R-Day or Acceptance Day?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by RSR, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. RSR

    RSR Member

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    Now that my DS has received his appointment we are planning our traveling schedule. Since we are coming from California it will be very difficult for our family to accompany him to R-Day and then go back to West Point for Acceptance Day. I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on which one they would choose and why. Thanks!
     
  2. djfrro

    djfrro Member

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    if you have to choose do A day
     
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I would also say A-Day. I was able to go to R-Day and it was a very special and moving day, but it was wonderful to spend quality time with our new plebe and reconnect as a family over the A-Day weekend. He was glad to be able to relax and recharge his batteries in our hotel room.
     
  4. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    A-day hands down. It was nice to have my mom there on R-day, but at the same time, my report time was at 6:30 and all I was thinking about at the time was what was going to happen in the next 24 hours. It was easier for me to focus knowing we had already said good-bye. There's nothing really family-oriented to do although I guess many parents took solace in the briefings they give on what new cadets do over the summer and the Academy and things that briefly occurred that day.

    That said A-day was an awesome time for having my parents up. Not only did I get to see them after a pretty eventful 6 weeks, but you can go places with them and relax a bit with them to reconnect and all that after such a long time not talking to them. For most people who have just left home, that's a big deal. I also know they wouldnt have traded seeing the parade that day for pretty much anything considering that's the day you become an actual cadet.
     
  5. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    I went to both - definitely A-Day
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    I had never been to WP, so going to Rday was important to me. However, for all the reasons already stated, I'd say Aday. It's a time when your cadet "needs" you. It's kind of nice to be needed (or wanted!).
     
  7. PotentialParent

    PotentialParent Member

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    I posted this last year in a similar thread. Hope it is helpful.


    My ranking of the experiences, as a plebe parent this year:

    1) A-Day weekend, and the word weekend is key here. The anticipation for the A-Day parade, and then waiting to see my son for the first time in many weeks was very special. A-day tops R-day for me, because you then get to spend Saturday evening, and Sunday until about 5:00 PM with your plebe.

    2) R-day, is a unique experience, as there is fear, apprehension, and nervousness in the air....and that is just with the parents!! The long wait in the line until they get to go in for the 4 minute "boiler plate" speech, the quick goodbye, and wow it is only 7:50 AM, and now what do we do? There is actually plenty to do, and see during the day, and it goes by pretty quickly. Then the oath ceremony was very special. It is a great day, but it is not spent with your plebe, at all, after you say goodbye in the early morning.

    3) Plebe-Parent weekend, was very fun, but I rank it third for a few reasons. One reason is that you are mostly on post, and although some of the activities are interesting, there was something lacking. I think it was the fact that the Plebes just really wanted to get out of there, and get home for spring break! It was very much worth the trip, so I am not trying to knock the experience, just liked the other days better.

    4) Marchback, was great to see, but that is all you get to do is see the historic event. If you are in the area, or able to make the trip without to much hassle, I recommend it, but again realize there is no interaction with your plebe. Probably will not even see them.

    Ok, this is my longest post to date, so hopefully will help someone. We live in Maryland, so it is not that big of a deal to get up to West Point. If we lived farther away, and had to pick one or two events to attend, above is our list using hindsight.
     
  8. Gryffinmom

    Gryffinmom Member

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    Another vote for R Day. We didn't go to A Day-- which was our son's choice, he wanted to go up there alone -- and given the travel and lodging expense involved for us, it was a good decision on his part. From his point of view, R Day was a dizzying whirl and it really wouldn't have mattered if we were there or not. R Day was wonderful-- such a thrill to see how he had changed and already adapted to his new and very different world.

    The other event we were able to attend plebe year was plebe parent weekend-- and we wouldn't have missed it for the world. It was a great opportunity to really see West Point-- we were able to get in the barracks and see his room, meet his friends, his TACS, his professors. Toured the superintendent's house. Went out Friday night with his friends and their families. I even thought the tour of the uniform factory was fascinating. And our son really enjoyed showing us around and introducing us to his friends.
     
  9. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    As a firstie mom, best weekends:

    PPW
    Ring weekend
    NYC fun weekend in Oct
    A day.

    I think Grad will be the best!!
     
  10. RSR

    RSR Member

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    Thank everyone, A-Day weekend it is!
     
  11. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Grad week is the best for sure!

    We too had to make a choice between R-day and A-day. We went to A-day and it was the right decision. I did spend most of R-day on my computer constantly refreshing the USMA page as pictures were posted.

