Overnight Visit

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by coffeecup3, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. coffeecup3

    coffeecup3 Member

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    If I were to schedule an overnight visit soon, what weekday would you suggest to be the best time to visit, if there is a difference? Thanks
     
  2. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Last year you had a range of dates but it was ultimately up to them. We lucked out that DS was off from school when we went.
     
  3. raisederight

    raisederight New Member

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    We took the first session right after Easter last year. This worked well as all back-up colleges required payment for various services not covered by full scholarships right after Easter. It also helped my daughter get many questions answered prior to committing to USAFA and be at ease about her decision.
     
  4. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    When my son visited last week, it was a Tuesday night stay. He participated in several classes, and an APFT in the afternoon. During his briefing on Tuesday morning, the briefing officer mentioned that Thursday evening dinner was quite the experience as it is Spirit Night, where many interesting things happen.

    His big learning with the APFT was that the sit-ups method was completely different from that used for the CFA. He will be concentrating on using this new method in his workouts.
     
  5. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    Our son just received his confirmation about a week ago. He'll be there the Thursday/Friday the first week of April. I'll tell him about the Thursday night dinner! It is also the week before our Spring break here at home. Did you travel with your son?
     
  6. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    I did the Thursday night into Friday. I liked it for 2 reasons. 1- Thursday nights the entire corps eats dinner together, and there is always a theme for the dinner. The night I was there they were honoring the first African-American graduate of USMA in honor of black history month. 2- Thursday is BDU day for cadets!
     
  7. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    ACU. :wink:
     
  8. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    Whoops, sorry.
     
  9. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    Yes, my wife and I did. We have family nearby in Yonkers, so always a reason to go.

    Your son should have a good time.
     
  10. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    Our son visited a few weeks ago, and I went with him for the trip from MD. He very much enjoyed the visit. Host was great, classes were interesting. He enjoyed the Thursday lunch that included a visit from Miss USA, the Thursday night dinner, and the Friday tradition where professor talks about a combat experience. The small class sizes really made an impact on my son.

    The information session on the first morning was very informative. My son left with his host about half way through the presentation. The session included an admissions officer, and a second year cadet, providing information and answering questions, and then a tour of the outside grounds by a third year cadet for the parents. We arrived around 8:00 AM, and I was free to twittle my thumbs from around noon until 12:45 PM the next day.

    All six students in our session all had already received appointments, so we did not spend a lot of time talking about the admissions process, but mostly spoke about cadet life, and opportunities once at the academy.
     
  11. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    He is so excited for this opportunity! I am going with to help complete my book report (his nickname for my research). I am very glad to know that I will get to talk with representatives and see the campus. Although, I hear driving in New York is tricky! Any hints?

    Thank you for all of the information! It would be great if our son could be in a group with other appointees as well.
     
  12. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    West Point is in an almost rural area, with a passenger vehicle only parkway between the Interstate and West Point if you are coming up from I-87. A very pleasant drive, and no issues whatsoever.

    The fun part is navigating I-95 in the NYC metro area! Congestion and clogged highways are the norm anytime of the day and night. Just tune in to 1010 WINS on the AM radio for frequent traffic updates. Flying into Newark, or even better Stewart to avoid most of the traffic issues. If flying into Newark, take the Garden State Parkway North to I-87. Ignore the GPS that takes you on a more direct, but congested route. Take a look at a map beforehand - i.e. Google Maps or Mapquest or Bing.

    Once in Highland Falls, if you stay at the Thayer, you can park the car, and walk almost everywhere. You'll see signs throughout the grounds that might say cadet/cadre only - don't ignore the signs, but do talk to the admissions folks about where you can confidently walk. There is a lot to see after the official admissions briefing. My wife and I walked from the Hotel Thayer to the Admissions office, through the main academic areas (outside), to Arvin Athletic Center (lots to see inside), across the Plain, past Professor's Row, and up to the Cemetery. Alas, we could not visit any of the grave sites due to the deep snow. For relaxing, we spent time in the new Library; there is a coffee shop on the ground floor, and in the center atrium there is a display case with examples of all the USMA class rings. A few floors up, there are some displays, and a huge globe. On the top floor is a glass enclosed patio with a great view of the surrounding area. The north side of the Library has floor to ceiling windows in a study area that provides excellent views of the campus, the Plain, and the Hudson valley and mountains nearby.

