PTR Packet and I Day tips for parents

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by RNrecruiter, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. RNrecruiter

    RNrecruiter Member

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    Hard to believe that Herndon for 2017 is less than 2 months away! I found the forum website to be so helpful last year and just wanted to share some of the tips that helped me. These tips are already covered on the forum in years past, but might be helpful to our incoming group of parents and plebes.

    Permit to Report Packets

    The PTR packets have numerous forms that need to be filled out. We immediately made an extra copy of everything before DS started filling out forms. Then we put the entire PTR packet into a 3 ring binder in exact order. Forms that needed to be filled out were placed in plastic sheet protectors. We placed the PTR package checklist in the front of the binder and wrote the date next to each item as it was completed. On the checklist we high-lighted the names of forms that needed to be hand delivered on I Day.

    Immunizations: even though any immunizations you have not received prior to I Day will be administered on I-Day, I would definitely recommend getting all immunizations completed PRIOR to I-day. Some immunizations can give you soreness around the injection site (and others actually make you feel achy), your plebe will be doing a lot of push-ups, etc. in those first few days of PS (and beyond). Give your plebe a break and get those immunizations early so they are not having to deal with immunization side effects on the first day of PS. Even though my DS was up-to-date with childhood immunization, there were still shots he needed prior to I day (5th polio booster, Gardasil, Menactra, Twinrix). Check with your primary care provider/pediatrician when you make the appointment to ensure they have all the immunizations you need in-stock. I sent an e-mail to our PCP ahead of time with the list of immunizations needed. His office did not have Twinrix and had to order it. Our insurance covered all of the immunizations, but that may not be the case for everyone. Your Public Health department is a good (usually low-cost) resource for immunizations if you are paying out-of-pocket.

    After DS completed the entire packet, we made copies of everything before we mailed it back. At I Day, I brought all the copies with me (including medical waiver papers), just in case the originals were not there when he reported. He ended up not needing them, and I lugged the copies around me all day, but our motto was “better safe than sorry”.

    USNA Appointee Spectacle Prescription form: if your incoming plebe wears glasses, he/she will need this form completed and returned to USNA by mid-May. Be prepared and make your appointment with your eye doctor/optometrist as soon as you receive PTR packet.

    Pamphlet “Important Information for the Class of 201*": this is a approximately 15 page handout with everything your plebe (and you) will need to know about PTR packet, I Day, Travel, Grooming Standards, Medical/Dental, mailing address for care packages, and required items that need to be memorized prior to I Day). We referred back to this Handout repeatedly from April through I day. My recommendation is to make several copies. We gave a copy of handout to both Grandmas and it gave them a clear picture of what Plebe Summer was all about (plus the handout had information about mailing address and care packages – so Grandmas definitely welcomed the info)

    Induction Day tips

    If at all possible, I would recommend arriving in Annapolis at least 1-2 days early so your plebe can get his/her bearing (and also get used to the time change if you are coming from the West Coast). The mid-store I Day minus one is a glorious place. Lots of excited incoming plebes and parents. Some of the sizes for the Class of 2017 mom and dad shirts sold out on I day, so coming a day early ensures you can grab one! No worries if you do miss out on your desired shirt at I day because they will be back in stock for PPW.

    Mid-Store: prepare for a shopping experience! We bought Class of 2017 t-shirts, Mom and Dad shirts, shirts for grandmas and siblings, license plate holders, stickers, mugs, etc. Everything and Anything you can think of with the USNA or Class of 2018 logo will be available. You will not have buyers remorse for anything you purchase on I day; only buyer’s remorse (once you get home) for what you DID NOT buy. For us, the Class of 2017 flag was sold out by the end of I day, but I went and picked one up right away at PPW. I found the selection of “Missing You” military cards to be outstanding and picked up ½ dozen to send to our plebe over the summer. Our DS bought “Not College”t-shirts (no longer available) for 7 of his closest HS buddies the day before I Day. DS went on to meet several of his future company mates in the Mid Store on I Day minus one. He even met a boy who would later become his roommate.

    I Day must haves for parents: comfortable shoes, hat, umbrella, sunscreen, water, camera, tissue and snacks. If you forget any of these items, it’s okay because the Mid Store sells everything! Be prepared to walk and walk and walk. Weather will be warm, so dress appropriately (but tastefully).

    Parking: There will be free parking at the stadium and a shuttle bus to the Yard. We used this service and it was great! If you park in Annapolis, be aware that some of the street parking closest to the Academy has limited hours, so if you are planning to stay all day – you will have to come out and move your car sometime during the day. Also the security check line at the walk-in gate can be very long later in the morning.

    Food: Feed your plebe well before reporting. They may not get another chance to eat until after the Oath Ceremony. Even if your DS/DD doesn’t feel like eating – make them eat. DS had a 0630 report time. We went to “Naval Bagels” (very close to Naval Stadium) around 0530, they were just opening and we were first in line. They had great breakfast bagel sandwiches. The place was crawling with incoming plebes and parents within 15 minutes. It was quite exciting to see the anticipation in the air. Some of the parents looked more anxious than the kids!