    Another parent who was going to R-day graciously offered to find out my son's company and call me with the information so I could play "Where's Waldo" when the pictures were posted. He forgot about the time difference and woke me up at 6 a.m. but I was so excited that I didn't mind. If you know someone going to R-day maybe they can do the same for you.
     
  12. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    I agree with the posts above.

    One thing to keep in mind, that once there, it can be cheaper to get a weekly rate (5 or more days) at some of the business focused hotels (suites) close by than just rooms for the weekend.

    So we decided to include marchback, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Then toured up and down the hudson mid-week, could also have commuted into NYC. Then back for A-day, had lot's of room in the suite. And really enjoyed the time with DS.

    Given the sunk cost of travel from CA, I'd sure plan on spending more time there than just R-day.

    One other note: The gift shops, cadet store, USMA Museum, etc are all open and much less crowded after marchback than they will be A-day weekend.

    Add in a guided bus or just self guided walking tour of USMA, and you can fill a day at USMA in addition to marchback.

    A-day will be much more crowded, and your plebe will not want to spend time on post once you pick them up.

    A-day weekend is also a great time to pick up the academic year items that your cadet wants: Fan, boodle box, school supplies, face soap, more non-issue underwear, etc. They won't know what they want/need at R-day, nor do you want to haul it around.

    You should also try to work in a home game, ideally with other parents in a club tailgate..... I'm not a football guy, but we had a blast at our club sponsored tailgate/game, as did our cadet. made a weekend out of it, just a nice relaxing time and there is no place like USMA to watch a football game.

    Our cadet was able to sit with us most of the game, and all the old grads surrounding us had a blast counting his pushups every time the knights scored.
     
  13. DrMom

    DrMom Member

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    So, which day is A-Day

    Dear All;
    R-Day, A-Day.
    if R day is 2 July,
    When is A-Day?

    I will be living and working abroad but have promised to be there for the boy when everyone else's parents are there too...So, when is A-Day?

    b/w
    Dr. Mom
     
  14. FallenAngel77

    FallenAngel77 Member

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    August 18th. Enjoy it. It a very interesting and moving time form a paretn's perspective.
     
  15. FallenAngel77

    FallenAngel77 Member

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    Should say "from" and "form". Fat fingers. :shake:
     
  16. DrMom

    DrMom Member

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    Fallen Angel77...Thank you so much. You know what, I will try to make it to both so that he won't feel completely abandoned. Now I can plan. Thank you.
    --Dr. Mom
     
  17. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    If you are flying in for A-day you may want to consider getting there Monday for Marchback. We founds we could get an extended stay hotel for Mon-Sun for not much more than just for Fri-Sun.

    See marchback, then enjoy the area midweek. Then back for A-day activities.

    Many of the things of interest are open on Marchback Monday, and it's much less crowded than it will be on A-day. (cadet store, bookstore, alumni center, etc)

    Likewise, there much to see in the Hudson valley that makes for fun day trips midweek.

    To be clear, you will not be able to spend time with your cadet during marchback, but you'll be able to see them and they'll see you. Squaddies will be helping to look out for you if you let the cadet know via letter where you'll be hanging out, etc.

    Seeing the c/o 2015 & cadre marching back, then the old grads behind them was very neat. They were wiped out, but proud. And smelly.

    If you can only pick one, be there for A-day weekend. But if you can, do both!
     
  18. DrMom

    DrMom Member

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    Fantastic advice.
    Not sure where we will be living on the planet but hopefully it will be a direct flight from NY. Right now we are in Indonesia...so it is two days to get there, three days to get home.
    We've got friends to stay with who live on USMA so I am less caught up with the local hotel bit but the suites are good advice in case we need more room.
     
  19. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    We'd love to have people to stay with on post, so that's a great option.

    That said, A-day weekend might be the one time it's worth staying off post. The last thing most new cadets want is to remain on post. They want: Restaurants, Movies, Wal-Mart, and some room to decompress. You are 30 minutes or more on any of the above at USMA or Highland Falls.

    Depending on the A-day "Walking Privs" letter, you normally are able to hit larger cities (Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, etc) and find all the above near reasonable priced extended stay type hotels for less than regular ones in Newburgh/HF.

    The Walking Privs change from year to year, so there are no guarantees. But nearly all years have allowed reasonable drives to hotels, etc.

    Here's last year's: http://www.usma.edu/class/2015/accept_faq.pdf

    You don't want to get too far as you'd spend lot's of time driving.
     

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