Last Minute I-Day Questions - Help Appreciated!!

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by HeyClaire, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. HeyClaire

    HeyClaire Member

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    As I-Day approaches, I find that the tears come more often, the heart feels more heavy, and the pit in my stomach just won’t leave…. And as overwhelmed as I feel, I still have some last minute questions for anyone who can answer them. I understand that there are existing threads on some of this info but I just don’t have the patience to read through all of them – so thank you in advance for your help.

    1.) SCHOOL BREAKS - I understand that my son will be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but are there any other times during the year that they will be coming home?? How long is each break? How exactly does summer work? Will he only be home for a few weeks and if so, then what will he be doing during the entire summer? (I am just feeling a bit anxious so any info on these breaks will be extremely helpful!).

    2.) CELL PHONE POLICY – What is the cell phone policy for Plebes? I understand that they are only allowed to call home once or twice during Plebe summer, but what is the policy during the school year? Is phone use restricted and if so, what are the rules?

    3.) CARE PACKAGES – I have been reading a lot about care packages and to be honest, I am still a bit confused. What is allowed and what isn’t allowed? Some say that they can receive homebaked good while others say that they will be taken away. What about candy? My son loves Starbursts and anything that is not chocolate – Can I send candy? What about Pretzels, Chex Mix and Goldfish? What restrictions are put on the care packages and will they be able to keep everything that is sent to them? Where do they store the care package “goodies”? Are there limitations to what they can have in their rooms? What exactly is “Body Glide”?? People have mentioned sending white compression shorts – How many do I send and will he be allowed to wear these shorts? AHHH – Such confusion…!! 

    4.) WHAT DOES SON BRING TO I-DAY? – I have read many posts regarding this question and have shared them with my son – He is leaning towards bringing the bare minimum? Is there a “right” or “wrong” to this question?

    5.) I-DAY SWEARING-IN CEREMONY – I have read many posts about I-Day and I still have several questions - I will have 3 younger children with my husband and me on I-Day and I don’t believe that it will be possible to “stake out” a spot to watch the ceremony so early in the day. After going to the Mid Store, we were thinking of taking the kids back to the hotel to go swimming. If we don’t “stake out” a spot, will we be able to see anything (I am not familiar with Annapolis or its layout)? How early should we return to town to prepare for the ceremony? What time is the ceremony?? Or am I just fooling myself and should we just “deal with it” and stay in Annapolis for the entire day so we don’t miss anything??

    Once again, thanks so much for all of your help, suggestions and advice regarding this post and for my many posts during this past year – This board has been a tremendous “gift” for me as you all have answered questions, squelched fears and comforted many anxieties. Thank You!!
     
  2. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    during the year they can have a cell phone ... but won't have much time to use it ...

    Care packages -- during plebe summer no candy. period. healthful food only -- they need energy ... not a crash and burn ... chips, cookies, etc will be taken away ... and avoid the chocolate energy bars because they melt ... powdered gatorade in single-serve portions (or powerade) so they can add to a waterbottle, dried fruit, fruit snacks ... calorie dense food ... they will be hungry ... send more moisture wicking socks ... gold bond powder for their bodies and feet, mole skin for blisters,

    you have a list of what they can wear/have ... believe it. we added long, knit boxer/compression shorts ... more comfortable than the issued stuff ... and that was allowed. we sent more over the summer. laundry is slow to return ...
     
  3. Kero

    Kero Member

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    Lets start at the beginning...

    Breaks - thanksgiving WED-SUN, Christmas last final to acouple days after new years depending on how the days fall, Spring Break a week late feb or early mar, Intercessionals after last final until recognition week. As for summer anywhere from nine straight weeks to only two weeks garunteed.

    Cell phone - no calls during study hour, but depends on company and your kid.

    Care packages - send whatever your kid likes within reason, really varies by company and even individual cadre for what gets taken away. No meds, other than that you know your kid best.

    I-day - I'm of the school of not bringing anything but sports gear.

    as for the swearing in I can't help.
     
  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Wait until you feel the pride. I just walked my dad through the Yard again for his 80th birthday. He hadn't been there since I graduated in 1991. He STILL walked through the place with a sh!t-eating grin and with a chest puffed out so far I was afraid he'd knock over anyone closer than 10 feet in front of us.

    Trust me, it'll all be worth it. :thumb:

    Maybe someday I'll get to feel that myself. :redface:

    Not to rain on the parade, but your son MAY be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Assuming things still work the way they used to, there are conditions under which those leaves don't happen. 99.9% of them, however, require your boy to REALLY screw up.

    As for the summer, it all depends upon their training rotation. It used to be divided into three segments of approximately three weeks each. The normal routine was that two of those were for training, and the third for either leave or summer school. My leave just before my Youngster Year was, IIRC, about 10 days. Before my 1/C year, I managed to scam 70 days.

    We didn't have those, so I can't help. We communicated via smoke signals and tapping on the windowsills. :redface:

    Generally speaking, your son will be allowed to have anything that isn't prohibited as a priviledge for upperclassmen, so while what you listed all sounds legit, things like iPods and the like most likely will not be. Each company has its own policies and your boy will know it when he calls home asking for stuff.

