Overnight Visit

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by brovol, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. brovol

    brovol Member

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    My son is doing an overnight visit at USMA next week. Couple questions.

    First, I read that it is customary to bring a gift care package for the plebe who is hosting. Is that really true? My son thinks that will be goofy to come with a gift, and I kind of agree. I thought maybe when we pick our son up the next day just giving the host a $25-50 gift card or something as a gesture of appreciation. What do you who know about these things think? Is the plebe going to expect something?

    How are the Hosts selected? Do they volunteer? Don't they hate having to drag someone around? Will my son be staying in the plebes room, or sleeping somewhere there is an open bed? What does my son do when the plebe is doing sports activities? He was told to bring workout or running gear. Might he participate is sports or any activities like that? Can he use his cell phone? How much time will he be outside? Should he bring boots? Should he just wear docker type pants and a polo or button shirt? He is pretty excited about going.

    Lastly, My wife and I are staying at the Holliday Inn Exp in Fort Montgomery. Anyone else stayed there? Is the Thayer Hotel worth staying there instead, for about $35 more a night?
     
  2. JTGib13

    JTGib13 DS-USMA & USNA Appointee Class of 2020

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    -My DS did an overnight this past fall and he did not give a gift but I later read that someone brought their Plebe cookies.
    -My DS's letter was pretty clear about what to bring, what to wear, etc. Did you receive something like that to help you?
    -My son's Plebe was incredibly polite and didn't seemed bothered---he probably followed someone around a year earlier.
    -I think the Thayer Hotel is booked YEARS in advance and that's amazing if it's only $35 more than the Hol Inn?!?! If that's true, book it! Otherwise, I remember driving by the Holiday Inn in F Mont and it appeared to look nice from the outside and it's really close! Read some reviews of actual customers online...that may help. The Hol Inn was booked when we went so we stayed at The Bear Mtn Inn and I thought it was kind of gross---but others staying there said they like it and always stay there. Tell your son/daughter to enjoy and ask A LOT of questions!!! :)
     
  3. Rugbyftbllaxmom

    Rugbyftbllaxmom Member

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    If Thayer is only $35 more take it!! We have gone twice and stayed at Thayer last Spring and was amazing but $$ for a tiny room. When we went back this past Fall the Thayer was booked and even more $ if was available anyway so I booked the West Point motel right up the street - we didn't arrive until close to 10:30 pm and had to be up and out about 7am to be at campus so Thayer would have been too expensive for a short stay anyhow!! The WP motel was great, clean, great service at desk and free continental breakfast to grab and go. Appeared lots of military station g at the motel.
     
  4. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Yes, son got the email that said what to bring, but wasn't sure about a few things. For example, the email said he may want to bring a "blazer", which seemed a little formal for a 17 year old. And it indicated to bring cloths appropriate for the weather, but if he is only going to be walking from building to building then he wont need boots; on the other hand, if he is going to be outside for longer functions then he may want something warmer than just shoes.

    Holiday Inn was less than $120 when I booked it, and yesterday the Thayer had one room left at about $155, after the "resort fee" was added. I booked the Holiday Inn, but then thought maybe the Thayer would be cool.
     
  5. Row2020

    Row2020 Member

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    I am mailing the care package after the fact.
     
  6. Rugbyftbllaxmom

    Rugbyftbllaxmom Member

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    For that price I would take the Thayer if you have time to be there and enjoy it! Great restaurant and also bar right there too. Definitely worth the difference!
     
  7. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Plebes and Cadets are encouraged to sign up and avail themselves for such assignments. If no one is available on the list they starting with the Plebes who are in good standings. The student who is following them is known as a "drag" throughout the day. They will follow the Plebe throughout the day and during all events. Bring homework/PT clothes (Just in case they are invited to participate in athletic events at club or company level. They will not participate in WP Team events.) Have your son ask ask ask ask all the questions he can think of. Most Plebes will be very polite and and accommodating, however they are under pressure academically at this time.

