Plebe Parent Weekend - What to expect?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by MIHOSER, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    As PPW approaches, I thought the newbie parents might like to see the recollections of parents from recent past PPWs.

    My S wanted a home-cooked meal in the worst way. We thought we would take him out to dinner, but he wanted a favorite (not too special) cooked by mom. Fortunately, we had kitchen facilities and were able to oblige him.

    Many people say their Plebes wanted to sleep, but ours wanted to chill out and play Wi with his brother. We took his brother and sister with us to PPW and that was a big deal to him. They all spent time in the pool together playing games and talking non-stop.

    Enjoy your time together!
     
  2. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Needless to say that all plebes are different. In my case, my plebe wanted to nap at the hotel, was perfectly happy to go anywhere for meals, didn't really want to hang with other Mids (just gave a quick head nod when we saw some shipmates at the movies)...which all adds up to the observation that she hadn't changed all that much.

    Some suggestions:

    Bring along a set of sweat pants and a T-shirt. My plebe wanted to get out of her whites as soon as she entered the hotel room.

    If your plebe wants to go to the movies get there early.

    Leave plenty of time for that ½ hour long shower when planning dinner.

    Plan to have your plebe back to the yard well before curfew. We got back about 1 ½ hours before and had no issues with traffic. We parked out by the sea wall and had a nice quiet time to talk, to encourage and for that final hug. (By PPW there’s not really much encouragement needed – for the most part by then they know they’ve made it through. :thumb: )
     
  3. USNA'02

    USNA'02 Member

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    yes, just listen to what your ds dd is wanting to do...don't plan anything other than what they want...

    be careful about bringing civies (yes even sweats/t-shirt from home is civies) and they aren't allowed to be in them...yes even behind closed doors. the last thing you want is your plebe to be lounging around in the sweats and t-shirt run to the ice maker or vending machine and run into an upper class...wouldn't go over well. they have their own PT gear they can chill out...but let them make that decision as well
     
  4. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Exactly what 02 said. They have PT gear they are issued and can bring with them. PPW is not the time to challenge the rules. Yes the plebes will be panicking about making it back in time and want to leave way to early. As someone suggested above, sitting in the car and just chatting on the seawall is a great way to spend that extra hour together, but ensure they are not panicking. Most plebes will want long, hot showers, food and naps. You know your children better than anyone. If they are sleepers, they will want to sleep.

    Skip, the King Hall meal they offer for parents, your kids just want to leave. You will have plenty of opportunities to eat there in the future as anytime you visit they can bring you as a guest. During our PPW they did allow parents in Bancroft. If they do this still take that opportunity, it is a rare one, but read their body language, they will want to make it short. Great opportunity to meet their room mates and parents. If they already know their academic year room mates make an effort to meet them as these mids could end up being life long friends more. These are the parents that will take your kids out to eat when they are in town and send extra cookies in care packages.

    Not sure on their mileage limits, but some will want to go to DC and tour, while others will want to sit in a hotel room and just visit. For some after a hot shower, good meal, and a 2 hour long nap, they will feel rejuvinated and ready to do whatever it is you want to do. And yes, most will not want to spend time with other mids. You will notice this is a huge change down the road, especially 3/C or 2/C or whatever parent's weekend it is now.

    Oh and those of you that have a plebe's significant other also coming along for PPW you have a completely different set of challenges. This can be a sticky situation even in the best of relationships. Try to have some one on one time with your mid and then give him or her some one one one time with their significant other. Then they won't feel so torn between making both sides happy.
     
  5. 2014sponsor

    2014sponsor Member

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    Following up on the civilian clothes. If you ask your plebe's sponsors to take a bag home with them, and they act like they didn't hear you, it's not that they're deaf old fogies... it's that they are trying to ignore the request to aid your plebe in breaking the rules at their house.

    Reminds me though of a story I heard from our plebe about the 2/c who was caught with clothes he was storing for another mid who didn't rate them... a female mid...:shake:

    But PPW is not the time to be helping them get in trouble.

