my current Plebe, Class of 2010 contacted her BGO in her freshman year of high school, she was already so sure she wanted a USNA appointment. She began sharing her school achievements with him and throughout high school regularly updated him on all her PSAT, SAT, grades, extra-curricular, etc. They had corresponded for so long by the time "THE" interview needed to be done, it was like they were old friends. He commented she was 'the most' motivated young person he ever met as a BGO. One obviously doesn't have to do things to this extent to gain an Appointment - since I bet not many of the 1200 Plebes in her Class handled things her way - but in her case it made the relationship with the BGO a friend she's already asked to be there at her Commissioning - and he has already made sure when he was on the Yard this year to check in on her to encourage her. So feel free to try and contact your BGO anytime you want. Good luck! God Bless!!
BGOs are part-time volunteers with full time careers. Respect their time. A good BGO will not allow friendships to develop in that this hinders the objectivity of the evaluation. There is a wealth of information available about the Academy online and from other sources. There are proper avenues for submitting grades, SATs, extracurriculars, etc. One of the primary traits the BGO is observing is motivation and the ability to comply with procedures. Don't ask him questions that are readily available elsewhere. Use him for general guidance. I would suggest that one phone call, email, or whatever his preferred method of communication for sophmore year is sufficient unless you have specific questions. Probably two times your junior year and then senior year as necessary. Many BGOS handle 20 or more candidates per year. Mutliply that by four classes, all attempting to "become friends". It boggles the mind. I would say that there is a very lucky young lady in the Class of 2010 that she did not piss off her BGO.
USNA69....I would say the reason being this very specific young lady did not 'piss off' her BGO was that the BGO actually encouraged the interaction. He always said she could ask ANY question - he always promised to respond even if it took a little bit ( as a dad and commercial airline pilot he was one busy guy) - he asked her for her information - and he said he ENJOYED getting to know the young people who contacted him. So it wasn't exactly like she barraged an unwelcome person.
Maybe she got the rare BGO for herself, I dunno .....but I don't think so.
And this same BGO took HIS personal time to look up both this young lady and the other young man from her same high school class who also was Appointed USNA 2010 when this BGO was on the Yard for his regular BGO meeting last fall. HE called them and asked if they could meet for a drink in Dahlgreen, not they. So I can safely assume this BGO was more than happy to continue to support his former charges.
The interactions between a BGO and his candidates are purely personal and have to be established on an individual basis. My fear is that a reader of your post on this forum would see this as a norm rather than an exception and, should their BGO not respond accordingly, see their BGO as a liability or maybe even fault themselves for not being "friendship" worthy.
Individual experiences which violate the norms can in some cases be detrimental to those seeking information.
your point is well taken that one person't BGO experience isn't anothers. I myself have had to calm down anxious parents when 'their' BGO didn't respond in what they assumed to be a timely manner - or when they felt the BGO was unresponsive, unhelpful, etc.
The balance as I see it is to encourage all these hopeful Class of 11's, 12's and beyond to see their BGO contacts in the most positive light possible, while at the same time preparing them for the realisms that not all BGO experiences are positive.
I'm not sure. If one goes to the USNA candidate website, it lists the Academy Admissions Office Regional Director as the point of contact for all questions concerning the admissions process. The BGO is listed for Interview requirements only. The facts are that the CGOs are extremely overworked and a lot of the BGOs do not have the knowledge or experience to be of much help.
BGOs attend Congressional Academy Days, School Education Fairs, etc. and instill interest in the Academy. They then perform the BGO interview. I purposedly, to the consternation of the CGO office, do not perform interviews until the application package is complete. Any earlier and I find myself holding their hand, answering questions readily available elsewhere. Once the application and interview are complete, I can now tailor my interactions as necessary to ensure that the candidate's best posture is presented to the Academy.