Parents Weekend - it's practically here!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by fencersmother, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    So, we are at the end of BCT, Acceptance Day is looming, the Academic year begins. Next up: Parents' Weekend!

    For those of you who can afford it (and maybe if you can't!), I do so strongly suggest you make plans NOW, if you have not already done so, to go to Colorado for Labor Day weekend. Yes, arrange to arrive Thursday and don't leave till Tuesday, especially if you are flying in from the eastern US or even from the west coast where you'll spend plenty of time in crowded airports.

    There will be lots of advice here on where to stay, what to do, what your cadet will want to do...

    This thread is for folks who can bring some experience to new parents, some stories which may bring tears to the eyes (or roars of laughter), some suggestions on "what not to do," etc. Questions welcome.

    Make sure you stop in at THUDGATE! And, let's face it: this is not Steeler football so if you want to spend the entire football game at Thudgate, no one will think less of you.

    We went to PW all four years and each year, came home with a lingering smile, sometimes a loving tear, and just so darn proud!!!

    Year 1, we brought baby sister and everything was so new to us. We stayed local, checked out that castle in Manitou Springs, bought every souvenir you can imagine, cheered at the football game (no terrible towels! what's with that?), and rued the day we did not take advice from others and wear a ton of sun screen & hats (OK, we bought those too). Invited by sponsor family to dinner at their lovely home - made new life-long friends. Shed copious tears when we pulled away from Vandy, since Thanksgiving seemed a year away, and my sons - so young, yet all grown up, shockingly so.

    Year 2, baby sis is off to civ college and we had our twins to ourselves. Or so we thought. One twin agreed to sit CQ desk for four hours on Sunday. REALLY? Papa is grumbling. Spent lots of time at Walmart. Cheered like fools at the football game (and bought the $5 tee shirts, a bargain still worn to this day). Met roommates who are still dear friends to this day, saw a Batman movie (like I cared but they loved it). Twin B suggested a steak dinner that Sunday night and at the restaurant, ordered the most expensive thing on the menu! This was quite the shock to Papa, who was still agreeing to paying all the bills. Papa is STILL talking about that one!

    Year 3, after the football game, we took the twins to Cheyenne Mountain Resort for two full days - heavenly (and so incredibly out of our pay grade!). Boys still talk about it. We had paddle boats on the little lake there and had a great sea battle. Ended with one twin "boarding us" pirate-style, and us all capsizing! Had the most incredible meal ever there and loved sitting out watching evening creep along with the deep purple shadows of the Front Range. Boys almost 21 and seemed like 30 year olds to our minds. So adult, so mature, so comfortable. Commitment was done - and they were all-in.

    Year 4, met the parents of our future daughter in law, and spent even more money. Our sons are FIRSTIES! We were shocked when we came in from golfing, and a 4* called our son "sir" and treated son with deference and utmost respect. Our son was the "old man" now! He looked like the man he was, and the toddler we had known, all at the same moment.

    Post your PW stories here!
     
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  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Thudgate is a must do. Largest tailgate west of the Mississippi. If you want to see the new "Family" that your son or daughter has moved into, aka "The Air Force family" , then this is the place. You'll meet active duty, retired, cadets, families, parents, etc. this forum and administration has even sponsored Thudgate in many past years. And if you ever come to any future games, you'll have a family of your own to spend time with at thudgate.

    As for parents weekend itself, I'm probably not a good judge of things to do. I saw my son just about every weekend during the fall during football season, and usually every couple months the rest of the year. We only live 2 hours away, and he and many of his classmates made our home a pit stop for many holidays and getaways. But parents weekend is definitely a good time to spend with your cadet. Plenty to do.

    One word of advice. During your cadet's first parents weekend, don't be surprised if all they really want to do is sleep and eat. They'll do more with you, out of respect and love, but after 6 weeks of bct, and a couple of weeks settling into their dorms, roommates, classes, etc. they are pretty burned out. Years 2-4 parents weekend are usually more full of trips and doing things. The first one as a doolie is pure brain dead.
     
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  3. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I've been waiting 5 years for Thudgate! I'm not going to miss my first PW Thudgate! See you there CC!
     
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  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Just a word. When you come looking for me, for some reason we have a lot of Mike's in our thudgate family. Great name I guess. Just ask for the Mike from Wyoming. They'll know who you mean.
     
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  5. mikki

    mikki Member

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    Best advice for parents week, besides enjoying the time with your cadet child,, drink lots of water if you're not used to the altitude. We do have a lot of smoke in the air, due to the fires in California and the Pacific Northwest. Some people with breathing issues could wear a mask if it bothers them.
    Also, this is Colorado, and our weather is unpredictable. Be prepared for very warm temperatures, to cool and rain.