    And if your route back to the Yard takes you over the Eastport bridge, remember that it opens for boats every half hour in the summer, backing up traffic on both sides.
     
  6. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    That's funny because my sons wanted fast food in the worst way. It sure made it easy for us. We also ate at Chili's and Red Robin quite a bit.

    But then again, if you ever ate my wife's cooking, you'd understand. (She does not read this forum, by the way.) :smile:
     
  7. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Definitely take advantage of the tour of Bancroft Hall ("Mother B"), your plebe's room, and introductions to your plebe's detailer, senior enlisted leader (SEL) and/or company training officer (CTO). But please, please, on behalf of all your mids: the detailer-plebe relationship is professional and hierarchical. Detailers are not your plebe's pal; it is more like a workplace boss or supervisor in front of whom your plebe will stand at the position of attention (or parade rest, if so invited) and address by last name. Please do not: tell stories about when DD/DS was a baby; make offhand comments about how lazy, sloppy, goofy, or silly your plebe can be; try to start a casual three-way conversation. In fact this goes for anyone else your plebe introduces you to (officers, other detailers), except for other plebes, who are easily distinguished by nothing but a fouled anchor on their shoulder boards. (Upperclassmen and officers have combinations of thin and thick stripes on their shoulder boards; enlisted NCOs will have chevrons on their sleeves.)

    If you do not have military experience, these exchanges may seem overly stiff, restrained, even cold. However, the plebes are learning that communication with one's superiors must be quick, efficient, and confined to the professional or academic matters at hand. Don't give the detailers any "ammunition" to give your plebe a hard time later.
     
  8. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Everything you said is correct, of course.

    Because of my awareness of all the things you mentioned, when I had the opportunity to go into Bancroft Hall, I specifically did not seek out any of my sons' detailers or even their Company Officer, for that matter.

    In all likelihood, your Plebe will not even want you to meet them.

    It's not like a parent-teacher's conference, either. The detailers don't really want to discuss with you about how your Plebe is doing.

    In fact, my sons didn't even want to go back into Bancroft Hall (the parent visitation is not mandatory). I knew my wife wanted to go, however. I could have done without it, personally. I know what Bancroft Hall looks like. My sons said, "C'mon Dad. Let's just skip this and go someplace to eat. You already know what it looks like. It's no big deal."

    My response, "You're right - I do already know what it looks like. Nonetheless, I do want to see your room. I want to see folded clothing, neatly stacked on shelves, that you folded and put there. Because, for the last 18 yrs, I have never seen you do that before." :smile:
     
  9. runningtide

    runningtide Member

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    Orphaned Plebes at PPW

    My family and I are meeting are new Plebes this sunday at the sponsor meet and greet. I plan to tell our new Plebes that if for some reason ( and this happens) their parents are unable to attend PPW, they are welcome at our place. In addition, if they know other Plebes in that situation, who don't have access to a sponsor, or their assigned sponsor is unavilable, bring them along (within reason...:rolleyes:) I mention this in case some of the parents on this thread coming to PPW hear through their Plebe that a room mate may be in a similiar situation. Hopefully, the parents can adopt them for PPW if that works.

    I hate to think that after all the work these young people have gone through, that some of them may have to spend their first weekend off the yard restricted to the UODs and not having the chance to kick back and relax. :frown:
     
  10. fishbowl

    fishbowl Member

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    Parents, other relatives and significant others who are now counting the HOURS to PPW, congratulations! You and your DS/DD have passed the first test at USNA! As others have pointed out, let your Plebe lead the way as far as what they want to do. You should relax and take a deep breath also - the anxiety and worry of Plebe Summer are just about behind you. As was the case for I-Day, have the tissues ready at formation on Friday. Also, if available, go and see the flight and ship bridge simulators on Friday morning while you're killing time. They are especially useful if you have younger siblings tagging along who get bored easily (and fun for us grown-ups too, as long as you're not prone to motion sickness!). If you want to visit the Mid Store, go there before you meet your Mid after noon formation as they will probably want to get off of the Yard ASAP. However, I do recommend visiting their room in Bancroft if only to ease your mind a little about how they're adjusting to their new 'home'. The visit should only take 15 or 20 minutes and if there are any detailers in the hallway, just have your Plebe introduce you and move on. Its true that the detailers don't want to talk to you about how your Plebe is doing, but they do expect the courtesy of an introduction. Congratulations again and best wishes for a great PPW!
     
