Need Practical Advice re: A-Day

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by NYC Dad, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. NYC Dad

    NYC Dad 5-Year Member

    Nov 8, 2010
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    This year on Saturday, Aug 13, 2011
    Parade at 10am, dismiss at approx 1pm, return 12hrs later.
    1. Is that more or less right? 12 hours? or can we
    have him for a bit on the next day, Sunday?
    2. I have heard cadets are not allowed in Thayer Hotel rooms.
    Is that true? If so, we might need to switch our reservation off-post
    so he can just sleep in peace. Good Idea?
    3. What are cadets allowed/not allowed to do as far as off-post
    activities are concerned? And what's around there?
    ANY OTHER PRACTICAL ADVICE from you 2014s?
    What made it successful..or not?
    What would you have liked to do most?
    Should we bring anything from home?
    What is the ideal Care Package?
    Thanks in advance to all.
  2. mom3boys

    mom3boys 5-Year Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    Your best source of information is going to be on the West Point Parents facebook group. Deb Dalton from West Point runs it.
    To address your questions:
    1. You get about 12 hours w/ your cadet on Sat. and then all day Sunday, if your cadet chooses. I believe they have to be back around 5. Many want to go earlier, as classes start.
    2. I've never heard cadets aren't allowed in the Thayer...
    3. What they are allowed to do changes from year to year. Info will be posted by Deb Dalton.
    Your cadet will tell you what to bring for the care package. Mine wanted non-itchy underwear and his feather pillow. We went to the PX and bought other items he needed/wanted and a box to store it all in.

    Good luck!
    Mom of 2012 Cadet
  3. Dixieland

    Dixieland 5-Year Member

    Mar 10, 2010
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    I would advise not making a lot of plans for A-Day. My cadet did sleep some but he did not nap all day. He had his new laptop to get familiar with and he wanted to get caught up with his friends. Basically, he just wanted some peace and quiet. He was glad for some favorite food from home, but he did not gorge himself as in the old days! We stayed in Fishkill so we could have a suite---cadet could sleep or chill with the door closed and the rest of us could do our thing.

    Besides his cell phone, he didn't really want a lot of stuff from home. I would suggest getting a nice iron and tabletop ironing board because it was hard to find the ironing board locally. DH had to drive to the Target in Poughkeepsie to get one. It was easy to get school and cleaning supplies locally. My cadet also wanted better underwear! We did bring a new pair of running shoes at his request because he had worn the first pair out.

    Mom3boys is right, the cadet restrictions for A-Day change from year to year, so keep tabs on the FB West Point Parents' page.
  4. Livinlarger

    Livinlarger 5-Year Member

    Apr 3, 2009
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    1. These times were pretty accurate for 2014. We picked our daughter back up about 7am on Sunday and had her back by about 3pm.

    2. I think the Thayer thing is a rumor from the past. We had heard the same thing but it is apparently not true. That being said we stayed off post in a hotel with a suite (kinda of an extended stay type place). That way we had more room, had the ability to cook, etc... Did alot of her very smelly laundry in the laundry room. She did make it perfectly clear that she wanted to get off post. She wanted no part of a restaurant. She wanted to get to the hotel and put on some sweats. Can't be in public like that. In public, in uniform. She didn't want to watch TV or anything. She just wanted to be with us and talk.

    3. As stated already the rules will be posted and your cadet will know what they are. After the parade she was more than willing to show us some of the campus, point things out and take pictures (we brought her Aunt and Uncle for the day). We could tell she was exhausted and somewhat on edge with all the upperclassmen around, but she was a good sport about it. We went to the PX on Sunday afternoon to get her a few things. However just remember that ALOT of cadets will already have done the same thing so supplies were limited, with binders being a small issue. You may want to stop at your local Staples and pick up some black binders. You could always return them if you don't need them. I think you will be surprised though at their attitude after Beast, everything was "Don't worry, no big deal. I will figure it out". And you know what, she did.

    Let you cadet tell you what they want you to bring for A Day. FYI, our daughters company did not allow them to have cell phones until AFTER the A Day parade. Phone in room wasn't connected until about mid week after march back. You may read and hear that cadets are calling parents right after march back. If yours doesn't don't panic, they will get in touch with you.