    Make sure you bring food for your plebe after the Oath Ceremony. They will be starving! Don’t bring anything messy or drippy since they will be in their whites and very anxious about stains. Stay away from colored Gatorade as well. Bring extra food for another plebe, just in case. As others will say, bring a towel/blanket for your plebe to sit on the grass. They will be tired and taking a few minutes to sit will be appreciated.

    White uniforms: moms – wear minimum make-up or go without. When you hug your plebe after the Oath Ceremony, you don’t want to get make-up on their uniforms. Blush, eye shadow, mascara, lipstick are hard to get off the whites. Bring a Shout pen or wipe in your purse, just in case.
    After the Oath Ceremony: signs will be placed on Stribling Walk with the letters of the last name. It can be extremely chaotic to find your plebe in the crowd. If you go a day early, walk Stribling and pick out a spot in-advance. We chose to meet our plebe in a grassy area about 20 yards away from our designated “sign”. This worked out really well.

    Misc tips: beware: we found cell phone coverage to be spotty on the Yard, particularly if inside a building. If you are trying to call your spouse/family and not successful while inside a building, step outside and reception will improve. The Mid Store sells little tri-pod camping stools (with USNA logo). We had one and it was so nice to be able to sit for a spell when I needed too. Big crowds during I Day and you can’t always count on finding a bench to sit. Also we used the little tri-pod stool for our plebe to sit on and eat his sub sandwich after the Oath Ceremony. The stool was small and light and fit in husband’s backpack (although the legs stuck out a bit).

    I-Day: take advantage of the Yard tours, YP tours, museums, Visitor Center, etc. There is so much to see! We were on the Yard for over 14 hours on I Day last year and we still didn’t see it all. It was wonderful! Have fun everyone!

    Sorry this is so long – I always get carried away! Wishing you and your incoming plebes the very best!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  2. mjm

    mjm Member

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    This was great ! Thank you for sharing. I am taking in everything I can about I Day from anyone with experience. :smile:
     
  3. osdad

    osdad Member

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    As or even more important than food - bring water for your plebe. Our (now :eek: ) 1/C didn't feel like eating but drank two full bottles of water and what was left in the bag of ice.

    Don't expect to see them again until after swearing in. Many stand around the Mid-store parking area hoping to catch a glimpse of their plebe. First - they all look alike, second - they spend maybe 10 seconds in the open before they're hurded into Mother B. Go spend some quite time out at the sea wall enjoying the fantastic views.

    Most importantly: NO CRYING ...until you're in the car heading home!
     
  4. d22

    d22 Member

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    Great information RNrecruiter!

    Question in regards to the Mid store: Is it open to civilians? I went in there during DS' CVW, and was turned away because of no direct ties to navy. A MIDN was behind us in line and offered to 'sponsor' however, the cashier was awfully rude to him. Needless to say we were turned away.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Great inforation:thumb: Take food and water and Gatorade at the walk with a clean table cloth for them to sit on. They will not want to sit on green grass and get the uniform dirty.:thumb:. Mid store is great all four years use it every chance you get . Don't know how it is open for CVW. As I remember it was not open for parents during CVW.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  6. RNrecruiter

    RNrecruiter Member

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    Good question! The PTR packet will contain special Mid Store passes (two of them) for parents/family to use when shopping on I-Day. The cashiers will ask to see the special passes and you will not be able to purchase items without them.

    When we went back at PPW, they had a special table set-up in the Mid Store for Plebe parents to pick up their "permanent" shopping pass. It looks like credit card. The card indicates you are the parent or guardian of "name of MID" listed and has a barcode and expiration date (mine expires May 2017).

    You do not need a Mid Store pass to shop in the gift store associated with the Visitor's Center, but you will need the pass to shop in the Midshipmen Store. For those who have not been to the Mid Store, you are in for a treat. It's called the Nordstrom of the Yard and they are not kidding!
     
  7. d22

    d22 Member

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    Got it, that's great information. Thank you!

    Yes, the mid-store is amazing. I was bummed when I had to leave without the pair of Lucky jeans I tried on. Oh, well. Another time. :smile:
     
  8. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    I cannot OVEREMPHASIZE RNrecruiter's point on the need to eat a good morning meal. While plebes are supposed to get lunch, it doesn't always happen.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Parents,

    While I-Day is very vivid for you, it's a blur for your mid. Most of us who went through it as plebes have minimal memories of I-Day; little more than snapshots in our minds.

    While parents are largely twiddling their thumbs, the plebes are constantly in motion. The day is a whirl of learning to salute, to march (sort of), to answer questions properly, to wear the uniform properly, to recite a few basic rates, etc. You run (literally) here and there. You get uniforms and shots and rooms and roommates.

    It's overwhelming but in a very different way than it is for parents. Don't expect too much out of your mid at the end of the day -- he/she is likely still trying to process everything, is realizing this is "for real," is thinking about the next 7 weeks -- and next 4 years.

    It will all be much better -- for all of you -- by PPW.:smile:
     

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