USNA Newbie mom- have some questions

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by kalyku, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. kalyku

    kalyku Member

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    Hi all! Just wanted to join you all here- I imagine i will be here quite a lot in the coming years :). My son, Bo, received his appointment to USNA right before Christmas break and will be leaving this summer to join the class of 2014!!!!

    A couple of quick questions for all you veterans- we have not made any kind of announcements- is there a press release to be sent to the local newspaper or should we contact his B&G officer. He has not signed his acceptance letter yet. Is that something he should do kind of like the high school athletes sign letters of intent at the school with their parents, coach, and media there? I really would like for him to be recognized for the accomplishment and just want to know the best way to go about it.

    Also- does anyone happen to know the dates for Parents weekend in August? The lady I spoke with in admissions was unsure. I know that I day is on July 1st but my husband needs to ask for vacation in advance for parents weekend. Also, is it a Friday-Sunday deal so he would need to be off Thursday and Monday as well for travel time?

    Thanks so much for baring with the "newbie" parent and any advice/recommendations you might have would be really appreciated! Thanks!

    Kari
     
  2. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    Hi,

    Congrats on your son's appointment!!!

    Yes, very important, he should sign and return his acceptance letter if he plans to accept his USNA appointment. However, he does have until a date specified in the later to return his acceptance.

    I can't speak to press releases but suggest you check in with your BGO. In terms of school announcements/recognition, I suggest you speak to your son's college office. Usually, high school seniors have to notify their school's college office about the colleges they have been accepted into and any scholarship monies received.

    The USNA website does have a public calendar which I checked just now but it doesn't seem to have the parents' weekend dates posted. Here's the link:
    http://www.usna.edu/PAO/calendars.htm.

    Last year parents weekend was Thursday, August 6 through Sunday, August 9. However, you don't get to see your plebe until Friday at noon meal formation. Here's a link to the info from last year. http://www.usna.edu/PlebeSummer/. I will pass along to you the same advice that I was given about the Friday noon meal in King Hall and that is to skip it Plebe year because your Plebe will want to head off the Yard. I understand there will be another opportunity to have this meal in King Hall during Second Class Year.

    Best of luck to you and your son as you start his USNA journey. My daughter is Class of 2013 and my feet have still not touched the ground. If you want to ask me any questions, please don't hesitate to send me a private message.

    GoNavyMom
     
  3. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    I concur with GoNavyMom. If at all possible, I would stay walking distance for PPW. I got the Westin for something like $72 per night through Expedia. Then you can walk to the yard each day to meet your son, then walk back to hotel where they will get out of their uniform and crash! There are tons of places to eat in DTA. Avoiding traffic jams, etc around the main gate.

    Some MOC's do a press release. Ours did not. You can do one yourself, if you like. Many papers have sections for such things.

    Does your high school have a scholarship/awards recognition ceremony of some sort? Ours did. Our BGO is more than 500 miles away and was almost totally unresponsive. An AFA ALO had two candidates from son's high school. He agreed to present the USNA appointment to my son as well. Another BGO sent him the narrative they usually read for such occasions and he asked son to bring the blue folder to present.

    There was a standing ovation from a very full auditiorium. And Mom in tears. Then he did the USAFA cadets appointments and another standing ovation! It was very moving.

    Jenny
     
  4. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Congrats to your son! What a wonderful accomplishment for him, and it certainly should be celebrated! I would be careful, however, of tooting his horn too loudly in the newspaper....sometimes reporters don't realize that these kids often garner unwanted attention from upperclassmen come summer-especially if the write up is "over the top". You can search SAF for threads on this very topic and see what can happen! I would be sure to let the interviewer know that the announcement should be modest in nature. As for the high school paper and the like....shout it to the rooftops! He has every right to be proud, and any write ups there will likely not cause him grief in the long run.

    Again, congrats!!:thumb:
     
  5. MJOmom

    MJOmom Member

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    Congratulations!!! Last year we sent an announcement to the local paper, along with a short bio of our son's academic and athletic achievements ... it was in twice! the full version under the "good news" column, then a short bit in the local people in the news section ... A few paragraphes are all you need, make the newspaper people's life easier ... send a small photo too! It is up to you to do, your BGO doesn't really know your son ...
    On senior scholarship night, our BGO came and gave a GREAT presentation ... about how YOUR tax dollars would support our son ... he also presented a full ROTC scholarship to another student ...
    Schools handle things differently. Ours offered a signing ceremony, which we did not do ... getting the presentation of a $280,000-$300,000 scholarship was quite impressive at senior night ...
    We did not know about Thursday night activities, so we traveled that day ... I wish we had ... it's all part of the experience!
     
  6. PositiveThinking

    PositiveThinking Member

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    Parents, please remember that being humble is virtue. Receiving that appointment to a service academy is really all the recognition one could ask for your child's hard work and dedication. Remember the cautionary tale of the young man from South Texas going to the AFA last year. Flying under the radar is a wise and admirable thing. :thumb:
     
  7. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    I don't remember.......

    I do not think these parents are being overly boastful to put an announcement in the paper or have the appointment presented at the school's senior or scholarship awards.........many schools like to announce how many dollars in scholarship monies their students earn in a particular year. Candidates and their parents in many cases worked long and hard to earn those appointments.

