I still swear I have pics of Sarah but she says they are not.

    I-Day is special but PPW is better.
     
  10. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    This is strictly up to the individuals involved, but we left the Yard between check-in and swearing in/meeting on Stribling. We had spent the day before I-Day on the Yard with our soon-to-be Plebe and went to the midstore and the musuem. We just needed to go off and decompress a bit. We felt (and still do) that hanging around all day would just heighten the sense of pending separation.
     
  11. need2know

    need2know Member

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    Thank you so much for this valuable advice! So many things to think about before I-Day and these posts are exactly what us new Plebe parents need. Hoping to be supportive for my DS without being too emotional. Any tips for how to keep it together?? I didn't think this would be too much of a problem but I am finding myself getting teary even reading this thread.
     
  12. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    Talk to your Plebe-to-be

    The experience and emotions seemed to vary widely from my observation last year. Some plebes looked totally shell shocked and exhausted. I'm sure their parents were glad to have brought a blanket or table cloth. Others were obviously hungry and/or thirsty. DS really did not want anything to eat at that point, did sit down for a while but I think nerves and the overwhelming insistence of family to get "one more photo" had him back on his feet. If there is a family member who is unable to attend, let your plebe call. DS called Grandpa while Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunt, and brothers took pictures and indulged in Plebe watching. DS had a HS classmate being inducted also so the two families met up as well. It is a short busy visit after swearing in. That seemed to help everyone keep emotions in check, well sort of for Mama and Grandma. (Dad kept the sunglasses on so it sort of looked like his eyes were sweating.):cool: In reality the most tearful moments are moments of amazing pride. The key is to talk to your plebe-to-be and adjust accordingly. Like some of the others we had the luxury of arriving a day ahead and got a lot of the shopping, touring stuff done. This eases the schedule(?) for I-day. Based on your family, decide ahead of time what each one expects. Give family members who may want to tag along a realistic expectation. There are some things(briefings) that most parents will want to do but siblings, grandparents, etc. may not. You can walk/ride the bus to Alumni(from the stadium) with them but once they go through the doors at Alumni there is a lot of luck involved in seeing them prior the swearing in. DS had a fantastic BGO/RC, he was there as well, who had fully briefed the families on what to expect. I think he stopped by each family, both in the morning before entering Alumni Hall and after the swearing in, to check on the new plebes and their parents. Talk to each other! Tremendous emotions on I-Day but realize that the closing of those huge metal doors leading into Bancroft are only a taste of the emotional roller coaster you need to expect over the next four years and beyond. Be proud, shed tears(wait until they are back in formation, if you can), but most of all be happy and thankful for what they are doing.
    Congratulations and best of luck!
     
  13. Team Mom

    Team Mom Member

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    I-day or PPW for Grandma

    DS's Grandma wants to go to USNA either on I-day or PPW.
    She had a knee surgery and she will likely need a wheel chair.
    Now, which would you recommend for Grandma on a wheel chair, I-day or PPW?
    I understand that there are many opportunities to see USNA while our DS is being admitted on I-day, but parents will be also busy and I don't know if Granma can keep up our pace.
    For PPW, I understand all DS wants to do is go to the hotel and relax. We (parents) would rather be with our DS and listen to his stories than taking Granma for sightseeing and it will be really hot there.
    Should she wait until the 3C PPW? When is it going to be? When is the good time to take Grandma with us?
    Thank you
     
  14. wilson73

    wilson73 Member

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    There is no 3/C PPW, only one is for 2/C and that is in the fall of their 2/C year.
    There are a lot more activities over PPW than there are on I-Day. One of the things you are able to do over PPW is see your Plebe's room in Bancroft. Ours was on the top deck, which I think involved us climbing at least five flights of stairs, and since parents will not have another opportunity to see their Mid's room until 2/C PW, it was worth it for us. Would Grandma be willing to wait while everyone else does this? Also got to meet roommates, their parents, and the leadership cadre from PS. They had some interesting stories to tell about our Plebe that I would never have imagined!
    There was a briefing in Alumni Hall on Friday morning where they showed a video of PS, and all the parents were trying to spot their kid. You will also have the opportunity to have lunch in King Hall, although lots of Plebes just want to get off the Yard as soon as formation is over. There's also a parade, but seats fill up quickly.
     