    My wife and I also tried to get some work done during our respite in the library, but there is no available WiFi that was accessible to us. Our 3G phones (ATT) kicked down to 2G Edge, so we were able to do some basic emails.

    When you go on the parent tour, the host cadet will take you in a circle - admissions office, up through the central main academic/barracks area, to Thayer Hall, inside Thayer past classrooms, then outside and into the new Library, then across the plain to Trophy Point, then back to the Plain to watch the cadets assemble for lunch in front of the mess hall. Be sure to ask lots of questions, and note how well the cadet host walks backwards while explaining the sights to the parents, and doing an occasional glance forward to be ready to solute passing officers.

    Parents won't be able to look inside any of the barracks; to see an example, visit the West Point Visitors Center near the Thayer Gate. The Museum next door is also quite interesting.

    We've visited a few times, and there is always something new to see.
     
  13. Grannie

    Grannie Member

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    Another thought. . .Don't forget about flying into Albany. We often drive the 90 m. instead of flying out of Hartford and we're only 16 m. from the airport! I just checked and Newark is about 60 m. while Albany is about 125 m.from WP; but if you're renting a car anyway, it may be worth looking into. We've flown out of Newark, too, due to price savings. It is a pretty easy in/out off of the Jersey Turnpike and you don't have to deal with NYC traffic. The Albany airport is small and a really easy in/out. Prettier drive to WP as well. I've never checked out the pricing for the Newburgh airport but I've seen cabs there if you don't want to rent a car. We're less than 2 hours from WP by car so we've been to WP several times and stay in Newburgh. It's just a "zip" over the mountain. Shopping is available if you need something and there is a wide choice of restaurants and prices. If you've never been, Highland Falls is a tiny, tiny town with little retail but we've enjoyed some very good restaurants within a block of the front gate and the Thayer. As an alternative for the budget minded, think about the EconoLodge in Highland Falls. It is what it is. . .A small town motel with exterior doorways to the rooms. I would consider it within walking distance to the gates but if you're going to do a lot of walking that day, the extra cost of the Thayer may make your visit more pleasant. There is a nearby Holiday Express but you would need a vehicle to stay there.
     
  14. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    Son went for a Thursday/Friday visit, goodthing to see the whole Corps at dinner. Also noted that the "firstie" club [bar] is open on Thursday nights, so the barracks were a little more relaxed for the underclassmen earlier in the evening, and full of some rather raucous scooter races later.
     
  15. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Grannie has a good point about Albany. When I took my son on his visit we flew into Albany because, for whatever strange reason, it was cheaper to fly Seattle to Albany rather than Seattle to Newark even though we had to change planes in Newark. Albany airport is small, easy to navigate and the people were friendly. The drive down is longer in miles but can be shorter in time due to less traffic.
     
  16. coffeecup3

    coffeecup3 Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone! I am looking to do a Thursday/Friday overnight visit in april. I am lucky enough to be able to drive there (about 3 hours). I also had to double check with my lacrosse coach first about which game is the best to miss haha since it seems every friday is a game :thumb:.
     
  17. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    Live and learn I guess! The advice we took said to fly into LaGuardia. Newark next time, huh? One of the reasons we booked that flight is that it arrived mid-afternoon so we'll be able to drive up during daylight hours. Flying from the west coast makes it a little harder to connect into Stewart and arrive before midnight. I have booked stays for the overnight and A-day in New Windsor. Not too far away, but not the convenience or price of Thayer.

    My son is booked 4/8-4/9. Let me know if you have the same dates!
     
  18. Grannie

    Grannie Member

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    If you've driven in other large cities, you can handle the NYC traffic. You aren't downtown Manhatten so getting into/out of Queens to go north toward Connecticut/Up-state New York isn't too bad. Just go with the traffic flow and know you exit numbers so you can be in the correct lane. Most backup issues are at exits and if you don't anticipate by being in the lane you need, no one will let you in. Good luck!
     
  19. NV_USMA_Mom

    NV_USMA_Mom Member

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    Thank you!!
     
  20. CPT_Claw

    CPT_Claw Member

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    My son is there April 8-9 as well.

    He and I visited last Spring Break for a few hours, and then he attended SLS last year as well. This is the first time for his Mother and Sisters to see the campus though. We're all pretty excited.

    See you there!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010

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