    Good suggestion for an iron by Dixieland. We dropped her at about 3pm and started out the gate. Thankfully we stopped for some ice cream because about a half hour after we dropped her she called saying that neither her or her roommate had an iron. Because of that stop we were still in Highland Falls. We had to find one at the local Rite Aid and go back.

    It will be successful no matter what happens. You will get to see your child after 8 weeks and very limited contact. They will be elated just to see and talk to you.
  5. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot 5-Year Member

    Apr 29, 2010
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    The regulation concerning the Thayer used to be that Cadets may not occupy a Thayer Hotel room WITHOUT their families. The intent is to keep cadets from renting rooms for themselves.
  6. KateMac

    KateMac 5-Year Member

    Feb 27, 2010
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    Granted, my Cadet will graduate in May, but that being said, we stayed at the Thayer for A-Day and it was well worth it for a couple of reasons.

    First, you don't know how long it will take your Cadet to do all they need to do before they are released. A lot of folks get some pretty bad sunburns hanging around by this-or-that statue waiting; we told our Cadet to meet us in the small restaurant (spelled B-A-R) at the Thayer and, at least for us, that worked out perfectly. We sat around with our group and waited; she arrived and was able to join us and get a meal.

    Secondly, travel time wasn't an issue. We got every available minute with her. She hung out in the room and visited. (They can't spend the night, but they won't be able to spend the night anywhere.) We did have 3 rooms for our group at the Thayer, so some friends of ours who were staying pretty far away, took over one of our rooms for an afternoon for some one-on-one time with their son, which worked out well. Otherwise they'd have been hanging around outside under a tree.

    I remember going to try to get the things needed for the start of school at the PX, and many of the items she wanted were sold out. Not sure what we could have done about that, she just had to deal with it. If your Cadet can let you know some of the things needed, (she didn't) and if you are able to take them, (we wouldn't have been) it would probably be worth it. Supplies were low and crowds were big and we would have rather spent that time doing something else.

    We did bring "boodle" and an under the bed type of plastic container for storage, but not much else. (Although I did bake 3 cheesecakes, freeze them, and check them in an ice chest as baggage; that was before they charged $25 per checked item.) I guess probably cell phone and I-pod, but I've slept since then.
  7. luv2swim

    luv2swim 5-Year Member

    Jul 30, 2008
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    Our A-Day was summer before last. We stayed in a B&B about 15 minutes away and found it to be a friendly and relaxing place to hang out with our plebe.

    Our plebe's number one priority when he was finally released was to dump the BCG's (those dorky glasses) and put in his contacts. He was not really looking to sleep, but did want to "chill" and talk in the room and we were glad we brought him a change of clothes (I think it was shorts & T) to wear while in the room.

    We went to the PX and Cadet store at some point. We also had a couple of meals at the Thayer. Since this is on post, it was a way to go out to a restaurant but remain within the rules (that year at least) of not going out to a restaurant off post. If memory serves, we made a reservation for brunch on Sunday there, which was very popular.
  8. edhvoice

    edhvoice 5-Year Member Founding Member

    May 30, 2009
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    We went to A-Day last year to visit our son who is now a plebe. Schedule may vary, but here is what last year was like. Parade at 10. After the parade, (I believe sponsored by the Association of Graduates) box lunches were available, but not enough for all, so take your chances. Aprox 1230 our cadet was released, and called us. We met him in front of the library. He was tired and hungry. After a quick lunch we drove to our hotel where he slept for 3 or so hours. Upon his awakening we went out for dinner. After dinner he napped for a while and I drove him back to WP. I believe that the time was 7pm, but it mght have been 8pm.
    The next day I picked him up in the morning. He wanted to sleep in so I picked him up around 10. Went to lunch, then back to USMA for PX run. He wanted box window fan, school supplies, iron, ironing board more underwear, protein powder and similar items. He roomed with 3 cadets, all of whom had box fans. They loved the wind tunnel effect.

    Caveat The box fans were gone so we picked one up for him at a Walmart in Peekskill. The shortage of box fans is an annual event so plan on purchasing one off post. The same can be said for a small ironing board and an iron.

    Sunday afternoon, after the PX run it was more sleeping. I took him back around 5pm on Sunday night. I believe that the pass expired at 7.

    Hope that this helps.

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