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Military School "CARE" Package Ideas Needed
Old 08-19-2010, 06:51 PM   #1
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Military School "CARE" Package Ideas Needed

On of our kids' friends is attending military school this year. We were on vacation before he left town and didn't get a goodbye gift, so I thought I'd send him something at school. A friend suggested a CARE type package like for college kids. Evidently he is at a school where he is not allowed off campus so gift cards probably wouldn't be very useful for him. I know I can send him things like baked goods.

I was just wondering if anyone else had any suggestions on what to send him.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:10 PM   #2
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You mean amazon.com and other gift card entities are not allowed to deliver to campus? I thought you could order anything and have it delivered nowadays. A Three-Wolf-Moon T-shirt comes to mind.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
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I didn't know when I wrote the post if they even had Internet access. It seems like a pretty strict place. I really don't know much about military schools. But I looked up the school on the web and they do have Internet access so maybe an Amazon card would be a good idea.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:43 PM   #4
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A Three-Wolf-Moon T-shirt comes to mind.
Interesting suggestion, thanks.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:38 PM   #5
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I sent my kids care packages of snacks , snacks & more snacks and homemade brownies . They loved it .
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooFrugal View Post
On of our kids' friends is attending military school this year. We were on vacation before he left town and didn't get a goodbye gift, so I thought I'd send him something at school. A friend suggested a CARE type package like for college kids. Evidently he is at a school where he is not allowed off campus so gift cards probably wouldn't be very useful for him. I know I can send him things like baked goods.

I was just wondering if anyone else had any suggestions on what to send him.
I think the care package is the best possible idea. Young guys off at school get lonesome and want some mothering. Nothing beats some fudge brownies, chocolate chip cookies, etc.!

Ha
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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When one of my best friends from high school joined the Army, we sent her a package of candy, homemade cookies, a good letter, and.....

A racy, skimpy set of underwear (I believe a thong was involved, as was a push-up bra).

She had to open the packages in front of her group and DI (policy for everyone). There was apparently much carousing and joshing about the package, which was sort of the idea. But they all loved the cookies.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:23 PM   #8
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I think the care package is the best possible idea. Young guys off at school get lonesome and want some mothering. Nothing beats some fudge brownies, chocolate chip cookies, etc.!
I guess that is part of my dilema. We don't have a lot of sugary snacks at our house. Though I guess a CARE package with pistachios, dried apricots and mango juice might not be welcome with open arms if you didn't grow up on that kind of stuff.

But okay, I get the idea. I'll send a package with cookies, trail mix and a mix of healthy and not so healthy snacks.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:29 PM   #9
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I have some experience on both sides of this. If you have a question about the specific military school you may even find that some of this board's posters are on the staff.

- Barterables like gourmet coffee (ground Kona or Jamaican, the expensive stuff), small candy bars (like the bite-size Hallowe'en bagged ones), powdered energy drink mix (Gatorade, Powerade). Crystal Light drink mix.
- Barterables of a different nature (not the sort he'd want to get from his dear ol' Mom) like a subscription to Maxim or FHM or Outdoor magazines, Nicorette chewing gum, chewing tobacco, fine cigars. (In other words, testosterone & nicotine.) Best to check out the school's regs first to see if there's a potential problem, but he might be willing to risk that anyway.
- Speaking of testosterone, "inspirational" posters. These come in two categories-- the ones put on a bulletin board for an admiring public, and the ones hidden behind a closed closet door for just him and the roommates to admire.
- Magazine subscriptions that he might enjoy for a hobby or a sport. I'd recommend a financial magazine, too, but most of them are crap and "The Economist" might be a little over the top at this point.
- "Local" candy. For example our Hawaii-grown kid has left detailed instructions to send bags of lychee jellies, shredded coconut, li hing mui mango, li hing sour watermelon, and li hing mui powder (in the handy five-pound sack). She even gave us cell-phone pictures of the bags hanging on the store's candy rack.
- Jerky-- beef, turkey, pork, other "interesting" flavors.
- Canned foods like SPAM. Sometimes you need calories but you can't afford to be seen in public.
- Power bars. Higher protein is better but the chocolate and peanut butter flavors are yummy.
- Dried fruit. Sometimes a quick sugar surge is essential.
- Coffee. He might have access to a coffee machine but instant would probably be preferred. You might also want to include sweetener like Splenda or Nutrisweet and powdered creamer. No vanilla or other fruity flavorings unless he's willing to put up with the roommate/upperclass abuse.
- Depending on the climate, powdered hot chocolate.
- Teabags. Earl Grey or green or herbal.
- If he has access to a microwave oven, then microwave popcorn. You could include furikake or other flavorings.
- Cookies should probably be home-baked, preferably chocolate-chip, ginger, sugar, peanut butter, or oatmeal. Try to stick to the classics so that everyone can share. Or he might have a favorite flavor that he can keep all to himself.
- "Little Debbie" brand snacks used to be a huge hit when my generation was in college.
- "Soup for One" or "Cup o' Noodles" or even regular ol' ramen.
- Oatmeal, preferably the little flavored bags, or cereal in the little variety packs.
- Funny coffee/tea mugs. A cereal bowl/silverware. Maybe even a small submersible electric coil for heating the water in the mug.
- Tupperware containers help keep out rodents, bugs, and suspicious sniffing upperclass.
- Cool/funny t-shirts. The more local the better.
- Cool/funny signs or bumper stickers for the bulletin board or desktop.
- Paperback books, graphic novels, or comics that he's particularly fond of. For example Jim Butcher's "Harry Dresden" books might be tough for his school's bookstore to keep in stock and you could pre-order it from Amazon.com for him.
- If he has access to an MP3 player then an iTunes gift card.

