Candidate Visitation Weekend

Candidate2022

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Nov 26, 2016
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21
I have been recently invited to the candidate visitation weekend at the USNA. I have a few questions on what exactly to bring and what some might recommend I bring in addition.

Do I need to provide my own sheets for a bed or can I just use a sleeping bag?

The website mentions workout gear. Should I bring shorts and a t-shirt or workout clothing more fitted to the Maryland climate in January?

Should I bring a backpack with everything in it or would it be wiser to bring a suitcase as well as a backpack?

Thank you!
 

Capt MJ

Formerly Known As Attila The Hunnette
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While waiting for fresh advice, search on CVW for the many threads with similar questions, if you haven't already.
 

Jameis WM

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Dec 13, 2016
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I can only speak for my visit,
My host provided bedding and a cot.
I didn't bring workout gear, just jeans, a shirt, and comfortable shoes.
I packed everything in a small duffel bag, the rooms are small and I didn't want to take up a lot of space.
I packed my own toiletries as well... like toothpaste.
Some of the drags I was with brought a book to read during labs.
 

servicekid21

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Jan 4, 2017
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I went on one in September and I did a workout with my MID and we played soccer as well. I wouldn't bring more than a duffel bag but I would bring some workout clothing and sweats (in case you do physical activity outside). I also recommend a book (I didn't read much but there were times when I was glad I had it).
 

hockeygirl

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Dec 24, 2015
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Last year I did the CVW at the end of January and we went SWIMMING- and I was the only drag that participated. It's all about how much you want to participate/ get out of the visit.
I would also recommend bringing cookies (I made enough to fit in a shoebox), I read that somewhere on the forums- and it was the most valuable piece of advice I found; as soon as the plebes saw the cookies they warmed up to me (and fellow drags).
 

blueplate99

USNA 21
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Jan 6, 2015
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88
I second hockeygirl, and on top of that I would recommend you take advantage of all opportunities you get while there. I did mine in November 2015 and loved it, but I do regret not asking enough questions/not doing the company workout/not talking to more mids. Everyone (well, the majority) there is welcoming and will answer any questions you have. IMO the CVW is the best resource you have to really experience plebe life at the Academy... Make the most of it! Summer Seminar was incredible and I absolutely loved it, but while at my CVW the plebes I talked to could not stress enough that it was more of a "Summer Scaminar" and only demonstrated the highlights of plebe summer/year.

I would also recommend you bring some homework or something to study during your Mid's study period. Have fun, ask questions, and try to picture yourself doing that for 200+ days.
 

navyafgirl

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Feb 27, 2016
Messages
122
I definitely would recommend bringing workout clothes and a suit and goggles because you want to take advantage of all of your opportunities on CVW. If they ask you if you want to go workout in the morning or do this or that... say yes! When I went I did everything with my plebe and really got the feel for the academy.. my friend however did not and slept in in the mornings, etc.
I recommend definitely bringing a smaller suitcase or duffle bag (DO NOT PACK A LOT) and a backpack that you can keep your snacks, water bottle, homework, phone charger, etc. in because there will be time for homework either in classes or later in the night when your plebe is doing homework.
I had a lot of fun when I went, enjoy yourself and take advantage of trying everything there!
 

ktnatalk

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a "Summer Scaminar"

That's funny... but they do feed you and let you bring home the swag! :D

If your school/sport schedule allows, try to go to CVW in the fall vice during the cold winter months that is known as the "dark ages". I guess the atmosphere won't be too bad early in Jan, but seriously consider it before doing it in Feb/Mar during the coldest months with short daylights. If your application is complete before showing up at CVW in the fall as a HS senior (which admissions do track and know who is coming), you could potentially be offered a LOA by the Dean of Admissions and maybe with the Superintendent in person. That is done regularly to the highly desirable candidates.
 
Last edited:

che527

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Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
180
I have been recently invited to the candidate visitation weekend at the USNA. I have a few questions on what exactly to bring and what some might recommend I bring in addition.

Do I need to provide my own sheets for a bed or can I just use a sleeping bag?

The website mentions workout gear. Should I bring shorts and a t-shirt or workout clothing more fitted to the Maryland climate in January?

Should I bring a backpack with everything in it or would it be wiser to bring a suitcase as well as a backpack?

Thank you!
How did you get invited?
 