  15. need2know

    need2know Member

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    Spanky58ggpt...Thanks for the advice. I know it will be a long day (but incredibly short 20 min. after the oath) for all of us. I am very proud and I can be strong!
     
  16. angiern

    angiern Member

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    There's a lot of really good advice here. One thing I was greatful for on I-day last year was the swearing-in ceremony was short.
     
  17. 2014sponsor

    2014sponsor Member

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    DTA Transportation

    If you are out the West St corridor, there's a free Circulator that the city runs. Can save some walking if desired and there are a few garages out that way.

    If you are staying in Eastport, don't forget that's a drawbridge into town that opens for boat traffic.
     
  18. onee

    onee Member

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    I Day was incredibly long but you don't see your plebe to be for long before going into Alumni Hall. We tried to say our goodbyes prior to getting to the Yard to avoid the mom tears that were inevitable (actually did very well)
    It is a very long day and usually very very hot and humid. We were fortunate last year and the weather was really beautiful. I would caution to have sunscreen on and have your soon to be Mid put some on before going into the hall because they may get "fried"
    Also, try to wear something that your Mid can spot easily after the swearing in ceremony. You do not want to waste precious moments looking for each other. After the Mids form back up to march into Bancroft Hall, don't leave to soon as one of the most poignant moments is yet to come. There is a very somber drum beat as all of the companies march into Bancroft and then it happens.... after the last plebe marches into Bancroft Hall, the huge wooden doors are slammed shut and it is like the exclamation point on the end of the day, on the end of childhood, on the end of our roles as parents....the roles really shift and you will see this when you get to meet up with your Mid at PPW!! Enjoy it all and take lots of pictures. Congratulations and enjoy the last few weeks together.
     
  19. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    Grandma and Plebe's choice

    Team Mom - Talk to everyone involved, starting with Plebe-to-be. I-day was good for DS to have Grandma there. The mobility issue makes either one pretty tough with the schedule we chose. PPW would be easier for Grandma depending on what activities you choose. Bang for your buck - easy call - PPW. You and Grandma will get to see more of your plebe. We talked with DS and based on his desires decided that PPW would be just parents, possibly brothers, and lots of down time, catch a movie. How often you think you might get to visit USNA will certainly be a factor. We have about a seven hour drive so it is not frequent but better than going coast to coast. Some of the nicest visits were for football games and weekends when there were no "special" events. (Any visit to USNA is special) Grandma wants to go back for a visit as well, she loved I-day. I think that for us the key was we really talked it through with all the family members who went. They understood that the time they would get to spend with DS would be a tiny portion of the experience. They were also well aware that we (parents) would have a different agenda and were prepared to be on their own at times.

    IMHO - I-Day is about the significance of what is happening in their life, the beginning of a journey they have chosen. PPW is celebrating the first major milestone in their journey. It is a tough choice if you can't do both, but based on our experience and much advice here on the forum, PPW is the don't miss event. We were lucky to be able to do both, and thankful we did.
     
  20. kar57

    kar57 Member

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    You brought that moment right back to the here and now for me with what you wrote here...and that moment for us, the first time, was in June 2005. The tears came up, quite unexpectedly, again just reading this...truly a poignant and proud and life-will-never-ever-be-the-same-again moment in time. And back in '05 it was our only daughter - second oldest in our crowd of six leaving forever childhood behind. And now 7 years later two of her four younger brothers are marching into their military futures - the OSU sophomore Marine PLC guy and the High School senior guy awarded USNA Foundation sponsorship five days ago! The end of childhood indeed is a terribly beautiful time for all!!!
     

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