    It is possible to be appropriately humble and still offer congratulations to the kiddo for the appointment. I think most of the parents and plebes-to-be realize that their class at USXA will be cram full of outstanding, over-achieving, super-smart kids. The plebes will certainly be reminded of just how "ordinary" they really are when their summer camps begin!:thumb:
     
  8. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Jennyp-
    Of course it is possible to be humble and offer congratulations, and most find a way to do it quite well! School awards assemblies are the perfect venue to offer congratulations in front of his/her family, teachers and peers. A nice little announcement in the paper is nice too, but know your interviewer and set limits on what he/she can write about. Writers often do embellish for effect...beware! These words of caution come from very public mistakes the occasional gung-ho future cadets and/or their parents have made in the past! The incoming class of 2014 (and beyond) will appreciate their anonymity when summer training begins. Those who call attention to themselves with grandiose statements (like wanting to be a fighter pilot or the first man on Mars...) may become a target for the cadre, who can google the incoming cadets names and find a wealth of information with the click of the mouse. They can make life very hard on kids who come in with a biography printed in the newspaper!
    Just my .02
    Congrats to all....happy waiting. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I don't see a problem with a story in a small-town newspaper. One in our area (a small publication in a major US city) lists "military and college news." That's the perfect place to put it and it won't make a huge splash that will cause unwanted notice.

    Even national notice isn't a disaster. My roommate's brother was featured in a US News & World Report story about how he was so great and had so many civilian colleges courting him with full rides and yet chose USNA. Maybe he got some ribbing (don't know), but it didn't kill him, figuratively speaking.

    The key is what your son wants vs. what you or others in his inner circle want. Obviously, the more laudatory the article and the more widely circulated, the more likely he'll get unwanted attention at USNA. But a passing notice that states the facts isn't an issue if he's ok with it.
     
  10. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    ...and there was the USMA cadet 2 years ago w/ his pic in the paper along w/ his appointment. He was quoted as saying he wanted to be president. When we actually sighted him at an event that year, we felt like we were seeing a celeb. Once the attention died down, he was fine...but he could take it.

    Our local paper runs a release from the congressional offices stating who is appointed...very low key.
     
  11. GoNavyMom

    GoNavyMom Member

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    and now that Mom3boys mentioned it, our local MOC had a meet and greet in June for all the kids he nominated to service academies. Photos from this were published in the local paper with the names of all of the service academy appointees.

    GoNavyMom
     
  12. marvin7794

    marvin7794 Member

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    USNA PAO sends hometown news releases sometime after I-Day. They eventually get published in the local paper the military member lists on the form.
     
  13. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    Given the dropout rate for CBT, our small local paper has not published until early fall -- a wise idea,I think -- one less layer of pressure on kids.
     
  14. popeyesmom

    popeyesmom Member

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    Each son/daughter is different......mine enjoyed being away from downtown Annapolis Plebe Parent Weekend. He was too nervous to eat much but loved fast food in the room, sleep and swimming in the hotel pool. We had him to ourselves after the parade on Friday and then Saturday his girlfriend and sister visited and then we had him again on Sunday. I suggest using Gate 8 and not Gate 1 and plan on being at a gate at least an hour ahead of the time they need to be back.
     
  15. kalyku

    kalyku Member

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    Thank you so much for all of your replies! I will definitely use your wise advice! Has anyone ever stayed at the Homestead suites? It says it is about 2.5 miles from the academy, not sure if they have a shuttle or not. If not, does anyone know if there is parking available around the academy? Still haven't heard about dates for parents weekend....anyone else know?
     
  16. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    Parking around academy is very limited. Especially plebe parent weekend. There is a garage in DTA about 3 blocks from gate 1.
     
  17. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I'm not aware of any hotels providing shuttles to USNA. I believe that USNA will provide shuttle service from the stadium. Thus, you drive to the stadium and ride the shuttle from there to USNA. However, I'm not certain of this and you should definitely confirm this before you book.

    Hotels within walking distance of USNA include Marriott, Loew's, Westin, O'Callaghan and probably a few others. However, all but the Marriott require a fairly substantial walk (> 1 mile if memory serves).

    Parking is normally VERY limited on the yard although, for PPW it might be better b/c the Firsties are away, which opens up their spaces on hospital point, etc. Even these spots are a long walk from the main part of the Yard.

    Thus, if the shuttle service from the stadium is offered, that's probably your best bet.
     
  18. mumsyto3

    mumsyto3 Member

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    Driving/parking on the yard at USNA

    Normally you can only drive on the yard at USNA if you have a DOD sticker. I know when we were out there for CVW that we were allowed to drive/park on the yard if we showed the guards the CVW letter. Does anyone know if we will be allowed to drive/park on the yard for I-day or PPW (if we don't have a DOD sticker)?
     
  19. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    No parking or driving on the yard for PPW unless you have a DOD sticker.

    The Westin is at the upper end of the downtown area and is 1.5 miles. I stayed there PPW 09. I thought my son would not want to walk, having exercised so much the prior six weeks. When I met up with him for the first time, I explained that my rental car was at hotel and we could use it so we wouldn't have to walk back and forth from the Westin all three days. He laughed and said, "Mom, let's just walk, a mile and a half is nothing!" So, each morning I walked down to USNA, he and I walked back to the Westin, then walked back to USNA in the evening and I walked back to hotel alone. At the end of the 3 day weekend, I felt great having gotten 6 miles or so daily of walking in pleasant DTA!

    My flight out on Monday was just after noon, so I got up and hoofed it back to USNA and watched the plebes run and exercise early in the morning. I had told my son I would likely do so and was rewarded with a big smile as they ran by. It was hard to head to BWI and fly back to Texas that day!

    If memory serves me correctly, the Westin runs a shuttle continually between the hotel and the waterfront area (maybe 1.2 miles).
     
  20. jennyp

    jennyp Parent

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    No yard access for I-Day without DOD sticker either. We stayed downtown, very, very close and walked on to yard to see son off to plebe summer.
     

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