    A gift is not necessary, however if you feel inclined here is how it works. In the Cadet rooms they have three boodly boxes if two Cadets are in the dorm room general speaking. Each cadet will have there own, family and friends will send them stuff and it is near and dear to them. The second is a community box of stuff that they share with others. So if a Cadet comes to a room to visit he'll check to see what they have or will be invited to take stuff. So usually home made cookies will generally go either in the trash or community box if it is from someone they don't know. Store bought cookies may go into the community boxes. Most Cadets are very weight and sugar conscience trying to avoid either. Because they must get pass IOCT, AFPT and company tests. A good idea is a gift card from Grant Hall, it will be used how they want and they don't have that many opportunities to leave post.

    Each dorm room has four bunks, Plebes usually have three assigned to a dorm, lucky ones have two. Your DS will occupy a spare and will be given bedding to be comfortable.

    He will be asked to silence his cell or turn it off during his stay, a small backpack with personal items like change of underwear, tooth brush comb, a towel. He will probably not be able to shower. Cadets are required to wear robes to and from the shower and room.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  8. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    If you have the opportunity to stay at the Thayer do so and enjoy yourselves at the Zulu. You can take a tour of West Point, visit the museums, DUSA, AOG store and walk out to Trophy Point, a must is the cemetery and Old Cadet Chapel. There are a number of books that are about the history of West Point and the surrounding area that are very interesting.

    After his stay, and this is the pearl, visit with admissions to review his file and what else he needs to do if he wants to continues. Unfortunately, you will not be able to go into Washington Hall, the classrooms, central areas. The professors at West Point are some of the most outstanding people you will ever meet. 90 percent are WP alumni who must have a high GPA when they were cadets to be invited back. Most of them are still serving or recently retired. And now they want to give back to their Country and the Army.

    I hope this helps, please ask all the questions you can here and there at West Point.

    Have a great time, you are entering into the gray months of West Point

    Push Hard, Press Forward

    Let us know how it went, Please
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
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  9. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Thanks a lot TugBoat for all the info. Very Very helpful.

    We were hoping to be able to meet with son's Regional Commander. Thought that might be an option when we dropped son off, but sounds like it would be better after? We wish this was the summer, fall or spring, so wife and I could spend hours walking around without getting frostbite, but we are looking forward to hanging out while the kid is being dragged for day and a half.
     
  10. Roxane

    Roxane Member

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    https://www.facebook.com/USAGWestPoint/posts/979281315495608?fref=nf

    I don't know your home state, but this is a link from West Point face book page on January 9th
    regarding security changes for visiting. I have stayed at the Holiday Inn and was very
    pleased with the hotel. During free time, I walked around and inside the Thayer Hotel
    and it is beautiful. On DD's overnight visit, we stayed at the West Point Hotel and thought it was o.k.
    It is within walking distance to the admissions gate.
    The biggest concern with that hotel was that DD was a senior in high school during her visit and was not able to
    complete her studies because the hotel did not have any internet access for her online classes.
    Other than that tug boat's info is excellent.
     
  11. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Yes, that info about the drivers license was in the email sent to my son. We are from Michigan, so are OK, but thank you.
     
  12. JTGib13

    JTGib13 DS-USMA & USNA Appointee Class of 2020

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    Ok...that sounds like the same letter and my DS packed a small bag and just took what he really needed. I do think he may have folded a blazer and packed it just in case since it said "you may want to bring a blazer". I don't think he ended up using it. He also went on a run with 3 or 4 students when his Plebe was busy and he was even allowed to participate in what sounded like a PE class of some kind. As for the hotel, you'll barely be in it because while your DS is on his visit, there is a long (and informative) parent meeting you will want to attend and then you'll want to sightsee, etc.! :) Enjoy the trip! GOOD LUCK TO YOUR DS and tell him to have fun!! :)
     