I don't know how much money you want to spend on this support, but my nephew the Army Ranger was really really really happy with his Kindle in Iraq. And a set of spare batteries.

You might want to pad the container with a local crumpled-up newspaper. Yeah, he can probably read it online, but it's kinda nice to smooth out the sheets and reminisce over the local fire/police reports.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:47 PM   #10
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Wow, Nords, that is a great list. Thank you so much for taking the time to post it in such detail.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I'm am so glad I posted here. My kids are still at home so this is my first experience with packing a CARE package. I appreciate all of the suggestions.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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Nords's list is grand - just 3 additional thoughts: (I work with deployed military personnel, but my military school knowledge is limited to older brother who attended USNA):

1. Is this a co-ed school? If so, "testosterone-inspirational" posters may need to be restricted to "pictures of your favorite [female] athletes in action." (With analogous restrictions for the women students). In some venues, posting even fairly innocent, Maxim-style pictures of pretty girls in fancy underwear [or sexy guys in skimpy skivvies, for that matter] could be construed as "harassment." You wouldn't want him to be made to toss the posters in the trash, or worse, be in trouble for breaking a reg.
2. If shipping home-baked goods, bear in mind they don't contain additives and preservatives, and thus don't hold up as well as store-bought ones. So, (and this is the Voice of Sad Experience speaking), pad their holders really well with crumpled paper, and try not to ship during hot weather. Also, obviously, send them priority mail, not parcel post.

3. If the students are allowed to have laptops, they may enjoy trading DVD movies back and forth - soldiers do. Then again, soldiers probably have more downtime for watching movies. As I recall, brother had very little downtime!

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Old 08-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #12
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Curiosity, what age are we talking about. Is this a jr high, high school, or one of the Military Academies?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:28 AM   #13
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If so, "testosterone-inspirational" posters may need to be restricted to "pictures of your favorite [female] athletes in action.
I'm the middle aged mom of a friend, so I was going to stick more to the suggestions along the lines of cookies and hot chocolate.

Quote:
If shipping home-baked goods
Good suggestion about the preservatives, but I don't really bake anyway so store bought cookies will have to do.

Quote:
Is this a jr high, high school, or one of the Military Academies?
It is for a high school age boy at a military boarding school.


Again thanks for all of the great suggestions. I'm going to use quite a few.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:48 PM   #14
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Just to add - the "etiquette" of received care packages is to share! So be certain to send small packages of snack items (or lots of cookies, etc.).

A couple of practical ideas would be "expensive" (as in Oral B, etc.) tooth brushes. Give the young man the option to change out that worn tooth brush without dropping $2 each time. Dispo razors. At military school, grooming is important. Having extra dispo razors prevents a young man from reusing an old razor until the skin starts to come off with the hair. Just a thought.

Care packages are "compared" (used to be, anyway) and ranked among peers. Make yours unique (without embarrassing him) and his status will go up. Send really nice goodies to share and he will be King for a day. Just my $.02 and YMMV.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:09 PM   #15
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hmmm, if I were off at military school what would I most want to receive.... ahh yes, discharge papers!
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:01 PM   #16
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Send him several dozen homemade chocolate chip/peanut butter/oatmeal raisin cookies--put them in big ziploc bags with the air pressed out, pack in a box with crumpled newspaper to cushion them. It will cost more to send them than the ingredients cost, but the thought counts.

Your son's friend will make friends with the boys on his floor when he shares them. I still sometimes make them for my grownup kids, who take them to work to share.

And I imagine he will be working off lots more calories than we can imagine, so don't worry about the sugar and butter in the cookies!
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:01 PM   #17
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Thanks again for all of the suggestions. Our friend is home for the holidays and mentioned several times how much he enjoyed the package.

He especially enjoyed the immersion heater and assorted beverages to go with it, so thanks especially to Nords for that suggestion, among his many other great ideas.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:38 PM   #18
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He especially enjoyed the immersion heater and assorted beverages to go with it, so thanks especially to Nords for that suggestion, among his many other great ideas.
Glad it worked out!

Let's just say that the immersion heater helps make hot foods for those hours days weeks times when you'd rather not be seen in the hallways...
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