  11. GabsmomFL

    GabsmomFL Member

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    I am sooo excited, thanks for all the great ideas... count down beings...
     
  12. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Shower, Shower, Shower then Food, Sleep, TV and then Movie are probably first descending choices. Glad I didn't have to pay the water bill. Runningtide nice gesture for those left in the lurch. Bancroft tour is informative and you may be introduced to Detailers and Company Officer (not by choice of your Plebe). Do not ask how my DD/DS is doing. As far as I know they can't tell you. Saw detailer with his family at restaurant that weekend and DD introduced us and was was scared to death. I joked with him and was rewarded by a "DEATH STARE". Turned out to be a great friend of DD by the end of the year. Definitely visit Mid Store.:thumb: The military hierarchy may seem overly stiff but I agree with Longago. Get it over quickly and move on. Your Plebe will appreciate it. Another thing to consider is taking a couple of Plebes from the company out for lunch or dinner over the weekend. Your kid may not tell you anything but get two, three, or four together and just sit back and listen. You will hear some very funny stories, learn a lot and well worth the price of admission. The traffic back onto the Yard is terrible. Give your Plebe plenty of time. I rember them bailing out of cars and running to Gate One.
     
  13. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    If you Plebe parents are around on Friday AM of PPW, there are tours of the various academic facilities. If you or your ds/dd are interested in any sort of science (in particular), it's amazing to see the quality of the lab facilities that will be at their disposal over the next four years.

    Totally agree about skipping the King Hall meal. The food there is everything you wanted from college dorm food - and less. Your Plebe wants to leave the Yard. They really do NOT want an extra meal during which they need to sit on the front few inches of their chair. Save that experience for 2/C PW

    Listen to those comments about not encouraging your Plebe to break rules (esp regarding bringing them sweats/civvies). If your ds/dd breaks rules on his/her own, that's his/her decision. Just don't aid and abet.

    If you can join forces for a meal with a Plebe whose family can't be there, or with your Plebe's roommates, etc (assuming it's OK with your Plebe), DO IT! It's really true that the stories will flow if two or more Mids of any class are sitting together. You won't understand the jargon at first, but it's a lot of fun to listen to them. If your Plebe doesn't like the idea, try it on another visit.

    Have fun!
     
  14. summer1942

    summer1942 Member

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    Here is my plan:
    1. Park at stadium, take the bus to the yard.
    2. Take the fly and ship simulation
    3. See the noon formation
    4. Meet my Mid
    5. Skip the King Hall meal, just visit mother B
    6. Go back to the stadium by bus with my Mid
    7. Serve him a homemade meal
    8. Watch him sleep
    9. Go out for dinner
    9. Take him back to the yard by car

    Anything I should add to the list ???
     
  15. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I recall on previous threads on this topic some parents brought along a laptop so plebe could get in an hour of Facebook, IM, skype with the grandparents or BF/GF, etc. They have been almost totally disconnected from the e/i-world for quite a while. Some hotel business center computers don't allow Facebook access.
     
  16. 2014sponsor

    2014sponsor Member

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    smart phones

    I'm betting many of this year's plebes will have all the apps they need to plug back in. If they don't have them now, they will by January reform.

    That maybe the only thing missing from the list of things a plebe wants: an iphone and unlimited data plan.
     
  17. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Yes, of course, my main point is some dedicated re-connect time by whatever means, can be high on the list with food/shower/quiet time/movie/TV. Of the plebes we met on Sunday, none had smart phones, but all wanted them.
     

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