    For the football game, give yourself plenty of time, as you will be going through security. You cannot bring in any food, unless its medically approved, or for a baby. You can bring in regular size water bottles, that are factory sealed. A lot of people bring in an empty water bottle, and just keep refilling it at the water fountain, or the water stations that they have up if it's very hot. Yes bring sunscreen, we are much higher in altitude, and the risk of sunburns is higher. If you bring sunscreen into anything where you'll be searched, do not bring the spray aerosol type, as those are not allowed. Cream only. Umbrellas are not allowed for football games, but you can bring them into other events.

    I hope all the parents have a wonderful time with their children.
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I WISH I was going to thudgate!

    LET'S GO AIR FORCE!
     
  7. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    I've waited for 5 years to go and now I'm going! I know I didn't have to wait but I didn't want to jinx anything by going before his C4C year. Next Saturday can't come soon enough for me!
     
  8. jwest182

    jwest182 USAFA Cadet C/O 2019

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    I know all of the cadets are EAGERLY awaiting Parents Weekend. One... More... Week...
     
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  9. TRdeeter

    TRdeeter Member

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    What is Thudgate? And how do we go about participating in it?
     
  10. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    TR, you have to do some searching here.
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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  12. mikki

    mikki Member

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    I have never been to Thudgate. Is this something a sponsor parent can go to?
    I am a diehard Falcon football fan, and have been for 30 plus years. I've been to two of the bowl games and I entered a contest at one of the bowl games, on who was the best fan. For the competition most people just yelled out a chant or something, or they have their body partially painted blue and silver , to show they're Falcon Pride. I just showed a tattoo on my ankle of the Thunderbolt that I had done about 8-9 years ago. I won!!! :)

    I also just had a senior football player graduate this year. I do love to brag about him, and I'm trying to get ahold of one of his old Jerseys to where at some of the games. He was one of the top defense players last year. He made his senior year amazing. For a graduation present, he gave me one of their special helmets they used this year, it was a new one, & a big poster of the team I still need to get framed.

    So if sponsor parents are allowed at Thudgate, and if you could provide me with more information about it, for example where it's at and what time, I'd love to stop by and say hi.
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Thudgate is not a "Exclusive". Everyone is welcomed. It's a tailgate where we honor our air force men and women who are cadets, active duty, retired, and those no longer with us. As a tailgate, it obviously revolves around football, but we honor our military. Before ending the tailgate, prior to going into the stadium, we always toast to a special person or group who is/was serving out country. We lost a few close friends in the last couple years in afghanistan. They were regular thudgate attendies.

    We have had numbers as low as 50 people (On some really stupid, freezing, late night TCU games). And we've had some numbers at thudgate that have surpassed 200+ easily. We are definitely diehard falcon fanatics, but we don't know of any private tailgate this side of the mississippi that has brought more people. There's obviously some run that is a catch all for anyone not tailgating privately. But as for a private tailgate, comprised of members with the same purpose and agenda; (in our case supporting the men and woman who have served, are serving, and will serve our country), it's about the biggest.

    When army and navy come into town to play, many of their fans, midshipmen, and cadets come to thudgate. We've had quite a few active duty generals who come to visit. Even Lt Gen Johnson (She's the current superintendent of the academy) drops by.

    Here's our facebook page that shows a map of where we'll be. There's a lot of tailgates, but our's is pretty big. Hard to miss. Just go behind the south side entrance to the stadium, slightly to the east, and you'll find us. We got too big and the academy gave us own reserved spot. We even leave our "Thudmobile" (Big RV) there for the season.

    Also, our own serviceacademyforum admin, tacticalnuke, helps support a number of our Thudgate tailgates. He's helped with a number of parent's weekends and when we are playing army or navy. Serviceacademyforums.com and Thudgate have become good team members.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thudgate/202853199847972
     
  14. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Parent weekend, also know as 'is that your girlfriend or your sister?' weekend.
     
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  15. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Parents Weekend, where Mom and Dad spend more money than they knew they had. :)
     
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  16. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    And having daughters that are 20-16 range is why they will NOT be going to PW!:blowup:

    Just kidding I know I can't keep them hidden forever as much as I would want to. Plus I'm local so my DS has brought his classmates over before.
     
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  17. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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    Your daughters could do worse than honorable cadets with a bright future. Plus USAFA made #5 in 'best looking college men'.
     
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  18. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    It's works the other way as well. Our daughter brought a friend or two each year to do some "husband shopping".

    Stealth_81
     
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  19. Usafamom2016

    Usafamom2016 Member

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  20. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

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    Hey Mike when are you planning to set up by for next week's game? And do you need any help?

    Funny article and not surprised at all that Tinder tracks those numbers.
     

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