WP2023

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
41
Hello all,
I am a 2023 CC and I've been seeing some threads about the official FB groups for parents and their benefits. Are these groups really necessary? My family does not do social media stuff in general and would like to find another way to get information if at all possible.
Thanks in advance,
WP2023
 

TheZooElCid

Banned
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
62
I'd say look but don't touch -

take everything and anything that's not from an official source with a grain or pound of salt
 

cptenca

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
335
Many states or regions have "quasi-official" parents clubs that can provide additional information. Your FFR or RC should be able to provide you contact info if there is a club active in your area. It is still very early in the process so you will receive more info from USMA and you may even be contacted by a parents club. Remember also that young men and women have found their way to USMA since 1802, long before the internet, and yet they managed to arrive and graduate and mostly without parental interference.
 

WP2023

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
41
Thanks for the quick responses! I’ll research the parents club in my area and ask about it when I talk to my FFR.
 

USMA 1994

5-Year Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
1,258
There is an official page for each class that is run by a representative from West Point. This is a good place to get official information.

Other groups have pages; WP Moms, Dads, Local Parent Groups, Sports Team, Unofficial Class Pages; but these are not official and contain all the things you would expect on a social media site.
 

SFRanger

Banned
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Messages
99
Hello all,
I am a 2023 CC and I've been seeing some threads about the official FB groups for parents and their benefits. Are these groups really necessary? My family does not do social media stuff in general and would like to find another way to get information if at all possible.
Thanks in advance,
WP2023
The sites are interesting and everyone in the family will be encouraged to join. A lot of information is put out on the "Parent" site that is helpful for new cadets. With that said there is a lot of bologna from people that have no idea what is going on especially in the Military. In the beginning there are a lot of families that just don't understand that their child is now in the Army and things have changed. The "moms" site and "dads" sites are pretty useless wastes of time as parents try to convince each other how great Johnny and Sally are and how happy they are to be there. Many turn into "*****" sites especially the moms site where dads are even told not to go any where near it "under the table". A lot of it turns out to be "well my little Johnny is doing this what is yours doing" or "Well if yours is going to get to do that mine is too". On the dads site there are a lot of moderators that give you the strict Army line. Many of the Dads have been there and know different. Then the Dads talk offline to each other. In the end, the things the academy sends you and tells you are what you need to do. You need to know that the sites are monitored for malcontents and it is addressed and your access can be taken away. Also there is a site for the incoming cadets. Understand that all the other cadets are reading the things you post. Many children post things that they think will endear them with the other cadets and help them make friends. Things like their sexuality, how many partners they have slept with in the last week and guys that they have already stalked on facebook and "dibs". Just know, that sends the wrong message with your peers fast. Our family is on the Parents site and the moms site but I think it is getting a little overwhelming and the moms site is about to go away. It gets really frantic at the end of the first semester when academic boards are in process and during Beast.
 

cptenca

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
335
Going back to the original post. The family doesn't do social media. Hence, the need for alternate information sources.
 

USMA 1994

5-Year Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
1,258
You should reach out to the parent liaison at West Point and ask the question. She will provide the best advice.
 

LWHW4

Army Mom
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Messages
41
There is a great West Point Moms site with some very helpful & useful information. MOre often than not it doesn’t pertain to to you. But my son is class of 2023 & I have found some useful information so far. Don’t listen so Ranger up there. I have a son at Fort Bragg & now one at WP. I don’t always use SM for their stuff but it has been helpful. Once your son gets to WP I have heard you will be able to see pictures of him/her during beast & so forth. But if you don’t use SM then you will be ok.
 

MG23Hopeful

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
31
Through FB Moms, I was able to very quickly connect with 5 cadet moms in my area. They helped me figure out the best travel options to WP from our town. We are going to get together this weekend to meet each other. Overall, for the couple of questions I asked, I got very sincere responses and feel like these women are eager to help and will be good for emotional support. Relying on a FB group for factual information isn’t wise, but if you need opinions and want feedback on personal experience, it’s great.

I found out a little about our local parent’s group by looking up the WP Society for our area. I found some newsletters they posted on the AOG website. Debra Dalton, the WP parent liaison, also seems to be responsive. I filled out an online form to be included in her group emails, which was included in her introductory email.
 

MidwestDad

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Messages
608
Necessary? No. A useful resource? Yes. As with everything online feel free to focus on the beneficial content and ignore the 'other.' I find the official WP parents 'class of' group useful as well as the 'WP Dads' moderated and closed group.
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
668
I read here occasionally. I get everything else I need or want to know directly from our son, no social media, no parent's club. There really isn't anything parents need to know. It's entirely possible to do this thing all by yourself and just tell your parents if/when you're coming home or leaving and when/where you want them to show up for some event. Or not. Our son wanted us at the Ring Ceremony last summer and wants us to attend graduation in May, so he shared the relevant information, and we'll be there, but we have not required any outside sources to successfully plan travel, find places to stay/eat, or properly attend any event. The United States Army requires zip from parents as they aren't part of this process. The academy/Army will communicate directly and solely with you, so you will be the best source of information for anything you wish to share with your parents or feel they need to know. Coming to the end of our son's time at West Point, I still find all the liaison, emotional support groups, books, and parent outreach stuff rather incongruous with the military. None of it is necessary, but it does serve to make some parents feel more connected to what their adult offspring are experiencing. It's perfectly fine for your parents to check out online resources and a local club but, as others have noted upthread, they should determine what's useful to them and leave the rest. They won't be missing anything important (other than you).
 