  13. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    brovol, just thought about this. You may be able to walk into the library and go up to the overview deck. In side is a display of all the class rings that have been donated or on loan from each class. You may need an escort but go ahead and ask. Your DS's RC may or may not be on post, but meeting with admission rep is a must. This weekend is 500th night for the Cows or third year Cadets. The gray months are especially difficult on the Cadets, the walls are gray, their uniforms are gray, the sky is gray. The post is void of color. Plebes have a most difficult time because this may be their first away from home. Their minds will be occupied with thoughts of math, chem and longings of home. Inside the Old Cadet Chapel, on the second level balcony in the corner, is a plaque dedicated to Benedict Arnold. His name and date had been scraped off at a point and time that no one knows.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
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  14. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    We have stayed at the HI in Fort Montgomery. It was nice/clean and your typical Holiday Inn, and only 10 min away. There is a BBQ restaurant next door that is supposed to be good (but coming from KC we didn't try it). I've been in The Thayer but haven't stayed there -- have heard the rooms are small and/or need updating. The Zulu Lounge is nice...in the summer.

    If your son wants to take a batch of chocolate chip cookies or other treat, they won't go uneaten. :) His host/Plebe won't/shouldn't be expecting anything.

    Tell your son not to take everything told to him by his host, other Plebes or other cadets to heart. Cadets have just returned to WP, and have entered the gloomy period (weatherwise; just received 1st semester grades, etc). He may hear some cynicism, some wisecracks, but hopefully he'll get the info he needs to make a decision that's right for him. Tell him to ask questions, not just of his host/Plebe, but of other cadets including upperclassmen, professors, etc.

    Good luck!
     
  15. VelveteenR

    VelveteenR Just gathering dust in the nursery...

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    VelveteenCadet hosted a candidate last semester and enjoyed paying it forward; he did not find the assignment a drag in spite of the term. Also, he did not expect any gifts. During his own overnight the previous year, he worked out (hard) with the crew team, so the workout gear was required. A few cadets shouted "DON'T DO IT!" at him as he was taken around, but he paid no attention.

    I posted somewhere else that while he was touring his candidate, they ran into the cadet who had hosted our son last year. When introduced, the upperclassman told the candidate, "If you you come here, you will be my grandson." There is a great sense of family in the corp.

    Enjoy your trip.

    Edited to add: Kiddo called yesterday to say that Plebes are in the process of choosing their majors right now. He sounded very excited and happy so this may not be a bad time to visit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  16. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    When my DS went on his visit last year, he did bring some treats - like Oreos, Twizzlers and M&Ms. The Plebes love getting this. He did some PT when he was there, so he was glad he brought work out wear. He enjoyed the classes he attended. One of the Professors had him fully participating in the small class when he was there. The welcome session and coordination in linking him up with his Plebe was very disorganized, especially compared to the USNA CVW, however, it did not bother my DS. He felt very welcomed and included and got the same family vibe when he was there. His overnight visit sealed the deal to go to USMA over USNA.
     
  17. Craig

    Craig Member

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    The plaque is on the wall opposite the stairwell side. It hangs just above the railing. If you go to USMA's memorial hall be sure to spot General Lee's plaque. He was a SUP there back in the day.
     
  18. brovol

    brovol Member

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    Thank you all for the posts, and please keep them coming. We are reading them and enjoying the insight and information. This is great.

    How are you all if I have questions about projects at home? Can you fix toilets too?
     
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  19. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    My cadet brought homemade cookies that he had made as a gift when went for his overnight visit. It was well received. Food is generally appreciated. Other good options (esp if the cadet is health conscious): granola bars, beef jerkey, protein bars and nuts.

    Enjoy your time at WP. I did not accompany my cadet as he was happy to drive up alone (and feel independent).
     
  20. soccerboy97

    soccerboy97 Member

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    I spent 2/3 days with a plebe this year, and I don't think they expect a gift. However, a gift would be a really nice gesture. Plebes are happy to host CCs because we are their golden ticket in way. They don't have to cup their hands, and they can talk outside during the day. Also, they don't have to follow many of the plebe rituals that they normal have to do. They are just as excited as your son will be for these reasons, and because they have fun.
     

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