Parents Clubs

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Mikeandcris, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot 5-Year Member

    Jul 6, 2009
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    We're members of the local parents club. We've been members for one year and are curious about other parents experiences with their clubs. Is your club active? What kinds of events to you hold? How many cadets are represented and do you have an equal representation for each class. We're looking for ideas and activities that have been successful with your clubs. Thanks.
  2. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

    Jul 20, 2006
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    Wisconsin Air Force Academy Parent's Association

    We are members of the Wisconsin Air Force Academy Parents Association (known as WAFAPA), and have been very active in the group since out son received his appointment. We were on the executive board for 3 of his 4 years at USAFA. (He is a 2011 graduate). The Wisconsin group is very active and works very hard to help out both the parents and the cadets. Our parent's group membership varies by class. We generally have 20-25 new appointees each year, and the parent participation rate is usually around 50-60%. Because of the small numbers, this statistic can vary widely.

    Our events each year include (in calendar order, since is really becomes a loop):

    Spring Meeting - Held in April: This is our meeting where we say farewell to the Firstie parents and present gifts to them. All Fristie parents automatically become life members in WAFAPA and are encouraged to continue coming to events and meetings for as long as they want. (Lance Sijan's mom is still a member of our group) We also appoint the next year's president (almost always the previous year vice-president) and look at next year's budget. We also discuss where the new appointees are from, and assign a 'mentor' parent to each new appointee's parent(s). We try to keep them in the same geographic area as their mentor. This meeting is held in the southern part of the state where a majority of the appointees are from. It is usually at a venue where we can get a tour or activity scheduled after the meeting (such as a veteran's museum).

    Orientation - Held a week or two before BCT: This is held on a Saturday morning at the 128th Air Refueling Wing base in Milwaukee. This is where we introduce the new appointees, meet and greet, and have an open floor Q & A. We also usually have a speaker and a brunch provided. We also provide separate Q & A sessions afterward for parents and appointees. We provide a few current cadets and recent graduates to go to a separate room with the appointees to answer any questions that the new kids may not want to ask in front of their parents. And conversely, the new parents can ask questions of the other parents that they may not be comfortable asking with their appointee present. We try to wrap this up by 11 AM because this tends to be a very busy time with graduations, and we want to encourage as many new appointees as possible to attend.

    EAA/AirVenture - Held in late July. Because we have one of the premier avaition events here in Oshkosh, WI, we try and get an informal gathering together for WAFAPA parents for one of the airshows during EAA/AirVenture. Several of our parents also volunteer to man the Academy recruiting booth each day during the event.

    August Picnic/Auction - This is our main fundraiser for the year. We have a picnic in early August on a Sunday. This is held at a lakeside park and we provide beverages and grills. Everyone brings their own meat to grill and a dish to pass. Before we eat, we introduce ALL of the members and give them a chance to give updates on what their cadet or grad has done in the last year. We also provide 5 (one for each class + one for grads) large bulletin boards where each parent can post photos and updates on their kid. After the meal, we have an auction. Every parent donates items to be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to our group to finance the years activities. These items are often USAFA-related, but a lot are not. We get everything from Air Force books, to garden decorations, to wine gift baskets. Since we live by Appleton, home of Jansport, we visit the Jansport outlet store throughout the year and pick up all of the USAFA apparel that we can find for dirt cheap and then donate it to the auction. The auction lasts a couple of hours (we have many generous parents and alumni) and it is really fun. We also do one more activity during this picninc that benefits our cadets, but I will not go into it here because it is a surprise to the cadets. If you want to know details for your parent's group, send me a PM.

    Parents Weekend Reception - Friday evening of Parent's Weekend. We reserve the Falcon Club from 6 PM to 9 PM on Friday evening and we have foods and drinks for the cadets and parents. We also introduce all of the cadets and present gifts to them. Note: We include all cadets from Wisconsin in our events, regardless of their parents belonging to WAFAPA. It is a very relaxed time and lets some of the state's cadets get to know each other.

    Fall Meeting - Held in October. This is our "Northern Meeting". Since a majority of our cadets are from the southern part of the state, we hold our fall meeting in the northern part of the state so that we have at least one event that the northern parents don't have to drive for hours to attend. This is mainly a business meeting and a chance to all get together. Like our spring meeting, we hold it at a place that we schedule a tour afterward, such as Lambeau Field.

    Other small meetings are held throughout the year, also. Since we host the All-Academies Ball every third year, we are working on that nearly all of the time, even during years that we don't host it. We also maintain a website with all of our groups information, and we take care of ordering WAFAPA nametags and polo shirts for the parents who want them.

    We also use opportunities for events that may come up. Currently we have a bus trip to the Notre Dame/USAFA football game in Indiana in October.

  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
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    I don't have the link, but if you Google air force academy parent's club you'll find a list of all of them in the country. Ours is small and not very active. Why? Because we are the least populated state, and have the least amount of cadets usually. plus, we are close to the academy, can see our cadets often, and therefor dont need a lot of support. Is don't the presidents of the various groups and ask their advice. Mike.

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