After the insanity of OCS, the first thing your candidate will want is time with family and loved ones (coupled with many hours of sleep, a really hot shower, and an all-you-can-eat buffet). However, having loved ones attend can actually add stress. Our OSO friends recommend that only immediate family be invited or expected to attend. It’s probably smoother to catch up with neighbors, cousins and friends after OCS.
Overall, it will be a challenging environment for kids, but not impossible. Family day is more kid-friendly than graduation. You will see some presentations, some seated in a classroom, and get a basic tour of the area. Graduation is less easy for active toddlers. Families have to wait long periods of time in bleachers to wait for the candidates, then see the formations. Then for classes who commission, there’s a whole hour-plus-long commissioning ceremony at the Museum which again is not very child-friendly. Consider the weather, too. You may be expected to spend several hours outside in the elements, which can be brutally cold and windy in December. Either way, some people do bring kids, but keeping in mind that the events are not structured to provide them entertainment.
If your candidate strongly prefers to have the kids there, you can make it happen. Logistically, it’s very challenging.
Thanks to OSO Saint Louis for contributing to this article. Follow their facebook page here.