RickD_USAF

Air Force Veteran
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
368
My DS went during the first week of Sept. He had a blast. From my understanding, PT was an option and not all visiting candidates took part in it. He did, he totally immersed himself in the adventure. He did bring a sleeping bag with him. I am not sure about PT in the colder months, they may or may not do it indoors. Someone who attended (or attends) will have to provide that answer.
 

Ted&Gladys

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Sep 5, 2015
Messages
33
My DD, now Plebe in Class of 2020, did CVW in January of her junior year. Yes, as ktnatalk mentioned, it was indeed the "dark ages" of academy life! In addition to the previously mentioned pack list. . . watch the forecast and bring shoes, outerwear to accommodate the weather. For DD, there were 3 inches of snow on the ground and temps below freezing for the duration of the CVW. Some of the drags from warmer states were not prepared and were walking around miserably in sneakers and hoodies. She did not meet a single mid who seemed happy; it was a new semester with new courses, new demands on their time, and weather was abysmal. Upside to a situation like this. . . if you are okay with mid life during the "dark ages", you'll like it pretty-much anytime ;)
 

NavyHoops

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My DD, now Plebe in Class of 2020, did CVW in January of her junior year. Yes, as ktnatalk mentioned, it was indeed the "dark ages" of academy life! In addition to the previously mentioned pack list. . . watch the forecast and bring shoes, outerwear to accommodate the weather. For DD, there were 3 inches of snow on the ground and temps below freezing for the duration of the CVW. Some of the drags from warmer states were not prepared and were walking around miserably in sneakers and hoodies. She did not meet a single mid who seemed happy; it was a new semester with new courses, new demands on their time, and weather was abysmal. Upside to a situation like this. . . if you are okay with mid life during the "dark ages", you'll like it pretty-much anytime ;)

Good summary of the dark ages! And the one benefit of a dark ages CVW... see USNA and the Mids at its lowest point. Yes Mids will be more cynical than usual and their love of USNA is low during this time, but it lets you envision yourself there at the low. Remember these are your visits. Talk to Mids of every year group. They have different perspectives than your Plebe hosts and have seen a glimpse of the fleet, are further in their majors, have done different training, USNA makes more sense now to them. Firsties are usually in a really good mood in January... they know they are graduating this year! Talk to people in the majors, ECAs, clubs, sports, training areas that interest you. If your Plebe is cynical, talk to other Plebes. This is a hard time for Plebes right now. They had 2+ weeks of freedom, the end of the year is still so far away in their minds, they saw all the fun their friends are having, they hate life right now. That is totally normal.
 

Candidate2022

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Nov 26, 2016
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How did you get invited?

They sent me an email and asked me to sign up for it. The invitation is based on how much of the application you have filled out. It's also first come first served so I signed up for it as soon as they sent me the email to guarantee a spot.
 

ktnatalk

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They sent me an email and asked me to sign up for it. The invitation is based on how much of the application you have filled out. It's also first come first served so I signed up for it as soon as they sent me the email to guarantee a spot.

2022, I make my recommendations based on what I know. I hope you take the advice from the forum and make the most of your CVW, and if your parents are able to come with you, there are extremely valuable info sessions on Friday: Q&A with Admissions, possibly a parent of a current Mid, and a Mids panel of four representing each year. They normally also get a couple briefs on the Majors in their buildings - the goal is to answer all questions anyone may have.

For others who have yet to receive an invitation to CVW: it does give you that sense of urgency when they say

Spots are limited! If you are interested in participating in this experience, please fill out our request form HERE. Selections will be made on a first come, first served basis.


If the dates they offer work for you, great! If not, or if you are hoping it will be offered again during a certain weekend, email them back and ask. You can do that too!

Have fun visiting and exploring!
 

che527

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Jul 31, 2016
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They sent me an email and asked me to sign up for it. The invitation is based on how much of the application you have filled out. It's also first come first served so I signed up for it as soon as they sent me the email to guarantee a spot.
If you are Class of 2022, how much of your application did you already fill out? Apps are not open yet for the junior class?
 

ktnatalk

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If you are Class of 2022, how much of your application did you already fill out? Apps are not open yet for the junior class?

Happy New Year, Ms. Che!

You may remember from other threads that he might have received an invitation because he could have applied to STEM, sport camps, etc that left his contact info in admissions' file.

That said, Summer Seminar for 2017 application opens in about a week. Once you submitted yours, it could serve as your preliminary application and you too could receive CVW invite in the future.

Read this one to refresh your memory too:

https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/timeline-of-junior-year.51132/

Good luck!
 
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