    Tell him to bring his brain and his..... OOPS! Wrong thread. :biggrin:

    Bare minimum is a good idea. Everything he NEEDS is issued, so he'll simply end up carrying everything else as excess weight. Bring what they tell you to bring and almost nothing else.

    I would stay on the grounds and deal with it. If the kids are really young, you may even want to leave them at home with family. If your I-Day is anything like past I-days, you'll think you're being boiled alive inside someones armpit, which isn't the best thing for anyone, let alone little kids. That said, there is plenty of A/C around the Yard these days, which didn't exist in my day.

    Also, unless they've gone cheap on you, the Yard is chock full of activities, seminars, and briefs for the parents and families where they get a closer look at what their Mids are going through as they sit there. You will also begin to meet fellow parents that have all the same crazy emotions you do. There is strength in numbers.

    Best of luck. :smile:
     
  5. NewNavyMom

    NewNavyMom Member

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    Two questions:

    Does anyone bring chairs to sit on for the ceremony or is short enough that my 82 year old mother can stand in the heat?

    Do you think my son would get eye drops if I sent them in a care package? Or should he just go to medical and get them? His eyes bother him in the bright sun and I suspect he will spend a lot of time in the bright summer during Plebe Summer.
     
  6. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I would bring the seat. Get one of those lightweight collapsible jobs that you can sling over your shoulder with a sling. The ceremony itself is maybe an hour (if that), but the time it takes to walk in, for the Plebes to form up, the ceremony, and for your Plebe to find you will be considerably longer.

    Bring water.

    Unless he has a MEDICAL reason to have them, getting them from medical MAY be difficult. I would suggest he bring a small bottle and then see if medical will provide more. In my day an eye exam was part of I-Day activities. If that still holds, he'll be able to ask the doctor/nurse doing the test if such eyedrops will be available. In the meantime, he'll have his. You can always send him more via care packages later.

    If bright sunlight hurts his eyes to the point he needs drops (and short of a medical need, of course), I suggest he get used to it PDQ. Being out in the sun is not a rare deal in the Navy and Marine Corps, and he won't be allowed sunglasses in uniform for a LONG time (short of a medical chit, and that starts dancing dangerously close with things that sound disqualifying).
     
  7. USNA13DAD

    USNA13DAD Member

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    Dealing with it

    Your first several questions were answered but let me give an opinion on your staying on the yard during I Day. I dont believe its necessary and my wife and I did not stay on the yard during I Day. We were in a DTA hotel that was within walking distance so we left the yard went about our business of packing, eating, etc. came back heard the briefing by the Dante and the Supe and left again to get something to eat before the swearing in ceremony. We did not want to sit in the intense heat to stake out a spot as many people did. One warning: Plebes will enter T Court from both sides so unless you can guess right you may be seated in the wrong place anyway.
    When the swearing in ceremony started I was in a good position to see my son march in (guessed the right side) took great pictures of him and completely lost sight of where he sat down (lost in a sea of white uniforms). I was closer to him than most people that staked out seats in the bleachers. My wife and daughter saw him march in and we had walked up to T court ten minutes before the ceremony started. That was our experience. But you need to do whats right for your mid and your family, my daughter who accompanied us to Annapolis left with a tremendous appreciation for her brother and some of the greatest moments I saw that day came between siblings and the new plebes.
     
  8. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    I'd forgotten about the bleachers.

    I'd still carry a seat for an 82-year-old, unless she's in killer shape like my dad, who at 80 will most likely outlive me. :cool:
     
  9. supportivemom

    supportivemom Member

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    Even regular college moms have pits in their stomaches! And at least you'll know where they are sleeping! Tell your friends who are sending their kids off to state U that and it will give them pause as to what their kids might be soon up to. Your child is in a good place, and will actually enjoy parts of plebe summer.
    Take a chair for grandma without fail. Someone will sit in it. Dress for weather, not fashion. Sneakers for all.
    Go swimming, the sibs need some time for themselves or they'll make you regret it later in the day. Return for the brief in alumni hall and then do and see all else on the yard. Do not stake out seats for hours. Not worth it. Our year the standees got to move up even closer than those in the seats once they marched in. You will not be able to pick out your mid unless they have a distinctive body size. All shaven head males around 5'10'' with their new glasses on start to look the same. But have fun trying.
    Body glide is sold in mid store and sporting goods places. Prevents rashes form clothing in sweaty conditions.
    You can never know if what you send during plebe summer gets to your mid. If you don't mind if your favorite cookies may not make it to him, then by all means send it. If too important to you, then wait till ac year when they'll be picking up their mail themselves.
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Yeah, like when it ENDS. :shake:

    Excellent advice. This is not a time for fashion statements. COMFORT is the key. Anything else is second, so long as you don't show up in nothing but a bathing suit. (Had the horrible experience of having a guy in nothing but a brief swimsuit running along West Street during my visit last week, and believe me, he would NOT have gotten a role in 300! :barf:

    How true! :yllol:

    It's just as much fun the other way, too. Try picking out a familiar face in an ocean of gawking family members while still keeping your eyes in the boat! :shake:

    I find this disturbing to the extreme.