mom3boys

10-Year Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
2,184
In 2008 I started West Point Moms so moms who've been there, done that could help the newbie moms (I was the newbie mom at the time). We are an unofficial page. Our mission is cadet and mom support. While SFRanger calls us a "useless waste of time," I would disagree. Is there drama sometimes? You bet. Put a bunch of opinionated people in any room--real or virtual--and watch the drama develop. However, if you care about finding support and people who can guide you through some events and emotions you've never experienced, the moms are the BEST. For those who have no idea what the moms have done, let me toot our horn for a bit.
  • We bonded over a severely injured soldier in the early days of our group. We prayed around the clock for him. We learned about Fisher House...then we held a 5k in 2012 and raised $50,000 for Fisher House foundation.
  • We rescue stranded cadets all over the country with one quick post: My cadet needs help...does anyone live in _____.
  • We immediately find resources. Ex: Cadet X's mother is about to die...we need to get 3 cadets home NOW...who has FF miles?
  • We help each other. Ex: Mom is extremely poor, has never been to WP in 4 years...can we find the $ to get her to graduation. We filter this through the parent liaison or the local parent club.
  • We put info in one place to help people find what they need. We have travel info, food delivery, links to official sites.
  • We have spawned numerous groups. For example, West Point Moms bake sends THOUSANDS of boxes each year to deployed soldiers of all branches. WP Items for Donation is a mini raffle/auction site where crafted items raise funds for cadet clubs/groups (i.e. OCF, parachute team, softball, etc) to pay for food while traveling or other expenses related to the group/ministry. West Point Parents Prayer page, where you know people will pray for you, no matter what or when. Over 400 moms sent me prayers when my brother died unexpectedly last week. There are many other groups...including support for moms of cadets who separate.
Social media is not for everyone, but SF Ranger is just wrong when he calls the moms' page useless. Hundreds of other moms would also disagree.
 

DrMom

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,507
To second @mom3boys --who has done serious social media leadership to create and maintain a group of more than 5000 moms in which the attitude is one of sharing, respect, and love.
Just last night a mom wrote in wanting to learn if there were any resources or suggestions to help her and her family attend a special event with her cadet--in that the family has a handicapped child who can do everything during that weekend but not the one event (a formal dinner)--within five minutes, three women had volunteered to assist this family.
When my own #1 graduated and was en route to his first duty station, he was in a pretty serious multi-car accident. He thought he was fine. He thought he could handle it--but then he found himself at a gas station in the rain in a rural area without a car and without a plan. At 21 and only having lived in the US to go to USMA, he suddenly realized that a little help at the end of a long day would be 'helpful' and much appreciated. Using the power of the WP Moms network, a dad picked him up within 15 minutes of the call. He was invited to stay at their home while he figured out what was going on with his car and with his insurance--and let his first duty station know he would be later than expected.
No one has to use social media. The emails from the Parent Liaison can be enough. However, the FB groups can help the cadet--things like 'no wheelie suitcases' and 'put everything in big ziplock bags' for R-Day. Figuring out how to get your plebe home for Thanksgiving (did you know that the MDDCVA parents club runs buses? that USMA has buses to the airports? what time to book a flight?) However, it can help with the where to be, when, and what to wear--where to stay/not stay--and frankly, for those few occasions when a mom or family spends time at a West Point event (R-Day, A-Day, Ring Weekend, Graduation)--and the cadets are off doing their own thing (school/parade practice/formation/etc)--it becomes a reunion of friends.
 

bookreader

5-Year Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
825
To the OP, it depends on what your parents want. If they would like connection with other parents who have a child on a similar path, then joining a parent group (if there is one in your area) and /or joining some of the FB groups is the way to go. I'm very active in my state's parent club and have gotten to meet many parents in this way. We get together a few times during the year and we are all glad for the camaraderie. I've also made some very dear friends via the Mom's page on FB. I'm so thankful for this group - they are truly 'my people'. @mom3boys really could have written a much longer list of how the mom's FB group has helped it's members.

I live near one of the major airports to WP, so I've picked up a several stranded cadets over the years. I learned about their situation through the mom's page - and based on my conversations with those cadets - they were pretty darn happy to be scooped out of the airport. They definitely didn't view that page as a 'useless waste of time'. But to each his own. Let your parents know what is available to them and they can best decide what they need. I expect that they have already seen the parents section on the official WP website. It was recently redone and is quite a wealth of information. It's an excellent place to start. If they want to know more than the website, they may also want to consider picking up a copy of The Mom's Guide to Surviving West Point by Joiner and Roszel. It's inexpensive and easy to find on the internet (Amazon has it, of course). It is a wealth of information and has some very amusing stories.
 

DrMom

5-Year Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,507
Actually, @bookreader brings up a great point--and an idea. The Mom's Guide to Surviving West Point by Joiner & Roszel would be a great Mother's Day gift. No social media required. <3
 

GoCubbies

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
877
Actually, @bookreader brings up a great point--and an idea. The Mom's Guide to Surviving West Point by Joiner & Roszel would be a great Mother's Day gift. No social media required. <3

The kids gave it to their mom for her bday last month after D19 accepted her appointment.[emoji4]

I told her to bring the book with us to R-day because the author said she’d be in the bookstore for autographs.

[emoji106]
 

WP2023

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
41
Thank you all for your help; it is much appreciated. For the mom’s guide, I thought I read that there will be a new edition next year so I was thinking about waiting, but I’m guessing I should get it now based on your comments.
 
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