    During my entire 10 years in uniform, mail was something that was never, EVER, messed with by ANYONE who wanted to remain alive, including upperclassmen.

    How does this possibility of a Mid not receiving a package meant for them exist? In my day, after the Pony Express dropped off the mail, it was delivered to the Company Area by the Plebe on duty in BAT(O) and sorted into named cubicles in the company mail desk by the MOD. Mids would then go to the desk to get their mail. This could have included packages, but sometimes you got a receipt that meant you needed to go down to the basement of 4th or 6th Wing (not sure now) to get your stuff. NEVER, however, did we have difficulty getting what was sent to us.

    Has that changed? :confused:
     
  11. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    we sent packages every week all summer. he never missed one ... the first took a while to get to him because the detailers didn't pick it up ... but usually he got them in a timely manner. we sent packages regular mail, with a delivery confirmation ... no signing or anything (that requires them to go to a special office NOT a good idea)

    One thing we did: sent stationary, and pre-printed post cards with his return address and our address (grandparents address etc) and stamps already on them ... got them at a office supply store. We put a range of choices for him to check off/circle ... I'm alive ... it rained/snowed is hotter than hades ... today was good bad better the worst etc. We left space for him to write on it ... ... we actually got several. They are busy, tired and stressed during the summer ... this made it easier for him ...
     
  12. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    Hey Z,

    These days (don't know about the "good ole days" :cool:), the detailers pick up mail and deliver it to their Plebes during Plebe Summer. Each Plebe must open their boxes so the detailers can make sure there's no contraband. My Mid received all her packages, but candy, cookies, and even Power Bars were taken away in her company.

    Once Ac year starts, everyone picks up his/her own mail (7th wing 0 deck, I believe) whenever he/she can make time to do so.
     
  13. pilotmom15

    pilotmom15 Member

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    ZAPHOD. Your posts are hysterical and have be cracking up. DS is heading to NASS tomorrow and hope at some point heading to I-day at either USNA or USAFA.
    I enjoy that you bring a much needed light hearted approach to what can be a very stressful time.
     
  14. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Good grief.

    Yeah. That has a lot to do with building great officers. :rolleyes:

    Huh. Interesting. Gotta suck if you live on 2-4. :shake:

    Thanks for the udpate. We were still using quill pens and candles in my day. :cool:
     
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    Madam, you are most welcome. :smile:

    Sadly, with so much time having passed since my day and with little direct involvement since, my role has become one of "general philosophy" and "lessons learned".

    Oh, and being the Class Clown, too. :redface:
     
  16. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    In my plebe's company last summer, they opened boxes in front of detailers, but candy, power bars, cookies not confiscated. Shared perhaps, not taken away.


    Body Glide is indeed available in mid store. But your plebe will make only maybe one or two trips to mid store over the summer. They cannot go at will. In fact, most of what I sent in those plebe summer care packages is available at mid store, and probably cheaper than in west Texas! But it might as well be in west Texas as in the mid store.........they cannot get to it!

    Care package contents change dramatically at the beginning of ac year. No need to send clif bars, sports jelly beans, power glide, foot powder, tide pens or shout wipes, gatorade.....all right there in the mid store. Much larger selection of say, clif bar flavors than I have available here even! Can't buy momma's famous choc chip cookies or brownies at the mid store, however!
     
  17. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I find this a bit disturbing as well and I think things have changed. My guess -- and it's only that -- is that there are so many banned items that can be hidden in packages. Things that didn't exist in my day, such as I-Phones, I-Pods, etc.

    It does bother me that people can't have the FOOD they want. For goodness sake, they are adults. If they want to cram their mouths w/candy and suffer the consequences, let them! However, as I'm not the Dant, my vote doesn't count.:thumbdown:
     
  18. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    I would never have believed this until I experienced it. "What? Not recognize my boy, whose face I have looked into every day for the past 18 years?" But, during boot PIR, I couldn't find my son to save my life even though I knew his division and new exactly where to sit so we could be right in front of them when they marched in. My plebe-to-be is a bit taller at 6'1"+, so maybe I'll have better luck, but I'm not going to hold my breath!

    As for the mail, we have never had trouble with our older son receiving his mail. Of course, enlisted cannot receive any packages during basic, but afterward he always got his mail, even though he moved constantly during the early days of training command. Sometimes they would have him open it and look through it when he picked it up, but no one ever rifled through it before he got it. Don't know if it is the same at the academy though.
     
  19. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    :yllol:

    Now come on..... You and I have both BTDT.

    Since when did "being an adult" matter at Canoe U? :wink:
     
  20. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

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    My mom picked me out immediately.

    Of course, I was 6' 2" and she was used to seeing me in a dixie cup after NAPS. :biggrin:
     

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